Build a brand that opens doors and ignites trust
Strong personal brands both attract and repel.
Similar to a company using a brand story to help market a product, stories are important for a leader’s personal brand.
We tell our clients when positioning yourself in front of a decision-maker, ask yourself this question. What can I do for the company? Solve a problem, save money, or make money?
But the fact is, this is just a piece of the puzzle. You need to also ask, who am I? What got me to this point? What motivates me? What goals do I have?
The fact is your brand speaks for you when you aren’t in the room and there are so many different things you can do to continuously work on amplifying and optimizing your brand.
Ideally, you become the go-to person for your expertise, knowledge, and promise of value. These steps will help open up conversations with others that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
We have put together a list of 51 for you to consider for your own brand.
Build an archive of branding assets
1. Create a branded resume that will open doors
2. Build a simple, but branded website to display your accomplishments
3. Create a logo or monogram for yourself. Incorporate it into your resume, branded assets, email signature, etc.
4. Have a board bio
5. Have a selection of case studies as leave-behinds or attachments for introduction emails
6. Create an elevator pitch
7. Build a library of soundbites (voice recordings) discussing your signature stories and/or topics relevant to your value and experience
8. Optimize your LinkedIn profile
9. Optimize your Twitter profile
10. Create a platform wherever it makes sense for your brand (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.)
11. Start a networking campaign (and keep track!)
12. Share a personal post now and then where you have a social media presence. People connect with real-life moments
13. Create a herd online. Engage with others and deliver your signature stories consistently and frequently. Post in groups where your target market is gathering.
14. Set a Google alert for yourself for your name
Showcase your expertise
15. Write a book—no time? Hire a ghostwriter
16. Write an article on LI
17. Write an article or guest blog for an organization that is in line with your goals
18. Offer editorial opinions for newspapers
19. Contribute to your company’s newsletter
20. Research authors speaking on topics relevant to your expertise. Nurture the relationship and let them know you would be honored to share some input in their book.
21. Regularly speak on a podcast where it is relevant to share your expertise (Get Hired Up! is an option)
22. Regularly speak at a conference or give a keynote
23. HARO. Help A Reporter Out is an excellent resource for being published in various outlets
24. Nominate yourself for relevant awards
Build strategic relationships
25. Establish relationships with TV reporters
26. Mentor others
27. Engage a mentor
29. Attend conferences where the audience is reflective of your target market
30. Attend an event where other invitees will be important decision-makers for your targeted goals
31. Pick up the phone and have a conversation with 2 people each week in your network. It doesn’t need to be a pitch. It could be as simple as, “I wanted to call and check in with you…”. You never know where the conversation might lead
32. Ask 3 friends, 3 family members, and 3 colleagues for their assessment of your top 3 skills or competencies and get them to provide an example (look for themes)
33. Keep in touch with the alumni association through your school. Share updates in their magazine if applicable
34. Schedule quarterly one-on-one meetings with your board and teams to deepen relationships
35. Meet with your internal supply chain or service providers quarterly to conduct a brand audit
36. Host a private invitation-only gathering for building your centers of influence. If you’re not an outgoing social person, delegate it to someone else, but make sure you attend
37. Recognize your people regularly for work well-done and best efforts
Establish an executive presence
38. Adopt a personal style that correlates with your brand. For example, if you wear bright red glasses, incorporate that into your logo or monogram
39. Hire a personal stylist
40. Hire a voice coach
41. Create something new for your board. Take on an unpopular project and own it. For example, as a CEO, perhaps the board books need to be improved
42. Adopt one of the key values of your organization and own it (be the go-to person). This might be safety, employee engagement, community and giving back, etc.
43. Use the language of leadership. For example, rather than talking about employees and operations, talk about the marketplace internally as well as externally
44. Have a unique point of view on the topics that matter to you
45. A picture says a thousand words. Have your assistant take photos while you are at events
Build your knowledge base
46. Take a course outside your industry or niche to gain perspective
47. Take leadership assessments such as DISC, 360Reach, etc. This will help with clarity around your preferred work environment and will provide you with verbiage for your branding assets
48. Take an improv class (our Digital Marketing Manager would be happy to discuss the benefits of improv with you)
49. Create a vision board for yourself
50. Be well informed, read five front-page newspapers a day (at least). Be well read
51. Hire a branding consultant to help you conquer all of the above
For aspiring CEOs, C-levels, and business leaders
Learn about the Career Navigator Program (CNP) now in its eleventh year. Jump-start your C-level trajectory with a proven process and framework used by thousands. And, leverage the global labor market by uncovering a powerful brand that will speak on your behalf in front of organizations who don’t know about you. A powerful brand speaks for you when you’re not in the room and thrives during an economic downturn because strong personal brands weather difficult times.
For CHROs, private equity funds, and boards of directors
Learn about the C-Suite Optimization Program (CSOP), which is designed to help your new CEO onboard safely and effectively thereby protecting your investment in the new leader. By doing so, you will reinforce your business plans early and help the CEO make the kinds of rapid and decisive moves that help foster success in the long term.
Get in touch
If Westgate can serve as a resource to your board, we’d be happy to explore with you. Drawing on 25 years’ corporate experience and serving organizations in the United States and Canada, Westgate Executive Branding is a 100% independent firm with no affiliations with recruitment or outplacement firms. Schedule a confidential conversation with our Client Success Strategist, Maddison Shears at firstname.lastname@example.org.