I did my first ever FaceBook live post last week and despite the amount of public speaking that I do it was nerve-wracking. I found that I had to get used to videoing myself and had to drown out the little voice that was saying “Isn’t this somewhat narcissistic”. Anyway, having got over that it made me think about why it seemed so strange. We live in an age where building a Personal Brand is critical, especially for leaders. It can often feel like selling or like we’re faking it when in fact it’s none of those things.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal Branding has become so important. If you want to build a business, be an entrepreneur or simply share a message with the world. Personal Branding is not about selling. Nor is it about ‘Faking It till You Make It‘. It’s about connection. People want to know who you are.
It’s no-longer enough to have a business card or a website that simply tells your clients the services you offer. People want to be able to communicate with you. They want to connect; especially if they’re going to spend their hard-earned cash/time with you. Ironically, in a world where we have so much technology that allows us to communicate we seem to be lacking in ‘real talk’ and so have little connection.If Personal Branding is about connection then it goes beyond just how you look on and off-line. It’s about who you really are – including your character and your values. I love how Matt Sweetwood in the Entrepreneur defines it:
… a powerful, attractive and visible personal brand. I define that as an online and in-person authentic display of the engaging aspects of your professional and personal activities and interests.
The key is authenticity. You have to be able to ‘back-up’ your image no matter how passionate you are. So ‘Faking it Till you Make It can’t be the order of the day!
If you are a leader your personal brand is always on display. Your team watch how you deal with things, especially in crisis. They watch to see if you are technically competent, as well as you treat others, to determine what sort of leader you are. And whether you are effective or not.
Benefits of building a Personal Brand
As a leader choosing to deliberately build your personal brand also helps build your leadership capacity as:
- You regularly reflect on what sort of leader you want to be, and so search out and welcome feedback
- You take a voyage of ‘self-discovery’ without it you cannot find your authentic voice. Authenticity builds trust with people. This is key as people leave managers, not jobs.
- You learn not to take yourself too seriously!
Take some time this week to reflect on your own personal brand, how do you show up as a leader?
Are you happy with how you show up? If not what will you do about it?
Feel free to get in touch to see if I can help you in your leadership journey.
Have a great weekend.