Executive personal branding is crucial for professional networking and becoming a thought leader. By establishing your own solid professional executive brand, you will enforce your value as an organizational leader. The process will then unlock new possibilities for professional development.
Whether you seek to progress your career or turn around a damaged reputation, a sophisticated executive brand is essential to fulfilling your career objectives. More than being conscious of how others perceive you in your industry, organizational branding demands you view your profession as a craft that needs routine attention and focus.
The first thing you must remember is you are your brand. Your topic competency is an asset. Like the old cliche, “a tree falling in the forest without making a sound,” you need to publicize your messages to capitalize on your expertise.
However, this can advance your visibility and influence while also benefiting your employer’s brand and reach, so many companies invest in executive positioning for their leaders.
Whether you seek expert advice on your brand or someone in your company, rest assured that you will find the information you need below.
What is Executive Branding?
Often, we hear a joint statement from executives: “Social media does not apply to me.”
If you have found yourself saying these exact words, you should reconsider your positioning. When all, yes ALL, Fortune 500 CEOs are on LinkedIn and leveraging social media for their Executive Branding efforts, we will vigorously challenge that statement.
The truth is opting to not utilize social media as part of your Executive Branding strategy cries one or more of the following messages:
- I’m not sufficiently technology-savvy to use social media.
- I believe I am more clever than the remainder of the world.
- I maintain something to conceal.
In an age where admiration and respect for the C-suite are down, employing social media to manage your Executive Brand messaging is not optional. Engage or suffer the impacts!
Plus, executive search firms screen prospects with C-suite. Corporations employ executive search outfits instead of letting the world know there is an open job in the C-suite. These businesses contract recruiters who proactively investigate and contact likely candidates fit for the position. These residents exploit social media to locate executives observed as their industry’s “movers and shakers.”
They utilize the data they locate online to filter who to contact privately. If you have not optimized your social media presence, there is a likely chance you will not be on their index!
When it comes to you being reached directly by institutions for the most profitable roles in their C-suite, the solution is Executive Branding. Whether you want to write a best-selling book like Matt Sweetwood CEO of Greener Process Systems in the example tweet below or get on more stages as a speaker, a strong executive personal brand can help push you over the top.
It's hot… "Leader of the Pack" – the book, is #1 on Self-Help Amazon New Releases. And it now has 100+ 5-Star reviews. Check it out #LeaderofthePack #divorcediaries https://t.co/jYUUFehKAH pic.twitter.com/FH92rmdcU0
— Matt Sweetwood (@MSweetwood) May 5, 2018
How Does Executive Branding Work?
With Executive Branding, firms leverage the stickiness of content marketing and the reach of social media to distribute influential professional messaging.
In short, executive branding allows executives to attract the ideal opportunity. As a result, finding the right career move does not need to feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Instead, you can employ an Executive Branding campaign to acquire the most promising companies knocking on your door, inspirited and prepared to present your employment.
Why Should Executives Start Utilizing Executive Branding?
The most reasonable element of investing in Executive Branding is short-term and long-term advantages. Each Executive Branding movement results from a collection of digital acquisitions. As you develop content, popularity will also grow over time in search engines like Google and Bing. The more often executives employ Executive Branding best practices, the sooner they discover themselves fielding headhunter phone calls, and the calls will improve over time.
Why Aren’t More Executives Using Personal Branding?
In my understanding, there are five explanations why executives have not started using Executive Branding yet:
- Do not comprehend how to create an Executive Branding campaign effectively.
- They believe that a sharp Executive Personal Branding campaign will require too much labor.
- Think the monetary barrier to entry is too high.
- Believe the corporate brand is all that matters.
- Executive marketing is not part of my job.
Well, not only are Executive Branding campaigns effortless to produce, they are remarkably inexpensive too. You can obtain the institution and promotion of an Executive Branding campaign for less than the cost of a week’s salary.
A successful personal brand won’t hurt your chances of being noticed by recruiters, executive search firms, key decision-makers, clients, event hosts, and the media!
Most leaders’ most significant challenge to personal branding or executive positioning is getting started. Therefore, this is particularly true for leaders who do not have the full-time support of a paid PR agency.
Also, many discover they do not have an in-house communications team to deliver advice, ghostwriting, messaging, consultation, and event schedules.
General thought leadership support is necessary to get ahead as an executive.
However, companies that invested in their employees’ personal branding initiatives found that employees were 40% more likely to think about the competitiveness of their employer.
If you are a communications leader yourself, it is even more crucial to get out there and construct your brand. Positioning will demonstrate your credibility and capability to accomplish it for others.
Building a Successful Executive Personal Brand
To have a recognizable personal brand, executives need to be strong in the following pillars of influence.
1) Great content and communication skills. Educate and entertain with your content.
2) Your social media must be active, contain fantastic imagery, and you must be active in growing a community, not just adding followers.
3) Execs need to be getting featured in the media. 3rd party validation is everything these days. Getting in the media gives you can’t credibility you can’t get anywhere else. However, this includes getting quoted as an expert in interviews on TV, radio, and podcasts.
