How to Build Your Personal Brand Online

May graduates need personal branding for the job hunt May is the season for graduates!

Which means time to get serious about the job hunt to many former students and current job candidates.

As an employer, my message to the recent graduates is to “think of it as a time to take stock of your personal brand.”

And since my role at Marketing Resources & Results is also the Sales and Marketing function, I’m always in the month of May: networking, building relationships, marketing, and doing business development activities.

Here are some suggestions I have for job hunters everywhere who want to build a stronger brand — both the recent graduates — as well as the constant rainmakers who are always in the month of May, like me.

Personal branding tips:

1) Google yourself. Not just “everywhere” but images too. This is what a potential employer or a potential client will see. First impressions count.

2) Review all the Facebook photos of yourself. Change permissions and/or untag yourself to images that do not reflect the brand you want to present on line.

3) Create a Webpage about You. It doesn’t have to be a full blown website, but should at least include contact information and a statement that describes you. It could be a YouTube 30 second video or an page. (Here’s mine.)

Both YouTube and About Me are sites where you can publish content for free. All you need is an email address and a password… and about 30 minutes to create the content.

4) What’s your Tagline? Figure out the 3 words or a key phrase that someone would use to describe you.

Yeah, I know, you don’t want to be stereotyped. Guess what? If you don’t do it, they will. And they will anyway, even with your phrase.

At least you can step forward with your best foot if you’ve thought about it and used your own 3 words. “Enthusiastic team player” is vague. “Skilled writer” is better. “Can do-Will do” might be your phrase. Are you a “Go-getter”? Figure out what you want people to say about you.

5) Use! If you are in business or want to be, use LinkedIn for your personal profile. Use your keyword phrase in the headline of your LinkedIn profile.

If you’re the rainmaker for your company, make sure your company has a business profile to help your branding on line. It can include photos, videos, and pages about your services, products as well as the profile description.

Again, this site is free (you don’t need to buy a subscription to use it) and it’s focused on business people, whereas Facebook is very much like MASS MEDIA.

Here are some additional branding resources for you to build your personal brand on line:

Build Your Personal Brand
Personal Branding Blog
Free e-book to help with your job hunt

Have a great tip for personal branding? Please share it here by leaving a comment below.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Will Folsom

After Your Marketing Works: How to Increase Sales Power Without Adding Overhead

Why use Independent Sales Reps?  Commission only Sales Reps:

  •  Only get paid on results - lower your cost of sales
  •  Cost less than payroll sales people
  •  Can expanded your sales coverage - more feet on the street
  •  Have knowledge of industries and complementary lines
  •  Can replace non-productive sales channels
  •  Already know the territories and customers
  •  Can make introductions to new clients
  •  Provide fast penetration and more new orders

Many companies are finding that as the economy recovers, they are ready to increase sales by improving  marketing and adding sales power.   But they don’t want to increase the overhead.

How can you do it? One way is by utilizing the sales rep model.

Sales representatives (or agents as many prefer to be called) meet with buyers and present your products, along with a variety of other similar products and services. The reps are independant contractors, meaning, they are not an employee of your company and are not paid a salary. Instead, you pay a commission on the sales they do make.

The Manufacturers Agents National Associations has some tools to help you Find Sales Reps that work in your Industry or Area.

Here’s an article from INC magazine on How to Work with Sales Reps.

Remember, when a sales rep brings in a new customer, that customer is actually the reps, not your company’s and if you change reps, you’ll lose the customer, so consider carefully what accounts you will have “in-house” for your employee sales people and which will be outside. Also make sure that your contract is set up to pay commission on revenue (when you get paid, you then pay the rep), not just on activity.

How to Accurately Count and Measure Foot Traffic

Everyone knows that sales is a series of small steps working towards a yes.

And measuring those small steps and the conversion along the way, helps you to improve the conversion percent.

Of course you can measure sales increases at the register, but what about increases in foot traffic?  Aren’t you curious to find out if the ad worked, but it was something else that turned them away?

