Feb. 3, 2022

Why Personal Brand Matters in Sales?

Why Personal Brand Matters in Sales?

In today’s episode of the ‘Sales Samurai’ podcast, host Sam Capra, who helps marketing leaders in the retail space go beyond the sale/transaction, talks with guest Mary Henderson, Founder of Mary Henderson Coaching which specializes in personal branding, and several other things. She discusses why personal brand matters in sales, specifically. She also shares some great tips for defining a personal brand.


Episode Highlights

  • 02:08 – Mary wants to share why personal branding and sales go hand-in-hand.
  • 04:36 – Mary shares that back in the year 2000, she realized that she can build a brand around this, she is going to be known in the tech industry for the person that can fix these types of problems.
  • 05:19 – Mary turned around the business from a declining 8 million to a $22 million business in eighteen-month period.
  • 06:08 – The host explains how she became a specialist in personal branding, and also in commercializing personal brains.
  • 08:08 – A salesperson is not a linear person, a salesperson can't cope being stuck in a structured environment, brilliant salespeople are unstructured people, says Mary.
  • 09:44 – Mary says, her passion is bringing the best out of a human being.
  • 10:04 – Sam enquires, how do you define personal branding?
  • 12:15 – One should not be talking about his personal brand from a vanity metric standpoint; he should be talking about his brand from the fact.
  • 14:38 – We are in a fully digitized economy and every salesperson is judged by their brand currencies or their social currency, Mary explains.
  • 17:34 – We need to be proactive, not reactive, and we also need to think about how do we want to show up in the world in the digital landscape (social media)?
  • 18:22 – Sam asks the guest about the difference is a personal brand and social selling.
  • 20:38 - One can't get his messaging right and accurate until his brand is defined, refined and accurate, says Mary
  • 22:34 – The social selling and the brand strategy need to be congruent, and one has to wrap the messaging around the brand and not the other way around.
  • 24:52 – The guest points out that we should be starting the conversation on social media the way we do in a normal human environment.
  • 26:50 – Mary highlights, if our brand and our messaging are not dialed in, it's going to be very hard to create content.
  • 28:08 – What we need to think about when we're creating content is if we're pushing a paradigm, a belief system because no one's interested in our version, shares Mary.
  • 31:08 – How do you educate someone who wants to have a personal brand, asks Sam.
  • 33:14 – We need to upgrade our LinkedIn profile, design a content strategy that is around, and also bring our personality into it.
  • 35:26 – We should be focusing on building our brand currency because that's where we will be judged upon.
  • 36:14 - When we're proactive, and commenting on other people's posts and we're writing really meaningful comments in their post, all of their customers are going to see what we just wrote, and they most likely will follow us, says Mary.
  • 38:00 – We have to feel comfortable with our subject matter that we understand inside and master it.
  • 41:09 – Mary shares the three bugaboos that we just cannot do.
  • 43:20 – Sam mentions, we got to formulate the content that we want to be known for.
  • 44:23 – If someone is serious about defining their brand, they need to become extremely active on social media, especially LinkedIn, with their clear messaging, states Mary.

Three Key Points

  1. We can't build our brand but we can define our brand through our messaging, through the value that we bring to the table, and that is what grows our brand currency and our social currency.
  2. We need to stop push selling and start pulling selling. We got to pull people into our dialogue, not push our agenda.
  3. We have to create content that involves the audience. It can't be about us how good we are, or how many sales we've made. No one cares about us and how good we are. What people care about is the journey we're going to take them on.

Tweetable Quotes

  • “21 years later, I've been able to not only understand the power of personal brands, but I've also been able to merge the other two loves of my life.” – Mary Henderson
  • “The problem that I have with salespeople in an organization is that we treat salespeople like a job description and a job title.” - Mary Henderson
  • “If I'm a salesperson, and I'm working for an organization and I want to create a brand or define my brand essence.” - Mary Henderson
  • “When you're going for a job interview, the first thing that the employer or prospective employer will do is check you out on LinkedIn.” - Mary Henderson
  • “I want people to come to my profile on LinkedIn and think, wow, this person is consistent.” - Mary Henderson
  • “People are pushing and they don't know who they are.” - Mary Henderson
  • “If we're going to post something and credit strategy on LinkedIn, we need to be consistently posting either Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Thursday.” - Mary Henderson
  • “I'm not interested in the 750 million people on LinkedIn. I'm only interested in the 20,000 people that I'm connected to, and the 81,000 people that follow my work.” - Mary Henderson
  • “LinkedIn seems to be a big conduit right now, but the personal brand is much larger than just a single channel.” – Sam Capra
  • “Don't be a jack of all and a master of none; know what you can hone in”. – Sam Capra
  • “Writing out ideas in a journal, and then pre-creating your content for the week is very important”. – Mary Henderson
  • “There's an opportunity on LinkedIn.” - Mary Henderson

 Resources Mentioned

