Why should anyone listen to you?
If you have ever thought this, or had someone ask you this question, it’s time you worked on your personal brand.
Over the years, I have helped hundreds of executives create and maintain their personal brands. These executives often remark how their personal brand gave them a much higher profile in their profession and inevitably facilitated that next, great opportunity.
How do you begin to create a dynamic personal brand? Here is the recipe for an effective, dynamic personal brand.
Your Branding Goals
When creating a personal brand, the first step is developing your short and long-term personal branding goals.
Are you interested in taking a leadership role in your field or profession? Want more speaking engagements? Perhaps you’re doing some career management and anticipating moving to a new opportunity in the next year or so and want to elevate your profile in your industry.
Decide why you’re creating or updating your personal brand – this guides you to the next step.
Your Unique Talents and Accomplishments
Your personal brand is the essence of your unique personality traits, qualities, talents, and areas of expertise. Many of us have talents in many areas. Depending on the goals for your personal brand, emphasize those traits and talents that best explain YOU.
In addition to your talents, pick accomplishments that tell the story of your personal brand. I like to tell the story of how I built successful teams and increased my organization’s revenue by 300%. As part of my personal brand, it helps people to see that I have experience and success in this area.
What are your stories? Create your top 3 most proud moments as stories. Your brand is about your greatness.
Personal Brand Statement
Once you’ve determined your unique talents, traits, and accomplishments, it’s time to create a statement that encompasses all these qualities. You want this statement to be compelling and exciting.
Finance and operations executive with a track record of building teams and setting strategic direction to seize opportunities for improved productivity and customer satisfaction, including technology improvements that drove 300% growth in 18 months.
What do you want to be known for?
Remember those stories you developed about your proudest accomplishments? Now’s the time to use those stories to create your statement.
Try this template:
I want to be known for (as) _______________ so that I can (deliver) ______________ to ________
Your Brand Message
Once you’re clear on your brand statement, it’s time to get the message out.
There are many different ways to get your message out including:
- Speaking Engagements
- Monthly blog posts
- Social media
Start small. Pick one or two methods to get your message out. As you get more confident, you can add additional ways to talk with your network. The point is to have social proof – someone other than yourself talking about your greatness.
If you’re still stuck, start with social media.
Social Media Tips
I know many of us are really not big fans of social media, even if it is one of the best ways to enhance your personal brand.
It’s important to build an online presence that reflects your brand and expertise. Most of us have some sort of history – feel free to clean up any content that doesn’t fit your desired image.
Pick a social channel. For most of us, LinkedIn is a great start when building a professional brand. Even if you’ve never really posted to social media, LinkedIn is an easy place to start. Just remember to have a professional head shot, keep your posts professional and brand specific – no pictures of your lunch – and comment on the posts of others.
Networking can take many forms. You can go to events where you’ll meet new people. You can also use a platform like LinkedIn to connect with people in your industry and profession.
When planning to network at events, be sure to look at the list of the attendees prior to getting to the venue. Plan who’d you’d like to meet – and know why. Your goal is to build relationships with people. Because we are all busy, we need to be particular about the relationships we nurture.
Remember the goals you set forward for your brand. You want create relationships with people that are mutually beneficial and useful.
Be sure that you meet the individuals you are interested in building ties with. Feel free to meet others as well – serendipity can be a powerful force.
And remember to keep track of who you meet, why you enjoyed the meeting, where you met, and any other data that seems important. A personal CRM is an important tool.
Build Your Personal Brand
Building your personal brand is an ongoing process, but it’s worth the effort. A strong personal brand elevates your profile within your field and profession and may result in opportunities you never considered.
If you have more questions around building a personal brand, consider the Executives in Transition program. The EIT program helps executives develop the branding and tools they need to be prepared for that next opportunity. Go to executivesintransition.com for more information and to register for the next session.