Get Serious about Your Personal Brand in 2016

By Jeff Beals

The beginning of the year is a perfect time to assess your personal brand status and make plans to grow and strengthen the image people have of you.

Make no mistake…You ARE a brand. You’re a business of one, a business unto yourself. Every successful business makes annual marketing goals. As a “personal business,” so too must you. So too must all of us.

Whether you want more/bigger clients or a better career opportunity, make a commitment to market yourself in 2016.

To get you started, here are 12 items to consider:

Focus externally – Be active and involved outside your home or office. Show up at networking events. Go out of your way to talk to people when you are in public venues. Remember that nearly 75% of all jobs are never advertised and a similar percentage of big clients only come from relationship-building. Make it a goal to attend a certain number of events per month.

Think Like a Sales Pro – Because you are a “business” of one, you need to sell yourself the way businesses sell themselves. Read up on marketing and sales techniques. Remember that a good sales rep always has lots of prospects moving through all parts of his or her pipeline at all times. In other words, at any given time, you should be meeting new people, strengthening relationships with existing acquaintances and holding serious professional conversations (deal-making, so to speak) with people you know well.

Find the Fascinating – You need an “area of self-marketing expertise,” something about your business or career that is fascinating to people outside your profession. Feature this when you are networking or using social media.

Focus on results when networking – Determine what is most interesting about your career and your line of work and then exploit it. I call it your “area of self marketing expertise.” That’s what you talk about when you meet new people, not the mundane, technical details that will cause a lay person’s eyes to glaze over in boredom.

Build a “Google trail” – If you haven’t done a search on your name lately, see what’s out there. I guarantee that people are Googling you on a regular basis. A prospective client will probably Google you to know who he or she is dealing with before meeting with you. That’s why a Google trail is so important. If nothing or very little pops up when someone Googles you, there’s a problem – they’ll assume you don’t have much going on. Therefore, Google your own name on a regular basis. If you’re not very visible on line, deliberately get your name out there to build an Internet presence.

Get serious about social media – Be honest…Is your online brand inadequate? Social media are now to people what the Yellow Pages were to businesses 25 years ago – THE place where future clients and prospective employers find out about you. Don’t just have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure you post material that is interesting and not just inane personal stuff. Use social media to strengthen your reputation by building on your area of self-marketing expertise. Social meeting is not just for fun; it’s an essential business tool.

Go Beyond the Big Three – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great, but don’t stop there. The more social media outlets you use, the better. Google+ is growing in importance. You can even use Pinterest and Instagram to build a personal brand. Some professionals have received great benefit from placing short videos on YouTube. Blogging has long been a powerful personal branding tool.

Use Your Real Name – In order to build your personal brand awareness, use your real name when reviewing products on websites, making comments at the end of newspaper/magazine articles and posting comments on discussion forums. Just make sure the things you write help your personal brand as opposed to harming it.

Engage the Media – Volunteer your expertise to media outlets in your industry as well as your local market. Make a point to meet members of your local and industry media and build friendly relationships with them. In addition to traditional media, you can get a lot of mileage from doing blogs and podcasts.

Refresh your value statement – Does your 20-second intro speech need updating? You need to be able to say what you do quickly, clearly and in a way that captures a person’s interest. A useful elevator speech also conveys how a person could benefit from what you do.

Ask probing questions – Don’t just chit-chat and make small talk during networking conversations. Ask some questions designed to uncover the critical information that leads to new opportunities.

Listen to your clients and colleagues – When we get too busy, it’s easy to start making assumptions. Those assumptions can cause you to lose opportunities. Instead, ask the important questions and truly listen to the responses. Don’t just go through the motions. Let the other person’s words sink in and make an impression on your brain.

By the way, never let up. When things are good, don’t let complacency stop you from perpetually marketing yourself. When things are going poorly, don’t let discouragement be an excuse for apathy.

Remember, marketing yourself is never about ego; it’s just marketing. In a loud and crowded world, hard work and talent are no longer enough. You need to make sure key audiences know about your abilities and accomplishments.

At the dawn of a New Year, as it is all year long, destiny is in your hands.

May 2016 bring you unprecedented prosperity.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker, sales consultant and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

FREE eBOOK: Would You Like To Profit From the Networking Events You Attend?

