As an executive, your brand is critical to your success. You need the right level of visibility and influence to strengthen your credibility, effect change, and score new opportunities. Your focus on your work, however, has left you with little time to invest in an executive brand strategy.
Here are 4 ways you’re compromising your executive brand:
1. You write your own executive resume or bio.
Unless you are not only a highly skilled writer, but also an expert at promoting your accomplishments, you are doing yourself a disservice by writing your own marketing documents. To promote yourself effectively, you need the right level of objectivity. You must understand what others expect to see and then craft your message accordingly.
Most executives struggle to distill their many successes and accomplishments into a powerful executive resume. Crafting the narrative and selecting the appropriate metrics to substantiate it is challenging. If you need an executive resume or bio, engage an experienced resource to help you. The return on your investment will be exponential.
2. You lack a sophisticated social media strategy.
You know you need a LinkedIn presence so you posted a profile with minimal details and haven’t reviewed it since. You have some connections, but you don’t have time to proactively seek out more. You have a vague understanding of Twitter, but have no idea why you would use it. You consider yourself a thought leader, but you don’t have the visibility you need to broaden your influence.
Many executives dismiss social media as frivolous and time-consuming. It certainly can be, but it doesn’t have to be. With a powerful social media strategy, you will differentiate yourself from your competition and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Simple steps will raise your profile and attract the attention of other influential leaders.
3. You neglect your executive network.
As an executive, you’ve encountered countless other executives within and outside of your field. Some you know well, while others you met only once or twice. There is enormous power in this network, but you don’t know how to harness it. When you’re actively employed, you don’t “need” to network. And when you’re searching for new opportunities, it feels uncomfortable to ask for help, particularly if you haven’t maintained relationships with many of your contacts.
Your executive network must be a priority at all times. You cannot afford to wait until you need help to engage others. Make an effort to cultivate and nurture your network throughout your career. If you don’t need help, share your expertise and offer to support others. You never know when you may need to tap your network! And the response will be much more enthusiastic if you’ve stayed connected along the way.
4. You have an unclear value proposition.
You’re a generalist. You refer to yourself as a “jack of all trades, master of none.” When others ask what you do, you respond ambiguously with, “I do a little bit of everything,” or, “I’m the glue that keeps this place together.”
That’s not a value proposition. When you dilute your message, you undermine your value and make it difficult for others to understand your differentiators. Whether you’re seeking a new executive career opportunity, or you simply want to achieve greater success in your current role, you must have a clear understanding of your strengths. You then need to articulate them in a compelling message that demonstrates your unique value.
As an executive, you’ve achieved great success. You’ve worked hard, seized new opportunities, and accomplished great things. In a workforce where no job is secure and competition for executive opportunities is fierce, however, you need to do more. By investing in your executive brand, you will differentiate yourself from others and position yourself for long-term success.