In my post Navigating the B2B Buyer’s Journey, I talked about the changes B2B buyers are exhibiting with respect to how they think about, find and consume product information while doing research. They are becoming more and more independent as B2C and B2B buying expectations merge in their minds and their behaviour.1
I also touched on how complex that process can be. In the majority of cases, purchasing committees are made up of several participants and stakeholders. In addition to their personal feelings about a brand or product, all of these individuals look through a lens tinted by the concerns dictated by their roles.
77% of B2B buyers state that their latest purchase was very complexand/or difficult.
Marketing guru and author Jay Baer knows how to tell a great story. Anytime I have the chance to hear him speak, I make an effort to tune in. I know that regardless of the specific topic, I will be entertained as well as informed.
As his quote implies, a laundry list of product features is about as interesting and memorable as…well…a laundry list. Even stating the benefits of a product or service won’t be particularly memorable unless they are made relevant to the customer. The best way to do that is through storytelling.
Yes, everyone has a personal brand. It is the sum parts of everything you think, say, and do. And now that our lives are digital by default, it is important to be aware of what your digital footprint–the digital representation of your personal brand–says about you.
We’ve all heard the stories…
The dumb crook who posts their illegal exploits on their social media channel(s).
The job applicant who gets ghosted after the hiring manager sees a video of them cursing out a previous employer.
The cheating spouse who sends an email or text to the wrong person!
Don’t be fooled. It can (and will) happen to you! Everyone uses Google to look things up on everyone else. If something is digital, the best thing you can do is to assume that it is out there for the general public to see.
You have goals and ambitions in your personal and/or professional life, being intentional with your personal brand will support those goals. It’s very similar to branding a company. Know your target audience (clients, employers, friends) and what you want them to think and feel about you. Then compare your vision with what’s actually out there. What does your current digital brand say about you?
Here are some ideas for auditing your personal brand.
Delete old online accounts that you don’t use / update anymore.
MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo, Livejournal, Arkadium, etc.
Delete off-brand photos from your social platforms.
Even the ones that are “private” or shared with “friends only”.
Unless your personal brand / career is all about being Not-Work-Safe, of course.
Pics of you puking in the toilet at the bar and the like are good candidates for deletion!
Any and all photos or posts about your outrageous, crazed, illegal, hold-my-beer or young-and-stupid exploits.
Create a whole lot of new content that is on-brand.
Newer content should eventually push older, less desirable content further down the search rankings.
You don’t need to portray yourself as a saint. A pic or video of you drinking margaritas and laughing with your friends at a party is likely okay. And, you might not be able to eliminate everything that could be construed as offensive to your target audience, but you can make it harder to find. Knowing exactly what’s out there also allows you to preempt someone finding them by admitting that there is stuff out there that you’re not proud of. Stuff that you’ve tried to eliminate because that isn’t you anymore.
Have you Googled yourself lately? What do the results say about you?
Let me know in the comments!
Unlike wild bears, feeding the content creator is encouraged! 🙂