Why personal branding matters to executives … and why their employers should support their efforts.

Personal branding has long been the chosen weapon in the communications’ arsenal of entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, influencers and entrepreneurs.

Although a tad late to the party, executives and the C-suite are now beginning to harness the power that personal branding provides.

They’re cottoning on the fact that it is one of the best mechanisms for positioning themselves as visible and credible experts … and that this is not only good for climbing the corporate ladder but more importantly, bringing in new business!

Let’s face it, when it comes to potential clients choosing which lawyer, accountant, architect, engineer or consultant they would prefer to work with, they are more likely to choose a recognised expert who regularly shares their deep knowledge and valuable insights on social media and elsewhere.

Bottom line, they choose people they know, like and trust and who they believe will do the best possible job for them.

But hang on … isn’t there a big risk to organisations who encourage and support their top executives grow their brands? Aren’t they making it easier for them to be headhunted or snapped up by recruiters or the opposition?

Yes, there certainly is that danger but as more and more organisations are discovering, the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Well executed, executive personal branding is not only good for the business bottom line (executives are bringing in more clients) but it has a powerful spill-over effect on the overall brand.

If executives are viewed by consumers and clients as trustworthy, credible and believable, by default so is the organisation itself.

In fact, research shows 82 percent of buyers say they are more willing to trust a company when its CEO and leadership team are active on social media.

Top tips for establishing a powerful executive brand

Clearly executive branding is not just an individual imperative but also a smart business tactic. But how should organisations help their executives build their brands and leverage these brands for the benefit of the company as a whole?

Better still, what can executives do to get started on their personal branding journeys?

Optimise your social media profile

If you are on LinkedIn (which is where most professionals and decision makers hang out) ensure you:

  • Update your profile and banner image to a professional image and graphic that accurately represents you and your brand as a professional.
  • Create a headline that does not simply regurgitate your job title. It should include all the right key words while also articulate what you do and the big value your provide to clients.
  • When it comes to the ABOUT section, ensure it accurately reflects your expertise.

Get clear on your demographic

Who is your ideal client? What industries are they from and what roles do they hold in their organisations? Also, what problems and challenges are they looking for answers to?

Having answers to these questions will enable you to develop relevant content that best meets the needs of your audience.

Choose a platform where your clients hang out

LinkedIn is by far the best social platform for executives looking to establish themselves as the go-to in their area of expertise.

With membership approaching one billion, it is also the most important platform to foster business relationships and tap into new audiences.

Create and share useful, valuable and insightful content on social media

Not only should your profile offer a window into your profession and position you as an authority in your field but so should your content.

  • Share your knowledge, thoughts and key take-outs on industry news and trends
  • Address your audience’s pain points and the gaps in their knowledge
  • Provide guidance and educate
  • Alert people to issues in the external environment
  • Provide tips and answer questions.
  • Even explain difficult concepts or provide clarity on issues which are often misunderstood.

Bottom line, your content should address issues that matter to your audience.

Go beyond social media

If you’re looking to build your executive brand, no need to stop at social media.

Speak at industry events and conferences, secure media exposure, join the board of an industry association, contribute an article to an industry magazine or start developing and leveraging your relationships with other C-Suite executives.

Parker Public Relations provides personal branding coaching and group LinkedIn workshops for senior executives, subject experts and the C-suite. While we work primarily with organisations, leaders and professionals from legal, accounting, management consulting, health and the environment we also work with work with organisations from across all sectors.

To find out more: Email wendy@parkerpublicrelations.com.au or call 0422694 503