Building Your Personal Brand in the New Sales Economy

How building your personal will give you the winning edge in today’s competitive market place.

Jeb Blount
3-minute read

“Being an A player at your job is not enough anymore. That is the ante. You need to create your personal brand, share your ideas with the world and social network.”

In last week’s episode I discussed the importance of managing your online presence. In today’s ultra-connected, fast moving, competitive world, a deliberate focus on building your personal brand online has the potential to payoff in important ways. With the right message, and focus, you open the door to better relationships and make a winning impression on prospects, customers and potential employers..

To illustrate this I reached out to Chad Levitt who publishes the New Sales Economy Blog and is the sales technology editor for SalesGravy.com and asked him to share his story. These ventures, however, are just small parts of Chad’s life. Soon he will begin a new career in sales with the inbound marketing superpower, Hub Spot. It all started with a focus on personal branding online. Here is Chad’s story in his own words:

“I was close to finishing my MBA in the summer of 2008, and I wanted to get a head start on my job search. The recession was really starting to freak people out and the job market was not good. Since I’m not a guy that believes in letting others decide my fate for me, I thought I would try something different in my job search. I started using Linkedin to get in touch with recruiters at companies where I saw a good opportunity to establish my professional selling career.  Instead of waiting in line by submitting my resume to the corporate website blackhole, I sent Linkedin invitations with a short compelling message to recruiters at my target companies. It worked and I got the job I wanted at EMC in their award winning sales associate program.

Being an A player at your job is not enough anymore. That is the ante.

How I was discovered

During this same time I started creating my personal brand, created my blog New Sales Economy, and begin sharing my ideas on the evolution of the sales profession with the world. No one gave me permission to do this, no one anointed me king - I just did it. Within a couple months I received an offer to write for SalesGravy.com, then came another offer to write for the Personal Branding blog and I was added as a contributing author on Sales2.com. These sites are powerhouses in their niche and have created great exposure for my personal brand and me.

Then came the big life changing opportunity

I am very active on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, various blogs and love to network and build relationships. One day I posted a question on Linkedin asking how inbound marketing is going to change the B2B sales profession. Well, the CEO of HubSpot answered my question. Since I had been active on the blogosphere I was very familiar with HubSpot and I had already interviewed their VP of marketing for my blog. I thanked him for his answer in a reply message and then came the feeler. His reply message back to me asked me if I knew any one good that would be interested in coming to HubSpot. I answered yes….. me. It was a perfect match. This wasn’t an ordinary offer – it was an offer that will change my whole life. I get to do something I love, sales and I actually get to sell something I love. I have an opportunity to make 6 figures – I’m very thankful.

What is the Big Idea Here?

You need to create your personal brand, share your ideas with the world and social network. None of what I achieved would have been possible unless I started using the new social media platforms available.”

What is important to understand is this didn’t cost Chad money. It only required initiative, action and a little time. All the tools are available to you now. If you have not established a professional presence on sites like LinkedIn, SalesGravy.com, Twitter, Facebook or if you are not using the tools available on these sites to build your personal brand, you are missing a huge opportunity, that like Chad, could give you the winning edge in the New Sales Economy.

This is Jeb Blount, the Sales Guy. If you have a sales question please send it to salesguy@quickanddirtytips.com.