It reminded me of a website I saw recently.

SenSource makes products for counting people or vehicles.  I could see where this would be helpful, especially in conjunction with sales data for counting leads after running an ad, a coupon or a special promotion.  It’d be good to know if foot traffic increased but sales didn’t…

Their equipment helps you know how many vehicles are coming into your parking lot each day, each hour, each week and how many people are coming in and out of your workplace.

How do you measure your traffic?

Full Disclosure: I am not affiliated in anyway with SenSource and they have not contacted me. I have never used their products either. Creative Commons Flickr photo credit: Purple Twinkie.

Can A Google Adwords Campaign Help Your Business?

Recently I watched the  CNBC documentary about Google.  They talked about the Android phone, Google search, maps to help the first responders, privacy issues and, of course, how Google is the most successful company in the history of the world.  You know, little things like that. 

Although it was clear that Google believes the “next big thing” is mobile internet, the bigger take away (at least for businesses who need more sales right now) was their Adwords success story.

The show described a handmade cowboy boot company whose 93-year-old founder tried an Adwords marketing campaign  to increase sales.  Now the company has a 4 month backorder situation.  Pretty interesting stuff when the boots we’re talking about start at $500 a pair and the country is in the midst of the largest recession since the 1930’s.

Here’s an excerpt of the show on YouTube, in case you missed it: Inside the Mind of Google

Of course, Adwords is not new news. It’s just how the most successful company in the world actually makes its money.

What was of special interest to me in the Google Adwords section was that Marie Bartiromo reported on the adwords campaign like no one knew/knows what Adwords were or had ever used them before. 

Then again, maybe I’ve been focused on social media marketing and mobile marketing and all those things that are just emerging. Maybe the general public never thinks about Adwords, but to a marketer, it seems like Adwords are old news. In fact, Google estimates that 8 out of 10 internet users views Adword ads each month.

After all, my company has been offering Adwords campaign management services to our clients for five or six years now. Yes, it’s “easy” to do your own Adwords campaign. Just like it is easy to start a blog. Easy to write an article. Easy to send out a press release. Easy to record a company video and post it to YouTube. Or to record a podcast. Like any marketing project, it just takes a bit of time to get it set up. And then some time to tweak it.

If you’d like to run an Adwords campaign, here’s some links to helpful tutorials to get you started:

However, if you are not a do-it-yourself marketing type… or  if you have tried setting them up but find yourself a bit overwhelmed,  you might want to consider outsourcing the set up or the whole project of your adwords campaign to a marketing professional.

So, do you use Adwords? Is your Adwords campaign sucessful in driving traffic to your website? How is your campaign performing for you?

How to Market Your Professional Services Firm: Book Review

As the economy begins to recover, marketing professionals who work for professional service firms are reviewing their “lead to close” statistics.

How do you track your statistics?

I got an advanced copy of a new book Professional Services Marketing: How the Best Firms Build Premier Brands, Thriving Lead Generation Engines, and Cultures of Business Development Success by Wellesley Hills Group and leaders Mike Schultz and John Doerr. It’s being published on July 27 and available here on Amazon.

As a business owner myself, I like the practical “how to” advice it contains. And as a marketing professional, I see some real application for professional service firms.

For example: they suggest that lead tracking should have seven measurable components and provides a formula to show you how to make those variables work for your business.

Only Seven Levers Matter
Boil it down, and only seven levers matter to increase your revenue:
1. Number and/or quality of targets.
2. Number of overall leads.
3. Number of qualified leads.
4. Number of pipeline opportunities converted to clients.
5. Revenue per client.
6. Revenue retention.
7. Growth rate per client.

The book outlines two examples of how minor changes in some of these variables can have a big effect on the outcome of your company’s revenues.

If you aren’t currently tracking your stats… now is the time to begin. You’ll especially be glad you did as the economy recovers and you see improvements. Which numbers do you currently track for your marketing reports?