Most businesses, regardless of size, understand the need for branding to create an image that is easily identifiable and memorable in the eyes and minds of their target audience. While the idea of crafting a personal brand for leaders is not something new, it may not be a familiar concept or top priority for many businesses.
When I think of CEOs with a strong personal brand, names such as Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson and Elon Musk come to mind. If you consider your own industry, the CEOs and executives are possibly not as far reaching, but you may recognize them and are familiar with them from panels they have been on, articles they have written or from what their employees have to say about them as leaders. This is all part of a personal brand, and it exists whether or not a leader actually creates and develops it.
I have seen, and believe modern business is being driven by deeper interactions with brands, which means people behind those brands need to show up. And with good reason. Executive and CEO reputations account for nearly 50% of a company’s valuation and reputation. CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs need to own their special blend of leadership insight, ideas, and goals, and turn it into marketable stories that gain them influence, clout, and eyeballs (and help spread the word about their company value(s)).
Consider this: what if you could harness your life’s vision, your personal and professional goals, and everything you are truly passionate about - within your industry's walls or not - and use your platform to be heard, seen, and to make a difference? It may not just be life changing, it could make a difference to your company’s bottom line, and could possibly have a far reaching impact on the world.
Why is now the time to craft your personal brand? There’s a change happening - a shift. There’s been an ousting of old-school leadership, and other voices are stepping up and changing the way things operate. Women and men are bringing new, fresh perspectives to leadership. Developing your personal brand makes it possible to step up and be seen in this new era; to show how you are changing things. To take the moves and impacts you are making in your smaller world and put it out there for everyone else to see how you are leading. Bringing your unique voice and leadership style to the forefront can have a positive effect on your industry, your company’s reputation, and the team you are leading.
What does the process of building your personal branding look like? The work blends personal and business growth. It’s about deciding how you want to be known and leave your personal legacy so that your best ideas can make an impact. It’s about doing some serious inner work, digging deep, understanding yourself, and then being brave enough to put it out there for others to see, and be inspired by your example. It deals less with market research, numbers, or marketing funnels and more with your vision, core values, and how your life and business align with what you do. It’s figuring out how to tell your story in a way that inspires, changes, and simultaneously improves your company’s image.
When you begin to speak your truth, others will hear it and your legacy will begin.
So tell your story, build your legacy and make the impact you’ve always known you were meant to make.