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Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 Coming to you from Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Florida, and streaming around the world around the world. You are now tuned in to the sales samurai podcast. The only B2B sales podcast, providing unfiltered unapologetic views and tactics directly from the sales trenches. Here's your host, Sam Capra. Speaker 1 00:00:32 Well, welcome to another episode of the sales samurai. Thank you for listening. Before we begin, do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe and download on today's show. We are going to be discussing why personal brand matters in sales specifically. Obviously we're a sales podcast. I think personal brand is important in all aspects of business, but why in sales and I have an amazing guest for us today, Ms. Mary Henderson coming all the way from across the pond and Australia, founder of Mary Henderson coaching, which specializes in personal branding and a number of other things, Mary, welcome to the show. Speaker 2 00:01:07 Hi Sam. Thank you for having me. I'm super excited about today's session. Speaker 1 00:01:12 Well, I am too. We had some technical difficulty, but we're going to make our way through it, right? Mary, Speaker 2 00:01:17 With sales people. We're problem-solvers right. Speaker 1 00:01:21 I hope so. Cause at this point we better be some problem-solvers that's for sure. So I know we want to get into the subject, which I'm actually, this is actually one that I think I don't do well at. Like I, this is actually one of those types of, I don't even know if I truly know what that means. I'm going to get into that with you. What personal branding really is, but talk to the audience a little bit, kind of give your eyes a little bit of context. I know you're all over LinkedIn, but would love a little background. If you don't mind Mary, around what you are, who you are and what you've been doing. Speaker 2 00:01:49 So I do want to start off by saying Sam, that at my core, I am a salesperson. You know, my entire career. Exactly my entire career was built around sales. You know, I've had retail roles as VP in sales for big tech companies in the U S and in my DNA live sales. So, but I do want to give context to this podcast and why personal branding and sales actually go hand in hand. So back in year 2000, I was working for a big tech company and I had a sliding door moment, if you will. And I started this new position, it was middle management position. And my boss said to me on my first day, there's good news and there's bad news. The good news is you've got this amazing gig. The bad news is you've got 12 weeks to fix the problem. So I go and meet with a client and there's about 12 people sitting in this room except the decision-maker who was supposed to be there. Didn't show up. I'm thinking a sales person, holy shit, where do I go from here? I leave that meeting in doom and gloom. I'm thinking 12 weeks, I've got 12 weeks to fix this problem. The lift door opens. I walk in, there's a woman in there checking me out, head to toe, head to duck. I had red snake, skin boots as all salespeople. Speaker 2 00:03:08 We're always looking for conversation starters, right? But I walk into this lift, please, woman sitting behind me. I can feel the daggers in my back. Someone checking me out, head to toe. And she says, I love those red skin. Where did you get them from? And I looked at her intuitively, I knew that that was the person that was supposed to be in my meeting. That didn't go up. So I said to her, I use such and such. And she said, yes, how did you know? And I said, well, I'm married. You know? And you didn't show up to my meeting. I scheduled. And she's like, that's because we're taking all of that business away from you guys just haven't been able to fulfill our needs. You know, one step forward, 10 steps back. So it's over. And I said, are you going downstairs to have lunch? Speaker 2 00:03:49 And she said, yes. And I said, well, you just give me five minutes to buy you a coffee. She said, look, I've really made my decision. I said, but you haven't made your decision with me. So just give me five minutes and please allow me to just hear what your problem is because I don't know what the problem is and let's talk it through anyway. So we go downstairs, she agrees literally within 15 minutes, I said to her, she said, what do you want? And I said, I want you to give me permission to sit with your operations team for 12 weeks. I go the 12 weeks. And let me figure out where the gaps are. Because if I understand how your operations system would, I can take that information and match it with our operation system. And then they'll both be talking to each other. Speaker 2 00:04:35 And she said, I'll give you that, but you've got 12 weeks. You don't fix it in 12 weeks. You're out. I said, I can do this. I left that meeting Sam. And I realized one very important point. I'm going to just share this with everyone. This is going back in year 2000. This is 21 years ago. Okay. And I realized in that moment, that sliding door, and I said to myself, I very distinctly remember where I was crossing the road. I remember distinctly with my red snakeskin boots. And I said to myself, I can build a brand around this. I'm going to build a brand around this. I'm going to fix this problem. I'm going to be known in the tech industry for the person that can fix these types of problems. I'm going to own it. And I'm going to create an entire, I'm going to command demand in the industry for Mary, for Mary. Speaker 2 00:05:25 It's exactly what I went. That was my driver Sam. So that was the epiphany. So I fixed the problem. I turned that business from a declining 8 million to a $22 million business in an 18 month period. Not only that I got job offers everywhere. And the greatest opportunity I got was a us tech company poached me and said, we want you to run our whole Asia Pacific division in the capacity of a VP in sales. You know what I did, I completely named my price, but I also learned something very valuable and going into that role, it wasn't what they were prepared to pay me. Just push that aside from it was, I knew how to turn sales people into brand. That's what I knew how to do. And I knew that if I could do that, I could turn that whole business around, which is exactly what I did. Speaker 2 00:06:21 So the background to my story and how I became a specialist in personal branding, not just a specialist in personal branding, but commercializing personal, Brian's two different things. And 21 years later, I've been able to not only understand the power of personal brands, but I've also been able to merge the other two loves of my life, which is understanding how to convert knowledge, wisdom, and skills into a system and a digital business. Because I had my own software company for seven years, but these are things that all of us, regardless of where we are in our journey, we have to appreciate, especially salespeople. We are really in problem-solvers. We are very system oriented at well, the good ones are. And the most important thing is, is to understand what currency your brand actually hold. And I understand the power of this. And so when I was able to merge that my genius zone, I was also able to solve a major problem, which is what I do now as a vocation. So this is where I've arrived. Speaker 1 00:07:33 So talk to me, you