Everyone knows you need to network in order to find new clients or land a new job, yet most people don’t do a very good job of it.  Why? Because they don’t network with a purpose. Don’t fall behind the competition!  “Goal-Based Networking,” a brand-new, free eBook, will help you turn networking into new business or professional opportunities.

What do you get?  23 quick-reading pages with networking and prospecting advice you can implement today. This eBook will make networking both enjoyable and profitable for you!

Download the “Goal-Based Networking” eBook Now >>

AUDIO PODCAST: It’s Not Just About X’s and O’s…Important Lessons From Big-Time Football Coaches

andy-paul-podcast-cover-300x300

By Jeff Beals

I’d like to share the latest episode of “ACCELERATE,” Andy Paul’s audio podcast in which he interviews me about my book, Selling Saturdays: Blue Chip Sales Tips from College Football.

Click here to listen to the interview >>

Imagine a sales situation in which there are only 100 prospects in the entire country that fit your ideal customer profile. And, imagine that you have at least 30 competitors fighting tooth and nail to win the order from those same 100 prospects. That’s the sales environment that big-time college football coaches face on a daily basis competing to win a commitment from 17-year-old athletes to attend their school. In this episode, I share with you the very real lessons you can learn about selling, including focus, planning, commitment, intensity and competition, from the coaches that walk the side lines on Saturdays. If you sell in a highly competitive market, then this show is a must listen!

By the way,  Andy Paul is author of Amp Up Your Sales: Powerful Strategies That Move Customers To Make Fast, Favorable Decisions and Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales. Andy consults with CEOs and sales teams to teach them how to maximize the value and power of their selling to rapidly increase their sales.

I hope you enjoy listening to the podcast as much as I enjoyed being interviewed for it!

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker, sales consultant and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

FREE eBOOK: Would You Like To Profit From the Networking Events You Attend?

Everyone knows you need to network in order to find new clients or land a new job, yet most people don’t do a very good job of it.  Why? Because they don’t network with a purpose. Don’t fall behind the competition!  “Goal-Based Networking,” a brand-new, free eBook, will help you turn networking into new business or professional opportunities.

What do you get?  23 quick-reading pages with networking and prospecting advice you can implement today. This eBook will make networking both enjoyable and profitable for you!

Download the “Goal-Based Networking” eBook Now >>

Fun & Progress Living Side-by-Side During the Holidays

By Jeff Beals

The holiday season is in full throttle.

Whether you recently enjoyed eight nights of Hanakkuh, are celebrating the joy of Christmas or planning for a raucous time on New Year’s Eve, the holidays are a demanding time of the year.

Very demanding.

It takes a lot of time to shop, eat, drink, celebrate, worship and spend time with loved ones. All that time devoted to merriment is also time spent away from your routine – your business and your career.

At this time of year, how can you enjoy a cup of good cheer without sacrificing your professional progress? It’s not easy, but you can do both – celebrate AND make progress this season.

My gift to you this year is a handy little list:

  1. Don’t fret. Accept the fact that less traditional business takes place between December 20th and January 2nd. A little rest and time away from the grind will hopefully recharge you and sharpen your focus.
  2. Improve. Since most of us will be spending less time in the office, the holiday season is a great chance to catch up on books, magazines and trade journals. If you find yourself getting a little too much quality time with in-laws and second cousins, open your laptop and go through that webinar you’ve been thinking about completing.
  3. Catch up. If the phone is not ringing as much, and many of your colleagues are on vacation during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, it’s the perfect chance to dig into a new project, finish busy work that has been sitting in piles or go through your files and throw out unneeded papers. Delete ancient documents from your database.
  4. Get philosophical. During a quiet moment this holiday season, think about your work and your professional purpose in life. What do you want to change? How does your approach need to change?
  5. Get creative. Do something artistic or imaginative that you do not normally do. Perhaps you have a neglected hobby. Picking it back up could open your mind and position you for greater accomplishments in 2016.
  6. Write. Have you been thinking about starting a blog? How about submitting an op-ed piece to your local newspaper or contributing an article to a professional publication? Have you ever considered writing articles on LinkedIn? Getting published can do wonders for your business. The big challenge for most people is not the writing and research; it’s finding the time.
  7. Put people before profit. Remember that time spent on personal relationships this season is time well spent. I envision a future in which healthy relationships will be a form of currency. As the economy gets more and more complicated and fast-moving, access to a large group of loyal friends, family and professional acquaintances will be the key to business and career success.

