I recently had the pleasure of leading a session on Personal Branding at The CMO Club Summit with Evan Greene, the CMO of Grammys. The session was really well attended and it was clear by all accounts that this was an area of great interest to senior marketers. The following is a document I prepared for the attendees that is a compilation of guidance team Renegade found from a number of sources (see credits at the bottom).
Why CMOs Need to Care About Their Personal Brand
- Enhances your value to your current employer.
- No job is forever.
- If you don’t control your reputation, someone else will (i.e. Google)
Personal Brand Statement Overview
- A short and sweet statement that describes who you are and what you bring to the table. It answers the questions, “what makes you great?” and “what makes you compelling?” but should not be confused with a mission statement (which tend to be more lofty and less job specific).
- You could be a “reliable, strategic planner” or “a innovative professional connector.” Or, your statement might be something like, “inspiring others to excel.” Are you amazingly well organized? Do people enjoy working with you for your fantastic sense of humor?
- Your brand statement should be consistent with how others perceive you. Don’t describe yourself as a team builder if your team thinks otherwise. However, if you have hit some professional brick walls, it may be time for reinvention and it is okay therefore to make your brand statement aspirational.
Three Components to Consider
- Figure out your emotional appeal
- How do people benefit from working with me?
- How do CEOs benefit from working with me?
- How do I make people feel?
- What words do others use to describe me?
- Determine your description
- What field or industry am I in (or do I want to be in)?
- What are the words I would use to describe my work?
- Who is my target audience?
- Describe your role
- What service do I have to offer people / companies?
- What do I do that makes me stand out from everyone else?
Draft Your Personal Brand Statement (here are a few statement starters)
All modesty aside, I am great because_________________________________________________
Yes! I am compelling because______________________________________________________
But seriously, I am special because___________________________________________________
I am different from your average CMO because…________________________________________
Making it Real: Getting Started
If you say you’re an innovative leader you better innovate on the job and lead a productive team. If you claim to be a results-driven marketer then you should have the case histories with hard data to back it up. Now we can consider all the things you can do to build your personal brand beyond simply doing your job:
- Basic Appearance: Are you dressing the part? Does your business card reflect your personal brand statement? Your resume should express & support your personal statement.
- Social Basics: Do your social profiles back up your statement? Are they consistent? If you claim to be digitally savvy or cutting edge, are you on the latest social channels?
- Social Channels: How many you choose to be active on is up to you but the key word here is active. The only way to understand and claim social savvy is to be active.
- Content Creation: If being a thought-leader is an important part of your brand, then you need to demonstrate that by creating content for your personal blog/website and/or for other legitimate publications. If you don’t like writing, find a ghostwriter or better yet, learn to like it. Or make a video. Whatever you do, your content should be authentically you and focused on what you want to be known for.
- Content Upgrade: Does the content you post support your personal statement? If you claim creativity as part of your personal statement, make sure your content is creative. (Hint: post better content even if that means posting less!)
Making it Real: Additional Tactics
- Rekindle Old Ties: Contact and meet with old friends. Make new ones by going to networking events. Use these encounters to sharpen the elevator version of your personal statement. No more “same old, same old” responses.
- Learn A New Skill: This skill should support your brand statement and give you a new area to write about and discuss with peers.
Good Sources on Personal Branding
- The Brand Called You | Fast Company | Business + Innovation http://bit.ly/1x7pGKm (Tom Peters)
- How to Orchestrate a Personal Brand | Fast Company | Business + Innovation http://bit.ly/1uhiFad (Drew Neisser on Shelly Palmer)
- How to Reinvent Yourself After 50 | http://huff.to/1x7pydG (Dorie Clark)
- Personal Branding 101: Six Strategies for Building Your Personal Brand | http://bit.ly/1x7pr1W (Shelly Kramer)
The above merely scratches the surface on this topic. I have an article in the works that I will share shortly spelling out FLAIC (Focus, Lead, Adapt, Invest, Cultivate), an acronym I whipped up just for the unique challenges of marketing execs. As always, let me know if you have thoughts to add.