The Whys and Hows of Being Your Own Leadership Brand
Creating a brand for yourself is incredibly important because it makes you stand out as a leader. Focusing on personal branding helps you hone your beliefs, create new opportunities, legitimize yourself, and show the world you’re a thought leader. Branding yourself helps you control perceptions and makes it easier to succeed, especially if you have a good web presence. Let’s face it: companies and peers are Googling you anyway, so get out ahead of them and control the narrative. This is the world we live in now. Whether you realize it or not, you’re already a brand, so make it a good one.
If branding yourself sounds overwhelming, don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be. Your brand is simply who you are, what you believe, what you say, and what you do – you’re just sharing it with the world. You don’t have to start your own company, you can just be you. Or, if that makes you uncomfortable, you can create a separate business for your ideas to live under. If you become popular enough, they’ll merge anyway, so don’t overthink it.
Social media is great for branding yourself because you can use it to really cement your ideas and tell the world what kind of leader you are. Each social platform out there can be of great use. Pick a few to start with and use your content to cross-pollinate.
Here are some great social platforms for leadership branding and what they’re best used for:
LinkedIn is best for sharing professional ideas, articles, quotes, and stories. It can even be a blog alternative or a newsletter platform if you gain enough traction.
Twitter is good for having conversations, so work on starting and responding to conversations started by others. You can also engage by posting quotes and memes that correspond with your leadership style.
Instagram is not as good for leadership as LinkedIn or Twitter, but if you already have content you might as well repurpose it, especially if you’re creating video content on TikTok or YouTube. It’s also a great spot for photos and graphic quotes.
TikTok is great for video content and sharing thoughts or clips from video blogs or podcasts. Posting a short clip can drive a lot of traffic to your longer pieces.
Facebook is a great place to build a community. Consider building a page for yourself and facilitating a group on a topic you’re an expert in or want to learn more about.
6. Personalized Website
Building a personal website is easier than you think. WordPress is simple, and a website is a great place to host a blog. If you’re not writing a blog, record a podcast and cross-post it on other sites. Trust me.
The key to branding yourself online is consistency and messaging. If you want to go the full nine yards: decide on brand colors and work with a designer to create a logo and a stylesheet. If you don’t want to go that far, just show up. Posting regularly and engaging with others as yourself is the most important thing, so get out there and connect. Show some vulnerability, be personable, and be you – but be prepared. Some people on the internet are bears and beasts. Easy for the big white dude to say, right? The web can be a treacherous place for some, so if you’re not comfortable with direct interaction, build a website, turn off the comments on your posts, and protect yourself.
The internet is a big place, so don’t worry if you don’t get noticed right away. It takes some time. Don’t worry about your numbers, either. Nobody can see them but you. Content, consistency, and dedication are what people care about, so get out there and start today. If you build it, they will come.