These days, social selling has to be a part of every salesperson’s skill set.
And if you want to close more deals, you need to build a personal brand strong enough to bring people to you.
The power of social selling
It’s no secret that technology is vying for our jobs — and that’s especially true in sales.
Average sales reps — the ones who are just going through the motions and pressing play on their cadences, pressing play on demos, and cold-calling mindlessly — are already being replaced.
Rage, rage against the machine
That’s because AI can do all those things.
And it can do it better, faster, smarter, stronger — you get the idea.
So, if you want to defend your job from the robot uprising, what do you do?
“The question marketers need to ask themselves right now is: ‘What can we do that a computer can’t?’”
That’s right, you need to outsmart the machine.
In today’s world, that’s hard.
We used to add the human touch through personalization, but computers now have a huge advantage there.
Relevant beats personal
Think of all the data you give up every day. Surfing the web, shopping on Amazon, using your smartphone — your data is constantly being harvested.
And all of it is being used to personalize the sales and marketing messages you receive every day.
That’s why personalization is no longer how we defend our jobs from the sales terminators…
And there is one surefire strategy to make yourself relevant: social selling.
But in order to pull it off, you need to build a personal brand.
Building an authentic brand
Personal branding is controversial for many.
Probably because it seems like everyone is a self-proclaimed “thought leader” these days.
Under the influence
There’s a lot of fake influencers out there — but they wouldn’t be faking it if the real influencers didn’t have so much…well, influence.
Think about it: When you need help with a buying decision, who do you turn to?
Yeah, whether it’s your cousin Billy or some Instagram celebrity, that’s an influencer.
You don’t need to become a celebrity, though. You don’t even have to brag about being a thought-leader to strangers on the bus.
You can influence people authentically.
Learn first, then share
That’s why John recommends you don’t “fake it till you make it.” Instead, he recommends you learn first, then share.
<“Learn first and then share, then you can build your brand in an authentic way.” — John Barrows>
See, branding isn’t about the content; it’s about the context.
Instead of doing a mad rush to produce content for whatever audience you are trying to target, you need to first look to learn that area inside and out.
You should follow the experts in those fields and the influencers already making content.
Then, you can use that information to better sell to that target audience — and then you can share it. You barely even need to make your own content to build your brand.
You just need to learn first, then share.
The reason this works so well is because on social media, no one actually cares who made the content.
“You don’t have to be the content creator. All you have to be in today’s world is the content curator.”
Think about it: When you find a great piece of content shared on LinkedIn that solves whatever problem you are having, do you hunt down the person who wrote the article or filmed the video to thank them?
I doubt it.
Most people thank whoever shared it. And that association is what builds your brand.
So, if you want to capture a market, you need to always be on the lookout for the best info out there. And not just for building that context — it can help every other aspect of your sales career, too.
If you are not only sharing, but also consuming the best content for a target audience of, say, VPs of marketing at SaaS companies, then consuming the best content is just as important as sharing it.
You can use that information to find out the most pressing issues your buyers care about. You can show them you know them and their field intimately.
You can build trust and, ultimately, make more sales.
So, in addition to following every genius out there in that field on social media, John recommends integrating the consumption of the content you are sharing into your routine.
And it’s pretty easy.
Instead of watching the news or reading the paper — wait, do newspapers still exist? — in the morning, hop on social media and find the best, most relevant content in the field and learn all you can.
If you do this every day, you’ll always be there right alongside your buyers, you’ll have the ammo you need to build a brand…
And, who knows, you might end up a thought leader yourself.