In today’s business landscape, personal branding has bridged chasm between the basketball court and the board room.
The emergence of social media, live streaming video, and the popularity of entrepreneurship have turned successful and bold executives into house-hold names and icons, just like all-star athletes. Names like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Cuban, and Richard Branson are discussed at dinner tables across the world.
As an executive, there’s never been a better time to start building a personal brand and become a well-known thought leader in your industry. Most companies are behind the curve when it comes to positioning their executives as thought leaders in their space, which creates a huge opportunity for you to get a head-start on your competition.
Here’s 7 reasons why building a personal brand is important as an executive at your company.
Why is a Personal Brand Important for an Executive?
1) Talent Acquisition
Having a quality personal brand as an executive can help attract higher-quality talent.
If you’re a notable thought leader in your industry, it will be easier to fill open positions, and you will get better, smarter people in those positions, faster. People will seek out positions at your company for the opportunity to be mentored by you, or just to be apart of building something with you.
Just one notable executive can create this kind of pull from the talent pool. Imagine what would happen if multiple people from your executive team were well-known and respected within your industry. You’d have people beating down your door to work for your company.
2) Brand awareness for you and your company – win-win!
Once you get some substance under your personal brand, you will start to get all kinds of requests that will help spread awareness not only your personal brand, but also the brand of your company. Interviews, speaking gigs, media requests, etc. all will start coming in which will give you an opportunity to tell your company’s story and share your expertise.
A single executive from your company, building a personal brand can generate a big impact on your business. Imagine if multiple executives were each building a personal brand, how big of an impact that would have?
If each person on your executive team started writing one 600-2000 word, high-quality blog post per week, and you put just $2,000 per month in marketing (behind all of the posts collectively), for the next 12 months – you wouldn’t even recognize your company a year from now. It’s a simple strategy that’s easier said than done, but I bet you if an executive team committed to that strategy and executed it over 12 months, they would see tremendous results.
3) Greater Respect (Within company and within Industry)
Not only does building a personal brand and becoming a thought leader in your industry generate more respect for your personal brand, but that respect also translates to your company as well. As an executive of your company, you are an extension of the company’s brand whether you want to be or not.
As you gain more respect as a thought leader in your industry, the overall perception of your company will be positively impacted as well. Not only will your personal brand help increase the public perception of your company, but you will also be more respected and have more influence within the walls of your own company as well.
4) Additional revenue streams for your company
There are several ways that you can leverage your personal brand to make your company money. This is a great angle to think about and take if you’re able to get your company to help fund marketing your personal brand.
One essential piece of building and maintaining a personal brand is creating content. Whether it’s a tweet, blog, vlog, podcast, there’s an opportunity to add messaging and a call-to-action in your content to generate organic leads for your company.
Another great way to add a revenue stream to your company is to have a couple executives co-author a book that the company finances. If you work for a large organization, your company could finance a copy of the book for all of your employees, and you could offer a subsidized copy of the book to your existing customer base. Not only would you probably be able to take a deduction (talk to a CPA) for the books bought, but you could easily hit the best-sellers list as well.
Once you’ve written a book, it’s super easy to get speaking engagements. This is another way to spread brand awareness and generate leads, or, you could possibly even be offered a paid speaking gig, and that alone could generate revenue for your company.
5) Job security
When you have an established personal brand that’s pulling in extra leads and revenue for your company, you weave yourself into the fabric of the business more-so than other executives. This doesn’t make you invincible, but it definitely adds an extra layer of job security for yourself.
Things may be going well right now, but it’s always good to have as much leverage as possible.
If a company is forced to make let one person go on the executive team, and they have to make a tough decision between one person who doesn’t have a personal brand, and the other who’s personal brand generates leads and sales each month, who do you think is more likely to be on the chopping block?
6) Get paid more
Whether you’re able to negotiate a higher salary at your current company, or you get a better offer from somewhere else, building your own personal brand will increase your income over the next 10 years.
If you’re looking for a new executive position, and you don’t have a personal brand, you’re at a disadvantage. A personal brand is a requirement in the executive job market today. If you do have enough of an established reputation and track-record to land an executive position without a nicely packaged personal brand, you’re leaving money on the table when it comes time to negotiate that new salary.
A personal brand will give you some tangible leverage when negotiating your executive salary. If you come to the table with 20,000 followers on Twitter, and 30,000 likes Facebook, you’ll be in a stronger position to command a higher salary.
7) You’ve got an advantage – use it!
Starting your personal brand while working as an executive should give you a huge advantage over someone starting out as an independent consultant, entrepreneur, or business owner. Your company brand will elevate your personal brand right out of the gates – not taking advantage of that is silly. As you build substance under your personal brand, it should in turn elevate the company brand and there should be a nice feeling of synchronicity between your personal brand and the company brand overall.
There are a lot of creative ways that a company can benefit from an executive’s personal brand. It’s a great idea to get creative and find way that your company can leverage your personal brand. Align building your personal brand with achieving other corporate objectives and make the case for the company putting marketing dollars behind your personal brand. That way, even if your company is reaping the major benefits and profits from your personal brand for right now, your company is investing their resources into your personal brand, building you a personal asset that you can leverage in the future.
It goes without saying… If you ever leave, your personal brand goes with you.
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