How to Get Potential Clients to “Swipe Right” on Your Personal Brand
What Tinder Can Teach You About Personal Branding
Before going into the lessons businesses’ can learn from Tinder (yes you read that correctly), let’s clarify what personal branding actually is. Surprisingly, Wikipedia offers a well-written, concise definition that describes personal branding as,
“the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands…Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.”
If you happen to be a business owner, you most likely built your business around your personal brand. Therefore, the way you present yourself and your personal brand to potential clients will have a direct impact on your business’ success. Not to mention, before a customer even looks at your product, they look for the quality of the name or brand that produced it. Your audience wants to know the business has a face, a human behind it that is trustworthy. This is where the importance of a strong, streamlined, personal brand is vital.
Is your business in a publication? A directory? Maybe on a card in a local coffee shop? How do you compete with all the other listings that lay so closely next to it or above it? What will make your brand the one they want to “swipe right” on and chat with?
Lesson 1: Audience Targeting
When creating a profile, the first thing Tinder asks is for a user to provide the characteristics of their most desirable potential match, including their gender and age. While you may feel you want a huge selection to choose from, you may end up wasting time swiping left on 55-year-old men who are looking for marriage material when you’re only in your 20’s.
When you first begin to create your brand, it is a MUST to specify who exactly your brand will speak to, create solutions for, and resonate with. Increased followers and likes from a large audience are nice to have, but if that increase includes individuals who have no need for your business, you’re not benefitting. Instead, take a pointer from Tinder and market to the potential customers who you could actually see yourself starting a productive relationship with.
Lesson 2: Good Quality, Explanatory Imagery
After narrowing down your search to an audience who has the potential to really connect with you, ensure you’re showcasing your best and brightest side. While emotional chemistry is important for success in the long run, it is the initial attraction that opens the door for a mutual match and possible conversation.
How’s your brand perceived by your audience? Is your website, blog, or LinkedIn profile up to date? Does your content inform potential “matches,” grab a reader’s attention, incorporate past experience and expertise, and incorporate leadership in your industry? Are you showcasing the impressive work you’ve completed in the past? Remember, you won’t be able to get the date (or potential client) if he/she doesn’t like what they see.
Lesson 3: Compelling Content
Once you’ve mastered the presentation game, your mystery date moves on to your biography to look for possible similarities and compelling content that provides information about who you are and what you enjoy doing. Keep in mind, you can’t skip steps when you’re attempting to earn that swipe. You must invest in each step in order to get someone to buy into your brand.
For a personal brand in the business world, this would include things like a mission statement, a vision statement, and captivating facts that set you apart from other businesses. If you don’t take the time to properly explain what product or service you offer, or why it’s unique, you may attract a customer that isn’t the best fit, wasting your time in the long run.
***Who knows, if your image and caption (on social media) are done well enough, you may even rack in a few SUPER LIKES! (A sure sign that the potential client is passionate about your brand in particular.)
Lesson 4: Spark a Conversation
Well, you did it. Can you believe that was just the first part of establishing a connection? You earned a right swipe and now it’s “go time.” This is where you pull the rabbit out of the hat and really wow em’. Finally and arguably most important, you shouldn’t waste any time starting a conversation. Who knows how many other matches your mystery date could have and what conversations are happening? It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and the competition is fierce, so don’t wait for him/her to reach out, GO FOR IT!
You’ve earned the interview, the coffee date, the lunch meeting, the phone call. However the meeting takes place, a potential customer has agreed to chat with you! This is where all the work you’ve done comes to fruition. Dress appropriately, communicate professionally, but be bold, be confident, and talk about the brand that you are so passionate about building.
If it goes well, you just might get a second date and the rest could be history.