had the epiphany. So 21 years ago, there's a funny red snakeskin boots woman didn't show up or kicking you out. You got 12 weeks, you've recovered it. And you had this epiphany. I can do this. I can make this into a business model because I could do this. But there also has to be a passion, right? There's a passion that's behind that. That's driving you to a, want to do it and B be successful at it. So what is the passion behind it? Like what kind of kit gets you up in the morning when it comes from a personal branding standpoint, Mary, Speaker 2 00:08:02 Do you know what it was for me, Sam? And till this day, it's exactly the same. My passion are humans, not the corporation. The corporation exists, regardless whether you are. And I work for that organization or not. The problem that I have with salespeople in an organization is that we treat salespeople like a job description and a job title. A sales person is not a linear person, a sales person, can't cope, being stuck in a structured environment. Salespeople, brilliant salespeople are unstructured people. We have a we're creative people. We use our imagination, our intuition, and we solve problems in a way that other people don't solve them. For example, if you and I sat next to an accountant, the way I would solve that problem and the way the accountant would be two different things, same outcome, just a different journey to get us there. Speaker 2 00:08:59 And so the passion for me has always been to understand how to take a human and turn the genius inside that human, their passions, their gifts, their talents, their experiences, their skills, their value system. How do I take all of that? And how do I turn all of that into a specialist slash a brand and take them out of this idea of you are a job description. You are a job title. Therefore you can only do this. What did that? If I could take that human being understand what makes them tick, make them come to be a part of an environment where they can be unapologetically themselves without judgment. How can I take that human and match that with a portfolio or a client or serving a specific type of an audience that's going to be a perfect match. And it will bring the best out of that individual rather than the worst out of that individual. So my driver is bringing the best out of a human being. That's always been my driver until this day. Speaker 1 00:10:08 That's fantastic. So talk to, because that's interesting to me, right? Because I've had these conversations, I love the fact that you say, Hey, I'm a sales person at heart. That's my DNA. So I love to hear that. But you know, as we're having this conversation, give us some context around, how do you define personal brand? Like what is personal brand? Because there's so many of these I've, you know, social selling, there's personal, like, and, um, just help us understand what is personal branding at its core. Speaker 2 00:10:34 If I was to explain it in one sentence, I would say to you the business, that's it very, very simple. You, the human are the business. Whether you work in an organization or whether you're a solopreneur, it doesn't matter. You are the business. And I think that we need to get that very clear and simplify the idea behind personal branding. So social currency is how, when we're showing up, for example, on social media, what we're doing is we're not building our brand. I can't build my brand, the people that advocate and know like, and trust me, they're building my brain. I can't build my brand, but what I can do is I can define my brand through my messaging, through what I stand for through my value that I bring to the table. And that is what grows my brand currency and my social currency. Speaker 2 00:11:29 And therefore it gives me the credibility. It gives me the believability. It gives me the trustability. I can do exactly the same thing as a brand, in an organization. So therefore, if I'm a salesperson and I'm working for an organization and I'm wanting to create a brand or define my brand essence, I'm not walking in and saying to my boss, I want to become a personal brand. That's weird. Right? Cause that we shouldn't be using that language anyway. It doesn't make sense. It's just so egocentric. And it's it backfires on people. And this is where a lot of people get stuck because they it's all about me. Me, me, me, me inflating this false identity on social media. That I'm something important because I've got all these vanity metrics that convert us zero sales. That's not, we got to stop that. What, where we have to go is when we're positioning ourselves for a job interview. Speaker 2 00:12:23 For example, I would be talking about the investment I've made in my brand from the standpoint of my specialization, very, very different mindset. So I'm not talking about my personal brand from a vanishing metric standpoint. I'm talking about my brand from the fact that this is the value I can bring into your organization. This is the knowledge, the wisdom in the skillset that I have mastered over the last 5, 10, 15, 20 years. And I know how to solve these problems inside out with ease and grace. And this is what I bring into this organization. This is my specialization. This is what I want to be known for. And this is what I want to build on this specialization. That's in an organization, how we should be positioning ourselves as a bright, especially salespeople, because salespeople out of all of the silos in an organization, salespeople are in a very privileged position to be able to do that tastefully because we have to show the organization that by defining my brand and building my social currency, I'm actually bringing enormous value into this organization. One, I know how to solve these complex problems too. I've got all this knowledge, wisdom, and skillset, and three, I'm building a network, for example, on LinkedIn, based on a know like trust relationship. So I can continue to educate and add value to our customer base. Why am I doing that? Because humans buy from humans and that's the most important thing. So Speaker 1 00:14:00 It's a good point. You brought up a couple of things. You said personal brand, really isn't a thing, right? It's the crux of, Hey, I'm trying to develop to understand and educate people within my network or my surroundings or whatever the case might be. And there's an intrinsic value to me as the individual. It's not about me. And there's also value to the organization as that platform, if you will, a LinkedIn, whatever the case might be. But there's all these little buzzwords that are out there, you know, thought leadership, there's personal