Personnel Branding is a strategy through which companies –especially those of the B2B persuasion – can win customer hearts and minds by harnessing the creator power of their people.
I promised some ideas for how to get started with PersonnelBranding. This newsletter fulfills that promise.
Lead by Example
One of the best ways a CEOs, VPs, or other team leaders canget their people on board with the idea of serving as brand ambassadors/influencers is to do it themselves. Start building your own Personal Brand by sharing content about your company, your customers, and best of all, your people.
Create Sharable Moments
If you have a great company culture, you can, with relativeease, create moments that your employees will want to share with the world to show them how great their jobs are. Everything from big, planned events like company picnics and family days, to spontaneous celebrations of milestones. When you make your employees feel good about their work, they can’t help but share it.
Identify Your Creators
Some people just have a knack for creating content forsocial media. You might have a few people on your teams that fit that description. Find them. Let them know you want to harness their talents to help build the brand and get attention for the company. They will be your champions, your early adopters from which your Personnel Branding program will grow.
Get Them on Board
Once you’ve identified your champions, you’ll need toconvince them to be part of your Personnel Branding campaign. Chances are it’s not already in their job description, so they’ll want to know what’s in it for them. Show them that playing along will help them build their own Personal Brands. Some other incentive wouldn’t hurt, either.
Give Them Some Guidelines
You don’t want them to go off all half-cocked. It will beimportant to share some basic brand messaging and guidelines for them to follow, as well as any third rails they shouldn’t touch. But remember, they’re sharing their own content, as themselves. So keep it loose and easy to follow.
Offer Some Coaching
If some of your people are willing to play along, but aren’tsure how to do it, give them some ongoing coaching, encouragement, and inspiration. If you don’t have anyone on staff who has the time for that, I know a guy.
Some companies will have the urge to control the content,make sure everything’s “on-brand,” and “safe” for customer consumption. Resist this urge. What will make your employees’ content so compelling is its rawness and realness, and that will be lost if you try to sanitize it by running up your various flagpoles. Give them the freedom to create.
Implementing a Personnel Branding program isgoing to look slightly different for every company, depending on your industry,
your customers, and your people.