I hope this holiday season is enjoyable and meaningful for you and that 2016 brings you many blessings both personally and professionally.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker, sales consultant and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

FREE eBOOK: Would You Like To Profit From the Networking Events You Attend?

Everyone knows you need to network in order to find new clients or land a new job, yet most people don’t do a very good job of it.  Why? Because they don’t network with a purpose. Don’t fall behind the competition!  “Goal-Based Networking,” a brand-new, free eBook, will help you turn networking into new business or professional opportunities.

What do you get?  23 quick-reading pages with networking and prospecting advice you can implement today. This eBook will make networking both enjoyable and profitable for you!

Download the “Goal-Based Networking” eBook Now >>

How to Survive the Coming Population Implosion

By Jeff Beals

“Previous generations feared a population explosion. But for today’s global economy, the problem is just the opposite. Falling fertility rates and aging work forces will plague the developed world.”

That quote came from a recent series of articles in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Demographic Destiny 2050,” which examined the sweeping changes affecting how people will live and work in the next few decades.

The wave of demographic change is already upon us and it’s building momentum.  It will have a profound effect on how each of us does our jobs and how we operate businesses.

According to the series, next year will be the first time since 1950 that the combined working age of the world’s advanced economies will decline. It will drop even more by 2050. Meanwhile, the portion of the population over age 65 will skyrocket.

Why is this demographic change occurring? Longer lifespans and declining fertility.

All of this leads to two problems that both put downward pressure on economic growth: not enough skilled workers are available to fill the most needed jobs; and the number of customers is declining.

The total population will still increase thanks to greater longevity, but as the population grows older, customers may actually become scarcer.  An older population tends to save and invest more money rather than spending it on houses, cars and consumer goods. Young adults with children spend a lot more on “stuff” than old people do.  The things older people do purchase are more likely to be services including health care.

As employees become scarce, customers grow older and population growth stagnates, we could see a number of manifestations:

  • Both manufacturing and service-based jobs are going to become increasingly automated. Will we someday have fast-food restaurants staffed by robots? If so, there’s a higher likelihood your order will be processed accurately but what if the “chef” gets a computer virus?!!?
  • An older population will become more affluent, so the market for higher-end goods and services could grow.  Affluent people (both young and old) are showing more interest in experiences rather than material objects. Memories of a great experience last a lifetime while material objects are eventually thrown away.
  • Workers will be older in the next few decades.  One of the articles in the Wall Street Journal series highlighted a senior citizen in Japan who works in a physically demanding job. He is able to lift as much as a man half his age thanks to a special device that supports his back and electronically monitors his muscle movements. Moving forward, there will be a lot of money to be made selling products that help people work into their golden years.

What impacts will the demographic changes have on sales leaders and their staffs?

  • It will be more important than ever to determine exactly what your customer values and exactly what problems they need solved. The successful seller will be the one who provides the exact solution as quickly as possible.
  • We must be prepared to deal with increasingly diverse customers and not just racial/ethnic diversity. Your customers will be older in the future. They might not have the same professional backgrounds that your typical customers have now thanks to a wide-ranging and fast-changing economy. Additionally, more companies will find themselves doing business internationally than was traditionally the case.
  • Sales cycles will continue to speed up. The demographic wave coupled with galloping technological advances will cause customers to expect answers quickly and products/services fulfilled immediately.

There’s pretty much nothing we can do to stop the demographic wave. Some countries are trying by financially incentivizing people to have kids. China even rolled back its decades-old “one child” rule, but all of that does not seem to be making much of a dent.

There appears to be a direct relationship between affluence/education and lower fertility/longer lives. Meanwhile, technology advances rapidly.

It can be stressful, but there is much opportunity in a changing economy. We just need to keep our eyes and our minds perpetually open.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker, sales consultant and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

FREE eBOOK: Would You Like To Profit From the Networking Events You Attend?

Everyone knows you need to network in order to find new clients or land a new job, yet most people don’t do a very good job of it.  Why? Because they don’t network with a purpose. Don’t fall behind the competition!  “Goal-Based Networking,” a brand-new, free eBook, will help you turn networking into new business or professional opportunities.  What do you get?  23 quick-reading pages with networking and prospecting advice you can implement today. This eBook will make networking both enjoyable and profitable for you!

Download the “Goal-Based Networking” eBook Now >>