branding. Then there's this social selling that kind of hovers somewhere out here, like in all of these things out there, it's really hard for a sales person to say, what are these things? A, am I even doing them? How do I even start doing them? Like the, so let me ask a couple of questions. I'll ask the layer of question to you. Mary is first. Why does it matter in today's day and age? Like I think actually right now, in my opinion, it matters probably more than it's ever mattered in history, a personal brand. But tell me why you think it matters in today's day and age. Speaker 2 00:14:59 It matters because social currency, we are in a fully digitized economy. So we just have to accept that. Number one, number two, you and I, and every sales person is judged by their brand currencies or their social currency. So when you're going for a job interview, the first thing that the employer or prospective employer will do is check you out on LinkedIn. Okay? It's the first thing they're going to do or your other social media presence. Now I need to nurture that because when, for example, in my situation and probably your situation, when somebody invites me to a keynote, for example, they'll go to my LinkedIn profile. Would you believe that when they're introducing me, they will say, Ann, Mary has 81,000 followers on LinkedIn. I'm like, who cares? But to that event manager, oh yes, they care. They absolutely care because that's credibility. And they feel confident that by getting this person, Mary, to talk about this subject matter, they have enough evidence for me to qualify that this is the best person to speak about this subject matter. Speaker 2 00:16:10 Now, the same thing with your, your currency, whether you're a sales person working for an organization. If you can show that you are producing highly valuable content to your network, that is not going to go against you. That is going to be a brilliant value add in that job interview process. They go to see that as currency, they're going to say, you're wow, this person's proactive. They're providing value. They're thinking way ahead. The value that that individual could add into an organization is absolutely enormous. So our personal brands think of it like your own little micro PR machine. You know, it follows you wherever you go and you can't get rid of it. So, and this is why we have to be very careful, the type of content we do create on social media. Especially if you want to be known as the go-to person in your industry, that is the master of this. Speaker 2 00:17:08 So if you work for a tech company, for example, and they specialize in security, for example, be the best, best, best sales person, the most knowledgeable person in that domain, so that you create your own demand. This one we've got to start thinking, we've got to create our own demand. No wait for people to tap on our shoulder and offer us a job. This is exactly what I did 20 years ago. I created my own demand. I knew what I was doing. I was conscious of where this was going to take me lo and behold. It happened. Okay. It wasn't a mistake. I created that outcome. I knew what I was doing the entire time. And that was 20 years ago building my brand. And there was no social media back then. Now it's a different situation. We can't complain. We can't be in a vulnerable situation anymore. Speaker 2 00:17:57 We need to be proactive, not reactive. And we also need to really think, how do I want to show up in the world in the digital landscape, which is social media. Do I want people to check out my profile and see a highly professional diligent master of their craft type of a person? Or do I want to be the person that does these comedy videos that are kind of a little bit here, a little bit there and they're not going anywhere. And I'm just kind of wasting time. I don't want to be that sort of a person. I want people to come to my profile on LinkedIn and think, wow, this person's consistent. Um, I love her content. I'm learning so much, so much value here and that's how I've built my entire brand currency. So that's why personal branding is really important. Just think we're in a digital economy. You've got to be in it Speaker 1 00:18:43 Without a doubt. So what is the difference is personal brand and social selling. The same thing is one, a subset of the other, like help me understand delineate between the two when we're talking about it on LinkedIn and Twitter and all this other stuff. What does that really mean? In your opinion? Speaker 2 00:18:58 Social selling is when you're subliminally selling in your outreach strategy. So when you're on LinkedIn, you know, where there's outbound is inbound. So the outbound reach is connecting with people, you know, starting a dialogue in that connection process, and then supposedly your selling social selling in that conversation. That takes place from the first connection, which is very, very dangerous. And I recommend every sales people stopped doing that because that's why LinkedIn, if you've noticed they've gone from a hundred connections a day to now 100 connections a week, why people are complaining, they don't want to be bombarded with push strategies. So here's the thing. If anyone gets anything out of this podcast today, this is what I want to say. Stop push, selling, and start pulling selling. You've got to pull people into your dialogue, not push your agenda. It's so obvious those people, I blocked them immediately. Speaker 2 00:19:55 I can't stand the noise. There's too much noise. I don't want to be sold 4,000 different ways of automation. I'm already a digital, you know, I'm very savvy on digital. So I don't need to be told that or the amount of people that are selling that push personal branding to me. I mean, are you kidding me? So what I'm trying to say is this push strategy is where people go wrong. And that's a part of the social selling process. Now there's other elements to social selling outside of your, you know, connecting outrage, starting a dialogue, continuing the dialogue by offering value or a free master class, or get on a call with me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So that's one way. The other side of that coin is the inbound, because you can still social sell in your inbound reach as well, which is essentially through your content, through interacting with other people's content. Speaker 2 00:20:47 There's two sides to the coin when it comes to social selling and it is quite strategic. And it's deliberate. I know that the way that I teach it, it's almost, it's quite prescriptive in the way that I do it because I know it gets result, overlaying