We live in a research based, testimonial driven economy. More than ever, prospects are turning to the web to determine whether they will purchase something from an individual – not just the brand or product / service you, the sales person, represent. We rely on third party information prior to making purchase decisions. Think reviews on TripAdvisor or AirBnb, testimonials on LinkedIn or facebook third party recommendations, testimonials and research can make the difference between a contract / purchase, or not.
So when your prospect looks for you online, what are they going to find. Here are 5 tips to make sure you look appealing and compelling and stand out amongst your competition.
GOOGLE YOURSELF and set up GOOGLE Alerts
Put yourself in your prospects shoes. They are going to likely head to Google and search your name, with the service / company or product you represent. What are they going to find? Conduct extensive Google searches on yourself to ensure you see what they see. Are you comfortable with your ‘online you’? If not, you need to revise your approach to profile building online (more on this in a bit). From here, you MUST set up Google Alerts. A google alert advises you when anything is written online, matching your criteria. Set up multiple criteria to capture as much information as you can. You must be well armed about discussions about you and your product to ensure you manage your online personality.
Networking sites to polish your profile
Facebook pages, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter – all these sites plus consumer review sites (TripAdvisor, WOMO, ProductReview) allow you to promote yourself as a supplier of choice. Build a compelling profile, invest in a professional headshot and ensure your description is succinct, accurate and outlines THE VALUE YOU BRING TO A CUSTOMER, not the success you have enjoyed in the past. For example, if I was a real estate agent, I wouldn’t write “Employee of the year, best sales person 4 years running’ etc, I’d write ‘leading real estate agent focussed on delivering the best financial outcome for buyers and sellers, quickly, efficiently and in the most stress free manner’. Don’t underestimate the power of profiles, as all providers invest heavily in search engine optimisation, meaning your profile will be heavily prioritised on Google – so invest in building the best personal brand you can.
Watch your mouth
Whether you disagree with something on the television and are compelled to tweet comments, or enjoy copius amounts of alcohol during the Horseracing carnival, watch what you promote via Social media. Controversial comments could come back to haunt you. Think about what your grandmother would say…and if she wouldn’t approve, don’t say it.
Video paints the best picture
There’s no better way to portray your personality than Video. And video is now easy to produce and promote thanks to apps like “iMovie” or “filmora” allows easy and professional editing in an hour or so. Add your log, still images, music and a video on what you do and why you are good at it. Then promote it across Video share sites (youtube), add the link to your website and your social / professional pages. Video is loved by google and prioritised in search results which will help build your Digital Footprint.
Business V Pleasure
As much as you would like to think they do, friends don’t care about your vocation. So don’t mix your personal Facebook page with copious work – related content. If you are a personal trainer, keep your daily class updates for your professional FaceBook page, not your personal one. If you sell houses, don’t promote the listing you picked up on your private page. Pages allow you to promote your business offering and outcomes and that’s where it should belong. Otherwise you’ll alienate your friends and miss new business opportunities.