This multipart series is designed to show you how to become a leader whose personal authority and reputation can shift an entire industry. For this type of leader, we have coined the term Executive Influencer.
In Part I of this series, we defined, “What is an executive influencer?”
In Part II, we cover the next step — defining your brand as an executive.
Before executives reach a certain level of fame, they need to cultivate a brand. This personal brand is similar to any other brand, in that it’s a carefully nurtured public appearance. Just hearing the name associated with the brand triggers an automatic, subconscious reaction to that person. Politicians are a good example of executive branding. They have a public face, which could be very different from their actual personality.
In the same way, an executive influencer needs to define their brand early in their journey. If they want a reputation as a visionary, they have to make sure the content they create reflects that. If they’re going to create a brand that encourages others to focus on the fundamentals, they have to do that, too.
An executive brand might be:
Choosing the characteristics you want to be known for helps you establish a strategy and maintain consistency. Off-brand messages and content should be avoided — or at the very least, reconsidered as part of the strategy.
The Executive Branding Checklist
Your executive brand needs a foundation; something to offer your potential followers beyond clever quotes. Like the house that was built on the rock and withstood the storm, the successful executive brand is built on solid achievements and knows how to translate that experience into actionable advice for others. A crucial part of developing your brand is ensuring that when people encounter it, they expect to receive value from your words.
There are a few questions to ask yourself when defining your executive brand:
- Who is your audience? A logical first step, knowing this information helps define the voice your persona develops and your content output, as result.
- What are some of your defining qualities as an executive? No one can specialize in everything, but everyone can specialize in something. Your defining qualities make you the unique leader that you are, so they should be naturally built into your brand as an Executive Influencer.
- Who do you admire? Identifying someone or something you look up to can influence your approach to business and leadership overall — and could affect the range of topics you decide to cover while using your public persona.
- How do you react during a work crisis? Anyone can lead when things are easy. How you handle the pressure paints a picture of who you are as a leader. Thinking critically about this topic won’t just define your executive brand — it can also guide you toward being a more effective executive.
Your preferred leadership practices and unique challenges are something only you can attest to. Unboxing a few personal experiences can help guide you toward crafting your public persona and helps you remain authentically on-brand while promoting your public image across various channels.
However, while it’s a good start, this isn’t an all-encompassing checklist. There are still more steps to understanding and crafting your brand and becoming an Executive Influencer.
Interested in learning more about defining your Executive Brand? Reach out to Massive Alliance’s Executive Branding team to develop your leadership portfolio and position yourself as an industry thought leader.
Keep an eye out for Part 3: How to Become an Executive Influencer, where I expand on actionable steps to become one.