all of that. We really need to dial in our messaging. And this is why personal branding is so critical. You can't get your messaging right, and accurate until your brand is defined, refined and accurate. Those two things go hand in hand. What I see all the time, Sam people are pushing and they don't know who they are. Okay. They're not congruent. There's no consistency. It's one day it's black. The next day, it's pink. The next day, it's green. You know, if you have a look at all of my contents, always pink was that social selling is really about the starting a dialogue on social media, where you then continue the dialogue eventually to get them into your funnel, some shape or form. And that's very, very dangerous when people start pushing that strategy because it will completely and utterly backfire. Speaker 0 00:21:55 You're listening to the sales samurai podcast. We'll be right back after this break. Speaker 3 00:22:04 Sales samurai is excited to announce the launch of the largest database of B2B sales resources on the planet, 600 plus resources with more added every single day, searching sort and filter, leaning, software providers, podcasts, books, blogs, and so much more, the best part. It's absolutely free to search. Go to sales, samurai.io, to start your search. Speaker 1 00:22:34 I love the fact that you said that because I think as an industry, as a profession, social selling, I think it was pushed down from someone saying, Hey, you need to be tapping into this whole LinkedIn deal and you need to connect. They need to pitch them on a meeting and just kept, keep replicating that, right? And that's how you're going to social sell. And that's now the new definition of social selling. What you're saying is, Hey, that's not right. It's not a scalable, it's not the best approach a and then B you can't really have that unless you understand what your brand is, what your message is to be effective at the social selling strategy. That is the most effective way of doing it. Speaker 2 00:23:10 Well, that's absolutely accurate because the social selling strategy and the brand strategy need to be congruent. And you have to wrap the messaging around the brand, not the other way around. Most people haven't even dialed in their brand. Therefore their messaging is all over the place. And then when they're social selling, it's cold. It's just like, it's got cold calling. You can cold call on LinkedIn. It doesn't work. Speaker 1 00:23:34 Right. Let me ask you this because as you've been talking about this, here's my biggest. And I think as I talked to my circle of network, I should say on LinkedIn. And if people that I, I kind of huddle with is as a, from a personal brand or whether it's a thought leadership, however we want to define it is content is key, right? What you're putting out. But the biggest challenge I've found is, I don't know what, like writing it, coming up with that strategy. Like that's a big undertaking and where do I start? And how like, help us understand that what's the bite size chunks to kind of start down that path married in European. Speaker 2 00:24:10 I think that a lot of people, again, uh, writing a content, that's too educational. So again, that's pushing, that's a push strategy. I don't want you to talk to at me. I want you to start a conversation with me. This is the mindset that we need to adopt. Social media is no different. If you go to a networking event, honestly, do you walk up to somebody at a networking event and say, oh, hi, would you, do you want to come home and go to bed with me? Like, I mean, would you do that? Speaker 1 00:24:37 I liked the fact Mary, that's the first thing you went to. I can appreciate that. I want to go to that networking event, by the way, Speaker 2 00:24:49 Uh, people that are listening to this, Speaker 1 00:24:53 Trust me, my audience is fine with it. Trust that Speaker 2 00:24:56 I use another example. What I walk up to you and say, hi, Sam, I systemized digitalize and commercialize knowledge, wisdom, and skills into a brand and a coaching business. How are you interested? Like, come on. You know, like I would start a conversation with your hi Sam, you know, how did you end up, you know, showing up this event? Did you know somebody? Why are you interested in this event? You know, have you met any, are you going to small talk? That's basically what you would do at an event. Somebody would ask you a question on what do you do? Or, you know, I'm do this. I've got an amazing podcast, you know, blah, blah, blah. Oh, well, what sort of podcasts? Oh, it's specifically geared towards salespeople. Wow. And then that's how you start conversations in a normal human environment. It shouldn't be different on social media. Speaker 2 00:25:40 Okay. Especially on a platform like LinkedIn, for example, it is a networking event. So we should be treating the platform like you're at a networking event. What I've see people do is that they just throw this information. I'll tell you what salespeople do. They upload information based on a company win or an award or something like that. I'm here to tell you no one cares. Sorry. Nobody cares about your awards. Nobody cares the fact that you won an award because the microchip in your new technology is the best of the best. No one cares. And no one cares about the features and benefits. So if you're posting those types of content, I'm going to tell you that you need to stop because it turns people off. They're just scrolling through their feed. And they're thinking I can't cope with this. As a sales person, the greatest gift I was able to give myself is to understand how the brain consumes content. Speaker 2 00:26:38 When we understand how the brain consumes content, then we can write that doesn't place the brain in a fight or flight situation. Now, great salespeople understand what I'm saying? Because when you're pitching, you're understanding how to pitch so that the brain of the receiver is not going into fight or flight. The brain, the receiver is relaxed and they're absorbing the information and involved in the dialogue. The same thing with social media, we have to create content that involves the audience. It can't be about me, how good I am, how many sales I've made, how many, blah, blah, blah, no one actually cares about me and how good I am. What people care about is the journey you're going to take me on. So, and again, I'm Sam, I'm going to go back to what I said before. If your brand and your messaging is not in, it's going to be very hard to create content. Speaker 1 00:27:38 So that's fair. So that helps from that standpoint, Mary and I love the fact