I’ve recently shared Lessons Learned in Ten Years of Business and wanted to continue to build on that. We all know that being a good leader is important no matter if you are the head of a large corporation or temporarily in charge of a small team. They want to know who they are working with and what you stand for. Below, I will show you why personal branding is important to leadership.
- It allows you to be authentic.
In the past, we only had our name to rely on. Now we have our own personal branding. The bad news is if you aren’t creating your personal brand, others are. You show your commitment to your work by defining a clear leadership style as well as if and how you live it. You must go beyond having a developer design a logo, create a mission statement, etc. A leader is a mentor, role model, trusted colleague, expert in their area, and an overall authoritative voice in their chosen field. This goes whenever you make an appearance on social media, in person, in the office, on the field, or even in a podcast. Your personal branding is authentic when you live it every day and others pick up on it.
- Craft Your Personal Brand Towards Leadership
A great way to get started is by conducting a quick, informal poll of a few colleagues, co-workers, and even clients. All you have to do is ask for a description of you in just a few words. It forces them to think about what is important to them and if/how you meet it. You are likely to see a pattern emerge once you have the data. Is the feedback positive? Negative? All over the place? Maybe you hear a few words you like such as “friendly, approachable, and easy to talk to.” These are great qualities but are they the qualities you are looking for? Do you prefer to be referred to as something like “decisive, determined, and an absolute authority on their industry?” You may be a small fish in a big pond and are looking to climb the ladder and will need these qualities. It is important that your personal brand meet or exceed what your ultimate goal is.
- It Lets You be Front and Center
I’ve recently suggested the benefits of making a short form video of between one and two minutes. Introduce yourself. Tell your audience who you are, what you do, and how you stand out in this video. For example, I would introduce myself as Charli, the CEO of Empowering Brands, People, and Business. I am dedicated to social media marketing and beyond for industrial clients of all sorts. I stand out with over ten years of experience in the arena, and maybe a tidbit or two on something like how we help clients find their voice.
- Avoid These Mistakes
You may work for a large company with its own brand. Creating your own may be in conflict with your employer’s social media or policy, so be sure to check it out. Find out what you and your organization have in common, acknowledge it, and localize what makes you stand out. For example, if your organization’s branding uses the term “unconventional,” you may choose something like “unconventional through diversity.” I also recommend researching your chosen personal brand to ensure no one else has claimed it yet.
Need more on leadership? Feel free to check out podcasts on branding and leadership in your industry. We have had several such interviews on our Empowering Industry Podcast. We also recommend joining meetups in the community that interests you such as our Slack Group.