By Sheila Anderson

Your Company’s Secret Asset
11 April 2017 | 5:41 pm

Assets are critical to a company’s success with their purpose being to increase the value of the organization. So how else can you add value to your organization without dipping into the bottom line? The answer: Personal Branding.

Companies spend thousands of dollars on corporate branding elements such as logo, website, and marketing collateral, but many overlook the fact that every employee is a branding asset. When one thinks of gauging value back from what they put into something, they typically think in terms of ROI. Instead of a return on investment, think of it in terms of Return on Image™. An employee’s personal brand creates real value. It can elevate individuals to meet their goals and the goals of the company, while also growing influence for both. Influence is power, which, in turn, cultivates trust and builds your reputation as a leader in your space. It’s been said over and over that people do business with people, not companies.

Here are 5 ways your employees can influence a corporate brand to ensure:

1. Create Content. This is vital (my definition of vital: without it you die) in establishing expertise. It’s the first place one should start. Allow employees to blog, be guest editors in publications, or even publish case studies that are relevant to your market. Let their personality come through in their writings. Then leverage that content every chance you get such as reposting portions of it as social media posts. Having them create content helps establish them, and you, as a leader or expert in their field. People want to hire authorities.

2. Speaking Events. In today’s world we are so connected, that we are, at times, starving for human connection. This is a great way to humanize a brand. Employees can be guest speakers at associations, clubs, industry events, or be a guest on a podcast. If possible, get photos of them speaking or better yet, get it recorded on video, and, again, leverage that as much as you can.

3. Community Involvement. A great place to be seen is in our own communities sharing our gifts and kindness to others. Consider paying for employees to join a service club or be on a non-profit board. They may even take on leadership roles within these organizations, which helps build both their personal brand and your corporate brand.

4. LinkedIn Profile. We all know LinkedIn is a place to grow connections and attract new business clients. In many ways, LinkedIn has become the new CV. It’s one of the first places we all go to find out about each other. We look at a person’s accomplishments, what others say about working with them, and how they can add value. In fact, we tend to go there before we have any human interaction with each other. First of all, we want to know what a person looks like. A profile picture can have some personality, but remember this is a professional site, after all. After we look at the photo, we want to see what their title is. In fact, here is where you can be creative. It doesn’t have to be a title, but rather how you help someone. This appears by the photo every time a person posts, so it is a very important element. And be sure your company has a company page your employees can be part of.

5. Company Website. The second most visited page on most websites is the About Us page. Here is where you can showcase your staff with a bio and links to their personal social media sites as well as listing any published content or videos they have created. The purpose is for visitors to have no doubt in their minds that you employ the best.

There is a lot of noise out there. We are all fighting to be seen. By incorporating the steps above, you will gain strategic visibility through personal branding.

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