Gary Vaynerchuk, chairman of VaynerX, CEO of VaynerMedia and popular public speaker, has always been outspoken about the importance of a personal brand.
Instead of relying on sales teams, companies like Nike have used the power of a brand to drive sales revenue. They can create content like podcasts, blogs and videos that are entertaining and engage customers to create long-term sales growth.
“I think a lot of people struggle with personal brands because they think that person is a narcissist and needs attention. It’s just a marketing strategy to have leverage,” Vaynerchuk said during a keynote discussion Tuesday during FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week.
Vaynerchuk said a great way to create a personal brand is to master the art of storytelling. He did stress the importance of truth telling and said the internet will expose these embellishments. Promote your true identity.
The LinkedIn era
Vaynerchuk discussed with Steve Ferreira, an ocean freight expert and host of FreightWaves’ Navigate B2B, how powerful social media sites can be, especially in the early stages of a platform’s growth.
“In the history of B2B marketing, in the logistics industry, there has never been a time than right this second,” explained Vaynerchuk.
Ferreira and Vaynerchuk reminded themselves of the early days on Facebook, when you could post anything and every user had a chance to view that post. Until advertisements and algorithms take over a platform, there is a grace period in which users can take advantage of the networking space.
“This is the greatest era to put out content on LinkedIn. … There is something called organic reach … when platforms get mature like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, you don’t get it anymore because ads take up that extra inventory of attention,” Vaynerchuk explained.
Tips for personal brand promotion
Vaynerchuk gave the audience four tips for conveying one’s personal brand on LinkedIn:
1. Figure out what your content will be. Some people have a talent for producing engaging videos, while others are creative writers. While it is smart to learn different ways of producing content, stick to your knowledge base and go from there.
2. Spend time researching how to market on LinkedIn compared to other media sites. Find ways to create more traffic for your posts, such as tagging other professionals, sharing articles and crafting great content.
3. Reply to comments. Vaynerchuk explained the importance of engaging with your audience on these platforms. When you reply to comments and messages, it’s more likely your connections or followers will come back for more — and increase traffic from their circles.
4. Continuously put out content. “The at bat is more important,” said Vaynerchuk. You may only get a single or a double, but it is better than not showing up to the game at all.
The entrepreneur left FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week audience with his No. 1 tip for creating your brand, which was to not be promotional.
“Think of yourself like a magazine,” Vaynerchuk explained. The content does not have to be tailored to make a sale. Instead, brands should focus on educating their audience. When you focus on educating your followers, you build your reputation, which will drive sales over time.