Standing out isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.
And in competitive markets that are increasingly oversaturated, selling a good product or providing a valuable service is simply not enough to live on its own.
Building a personal brand involves creating a unique professional identity and coherent message that sets you apart from others in your field.
Therefore making personal branding an essential tool for executives, busy professionals, and entrepreneurs.
Keep reading and you’ll soon have a clearer understanding of personal branding, the steps to build one, and how to leverage it to enhance your productivity and success.
Why is personal branding important for executives?
A personal brand is a unique identity that sets you apart from others in your field. Essentially, you are standing out from the competition. It is what makes you memorable and valuable to potential employers, clients, and partners. Personal branding is crucial for executives because it helps establish a positive image, demonstrate expertise, and build credibility and authority. It also aids in networking and opens up new opportunities for career advancement.
What are the key elements of a strong personal brand?
The key elements of a strong personal brand include a clear value proposition, a consistent message with professional credibility, and a unique personality that sets you apart from others in your field.
Have a clear value proposition
A clear value proposition shows your audience what you have to offer. Do you know a topic better than anyone else? Are you able to make it seem approachable and less intimidating to the everyday person? What about your skills are valuable to others? Let it be known what you have to offer, and why it is of value to others.
Share a consistent message with credibility
Having a consistent message is what helps people remember you. It will solidify your presence in your niche over time. What’s more, as a professional, attaining credibility is important because it’s what makes you reputable. The goal is to have people reference you as an expert in your field.
Showing your unique personality
And finally, a unique personality is what keeps people wanting to come back to you; it plays a large role in growing your following. If you are on social media, try not to copy what you see others doing and follow through with what feels authentic to you. Let your personality shine through!
How can an EA help with personal branding?
An Executive Assistant (EA) can play a significant role in personal branding and strengthening an image. While you are focusing on growing your business, your EA can manage your online presence, organize networking events, and handle communication with stakeholders.
This also means that the narrative is partially in their hands. Meet with them ahead of time to establish guidelines that work best for your brand so that there’s consistency and authenticity amongst all platforms, interactions, and spaces.
What mistakes should be avoided when building a personal brand?
When building a personal brand, many people fail to maintain consistency. It’s important to know that committing to promoting your brand in nuanced ways — like being aware of how you show up in real life spaces, streamlining your own social media presence, etc. — is just as important as all of the other pillars in your business.
Also, if you don’t clearly define your unique selling proposition, you could be costing yourself clients that want legitimacy. A clear purpose makes it easy for customers and clients to trust you and commit to your business.
Neglecting your online audience is also a big miss! And this one is easy to check off. Make sure you are responding to people interacting with your content online — this could be with Instagram comments, Twitter mentions, and any sort of public question. A great example of this is fast food chain Wendy’s Tweet replies. They’re informative, witty, and totally on brand.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to avoid inauthenticity. Trying to be someone else is first of all not sustainable, but most importantly, not fair to those that follow you. Give them the real you — they’ll most likely prefer that anyway. Your audience isn’t expecting you to be one specific thing, so it’s okay to show them your multifaceted truth.
How to build your personal brand: A step-by-step guide
Building a personal brand doesn’t happen overnight; it requires strategy, consistency, and time. The good news is, if you begin today, you’ll be one step ahead of where you were yesterday. Here is a mini seven-step guide to get you started:
1. Define your unique value proposition
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is what sets you apart from others. It’s your distinct blend of skills, experience, and personality. Think about what you do better than anyone else and make this the foundation of your personal brand. You can begin by asking yourself: What are your unique strengths, skills, and experiences? What do you stand for? Overtime, honing those answers will lead to a streamlined identity.
2. Identify your target audience
Your personal brand should resonate with a specific group of people — your target audience. These are the people who will benefit the most from your expertise and the ones you want to influence.
3. Craft your personal brand statement
Your personal brand statement is a concise declaration of your UVP and target audience. It should be clear, memorable, and consistently communicated across all professional touchpoints.
4. Build your online presence
Your online presence is a significant part of your personal brand. Create a personal brand platform — this could include a website, blog, social media profiles, or even a LinkedIn — ensuring all online platforms reflect your personal brand statement. And don’t be afraid to share your story. Tell the world about your journey, your accomplishments, and your passions on these corners of the internet.
5. Network intentionally
Networking allows you to demonstrate your personal brand in action. But networking is more than just meeting people at as many different events as you can.
In the world of personal branding, quality trumps quantity. It’s better to have a few meaningful interactions that align with your brand than many off-brand interactions. Actively seek out individuals who align with your professional goals, understand your brand, and challenge you to become better. Remember to always follow up with potentially valuable relationships that you want to foster.
6. Consistently communicate your brand
Consistency is key in personal branding. Ensure every interaction you have, both online and offline, reinforces your personal brand statement. This is why it is important to be authentic. When you are being true and real, it is easy to represent yourself.
7. Regularly review and refine your brand
Your personal brand should evolve as you do. Regularly review and refine it to ensure it stays relevant and true to who you are. Keep in mind that building a personal brand takes time — stay patient and be consistent. This is a long-term investment and the most successful people never stop learning. Make a commitment to continuous learning and improvement, and your personal brand will benefit.
Start Building Your Personal Brand Today
Building a successful personal brand involves defining your unique value proposition, identifying your target audience, crafting a personal brand statement, building an online presence, networking intentionally, consistently communicating your brand, and regularly reviewing and refining your brand. With the right approach and an EA to support you, your personal brand can become a powerful tool for success.
If you’re an executive who is looking to build your personal brand, consider hiring an executive assistant (EA) to help you out. An EA can free up your time so that you can focus on the things that matter most to you. They can help you to create a strong and consistent personal brand that will help you to achieve your goals, all while working with you to ensure your voice is coming through.
Each week at Persona, we vet thousands of assistants from around the globe. We then select and match the top talent with busy professionals like yourself.