A quick note from Bill:
Over these past few years, Facebook has morphed from a friendly place to share personal updates to an easy place to share a pseudo lifestyle. As a salesperson, you have to be adept at the art of perception. However, if you’re truly “friends” with those on Facebook, why feel the need to keep selling? “Always Be Closing” should apply to transactional relationships, not those that are actually meaningful. The perception changes from one of friendship to one of fraud.
[blockquote name=”Bill Playford” organization=”@wplayford”]If you’re trying to create a personal brand, it should be about you. Not who you want to be.[/blockquote]
Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Our respected pal, Renee Stuart, one who is a certified expert (read: not “self-declared”), didn’t wait as long to speak up. Check out her thoughts below.
Give Your Personal Brand The Dead Fish Sniff Test
It has been stated that the freshness of a dead fish can be judged from the condition of its head. Thus, when the responsible part (the head = the mindset of your reputation) is rotten, the rest will soon follow.
Personal branding is NOT about persuading people to trust in your professional reputation by making something appear real, that is otherwise deceptive. Believing that people will value YOU more because your Facebook page has several thousand likes is simply ignorant thinking. Especially if your “LIKES” are fake.
If your strategy is to position yourself as a trusted authority on your products and service via social media, never begin construction of your platform with fake followers. Jon Loomer writes “If you are a person or brand with a conscience, this should feel wrong to you. It reflects badly on you, and it reflects badly on your brand.”
Research has found that the existence of trust drives consumer decisions, with 84% of respondents reporting they will not engage with a brand until trust has been established.
So how does one go about establishing trust in a brand? They give it the dead fish sniff test. Just like you and me, when we smell a bad odor, we either quickly move away from it, or we go searching for the source of the smell. If something about your professional evidence looks fishy, it will smell fishy [and] your customer will sniff it out!
[blockquote name=”Renee Stuart” organization=”@SayMyName2″]Fakes, posers and impostors share a distinct odor. They smell like deception and fraud.[/blockquote]
People who are looking for YOU, will find you. And the only way to establish a lasting sense of trust from your customer is through presenting what is true, genuine and real about YOU.
- Visit your online social media platforms; especially those that display likes, followers and connections. Sniff around a bit.
- Visit your company’s Facebook page. Click on the Like box. What is listed as the most popular city? If you’re a local business in small town America, but your most popular city is Dubai India, your customers will smell deception.
- Visit your Twitter page. How many followers do you have? Verify if your followers are legit by using your Twitter credential to log into ManageFlitter.com. In the sidebar, expand the link Fake (spam). Look for evidence of fraud here. If you don’t, your customer will.
- Visit your LinkedIn profile. How many of your connections are missing a photo? If you discover evidence of this networking impostor, remove them from your connections. Chances are they’ve never liked, shared or commented on anything you’ve contributed to your professional network.
Don’t stop here. Investigate all your profiles and give them the sniff test. Will your customers smell a…
- Fake; this is a person who prepares or make something deceptive or fraudulent.
- Poser; this a person that assumes a particular attitude or stance, especially with the hope of impressing others.
- Impostor; this is a person who practices deception under an assumed character, identity, or name.
If so, eliminate the source of the smell immediately. Re-evaluate your mindset. Ask yourself the ultimate legacy question “How do I want to be remembered?”
As a professional coach, I choose to look for the best in everyone. I assume your answer will not be “to smell like a rotten fish.” Take your time with this. This is an opportunity to honor your best professional self. When you come up with your answer, be sure to share it with us on our Facebook page, because Car People love to support other Car People.