that what you said is, Hey, was even once again, if all you're doing is you're pushing right that's education education. And like you said, I don't walk up to someone and say, you want to go home with me. There's a conversation. There's a dialogue that has to happen because there are people I could raise my hand and be the very first one that I find that a big, not a challenge to strike up a conversation. I think in sales, you gotta be able to do that. But I think when I look at LinkedIn and I see all these thought leaders out there, and they're talking about, Hey, you know, fit five ways of, you know, tapping a cold call, these things that they're documenting it. There's good food for thought, but it's not something I'm coming up with. But I think it's educational. I think it's informative. I think there's value to it from a sales perspective. But what you're saying is even in that state, that's still a push, right? Speaker 2 00:28:30 It's still a push. There's a lot of thought leaders on LinkedIn that have got hundreds of thousands of followers. They post something, they might get 10 or 20 likes. Well, hang on a minute, but you've got a hundred, 200, 300,000 followers, but your post is the least engaged posts in my feed. That's weird, isn't it? So that's the first thing. So we shouldn't be competing with anyone else. That's number one, that is number one rule. But what we need to think about when we're creating content is if you're pushing a paradigm, a belief system, a thought process, no one's interested in your version. What they are interested in is how can you change my life today? That's what they're thinking. Okay. Well, if I've got a problem and it's keeping me up at night, I want you to show me how you can solve my problem. Speaker 2 00:29:21 We may need to be a transformative person. We can't be in a situation where we continue to push and push and push because eventually you'll just fall off the cliff. So the idea of pushing con the content also needs to be in broken down into bite size pieces. So if we're going to post something and credit strategy on say, LinkedIn, we need to be consistently posting either Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Thursday. So we just have to be committed to that and then start connecting with the people that we want to connect with so that they can see our content and the value that we bring to the table. And that's the mindset. That's the mindset it's not about, oh, I'm not a thought leader. Like Joe blogs, you know, therefore I don't have value. Well, you do have value to your customer base. Speaker 2 00:30:12 So why are we thinking? Or like, oh, I just want to tap into 42 billion people. That's the wrong mindset. I want to tap into my micro network, my micro tribe. That's all I care about. I'm not interested in the 750 million people on LinkedIn. I'm only interested in the 20,000 people that I'm connected to. And the 81,000 people that follow my work, anyone outside of that, I don't want, I can't serve them. I don't know them. So that's what my mindset I'm just closed in on my micro tribe. And I'm in service to them on a day-to-day basis. That's my mindset. Speaker 1 00:30:49 So how I know we've kind of lasered in on LinkedIn because LinkedIn seems to be a big conduit right now, but the personal brand is much larger than just a single channel. Right? So if you were, and I know you do this because what you do for a living, like if you have someone that just says, Hey, I don't have a personal brand, but I want to start. Where do what? Like, where are the bites thought? Like, how do you educate someone to start going down? That that was step one of 400? What would that look like? Mary? Speaker 2 00:31:15 We would have to define somebody's attributes because every human being has attributes as a human bang. You know, I would want to know, what is your experience? What is your knowledge base? Where have you come from? What is it that you know how to do? What problem can you solve? For sure, for sure. I don't anyone that doesn't meet the 10,000 hour rule for me. I don't take on as a client because I want to work with people who genuinely can solve problems. Not people who are texts per day, read three books, and then suddenly they're an expert. I don't want those sorts of people. So we have to unpack their attributes. We need to understand what problems they can solve. We need to understand what their lane looks like. We need to understand their brand image. What are their branding guidelines going to look like? Speaker 2 00:32:01 What about their tone, their voice, their narrative, their story, all of these attributes fall under the heading of your brand, especially your personal brand. And I think a lot of people don't understand the importance of the consistency of your brand, especially when it comes to your actual branding guidelines. For example, the people that I work with, they're going into entrepreneurship, they're starting a coaching or a consulting business. One thing that I really zone in on is, you know, your brand identity, how are you going to look? How do you want the outside world to perceive you? This is a very important part of personal branding, there's you and how you show up. But there's also how you will be perceived from the outside world. And consistency is the key word when it comes to that, Speaker 1 00:32:47 That's helpful. So help me. I'm just like, cause at that level, right, I'm a coach. I'm trying to push the perception you want to have. You know, we want to build around that and build the brand accordingly, but let's say I'm a sales guy. I'm just a guy working in an organization. I don't know if I have the resources or I don't have the 10,000 hours or, but I want to start down that, what would you say to that, SDR that account executive and say, Hey, I want to start down that, that what would be some advice you would offer them? Speaker 2 00:33:11 That's a great question. The very first thing I would do is upgrade my LinkedIn profile. That is the very first thing I would do. Get a professional image. Get your banner up, write a fantastic profile in your about section, your experience. Section upload some call to action. The thumbnails in your featured section, make yourself look a million dollars because that's step number one, step number two is design a content strategy that is around what you know for sure and also bring your personality into it. So don't be steroidal and rigid. And of course you're not going to fall outside your company protocols and the terms and conditions that has to be respected. Okay. That's the very first thing I say to everyone in