Building a personal brand is one of the pillars of your professional net worth. Done right, you bring value to your customers and prospects, and develop deep, rich relationship arcs where opportunities abound. Here are five ways to think about how you can become a trusted source of information.
By listening to each customer or prospect, you can develop an ear — a sixth sense — to learn what they have in common that will help you steer the development of your product or service. Solving their pain is the path to building a product that they will truly appreciate.
2. Be consistent.
Maintain consistent contact with prospects and customers through personal interactions, and a vibrant community of users. Communities make the world smaller; don’t let yours get stagnant.
3. Put relationships first.
Nurture and deepen relationships. Today, your customer relationships follow an arc, along which sales may periodically occur. Developing deeper relationships means higher customer retention, advocacy, and referrals. People buy from those they know, trust, and like. Your genuine interactions are the basis of better business as well as a more satisfying work/life balance. Who wants to spend one third of their life being phony? Be yourself while doing a better job.
4. Share the right stuff.
Share content right. Don’t push at people — share what matters, and what will help them succeed. Share your own business stories about your product or service — yes — but in ways that will help them achieve their goals. Unearth voices and advice that will resonate with them. Show them what they might not have time to see otherwise. Be judicious and discerning. What you share, as part of your personal brand, becomes who you are.
5. Stay human.
Be a person first — a business person second. When Boston was in the midst of the Marathon bombing tragedy, our CEO, Jon Ferrara, discontinued business correspondence with our customers in the Boston area. Instead, he wrote them emails sending them thoughts and prayers, and offering help. Sometimes, business just isn’t the point. Sometimes, business can wait.
Photo credit for listening bird: Listening Intently by Miles / CC-BY-2.0