4) Your online presence via Google. What happens when people Google your name? What do theIt’snd out about you? It’s hard to claim thought leader status if you don’t have many credible sources when they Google you and your company brand.
Start by Defining Your Executive Brand
Select a couple of subjects or articles describing your current expertise areas. Consider how positioning would transition you from now to where you would like to be.
If you require assistance specifying subjects, consider the dream job you often fantasize about. What would your responsibilities be in this position in the next few years? How would you like your network of peers to think of you? What are your career goals?
Discuss these aspects on social media and work towards making that dream a reality.
Evaluate your work history, background, certifications, and the things your network asks you for help with. Then, you will most likely begin observing a pattern.
Then, initiate sharing content connected to those matters, forming a uniform storyline for yourself.
For most business professionals, your brand and executive positioning will relate to how you make a living, such as marketing, diversity, inclusion, or IT, versus personal interests and passions.
However, you can just as easily position yourself as an avid traveler, architectural designer, or even a cupcake connoisseur. The way you decide to weave your narrative up to you. Your professional brand should include the items you are passionate about in your life. Doing so is becoming more common as leaders increasingly champion social issues.
Strive for authenticity and relatability by conveying glances of your personal life as part of your personal branding strategy. People want to connect and do business with other humans. While don’t overdo it, showing glimpses of your personal life can help paint you as someone relatable and easy to do business with.
Demonstrate Executive Presence on Social Media
If you are a business professional, it’s not enough to have a LinkedIn profile. You need to be active on the platform and create content that reaches your target audience. With that in mind, you don’t have to be on all the social media platforms, just the right ones. Think about where your audience lives online, and that’s where you want to show up consistently with great comments on others’ posts.
Modernize your profile with your present position and headshot, and complete all sections. Then, contribute content at least once a week on LinkedIn and other social media channels.
Depending on the audience you are attempting to acquire. Work up to publishing content at least daily. Unite your network on social media to improve the number of your followers. As you receive followers, tag your network.
As you create content for social media posts, utilize general best practices to build a strong personal brand. Increase interest by using photos, videos, memes, GIFs, links, and hashtags in your conversations. Doing so will help you elevate to industry leader status.
Track influencers, industry authorities, and recognized experts, particularly in the areas you desire to be known. Monitor and discover how the operation of their posts. Experiment with your posts to notice what functions best for you and produce similar content in your social network.
Engage, Promote, and Create Content
Consider starting a personal website. Many business leaders have a personal website these days.
The most significant challenge for many leaders is knowing what to post. Writing original long-form thought leadership blog posts or recording videos can seem daunting and impossible to many.
If you are up to developing complex material, go for it. Assemble your personal blog or videos. Post on no-cost platforms, and share on social network platforms.
Contribute content to your organization’s website or partner sites if your association has a budget for executive positioning for employees. Entertain the idea of spending money on promotional opportunities.
However, this could be native promotion and authored posts or paid social media promoting your posts.
If you are not there yet, that is ok. Soon you will be a visible expert. But first, begin by curating suitable content and sharing it on social media, adding your unique spin to the topic.
Examples include sharing relevant news, job opportunities, professional or personal milestones, and trends, especially those that tie in with your chosen themes. Be personable and human as well.
Take your brand next level by posting your photos of a coffee meet-up with a colleague or client. Celebrate your team, partners, and network and comment on their posts. When you engage others, they will likely engage back.
To have a successful personal brand doesn’t mean self-promotion. Focus instead on creating helpful content that shows how your knowledge and expertise can benefit your target audience. Make the content about helping and solving business problems people in your space may have.
How does PR Help Executive Branding?
Public relations or PR are techniques and strategies implemented to manage information about an individual or company to the public.
When it comes to building a brand, PR should never be taken lightly.
PR is increasingly about communicating credibility with critical audiences
Once you have customer interest, you have an executive brand worth further developing. Your PR will need to drive interest, trust, and loyalty toward your targeted audience.
What are the search results when other business professionals your name? With PR, you can control the narrative about what’s being said about you in the media and ensure that positive results come up when people search for you online. Having a compelling personal brand is driven by how others perceive you.
“Publicity is critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad,” Richard Branson.
Leverage Events and Memberships
Share connections from trade shows and photos if you are talking at an event or just observing. If the event is virtual, then share screenshots. Capture appropriate speaker quotations or compelling trends or statistics. Utilize the event hashtag to participate in discussions and ensure that other attendees can locate and follow you: tag attendees, the event organizer, and other speakers. Public speaking is one of the best ways to demonstrate your thought leadership and get in front of a captive audience within your niche.
If you’re helping on a board or advisory body, share the event’s updates. Ask the association to tag you in their updates or consider contributing a quote for their social media. You could also provide an article for their communications.
Always think about how you can add value to your relationships and professional life. The perception of value will naturally have people who want to talk about the value you added to their group.
The same applies to association memberships. Share exciting news and industry updates along with your partnership with the organization. The better you construct your brand and executive presence, the more speaking invitations and group requests you will receive.
At the end of the day, personal branding and positioning are not only for executives. Building your brand is a journey throughout your career to reach your professional goals. Evit’sne needs to consider this. And thankfully, with our help, it’s easy to get started today.