Let’s talk about the importance of personal branding as a CEO. You probably hear the term batted about pretty often, but why is it useful? How does it help your business? And why do you need personal branding if your business already has a brand?
Well, here’s the tough love version from Rosanna, our CEO:
“Personal branding is critical to your online presence. And even your business’ success.
In my experience so far, developing my personal brand has won our company more business, championed my personal missions, found a new audience, and gained new employees at RecruitmentJunky too.”
And, to be even more honest, if you are active online, but don’t make any attempts to create a personal brand…we’re sorry, it already exists! It’s probably not doing much to sell yourself in a positive way.
Think about it this way – when you Google yourself, what comes up in the results? Whether you’re going on a date (you lucky devil) or a job interview, chances are someone will look you up online.
Are you going to let your current unchecked online reputation tell your story? Or do you want to take control of the narrative?
It’s option two, obviously.
So let’s dive right into the what, why, and how.
What is personal branding?
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
Branding used to be the term reserved for marketing businesses, but personal branding is now essential, given the rise of social media and the free gig economy. Both of which are only going to continue getting bigger.
So, simply put: personal branding is the process of establishing your online public persona. The unique combination of your experiences, skills, and values makes up who you are.
A strong personal brand can help you refine your authentic image online.
Why is personal branding as a CEO or business owner important?
We’ll stop ourselves right now – personal branding as a CEO is just as important as an employee creating a personal brand. Why?
- Recruiters often use social media to find suitable candidates. (We do at RecruitmentJunky as part of our headhunting!)
- A whopping 91% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. (Here’s your timely reminder to update your privacy settings on your Facebook, Instagram, and other personal social media profiles.)
- Oh – and your current employer is more than likely using social media to check in on you too!
We think that all companies should encourage all their employees to build strong personal brands. It’s good business!
Our CEO truly believes this and encourages all of us at RecruitmentJunky to build our brands (especially on LinkedIn), saying:
“When your staff are allowed to represent your company and themselves, it gives the company more exposure, as much as it develops them. It’s a win-win.”
Building your brand has many benefits, including:
- Increasing company visibility
- Attracting new customers or business by creating new connections
- Retaining customers and creating loyalty
- Raising awareness of your missions and values
- Differentiating you from the competition – showing your uniqueness and your story
- Opens up a new community of people for you to talk with
- Creates trust in you as a thought-leader
How do you start with personal branding as a CEO?
Richard Branson. Whitney Wolfe Herd. Gary Vaynerchuk. Lisa Seacat DeLuca. Alexandria-Oscasio Cortez.
Some pretty impressive names there, with equally stand-out impressive personal brands.
While we do recommend learning from the best. But sadly, creating a great personal brand doesn’t happen overnight.
Therefore, we suggest developing a good process for setting yourself up for success.
Let’s start with what makes up a strong personal brand. After looking at copious celebrity interviews, LinkedIn posts, and personal websites (all in the name of “research”, honestly…), we’ve refined it down to these key elements:
- A target audience (who will be interested in your post’s theme)
- An opinion or key message
- Personality and individual tone of voice
- Sharing your story or values
- Consistent posting
Your next step is to work out your answers to the above, and get posting!
Help – I really don’t know where to start now!
Okay, here’s a helpful exercise so you can start figuring out your personal brand:
CEO branding starts with determining what you want your core messages to be. When it comes to defining your personal brand, you should consider the different elements that make up yourself, such as your personality, your strengths, and weaknesses, and your vision and goals.
This can be hard to do from scratch, we suggest answering the below series of questions, which will help you decide what you want to be known for:
- Subjects or causes am I passionate about?
- Five words I would use to describe myself?
- What are my values?
- My hobbies/interests?
- Which areas of my career am I happy to talk about? What do I know about the industry I’m in?
These questions will help you narrow down what you want to talk about in your posts, and as a result will help you define what your personal brand will stand for.
Our other tips?
- Pick one social media site to start with. (Don’t overwhelm yourself or spread yourself too thin. Do one platform “well”, and then expand to others. We recommend starting with LinkedIn.)
- Don’t be afraid to start! (That’s where the majority of people fail.)
- Keep it simple. (Short sentences and easy to read words.)
- Develop your tone of voice. (Your posts should be authentic to you – write how you would speak, not how you think you should sound.)
- Plan ahead. (Write posts in advance where possible to save you from panicking.)
- Be consistent. (Post regularly, and don’t stop.)
- Interact with others (It’s a two-way street. Respond to comments on your posts, but also comment on others. It’s key to how you build your audience online.)
- Ask for help if you need it. (Consult with social media and personal branding experts. Or even someone good at writing. They can always give you tips on how you can improve your posts.)
If you’ve decided to take the leap and build your personal brand, well done – it’s an exciting time!
We invite you as your first (unofficial) step to expand your network with us! Connect with Rosanna on LinkedIn, and we even recommend connecting with Helen, our social media guru, for more personal branding tips.
8 Minute Read 06.04.22
How to hire the right remote talent for your business
Hiring remote workers has become increasingly popular over the last two years due to the pandemic. A...
7 Minute Read 14.04.22
How much can a bad hire really cost your business?
Let’s cut to it: you already know how crucial it is to build a strong team to ensure your company ...
10 Minute Read 06.05.22
5 tips on how to avoid making a bad hire
There is a lot of pressure surrounding hiring. You are likely already aware of the challenges you ma...