It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have.Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level. – Gary Vaynerchuk
In the Spring of 2011, an exciting opportunity came to me in the form of a brand new job that allowed me to consult to the fitness industry via group fitness education. What I did not realize at the time was that not only would I love my "job" but the opportunity would also allow me to flourish in new ways I did not even know existed!
In short order, our organization leadership coached me to begin developing a social presence. I started to use twitter, LinkedIn and created a community page on Facebook. I also created this website and began posting industry updates for daily conversations and engagement. Sharing industry magazine articles and writing about my experiences when I went to visit customers became part of my daily routine.
I quickly begun to create a following, sharing and conversing on each platform about industry trends. In discussing what was current, I was becoming a resource for more than what I was consulting on specifically; I was becoming a resource for the industry at large! I was not only expanding my personal capacity, but was also becoming an asset for my company by representing them well.
The result has been that I have a full breadth of knowledge to share above and beyond the vertical that is my “job.” When you put energy into developing your voice, alongside doing good work for your company, you double the asset for business. Your personal voice can stand alone to say what you are about and what you know, all while you hone a niche in the market to speak to your prospects. This allows you to create more business opportunities for your company while simultaneously creating your voice.
In today’s business climate, this type of action is no longer optional. Five years ago I started and today I can speak to the benefits of doing so! Today, it’s imperative in order to be relevant to the buyer as well as be an above-and-beyond resource. Having a personal branded website and social presence that articulates who you are and complements the organization you are a part of is a must! Without this platform to establish yourself as a leader, you lose out on potential relationships and prospects.
The Customer Buying Journey involves being educated and engaged with in a way that is consistent and complementary of their long term goals. This takes time and does not happen overnight; it is all about the relationship. The more of an asset you can be to their process the more long-term relationships you have the chance of creating.
In my experiences, social authority and engagement is not a popularity contest surrounding twitter followers and likes. Instead, it’s a catalyst for creating leadership trends that deliver results. I am a part of the team that has delivered on being the number-one distributor of my product in the world. Those results are not a coincidence; the behavior I am describing is the smartest business decision I have ever been led to make and the mutually beneficial results have a ripple effect that will last for many years to come.
Lindsey Rainwater is a consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping Health Club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o, all content posted at www.lindseyrainh2o.com