14 May

Why business leaders are building personal brands. Part 3

Be authentic

Of course, there is one major caveat: a compelling and successful personal brand hinges on deep authenticity.

One of the most common pitfalls experienced by business leaders is engaging in public messaging of any kind which feels overly-staged and artificial. Personal brand ‘lipsyncing’ can end up achieving the opposite goal: audiences can sense, on an emotional level, that a leader’s messaging is inauthentic – a phenomenon we’ve long known about, for example, in the world of politics. By extension, a leader’s corporate brand is likely to be directly affected adversely: customers feel an aversion to ‘phoniness’ and, in a world where inspiring public leaders abound, one leader and their brand can be quickly discarded.

The first step to building a successful personal brand comes down to understanding what topics, platforms and stories are fully authentic to that leader. Personal branding starts with self-awareness: understanding what makes a leader unique and what they (really) believe in. While corporate brand marketing can be managed and executed by teams, a leader’s personal brand needs to be managed by themselves: they need to speak in their unique tone and style about what matters to them. It’s their voice, after all – and while some pieces may be outsourced, a leader’s active involvement and direct connection to the platforms, topics and stories need to be there at all times. Keep it real – audiences and customers will reward a leader for it.

Ultimately, all business leaders can profit greatly from building a personal brand, no matter how far into their careers they are. If done correctly, with authenticity and on the right channels, the corporate brand of a leader will often see a financial reward. But the real reward comes in the form of the opportunity to inspire at scale, to impact and to make a difference in the lives of others. Is there really a more noble goal for business leaders?

Original source: https://businessgraduatesassociation.com/