According to a survey by Forbes, 70% of professionals believe they have defined their personal brand and 50% believe they are living it but in fact after greater analysis the report states that less than 15% of executives have actually defined their personal brand and less than 5% are actually living it at work on a consistent basis.
The gap is because too many professionals believe self-promotion is personal branding when in fact developing a personal brand requires a commitment to advance themselves by delivering value to others.
Every time an individual is interacting with the community, whether internally at a meeting, staff event, ceremony or other or externally at a conference, exhibition, meeting or other event, corporate leaders must be aware of other’s perceptions of them and be able to influence what they want others to experience about them.
And in today’s fast moving social economy, every corporate leader must maintain a dynamic, fluid and unique profile and look to be viewed as an authority in their chosen field in order to stay relevant and provide an emotional connection for stakeholders.
A CEO’s reputation is critical to the success of a company. In a recent survey, PR company Burson Marsteller found that 95% of those surveyed decided whether or not to invest in a company based on the reputation of the CEO.
Furthermore, 93% would recommend a company as a good strategic or merger partner and 88% would recommend a company as a good place to work.
Crafting an impressive, personal brand requires a comprehensive investment in personal appearance, personality development, communications ability including relevant content development and strategy to social media activities initiated across the ecosystem.
This can be a real challenge for busy executives as it requires a thorough understanding of one self, high levels of self-awareness, the ability to accept personal recommendations and action those recommendations.
There are 5 key steps to building that brand and they are:
1) Carry out a personal audit that includes a perception audit of yourself with key target markets – so in the case of the CEO of a financial institution that would mean retail, corporate and private wealth management. A review of current content and style and platforms used for distribution and value offerings as well as potential new areas to develop.
2) Clearly define what is your brand and what you stand for (your values), and what is required to deliver those values, the tools and platforms to be used and the strategic content to be created.
3) After analysis of the findings, map out a strategy to best communicate the brand including what content is to be created and for which constituents, where distributed and across which platforms and to determine the relevant events and speaking engagements and how your brand is to be managed.
4) Implementation of above strategy, sharing of achievements, victories, activities, developments and creation and sharing of content and the utilization of marketing tools to ensure important content reaches the first two pages of search engine results.
5) Continually measure and improve.
In an increasingly competitive world where even the smallest advantage can give you an edge over your competition, it makes sense to invest in you, your brand.