Social Selling: How to Improve Your Personal Brand in 12 Weeks
Gerry Moran, Head of Social Media Marketing for SAP in North America, recently revealed that "more than 49.5 percent of LinkedIn users have underperforming personal brands on the network."
For these people, incomplete profiles, under-sized networks and underwhelming status updates negatively affect their ability to achieve social selling success. If this describes you, or if you just want to build a better personal brand online, here is a 12-week plan you can use to add curb appeal to your social selling command center.
Week 1: Baseline Your Existing Brand
Moran recommends taking a "LinkedIn selfie." After all, how do you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been? Plus, it can be motivating to look back at where you started and realize how much progress you've made.
Moran recommends you baseline the following five LinkedIn metrics:
- Profile views - This is the number of people who have viewed your LinkedIn profile over a specific period of time.
- Search results - This is the number of people who have found your LinkedIn profile via search (LinkedIn and Google) over a specific period of time.
- Current contact count - This is the number of 1st-level, 2nd-level and 3rd-level LinkedIn connections you have today.
- Average message and update views - This is the average number of people who view your updates. You can access total views for your last 14 updates.
- Average connection requests - This is the amount of connection requests you receive over a specific period of time.
Week 2: Create your goals
Now that you know where you stand, it's time to determine where you want to be. Chances are you know all about setting SMART goals, and now is the time to make them work for you.
Before setting goals, ask yourself a few questions:
- Where do I need the most improvement?
- Given my situation, which areas of improvement will provide the biggest social selling gains?
- Where can I take advantage of low-hanging fruit for easy wins?
Weeks 3 - 10: Stay the course
By creating SMART goals at the outset, you will have created weekly activities that allow you to meet your goals with consistent effort. You've already put in the bulk of the effort, so staying the course with your LinkedIn branding plan should be the easy part. Don't be tempted to put things off and "re-attack" your plan the following week.
Week 11: Final push
Hopefully your final push is simply doing the exact same things you've been doing for two months. But if you have a little work to do, now is the time to tackle it with vigor. If you're on track, you could also use this week to explode past your original goals. Either way, make it happen.
Week 12: Learn and keep growing
Social sellers should never stop building their personal brand. Keep evolving yours. What did you learn? What will you change? Which new branding goals are you excited about?
And don't forget to celebrate your victory - you earned it!