Developing a Personal Branding Strategy
Part 2 of our series on personal branding for executives involves developing a personal branding strategy. Having discussed ideas for self-assessment, understanding how people perceive ‘you’ and gaining direct feedback from line management (or executives), we looking at developing personal branding strategy. This involves setting objectives, prioritising career development goals and overcoming barriers to success.
Setting Personal Branding Objectives
Setting personal branding objectives is largely compatible with developing long-term career goals. An inherent part of career development is identifying key skills or areas for improvement required for fulfilling specific roles or gaining progression. This often involves evaluating inner motivations, strengthens and weaknesses to achieve progression. Very often there are behaviours, specific skills and personal qualities that need refining, so it is a matter of identifying those areas likely to make the most difference as part of a career development plan and consequently as a means of improving personal branding. Clearly focusing on key elements often ensures plans can often be achieved much quicker.
Prioritising Personal Branding Objectives
Prioritising career development goals and personal branding actions is important by ensuring short, medium and long-term plans are achieved. Being committed to a successful career and maintaining an important focus can change personal brand image as a highly motivated, proactive and engaging person should emerge who stands out from other colleagues. It will also help to develop a more consistent approach over a longer period of time with an established set of behaviours (norms) and favourable perceptions from others to reinforce a positive brand image.
For instance, wearing a suit and being smartly dressed can quickly change perceptions and indicate a professional approach, which can be a quick win. Developing skills expertise, confidence for managing larger scale projects, making contributions to the wider business , gaining achievements and establishing a successful career track record will take longer to achieve, but are all key elements of personal branding, especially if looking to progress to the very highest level within organisations.
Overcoming challenges, reconciling perceived weaknesses and taking a long-term approach will often yield positive changes in personal branding, though it can take time for perceptions to change. Continue to gain feedback from colleagues and line management (or executives) to make refinements for gradually improving personal brand awareness as skills, personal qualities and ways of doing business will gradually become more influential and prominent over time. Also, align oneself to company culture, ways of engaging with people and positive role models who have been successful in their careers to reinforce managerial (or executive) behaviours.
Developing a Personal Branding Strategy – Conclusion
Developing an effective personal branding strategy is very often aligned to self-improvement and wider career development plans. A key success factor is having a strong career focus, clear objectives and long-term vision, which inherently impacts on motivation, commitment and positive behaviours that underpin core elements of personal branding. See our other articles in the personal branding series.