As leaders in the corporate community, we are responsible for the success and health of our roles and that of the company. The effect of the recent pandemic has made this challenging. We have had to shift to crisis leadership facing unprecedented organizational leadership challenges. While this is essential to managing a team and running a business, we can’t let work pressure eclipse our personal brand. Our brand makes us marketable, a linchpin in the economy that opens doors of opportunity and influence.
“If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.” – Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Developing your personal brand is also the best thing for the team you lead and the company you champion. People re-share brand messages twenty-four times more when you post them on your personal channels, rather than the actual company’s channels. It’s the best way to build a positive and growing reputation for yourself and your company.
What is a personal brand? CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos nailed it when he said ‘Your brand is what people say about you behind your back.’ It’s your reputation, the words people use to describe what you stand for and who you are. Business management expert, Tom Peters, explained the act of personal branding best when he was interviewed by Fast Company, “All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” While we may lead a team or company, we also lead ourselves and the influence we have in the world.
As an executive coach that focuses on personal brands, I see the growing need within the business community. I also see fatigue experienced with continually shifting priorities and dynamics in the ‘new-norm’. Your personal brand helps you to fast-track results, influence action, and inspire by leveraging your reputation, networks, and know-how. When your team knows that you are a leader of character with a purpose and a vision, you motivate them to work together at a higher level of performance, and you can influence outside your sphere to get others to do the same.
Here are some ways you can develop a personal brand today amongst the noise and pressure.
Beginner Brander Stage
We all have to start somewhere. All of us have a personal brand; the idea is to make it intentional and maximize its impact. When you define your brand, you have the potential to grow it and to communicate exactly what you want to your network.
This starts with doing a self-audit. You can administer one by asking questions like:
- What are you good at?
- What are you doing when you feel energized? When you are inspiring others to be engaged?
- What are the shaping moments in your life journey that help define you? What did these moments tell you about your strengths, gift or genius?
- What are your core values?
- Key strengths?
- What do people seek your advice on?
- If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Once you begin to identify who you are, you can start to own and shape your brand by identifying what you want to be the go-to person for, and how you want people to be consistently experiencing you. Then commit to highlighting those parts of your brand daily. Bringing this level of clarity to your actions instantly begins shaping the narrative of your network.
Experienced Brander Stage
At this point, you already have a foundation for a brand. It’s time to revise it and position it for growth. Leaders develop their official pitch and set up their visibility strategy. Great platforms to start building visibility are networks, champions, events, panels, blogs, video content and more. All these forms of networking and sharing content should be aligned with your personal brand. Think about how you dress, walk, talk, the stories you share, the expertise you draw upon, the action you inspire.
The best way to develop your pitch and visibility is by being authentic and consistent. You are delivering a very clear message about who you are and what you are the go-to person for. Everything you do should be aligned with these messages. When you are transparent and authentic, people will trust you and want to connect with you.
Your personal presentation and confidence will determine a great amount of your success for this stage. Recognise that you have a voice with a worthy purpose and don’t be afraid to speak up with conviction and courage.
Super Brander Stage
Once you are experienced, it’s now time to gear it up to high-performance mode. You know who you are, and you already have visibility.
This is done by becoming a true thought leader. Build credibility by leading, developing skills, aligning with powerful brands, bigger stages/platforms, networking outside of your sector, and a branded personal website.
You can also start a Podcast or YouTube channel to help you become a global authority. 54% of Podcast listeners are more likely to consider brands that are advertised or presented in the episode. This can make a big difference for your personal brand reach and company.
As a super brander, your influence will multiply. Before, you had to work hard to spread the word about your brand. At this point, people will share your content and spread the word for you. It’s this peak of a personal brand that will give you a considerable return on investment for your time and effort.
Take 15 Minutes to Work on Your Personal Brand
Interested in improving your personal brand? It only takes a few minutes a day. Here is what I suggest to get the best impact for your time.
- Build a strong online platform. You get access to the entire world instead of a local network.
- Speak up and share your unique thoughts. Leadership is influence, and the only way to get there is by contributing and adding value to others.
- Be seen with the right people. The right crowd helps establish your brand and credibility.
- Platform, panel or stage- be seen! It increases your reach and boosts authority in your field.
- Create a strategic hit list. What are game-changing moves that can improve your brand?
- Be accessible and help others. You create a higher purpose for yourself and brand.
- Share and comment on company content. When you engage with others, you increase your visibility online.
- LinkedIn review and refresh. Stay current and active on the most significant online networking site there is.
- Start V-blogging as a thought leader. Sharing video content increases online engagement and gets shared around many circles.
- Say “thank you” creatively. Find ways to make an impressionable impact with others.
Creating your personal brand is the best thing you can do for your career, leadership journey, and company. By developing your personal brand throughout each stage and taking 15 minutes a day to invest in it, you can ensure positive results.
If you are looking for ways to amplify your success and build your personal brand, contact me for a 45-minute consultation to discuss your goals.