People often ask about the risk of raising their profile. After all, as Warren Buffet says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

So, why is it worth building your personal brand, and how do you build it?

Your personal brand is what distinguishes you from others – it defines who you are, the contribution you make to your profession, and why you will be a valuable addition to a company or a Board.

Your personal brand statement

One way to start developing your personal brand is by creating your ‘elevator pitch’ or personal brand statement outlining who you are, what you stand for, and what you contribute through your professional life.

 Imagine being introduced as a new team member or a speaker at a public event – what would you like them to say about you?

Be authentic

Authenticity is key, as is being well prepared and minimising the risks. This could be by undertaking media coaching or reviewing your digital footprint. If you don’t have a lot of time, you might choose to be on just one social media platform. That way you can check it often and keep it up to date.

You need to make mindful decisions about how and where you position yourself – take a long view and don’t take part if it doesn’t feel right.

Seek opportunities and create content

What issues are you passionate about and have deep expertise in? Where can you contribute to public conversations on these issues?

Once you are clear about your brand proposition, the next step is to seek opportunities to communicate with a broader audience. This could be through contributing to organisations you are a member of, participating in a conference panel or podcast, or writing an opinion piece or guest columns for online, print or social media.

Think about what your audiences want and what you hope will happen, such as gaining influence in your industry or attracting the interest of future employers.

In summary:

  • Craft a personal brand statement that sums up your expertise
  • Be authentic and credible
  • Seek opportunities to increase your engagement – both online and offline
  • Create original content such as social media posts and guest columns, and comment on topical issues within your expertise

Cannings has deep experience in creating and building profiles for business leaders. We offer an eight-week bespoke service for emerging board members and business leaders who want to develop their profile. Get in touch today: [email protected]