a corporate landscape, you must respect your organization. It's fundamental to your success that you respect your organization and how you show up on LinkedIn. Speaker 2 00:34:14 Make sure you hashtag your organization or the products so that you're showing your organization, Hey, I'm being proactive. I really want to serve our clients, our customer base. I want to be the leader in this space. I want to be a voice for our organization on LinkedIn. And I just want to talk about these products because this is my passion. If we can start thinking like that, could you imagine if there was a sales team of 20 people and all those sales people got together and said, yep, we're going to really, really dial in on LinkedIn. And we're all going to create content based on the products and services in our businesses that actually make me tick. The things that I really love talking about really loved selling. That's all I'm going to be talking about. And I'm going to create content that shares experiences of how our customers are using these products, how it's adding value into their business, how we're doing social good in society. So we need to start thinking like that. So LinkedIn profile, number one, a content strategy. Number two, based on the things that you only want to talk about. And it has to be professional, no cats, no dogs, no, you know, blood. That's okay to do that on your personal Facebook page, but on LinkedIn, I believe we should all, you know, really focus in on building our brand currency because that's where you will be judged upon. That's Speaker 1 00:35:37 Helpful. And I appreciate that piece of it. Let me get your thoughts with it. Cause I, you know, in having conversations around this and obviously your opinion is as much more valuable it is. I was always told that, Hey, listen, you don't have to always be things like the content strategy 100% agree with, but getting involved in the dialogue, if someone you respect you like you follow, if they post something, you know, if you question it, have a dialogue, put it in the like commenting is another form of content. I think we lose sight of that, right? Maybe people just think they get to form these huge posts and that that's thought leadership that's content. That's not, is that, am I off base? Or is that fair? Speaker 2 00:36:15 Absolutely. Right. Because that goes back to what I said before and that's being proactive. So when you're proactive and you're commenting on other people's posts, especially influencers in your space, even your competitors and you're writing really meaningful comments in their posts, guess what all of their customers are going to see what you just wrote and they most likely will follow you or want to connect with you. So we have to open ourselves up to a much, much, much broader aspect of the possibilities that are literally at our fingertips and we're not taking advantage of it because we're lazy. And also we're waiting for people to, as I said before, tap us on the shoulder and creating our destiny. I haven't got time to wait. I've got to create my destiny. I have to create a pool strategy. I want to be able to draw people into my ecosystem because I know I can serve them without a shadow of a doubt. I know I can do that. So I'm passionate about that, which is why I show up every day. Speaker 1 00:37:13 I think you hit the nail on the head when you just said, and you've said this about 10 times, like the 10,000, like what, you know, you can solve that is key. Like don't be a Jack of all and a master of none. Know what you can hone in on. And that's what you talk about is that yes. Speaker 2 00:37:29 Stay in your lane period. If we start diverting into it. I mean, could you imagine me talking about cryptocurrency? No. Seriously, all weight loss. That would be a bit weird, right? That's not my area of expertise. I don't know. Like I know how to do my own weight loss. I mean to NFTs, I'm not going to talk about it. It's something that I'm passionately interested in, but it's not my lane. What, why would I do that? It's confusing. The only time I would talk about it, if it's in context with what I do. Okay. Neither one of those things are in context with what I do, right? So we have to really feel comfortable with just our subject, our domain that we understand in and just stay there, just stay there, master it, become the person, become the go-to person in that domain and build an entire currency around that. Speaker 1 00:38:21 You know, one thing I was going to mention as we were having this conversation and I never knew this was a functionality of LinkedIn until sometime when it tells you how savvy I am. But to the point of commenting, that was my first foray is sent me just creating. It was commenting on things that I found interesting. And I never really realized, but on posts you can actually save those posts. Right? And you can come back almost like bookmarking them in LinkedIn. And I would say three or four of them in a week. And at the end of the week, when I had some time on a Friday, I would go back and think through them and actually respond. They're like, but I didn't have to think on the fly. And I've made it easier on myself. And like, I think those are the little microcosms that we just don't think through. Right. Mary, Speaker 2 00:39:01 I have this little notepad that basically lives in my bag. It's just a tiny little Speaker 1 00:39:06 Journal as a pretty note that I liked that. Mary, thank Speaker 2 00:39:09 You. And so, and what I do is I keep it in my, I've got these notepads everywhere. Like literally in my car, in my purse there, the side of my bed, they're everywhere. And the reason I carry them is because I don't know when I'm going to have that aha moment where this idea comes into my head. I mean, I do this at two o'clock in the morning, you know, I'm just a crazy person. So I'll go and I'll, I'll just open up my notepad and I'll write things on there. You can see here, you know, your genius is required. I write these things down and I'm like, oh, that will be an amazing post. I can write something about that, but they're just ideas like that. Or sometimes I'll write a whole post out, but if I don't capture it, I don't have it. Speaker 2 00:39:52 And then what I do is I always, always, pre-create all of my posts for the coming week. I never do anything on the fly. In fact, when people work with me, they have to actually produce a 90 day launch plan. And in that launch plan, they have to, pre-create 60 posts, 60, okay. Not 10 or 2060. Why do I do that? I'm getting my clients into a habit. They need to be in that habit so that they wake up