When most people hear the word “branding” they assume it has to do with advertising and marketing a business, not an individual. However, as the face of the company, a boss needs to brand themselves with as much care and attention to detail as they would their business. This personal brand must carry through into all interactions with clients and employees and needs to accentuate a person’s positive qualities and industry-specific strengths.
What are the main points to consider when branding yourself?
- Speak up! How will your employees and competitors know anything about you if you do not make yourself heard? Be thoughtful and considerate about what you say, but don’t consistently hold yourself back. If you are directing an entire company and group of employees, make yourself accessible, easy to talk to, and memorable. If you have the opportunity to speak publicly, go for it! To be known as a titan of your industry, you must push yourself into the spotlight and say something impactful.
- Stay consistent! Think about how a company brands itself in advertising – everything it pushes out follows a similar tone. You can do this too! No, this does not mean you have to remain cordial and upbeat when you are dealing with something awful or extremely trying at work (which, hopefully will never happen) but this does mean that you need to be mindful of your mannerisms, language, and general vibe in all business interactions. In time, people will begin to remember you as that woman/man who embodies their company and industry values in everything they do and in every word they speak.
- Be proactive! Sit down and make a list of traits that define your personal brand. Consider what is preferred in your industry and what your competitors are lacking in their interactions with clients and employees. What words, both positive and negative, have been floating around to describe other leaders in your network? Writing out these words, definitions and all, can help you solidify your brand. Think of terms such as accessible, innovative, or go-getter to name a few.
- Make an online impression! Brand yourself and solidify your message in emails and on professional social sites such as LinkedIn. Your profile icon should be a photo of you that exemplifies exactly who you want to be and demonstrates how you fit into your industry. You want to fit in with industry standards while also stepping out of the box and setting your image in stone. To do this, consider the phrasing you use in your profile. You want people to hold onto your words and remember what you have to say, and you can do this by sounding like your genuine, honest self. Implement this language into your email signature as well! It is crucial to brand yourself in your emails, since it is such a prominent channel of communication in the professional world.
Ultimately, your personal brand should help bring people to you, in every aspect. Both employees and consumers alike should have a reason to be loyal to you, and you can give them that!