“A personal brand is valuable only if it is positioned correctly. If there is no market, then the brand is worthless or at the veryleast, diminished in value (Who wants the best-made, mostattractive dial phones anymore?)Executives should focus their efforts to gain maximumexposure to their target market. Determine where thesedecision-makers linger and gain presence in their actualand virtual worlds. The goal is not just to be there but toestablish credibility and develop trust in your abilities inorder to promote a warm personal relationship that mightbe taken offline – resulting in referrals, recommendations,mentoring, exchanging ideas, mutual support, access tocoveted leads, etc.This is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. You canaccelerate the results by starting off in the right placesand communicating a consistent, focused and compellingmessage. Remember that personal branding is intended todifferentiate individuals, to distinguish among competitors,and demonstrate to employers and colleagues that someone isremarkable. In turn, the benets are generating a memorablepositive impression that will be etched on contacts’ radarscreens and will be recalled at opportune moments, enablingthat branded professional to access appropriate leads and beconnected to potential sources of career and personal progress,now and in the future.”
—Debra FelDman, executive talent agent, career management
“The following are ve key components on personal brandingthat I learned from reading Sherri Thomas’ book,
Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand.
Core Values: What drives you the most? (Even from anon-business perspective.)
Passions: What really excites you?
Personal Characteristics/Differentiators: Are you a leader,follower, creative, analytical, etc?
Signature Talents: What are you absolutely great at? (I amgreat at event planning; I create great marketing plans; Ianalyze nancials very well; I launch new products well.)
Successes: What accomplishments are you most proud of?(They tend to highlight the other things, but also serve asexamples that typify your personal brand and what you bringto the table.)”
—ranDal gustaFson, managing Director,strategic marketing consulting
“I think personal brands are extremely important. We haveentered the age when a person no longer works for a companyfor an extended period. We are more or less contractors to thecompanies for which we work. We provide a service, and theyprovide income and benets. The average tenure is less than four years. So you now are your most important product. Ask any HRperson and they will tell you that they use the Internet to ndand validate potential employees.There are a number of things that can be done to promote your brand:
Keep a personal blog and/or a personal website.
Get on Facebook, LinkedIn, Naymz and Jigsaw.
Comment on other people’s blogs.
Publish e-articles or an e-book.
Get on the agenda of local industry groups, or a committee.Just like any good marketing program, you need to thinkthrough what you want your brand to represent, and make sure you keep a consistent look and feel. Over time, you want peopleto associate a specic thought with who you are. This is the trendin the new job market – the more recognizable the brand, thehigher the premium.”
—tomme stevenson, FounDer anD PrinciPal, businessDeveloPment consulting
“Your introduction on ExecuNet is your brand. I suggest you startwith it, and see if it describes you as a professional. It has a gooddeal of what you have done; now you need to turn that intofuture tense. Give it a try and post it here.”
—DaviD Wit, general manager, HosPitality
“I use several social media platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter,Plaxo) to build my personal brand and nurture my network.However, I have found the combination of a thought-leadershipblog on LinkedIn and Twitter to be very effective at increasing mypersonal ‘searchability’ on Google.”
—alan see, vice PresiDent oF marketing, it
“I nd that by participating in targeted networking groups,volunteering for committee work and maintaining high visibilityamongst your peer group, you’ll get the name recognitionrequired for branding yourself.”
—stePHen smitH, PrinciPal, arcHitectural/engineering
LESSONS FROM LEADERS
“I would like to start to develop my own personal brand and was interested if others have done it and whatresources they used.”
—Debra santolini, manager oF marketing oPerations, liFe sciences