With the new year upon us, it is a good time to take stock of your Personal Branding strategy. Is it time to up your game? With that in mind, here are some important trends in Personal Branding to take into account when mapping your strategy.
- Video Dominates
The increasing ease of video production means you can’t avoid this critical aspect of personal branding anymore. From longer format mission statements and bios to vlogs to short format posts – some sort of video needs to be a part of your strategy. Luckily, the range of formats and the broad choices in what you can say and how you can appear on video means that there is a content style out there that will feel more comfortable for you. Video takes practice and regular updating to remain relevant and engaging. If you haven’t included video in your personal branding strategy, the time to start is now. Here is a short article on starting a video blog.
Podcasts are another format that is becoming increasingly dominant. As with video, people are choosing the length, style, and content that best suit their personal brand strategy. Podcasting is an opportunity to go into more depth about your brand. You can tell your own story or invite a guest with a complementary or contrasting perspective. The continuity and regular updating of podcasts are as important as regular blogging and video to keep your brand fresh and front and center. As with other formats, each new podcast is its own promotional piece, but cross-posting to announce the drop of a new episode creates a touch-point opportunity with your audience. All you need for a podcast is a laptop and a decent microphone. It’s time to get one started. Here is a great read on how to start a podcast in 2019 from Podcast Insights by Ross Winn.
- Speaking and Sharing Provocative Positions
The world is increasingly divided, and I believe it is important for leaders to champion their values and beliefs, not just sit on the sidelines. While addressing provocative issues is a delicate process that requires care and thought, it can no longer be avoided. As an executive, the bar is higher. It is not just about speaking and writing. You need to have something to break through the noise. Now is the time to add to the conversation and champion a cause and/or conversation that matters to you and your network. Remember to be authentic. I recommend being engaged and present on issues that matter to you and be prepared to integrate the issue and your position into your overall brand strategy. Definitely do this carefully and in a thoughtful way, if done right, speaking up can go a long way. It does not have to be about politics, it can be on topics like accountability, feedback, communication – whatever topic you believe in and what to be a part of shaping and living.
- CEO Activism
In this day and age, CEOs are expected to demonstrate leadership along multiple lines. This means that CEOs are expected to care beyond the narrow confines of their company and demonstrate an interest in the world at large. Just as the personal brand of the CEO has to be aligned with the brand of the company, the CEO activist has to be able to reconcile and align the cause with the company in an authentic, meaningful way. If the environment matters to you, great! How does environmentalism manifest in your personal brand? How does it manifest in the company brand? The CEO activist should not be a rogue marketing agent, and a careful brand strategy integrates the messaging of the CEO’s personal perspective with that of the company.
- Executive Team Branding
Just as personal branding for the CEO of a company is important, so too does brand definition and recognition matter for the entire executive team. While the branding message of a CIO should emphasize different key factors from that of the CEO, the employees, vendors and other stakeholders of a company want to know about the entire leadership team. The personal brand of the leadership team needs attention and should align with the company brand. It is an opportunity for each leader to own their personal brand and be a distinct contributor.
One thing that all of these trends has in common is planning. Personal branding needs to be part of a strategic planning process and looked at on a regular basis – at least quarterly if not monthly. With the new year, take a look at your plan, and see how you can incorporate some of these trends into your own personal brand.
Be a noisebreaker,
Jen Dalton, CEO of BrandMirror, has over 15 years of experience in strategy, marketing, and coaching. In 2012, she made a gutsy move into the entrepreneurship space, launching her branding business and became a certified master personal branding strategist. She specializes in building your digital thought leadership on LinkedIn and other social media. You can find her bestselling book, The Intentional Entrepreneur, on Amazon, which highlights how business owners can leverage their personal brand to grow their business faster.