There’s a question that I often ask leaders in my role as an executive coach: What’s your personal branding strategy for yourself? I’ve heard some good answers, but more often, I find that executives have given fairly little thought to their personal branding strategy.
It goes without saying that branding yourself is important when you’re a celebrity, or when you work in politics. What about entrepreneurs and C-suite members who work at smaller or medium-sized companies, though? Should they really be concerned with having a personal branding strategy?
I believe the answer is yes. I think branding yourself is something all leaders should take seriously. And in this post, I’ll explain why.
Why is Personal Branding Important?
Let’s start by answering this basic question: Why is personal branding important?
- First, I think your personal brand is important because your team members will inevitably see you as the face of the company, or at least one of its most influential representatives. When you’re in a leadership position, your values and priorities are naturally going to be assumed to be the values and priorities of the company as a whole. That’s what makes it important to crystallize what you really think, and to synthesize it into a personal brand.
- A personal brand can very easily be parlayed into thought leadership. In a lot of ways, I think branding yourself is all about identifying your superpower, then building a workplace identity around that. When people in the business community learn what that superpower is, they’re going to start calling on you to use it. That can lead to amazing opportunities for your business.
- Branding yourself can also make your employee more likely to buy into your initiatives and your ideas. That’s because they’ll feel like they have a clear sense of who you are and what drives you, and they’ll see that your ideas come from an authentic place. In other words, having a personal branding strategy helps you to rally the troops and get everyone on the same page.
These are just a few of the ways in which personal branding can translate into effective team leadership. If you’re still asking why is personal branding important, feel free to reach out and we’ll talk one-on-one. But for now, let’s move onto some practical considerations.
Personal Branding Tips
Sometimes branding yourself may come easily, but for a lot of us, it’s something that has to be learned. As such, I’ve put together a quick checklist of personal branding tips that can help you as you pursue effective team leadership.
- Know who you are. Before you can start branding yourself and before you can begin offering effective team leadership, you need to take an inventory of your strengths, weaknesses, and values. There are a number of leadership assessment tests out there that, while imperfect, can help you get a pretty good handle on where your greatest proficiencies lie, including your personal team leadership style.
- Write it out. I find it helpful to actually create a written statement of your personal brand. This doesn’t have to be something you make public, but just the exercise of articulating your brand and your team leadership style can be clarifying to you. I’ve worked with a lot of leaders who have real “lightbulb moments” while drafting their personal branding statements.
- Establish thought leadership. Your personal brand needs to be manifest in a publicly consumable form. That may mean keynote addresses, videos, blogs, or even a smartly employed Twitter account. What’s important is having your personal branding strategy articulated in a way that people will see and that will speak to those “superpowers” we mentioned above.
- Have an elevator pitch. I think it’s important to have an elevator pitch for your business, but it’s also important to have a personal elevator pitch. When you meet someone at a conference or event and they ask what you do, what do you tell them? What’s your succinct, one-or-two-sentence way of sharing your superpower? And how do you convey your team leadership style?
- Be authentic. The concept of “authenticity” is en vogue these days. Do a Google search for how to be a team leader in the workplace and you’ll inevitably find recommendations to be your most honest and authentic self. But what does it really mean? I think it means not speaking to things you’re not knowledgeable about, and not pretending to be an expert when you’re not; and, sticking to your basic values, allowing them to guide all your decision-making rather than just going with the crowd. After all, it’s that set of values you really want to become known for.
- Be consistent. Something else: Do what you say you’re going to do, show up when you say you’re going to show up, and deliver on what you pledge to deliver. This is crucial for how to be a good team leader, and it’s crucial for branding yourself effectively. Simply put, if you’re not consistent, the only thing you’ll be known for is your inconsistency!
Learn More About How to Be a Good Team Leader
A personal branding strategy can help you advance your career, and it can also help you offer effective team leadership. If you’d like to talk more about what branding yourself really means, I’d love to have that conversation. Reach out today and let’s talk. Contact me at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.
And don’t forget, my Solutions Oriented Leader book is now available to order online. In this first-of-a-kind, comprehensive guide, I’ll lead you through the everyday challenges of the modern workplace while providing you with easy-to-implement solutions to achieve world-class results!