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The main focus of old marketing methods was to advertise heavily and to sell aggressively, in the efforts, to win over the customer’s business. Although these methods may be outdated, they are not yet extinct.

Salespeople are still practicing these methods in the attempt to reach quotas and to increase sales, but times have changed and so must they. Personal branding is necessary for professional success because of the paradigm shift in the way customers conduct business. Old marketing methods, no longer work.

Buyers want businesses to stop placing emphasis on marketing through advertisements and selling, rather, they want to deal with people whom they can trust to anticipate their needs and wants.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs

Human-to-human marketing is the new process customers want and personal branding is how you can provide it. Consumers are doing their research online to find out what value you have to offer them and to decide if it will it be satisfactory in meeting their predetermined expectations.

— Consumers do not need to “know you” in order to “get to know you”. —

Without ever meeting you, customers can know the products you sell, your personality style, the information you prefer to share, and the customer service you provide. The internet is how customers easily acquire this information. They will view your website and the content you share on social networks.

They will look closely at how engaging and helpful you are by looking at public ratings, and reviews left by previous customers. Consumers are looking to do business with a person and not a corporation, which is why having a personal brand is extremely important.

However, if you are not active on social media; nor have an online presence, or personal brand, than to customers, you are not a viable option and they will choose not to do business with you.

— It no longer matters what you sell; the experience is what matters. —

What differentiates you from the competition is the experience you provide customers. This is not to say that you should no longer care about what you sell, but customers have plenty of options and can easily locate others who sell the exact same products and services as you.

What matters most to customers is the experience they receive and the individual they receive it from, both online and offline.

75% of people are willing to spend additional travel time to deal with a great salesperson.
(Source: Ceohangout)

The customer experience is based on how customers’ perceive the treatment they receive during every interaction with you.

“The customer’s perception is your reality” – Kate Zabriskie

Perceptions affect customers emotions, behaviors, and decision making, which will ultimately have an impact on your professional success. If they like you (Trust), they are going to do business with you (Sale) and if they continue to like you (Loyalty), they will recommend you to others (Referrals).

Personal branding gives you control of what you want others to see and can shape customer perceptions to achieve your desired professional outcomes. Thus, your overall business goals need to start with Trust, which is very difficult to attain without having a personal brand in place.

The Customer Cycle: Trust leads to sales; sales leads to loyalty, and loyalty leads to referrals. This cycle, is what you want to create with every single customer. If you do not start with trust, you cannot work your way to sales, loyalty, or referrals.

Trust building is done through sharing relevant content, providing authentic engagement, ensuring positive experiences, and by offering convenience, all of which, are the ingredients of personal branding.

You must develop a unique personal brand identity based on the value you posses, to deliver a consistent message that attracts and keeps the attention of your consumers. Not having a personal brand equals not having customers who want to buy from you and without customers, professional success cannot be obtained.

Thus, personal branding is essential in beating-out the competition, grabbing customers attention, and in becoming successful with all of your professional endeavors.

How has personal branding affected your professional success?

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