Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest post from Ryan Corey, founder and COO of Sales Rep Marketing which provides online marketing and personal branding services for sales professionals.
Many sales professionals belong to at least one professional organization or networking group, many belong to several. Everyone knows the value of these groups, meet new people, make new relationships, open up new leads etc. However, there is another way that you can use that membership to your advantage. This approach will benefit your online personal brand.
Many times, salespeople join local networking groups which bring local business people together. These local groups usually have a website where they list events and make general announcements, etc. To build your online brand, you should be listing an extended professional profile / bio on as many business related websites as possible. The bio should be brief, include a professional synopsis, include information on what you sell as well as the territory you sell it in. In most cases, if you can leave off the company you work for, that may be best as this is designed to benefit you. Most importantly, the bio should include links to each and every social media profile you have (your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc,) as well as your personal professional blog or website if you have one.
To take advantage of this opportunity with your networking group, approach the person that manages the group’s website. Ask this person about acquiring a profile listing on the site as an active member. In cases where the networking group does not currently list their members on the website, offer to speak to the entire group: asking people to email you their profile or bio, so that you can then pass that along to the group’s website administrator. Do a little extra work to make sure that this can be accomplished because this type of profile listing will 1) lend you credibility with people or prospects who come across it or people you actively share it with (ie. show the profile to new prospects you are trying to make a first appointment with) and 2) passes additional strength and increases organic web traffic capabilities to the social media profiles you link to.
Another opportunity to build you online personal brand, that exists within networking groups, is the ability to guest blog post with your co-members. Guest blogging is common practice among people and companies that share industry interests (ie. this blog post). Keep an eye out for anyone in your networking group that may have their own website or blog. Anyone that you find, approach and ask them about guest posting on their site. Tell them that you will present them with two to three topic options, let them choose the topic so that they are in control over what they share with their readers.
Once you have completed writing the blog post, add an “About the Author” section at the bottom. This section should be between 1-3 sentences and should briefly mention what you do / sell. In that section, add links to your website and at least one social media profile of yours. For those of you present and active on Google Plus, you can add a Google Author Tag to that section as well. The main tip here is that there are more opportunities to grow your professional self in your networking groups than originally thought. Hopefully, these tips will help you build your personal brand to much higher levels.