Importance of Personal Branding to be an Independent Director
Your personal brand is the combination of reality and the perception about you. As Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what people say about you while you are not in the room. Thus, personal branding is the art of creating a unique brand identity and positioning for the Brand YOU as well as the strategy for building and upholding the Brand YOU’s desired reputation, according to the definition given above.
What is the value of a powerful personal brand?
Your impact grows if your own brand is powerful. Others will be more inclined to trust you, listen to you, and take you seriously. To be noticed, however, one must be recognised for one’s identity, principles, and abilities.
4Ps of personal branding
Product is you; what you are what are your key attributes and features, and why should people want to engage you? You must promote your own brand. Make a decision about what to advertise and how to promote yourself. What function can you fulfill on the board you join, and what value can you bring? Place means you will only be present on the platforms that support your brand value and connect you with your target customers. So you should prefer LinkedIn and other specialised platforms for executives, over Facebook. A price that is consistent with your brand should demonstrate the value you bring.
How to Build Your Personal Brand?
You should be a natural “storyteller” and an outstanding communicator in order to excel at the board level. Sharing authentic and burning stories can be the best approach to leverage your personal brand. Here are some tips for building a strong and effective personal brand…
✔ Think about fit
Be clear about the kind of boards that best suit your qualifications, expertise, and areas of interest. Before deciding whether you can publicly support them and ultimately work for them, take the time to fully comprehend what they do and how they select their members.
✔ Educate yourself about board issues
Learn more about what it takes to be “board ready” by participating in conferences or programs connected to boards. The information and expertise you obtain will benefit both you and your own brand.
✔ Building Credibility
Your credibility is your currency. The more credible you are the better value your personal brand has. It is more likely for people to warm up to you, to turn to you for help and advice, and bring you on to boards, because they trust you.
✔ Collaboration and Partnership
A boardroom is often a place where there is mutual trust and consideration despite opposing opinions. This requires more than just talking or connecting; here, you have to be accountable for your body language, tone of voice, and choice of words. Be genuine, so that people can trust you as a collaborator and a partner.
✔ Serve on nonprofit and smaller boards first
Become familiar with the responsibility of being a board member. Try to gain experience by first serving on smaller private company boards. Every experience will help you build a stronger personal brand. The stronger your personal brand is the more you will be noticed and the brighter your chance of being considered for the board seat you aspire to.
✔ Network, network, network
Go all out on the networking! Identify your target audience and put all your energy behind it. Do not waste your time and resources behind irrelevant contacts.
Let people know that you are interested. The more people you are connected with, the more visible you are. When it comes to informal gatherings, do your homework to know your audience. More specifically, try to subtly learn about the backgrounds, personalities, and individual objectives of board members to figure out how best to engage them.
Out of sight is out of mind. Thus, stay in touch with your friends on a frequent basis. Continue to strive for a face-to-face meeting with your connections so that you have a chance to leave a lasting impression.
✔ Build your brand on social media
Ultimately, it is about getting attention from the right people. If you are trying to get a board seat, it is advisable to start following the CEO and people who are already on the board on a social media platform, like some of their posts, or leave a meaningful comment. Avoid writing comments merely congratulating or complimenting people. Also, you want to make posts that highlight your knowledge and skills while still fitting within their board strategy. Then when a board position becomes available, they will know who you are and what you stand for.
There are also Facebook and LinkedIn groups that are a great way to start networking and promoting your brand among other like-minded people.
Note: Get support from Board Stewardship Inc. in your personal branding. We help you understand your needs and brief you on how to go about developing your personal brand. Email us with the subject matter Info-Board Training your phone number for a call back on firstname.lastname@example.org