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The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 11, 2022 • Issue 22:07:01

Street SmartsSM

Personal branding - what it is and why it's important

By Natasa Cvijanovic
Tesla Payments

Once upon a time (no, this is not a fairytale) branding was used only to describe companies and their products; however, it is now an attribute that can be applied to people, including you. There has been a lot of buzz lately about personal branding. I'm here to assure you that personal branding is neither a passing fad nor the newest marketing gimmick.

Some of the most successful industry events have featured panels on this important topic. And we know that personal branding is here to stay and will only become more prominent as an essential part of marketing.

What exactly is personal branding?

As the name implies, personal branding refers to the development of one's own brand identity. With a well-designed personal brand, you can swiftly and effectively communicate to others who you are and what you stand for.  

Do you want to be known as a trusted expert in your field? As individuals and merchant level salespeople (MLSs), you have the power to shape your own narrative and market yourself in the most favorable light.

Personal branding communicates your values and principles to the outside world. It ensures that your target audience understands why they should do business with you rather than with your competition. It also allows you to stand out in a marketplace where everyone has a website and an online presence. Do you need any more convincing?

Making an impression is more important than ever because people's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. The most effective strategy for making a strong, positive impression is creating a distinct and captivating personal brand identity. This means developing a professional online and offline image, message and presence that is clearly defined and consistent.

Before you can build a successful portfolio and business, you must create a distinct brand that merchants can trust. Prospects familiar with you and your brand are more likely to trust and use your services.

Lasting benefits of personal branding

To elaborate further on the benefits branding brings you, personal branding:

  • Helps develop self-awareness: Having a personal brand enables you to showcase what is important to you. Your brand becomes a reflection of your skills and interests. Personal branding helps you not only figure out who you are but also where you're going. Without a clearly defined goal, you may find yourself unable to move forward and stuck on the current path.
  • Separates you from the competition: When you're not around, other people's perceptions of you shape your personal brand; it is your reputation and has the power to make or break your career. A strong personal brand is more important than ever in our highly competitive market, where all MLS compete for the same merchants and referral opportunities.

    Having a strong personal brand can result in new opportunities and improve your visibility. A strong personal brand can also lead to new opportunities. Merchants will be more likely to do business with you if they believe you are an expert in your field.

  • Increases trust from prospective merchants: In today's digital age, anyone can access information about you with a few clicks, which is why it is critical to be mindful of how you are presented online. If merchants perceive that they know who you are and what you stand for, they are more likely to trust you and do business with you due to a sense of familiarity.

How to properly develop your brand 

Sadly, most MLSs don't recognize the significance of personal branding and believe it requires a significant amount of extra effort. I hope I've now established the importance of personal branding and will discuss how to develop your brand without undue effort. There are numerous ways to do this, but knowing who you are and what you want to be known for is the most important step in developing a personal brand.

Cleaning and decluttering your social media accounts is a good starting point. Make yourself known, and make it easy for people to find your professional, expert presence. You have control over your online reputation; therefore, to maintain a positive image online, you should avoid posting anything that could be damaging to it.

We've all felt overwhelmed by social media and tempted to avoid it at some point, but avoiding a professional role on social media will only limit your growth potential. Simply having a social media account alone is not enough. Don't overdo it, but post frequently enough to remain visible to your audience. And be sure to post meaningful content.

Use social media to establish your brand, demonstrate professionalism and prove your worth in the industry. Focus on the niche in which you're an expert. Engage with other people's content by commenting on their posts, writing your own content and so on. In the future, this exposure could lead to unexpected opportunities or a competitive advantage.

A professional website is an excellent platform for demonstrating your knowledge and skills while also providing helpful advice to potential merchants. Use your website to build your brand while also providing value to potential merchant clients. But be sure to do so in accordance with the card brands' rules and regulations. If you have questions, reach out to your relationship manager.

Post more than just text updates or text blogs. Include photos and videos to create a more diverse feed. People prefer visually appealing information, and if you provide it, they are more likely to follow you.

How to expand your reach

Return a favor and pay it forward. Whenever one of your colleagues posts something interesting, gets promoted or is scheduled to make a public appearance, mention it on social media. When it is your turn to shine, those you have promoted will put you in the spotlight.

Go live! Attending an industry conference? Post interesting and informative snippets from presentations, photos from the exhibit floor, and links to the speakers' books and other assets if they are published authors. Use a consistent hashtag to ensure that people can follow your story throughout the day.

It's clear that to be successful, you must establish an online presence and increase your brand. Your online presence reveals who you are, what you care about and the contribution you make to the industry. This may seem like a lot but building brand awareness—and a following—requires time and dedication. Not to worry: you can strengthen your brand and open new doors by being consistent and making valuable contributions. end of article

Natasa Cvijanovic, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Payments, has a proven track record within the payment industry of cultivating successful relationships with ISOs, MLSs and strategic partners. In developing national sales channels, she provides training and coaching to sales partners to enable them to become better business partners and advocates for their merchants, and to assist them in building portfolios producing steady residual streams. She is also dedicated to consistently delivering high levels of professionalism, integrity, dependability and trustworthiness. Contact her at natasa@teslapayments.com.

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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