Integrate your brand in to your career marketing materials.
Weave your clear and compelling brand into your value proposition, accomplishment statements, resume, online bios and profiles, letters, website, blog, web portfolio, career biographies, positioning statements, leadership philosophy, and any other self-marketing materials you have created.
Create a strategy for developing brand equity.
As in traditional marketing, your executive brand should remain consistent throughout all of your marketing channels to build brand equity. The positive feelings your target audience accumulates about you is what makes your brand a valuable asset. Building a brand requires you to gain name recognition for your promise of value and convince your target audience that your brand will deliver value.
Equally important is measuring your brand. You should measure your brand’s awareness and associations through the many stages of recognition and top of mind recall. Similarly, the functional and emotional associations of your brand are important drivers of brand equity. Your brand should score high on both awareness and association attributes.
Create a plan to take your brand to market.
You can have an incredible brand, but if no one knows about it, you’re not going to experience much success in your career.
Once you’ve identified your brand, create a promotional strategy to make your brand come alive. Decide who your target audience will be, what channels you’ll use to promote your brand, and how frequently you’ll promote your brand.
It’s important to communicate and manage your brand on an ongoing basis … not just when you’re looking for your next position. Building a brand reputation takes time.
Communicate your brand so your network can provide you with appropriate connections.
If your contacts are crystal clear about your brand, it enables them to provide you with appropriate connections. Alternatively, if you tell your network you are able to solve six different types of problems for companies, the vagueness creates uncertainty in their minds. Seldom will your contact hear a senior management executive seeking advice on six different types of problems at one time.
However, if you communicate to your contacts that you solve a specific type of problem for companies, that’s a more memorable statement and will most likely connect in the contact’s mind when s/he hears a senior management executive looking for a solution to his or her problem.
Communicate your brand to intensify your leadership persona.
You leadership brand communicates your identity and distinctiveness as a leader in your field. It communicates the value you offer. Your leadership persona is the single most powerful point of attraction. Companies expect to pay a premium for brands as is evident in the list of highest paid executives referenced in Tip 3.
Branding means positioning yourself, through your actions and value, so that people feel an irresistible urge to listen to your advice … to hire you … and seek out your leadership.
Brand yourself to gain a competitive advantage.
Branding is being known for making the most significant contribution in your particular area of expertise – it’s reputational power. If you’re high profile and well known … you’ll be the “hunted” rather than the “hunter” and you’ll have senior executives, board members and recruiters calling you.
Executives are hired for niche expertise (turnarounds, start-ups, infrastructure architecture, business development, SAP, ERP implementations, global outsourcing, CRM, next-generation technology strategies, etc.) and the ROI they deliver.
For example: If you’re a turnaround artist in a particular industry and you’ve marketed yourself as a turnaround artist … business leaders and recruiters will most likely follow your whereabouts and call you when they need a turnaround artist.
It’s imperative in this market to differentiate yourself and create individuality and a unique value proposition. The more you promote and market your brand, the more you distinguish yourself from your peers and the less you have to do to convince people you are the solution to their problem. However, you can’t leave this to chance, you must make a plan to position yourself to be noticed … to gain recognition and respect.
Communicate your brand enterprise-wide.
A strong brand marketed enterprise-wide could help you retain your current position. The greater the number of people who could potentially fill your role in the company, the more disposable you appear. Begin now to position yourself as indispensable by communicating your brand to every executive above you in the organization.
Brand yourself to command the compensation you deserve.
Brand yourself as “THE” solution to a particular type of problem and back it up with demonstratable proof. The higher the perceived value you can create, the greater the compensation you can command.
The distinctive value inherent in a brand can lead companies to offer extraordinary compensation packages. CNN Money.com lists the 20 highest paid CEOs with Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle topping the list at $84.5 million. A few other top earners include: Ray Elliott, Boston Scientific; Ray Irani, Occidental Petroleum; Mark Hurd, Hewlett-Packard; James Hackett, Anadarko Petroleum.
Use your brand to drive and manage your career.
Take a “proactive” stance rather than waiting until there’s a setback in your employment status or career that sends you into a tailspin. Proactive executives don’t feel that putting out fires all day is a very effective way to run a business or manage their career. They’re positioning themselves to be found … to be sought after … and they’re actively managing their career.
Brand yourself to help you achieve your personal and professional goals.
When your brand is in alignment with the work you do, you’ll feel rewarded and fulfilled. If you come home from work and feel like your job is draining the life right out of you, you’re NOT in alignment with your brand. I’m not suggesting that every day is a bed of roses and that you never have a frustrating day … I’m speaking of overall … for the most part … do you enjoy your job or do you hate your job? If you hate your job and everything about it then it’s most likely sucking the life right out of you. And that’s going to impact your family and your home life. If this sounds like you, then you need to identify your brand and start living and working ON BRAND.