Why it’s important to build a personal brand in the automotive industry

Roger Love

On the latest edition of Straight to the Point, host Frank J. Lopes is joined by Melanie Borden, Vice President of Marketing at LotLinx. Lopes gets straight to the point posing the question, How important is your personal brand when trying to advance your career in the automotive industry?

Borden begins the conversation by discussing why it was important for her to create a personal brand. In fact, Borden says LotLinx initially approached her through LinkedIn, and that is how she started her journey with the company.

For managers who don’t want their employees building their own brand, Borden believes that is a valid concern. As a dealership, you have to have certain rules and procedures in place before you start rolling something out as a company in regards to personal branding. Although, you can’t prevent someone from leaving. Personal branding does helps elevate the store because you have a multitude of personalities who have a positive effect on your store.

Lopes poses the question, Can you sell a vehicle through a personal brand? Borden says, absolutely! She believes the hardest part is putting yourself out there and understanding how to do it. There are two elements that hold dealers back from creating personal brands and that is fear, and not understanding how to do it.

Through LinkedIn, Borden gained over 51,000 connections in just a year in a half. Through her new connections, people did reach out to her to purchase a vehicle. However, she wasn’t directly selling through the dealerships that she worked for.

You have to have a goal set in place in order to build an audience. Selfies aren’t for attention-seeking, but a way to attach your face to your name and message. Borden says, she wanted to have a positive association with the photos she was taking.

In order to start your personal brand, have the dealership leadership buy-in and participate. Have a goal. Create a consistent plan and start using SHIELD Analytics. Borden says the goal isn’t to ‘just sell cars’. It’s about serving others and creating content that can benefit them. You need to be authentic and create emotional connections.

With a personal brand, there are so many ways to increase your income, find a position within a dealership and increase profitability to the store, which creates a win-win situation for everyone.

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