Through our executive mentoring program, we have the opportunity to advise executives as they strive to enhance their personal brand. In an article from the Harvard Business Review, The Return of the Personal Brand, executive coach Gill Corkindale discusses how many executives understand the importance of developing a personal brand but are unsure of how to do it. As a result, Dinte Global Executive Search has developed a personal branding toolkit based on our experience assisting other executives with their personal brand enhancement:
Website/Blog: A website can serve as an online portfolio or resume. By owning yourname.com, you allow your experience to be found even if you aren’t actively looking for new opportunity. In addition, your social media sites can drive traffic to your website. Adding a blog to your website can also help you establish yourself as a thought leader. Blogging can either reaffirm your expertise in your current market or reposition your personal brand as a new thought leader in a new market.
LinkedIn: It is easy to use LinkedIn simply as an online database for your contacts. However, LinkedIn can also be used as an opportunity to promote your personal brand and expand your influence. LinkedIn status updates can be used to share your blog posts or any articles you find interesting and relevant to your career goals. In addition, by joining relevant groups, you can further expand your influence by contributing to discussions among other thought leaders.
Twitter: Like LinkedIn, you can use Twitter to share your blogs or interesting articles. Twitter also allows you to follow large companies, thought leaders, business trends, and breaking news you might not find in a LinkedIn group. You can also brand your Twitter page to reflect your personal brand page by searching for “custom Twitter backgrounds” online. Choose or create a background that reflects your professional interests or values.
Dress for Success: While it is always good practice to wear a suit to the first interview or business meeting, the type of suit and accessories may vary by organization. Arriving too over or under dressed may show you don’t understand your audience or their corporate culture. Remember to do your research so you can arrive at the meeting dressed to make a great first impression.
Speaking and Networking Opportunities: While your online profiles will help expand your reach, it is important to make sure your influence is not limited to the web. Join local professional organizations, attend conferences, and accept speaking opportunities to personally connect with your network. This time spent with people in person is what will ultimately lead to closing an important business deal or landing your next career opportunity.
Business cards: Everyone always has plenty of business cards to distribute at a work function or meeting but is it the right one? If you are between opportunities, looking to change careers, or want to be considered for consulting in a new industry, consider making a personal card that better reflects your experience related to your new career goals.
What other factors do you consider when reevaluating your personal brand?