every day, they post, they engage next day, rinse and repeat rinse. And repeat three months later, it's, they've formed a habit that becomes their normal, that becomes their marketing strategy. They have to invest in their business every day by doing that. So writing out ideas in a journal and then pre creating your content for the week is very important. Speaker 1 00:40:44 I think people just assume that we wake up and we just hop on her phone, just start put, like, there's a method to the madness, right? Just like anything else, just like sales, like you don't wake up and just, you prepare for everything you do in sales meetings, client meetings, the whole nine yards. So that's fantastic. So I want you to give us our top three, so we may have already said it. Cause I know there's been a couple that you were really fervent on. You were really just like, don't, don't do that. What are your three biggest, like, I will never talk to you again, if you do this from a personal brand, LinkedIn, whatever the case might be like, what are the three bugaboos that you just cannot do? Speaker 2 00:41:19 The first thing is that for salespeople, just stop pushing and start learning how to pull. I think that's a very important thing. The second thing is that be very clear on what you want to be known for on social media. So have a vision of what type of go-to person you want to be when you are clear on what your lane looks like, your industry and your colleagues will be clear. And that's how you will create command. And job offers come from left field because people will start to see you're the guy we want. You're the girl we want. Like we want you on our team, right? So that's number two. And number three, I think that we really need to create a content strategy where, and have a mindset of not how many likes and comments I get, but how can I add value to my tribe? Speaker 2 00:42:13 Which essentially is made up of my potential future customers. This is how we start building out pipeline naturally and organically. One of the things that I have shared with a lot of people is when COVID hit in 2020, my business, 10 X, why did a 10 X? Because I was nurturing that pipeline two, three years before that. So my pipeline is about five years worth, not five months worth of five days. I'm looking at five years in the, into the future. My client doesn't know that they need me right now, but they're in my funnel. I'm nurturing them on a day-to-day basis. So that, that when that moment comes, when I think, you know what I'm going to change my life, I'm front of mind. I'm not even top of mind, I'm actually front of mine. So we need to really be very clear on our strategy when, and if we decide to show up as a brand, what does that brand stand for? What does it actually look like? And what message are we sending out into the marketplace and everything else is an effect of that. Speaker 1 00:43:17 I like that. So you've boiled it down to a couple of things, right? So you've said, listen, stop. The push is more of a pole sale. That's the number one thing. Stop. The pushing number two is stop not having a plan, right? There's the content that you got to formulate the content. What do you want to be known for? What does your brand want to stand for? What can you solve as an individual that takes planning from a content standpoint and everything else should prompt that up and promote that component of things. Any final thoughts, tips, advice for the audience. You spend a lot. That's for sure. Speaker 2 00:43:48 There's definitely an opportunity on LinkedIn. Okay. Just think of it like this on Facebook, there's 3.5 billion people on Facebook. It is crowded and it's very, very noisy and dirty. That's the only way I can describe it. And also you have to pay for people to see your content on Facebook and Instagram. LinkedIn have 750 800 million people on the platform. It's not a lot of people and only 3% of those people are producing content every day. Okay. Or regularly I should say rather. So the opportunity is unbelievable for salespeople. The other thing I want to say to salespeople is if you get serious about defining your brand and you start to become extremely active on social media, especially LinkedIn, with your clear messaging, not only are you going to create command, but you also can convert your knowledge, wisdom, and skills into a coaching consulting business and become a solopreneur. So that becomes your contingency plan. It's almost like you're, future-proofing your career. It's the only way I can describe it. That's why taking your brand serious is so important for salespeople, especially. Speaker 1 00:45:07 That's fantastic. And you know, like I said, I think you've hit the nail on the head in today's digital economy. Personal brand is never more important than it is today. Great. I love that feedback. So how do people, and we're going to put this in the show notes, so no one gets their pens and papers out, but how do people connect with you learn more about you and what you're doing, they're married. Speaker 2 00:45:27 So the first thing is connect with me on LinkedIn. Let me know that you listened to this podcast so I can accept your connection requests. So then number one is LinkedIn. So at Mary Henderson coaching with a pink circle around my face, you can go to my website. I've got lots of free resources that you can watch or download on my website, which is Mary Henderson, coaching Instagram, Mary Henderson coaching, and, or send me an email at Mary Henderson, coaching.com. Speaker 1 00:45:54 Fantastic. Like I said, we'll put that in the show notes for everyone. Mary was an absolute pleasure with all the technical difficulties we forged through as two true salespeople would thank you so much for your time tonight. Speaker 2 00:46:07 Thanks Sam. I appreciate you. Speaker 0 00:46:10 Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your house, Sam Capra. Be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales samurai.io and join the conversation. 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Mary Henderson

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Mary is an internationally recognised Personal Branding & Digital Business Specialist.

Mary helps Service Based Business Owners, Coaches and
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Mary has 20+ years’ experience building 7 & 8 figure businesses & building high-performance sales teams in the IT sector and 15 years delivering online solutions for large and small businesses. She has been featured in many publications and is regarded a
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