Personal branding is a topic many of our members have expressed interest in learning more about. We were so excited to host a discussion about best practices on November 17th! Women & Hi Tech President Linda Hicks and Past President Rebecca Bormann led the conversation. Here are some of the main ideas and tips we took away from the discussion.
Personal branding encompasses not just what people say about you, but also what they think about you and expect from your presence. Therefore, social media is an important element of personal branding, but only when the persona you present is backed up and confirmed by your behaviors.
Your personal brand also lets people know what you stand for, your values, and your boundaries. Sharing articles and observations, as well as anecdotes and moments of vulnerability, helps reinforce your truth by showing others, not telling them.
Authenticity is essential to personal branding. Many attendees agreed that it is off-putting when someone presents one way on social media or at work, then behaves totally differently in other areas of their life. In fact, this inspires some professionals to stay off social media altogether, to avoid misalignment between their personal brand and professional brand.
To better-define your personal brand, start with two or three words that describe how you want to be perceived. Then, ask others in your life for “360 feedback.” This is a list of questions sent to a wide variety of the people you interact with, including friends, peers, supervisors, vendors, and more.
Collecting anonymous responses lets you learn how you are perceived across the broad spectrum of your life. Do you come across in the way you aspire? What experiences does your network have with you that confirms or contradicts your desired personal brand?
Another proven step to build your brand is consistency. Find your cadence and desired tone and be consistent in how and where you share those messages.
If developing and deepening your personal brand and executive presence are some of your goals in 2022, we would love for you to join us for a new Women & Hi Tech Professional Development Series on Executive Presence and Personal Branding launching in January! Through pre-recorded training and small group exercises, we can’t wait to help our members grow their personal presence, capacity to achieve buy-in, and negotiation skills. Learn more and register to join us for one, two, or all three sessions!