The Very Important Equation of Jon Ferrara
Lately our CEO, Jon Ferrara, has been speaking in webinars and in person about the importance of the “personal brand” that every employee needs to build. Yes, it’s crucial for every professional to have a personal brand that acts as a sort of social résumé to show the world their character, mission, beliefs, and ethics. This is the new transparent world we inhabit. Our lives are an open book across cyberspace and, according to Jon, an opportunity to “share our hearts and souls” every day.
Taking this idea up a level, Jon goes on to say that when you augment a personal brand with your professional network, you are creating an asset that he calls “professional net worth.”
Personal Brand + Professional Network = Professional Net Worth
Your personal brand is strengthened and solidly built by maintaining your relationships — not only your job, but for the entire arc of your associations across multiple networks.
As a brand, your landing pages are the place where you nurture and build your message — where you steer the course of how your audience, prospects, and customers view you. Jon has been demonstrating how Nimble is the work tool for your own brand, just as Marketo or HubSpot are for your company.
Build out your professional net worth by embarking on 5 steps to build your personal brand. Here’s how Nimble can help:
1. Decide what you’ll be known for.
Know what you’ll be the expert on — know why it’s important to your prospects and customers. Really be that expert. Back your expertise up with support from trusted sources.
How To Do It In Nimble: Set up a Saved Search for popular hashtags or keywords in your industry within the Signals tab in Nimble. Find credible advice and influencers you trust. Every morning, check in on those searches, find good content to share, and schedule several posts throughout the day. Now you’re helping your followers find information they might not have time to find on their own. Do it regularly, and you’ll become known, as Jon is, as a curator of the best knowledge.
2. Be everywhere.
Your personal brand is the combined impact of all the pieces of your online footprint. Be part of every social network that your prospects or customers frequent. Don’t skimp on the details. Fill out your profiles completely and keep the details current. Each social site has its own culture, etiquette, and tone — you’ll be much more effective if you understand these differences and adapt to them. A consistent presence is a confidence builder.
How To Do It In Nimble:. Every once in a while, “Nimble” yourself and make sure all your network information is up to date. Just hover over all aspects of your record, fill in any blanks, and keep it fresh. Set an Activity for yourself every few months to make sure you don’t forget — new networks are cropping up all the time. Be organized with Nimble activity reminders..
Nimble = responsiveness. With Nimble’s, you are able to see comments, questions, and interactions with prospects and contacts quickly and in one place — and respond quickly!
3. Create a blog, or write for your corporate blog.
Use your blog to write in a way that answers the questions your customers are asking. What are they searching on? Use those keywords. What questions do they have? Answer them. Post on other relevant blogs. Be visible.
Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, built his business on the idea that if he created content that answered his customers’ and prospects’ most frequently asked questions, he would succeed. He says, “Frankly, I think everything comes down to one skill with content marketing: GREAT listening. If you listen well, you hear every question. If you listen well, you know the way consumers say things (their needs, problems, issues, etc.). If you listen well, you never, ever run out of new content to discuss.”
Your blog posts don’t need to be long or complex to be effective. They just need to be topical and timely. Feel free to continue your “curation” efforts by using “best of” lists, or “top 10 blogs about” articles.
How To Do It In Nimble: By monitoring your Signals stream each day, you’ll see the noise melt away and the best signals rise to the top. You’ll easily get the full view of what your contacts are saying on social networks. You’ll see at a glance what is interesting them, mystifying them, frustrating them, and then you’ll be able to write about or inform them on topics that address all their hot buttons.
4. Know the leaders and influencers in your industry.
Interact with them. Learn from them. Talk about them and their ideas. When Jon Ferrara started Nimble, it was the thought leaders in CRM and social business that he consulted with to build his ideas out into a business. Building these relationships is not only a way to learn; it’s a way to build on that learning and find new ideas and inspiration — and valued friendships.
And just how do you find these influencers? Here are a few suggestions:
- Little Bird
- Twitter Lists
- “Top Influencer” Lists (Google search)
- Participate in the conversation and learn from others
- Watch who follows whom
How To Do It In Nimble: Useto keep a running file cabinet sorted to the best and brightest leaders in your field. Just set a Tag (e.g., “Influencer – CRM”) and you can add to your list, sort on the list, and monitor the contact you’ve had with influencers using You can always export these lists to a csv file so you can email the members as a group, too. Tags are Nimble’s magic wand to go right to the people you want to nurture. Hot tip: Whenever you see a blog post with a top influencer list, quickly cross-reference it to your Tagged list. It’s worth a few minutes to keep current.
5. Business vs. Personal?
Remember, it’s no longer likely that you will be able to keep your personal and business lives separate. And — everything you do or say online lives forever in cyberspace. As hard as it is sometimes, don’t create problems for the future with a temper tantrum or any unprofessional conduct that may haunt you. Your personal brand is increasingly transparent across your business and personal life; assume that everything you say is public to all.
How To Do It In Nimble: With Nimble you can always know, and how they’ve interacted with you. The entire history of your relationship is right there in the record. It’s easy to keep your relationships (business and personal) vibrant, nurtured, and keep activities and conversations from falling through the cracks. ensure that you meet deadlines, and Engagement Opportunities (like job changes and birthdays) always come to you so you can send the right message at the right time.
Remember, life is noisy and distracting. Nimble can help.
Alyson Stone is the Director of Content Strategy at Nimble. She writes frequently for the Nimble blog.