During the successful launch of the Young Leader of the Year Award on 4th June 2019, the EWL and all of our members were delighted to hear from Cathy Hayward, Founder and Managing Director of Magenta Associates on Personal Branding, what it means, and what makes a successful brand.
The seminar was followed by a question panel with Cathy and four members of the EWL Leadership team discussing their own experiences and the impact of personal branding on their professional lives.
So the question is, what is a personal brand and why is it important?
A personal brand is essentially the way in which you choose to personify your identity to others, and a way in which to market yourself as an individual surrounding the values you believe in. We believe a personal brand is important, as it defines you as a person, not just a professional. If done successfully, it can elevate your career and your passions, giving you a platform to share your views, and more importantly, for others to listen.
One of the main talking points of the seminar was looking at what makes a personal brand, and where to get started; we have taken the highlights and detailed some top tips below:
- Values – Before getting started you need to identify what you believe in, what values do you live by and what are you passionate about. As Cathy put it, it doesn’t matter if that is workplace, talent, sustainability or anything else; this ultimately defines a person, and therefore a brand.
- Consistency – Personal brands can always pivot depending on market place, industry movements, events or breaking news; but you must make sure that your message, and your values are clear and consistent.
- Trust and Vulnerability – With a consistent approach develops trust, in you as an individual and your brand. Just be yourself, and don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. You are putting yourself out there, remember that people can see through a person trying to be someone they aren’t; so authenticity is key.
- Volunteering – Whether it be in your local community or industry specific, a key way to get yourself out there is to volunteer and help others. This is part of defining who you are the type of causes you want to support.
- Social Media – Using social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. if of course a fantastic way of building your brand, getting people to notice who you are and what you are all about. It’s not about releasing your ego to the world, its about letting your connections know what’s going on and getting your message across.
- Networking and Public Speaking – Networking is an invaluable tool when building a personal brand. As much as you can get your name out there on social media, we need to revert back to the points around authenticity and trust. People want to see that it’s all real. Meet new people, have some fun and let people know who you truly are! There are networking events on a daily basis, don’t attend every single one, but pick the right ones which fall in line with your own brand and target audiences.
- Say Yes – Cathy explained that in a world where we are trying to develop the talent of saying ‘no’ more often, there is nothing wrong with just saying ‘yes’ but to the right opportunities. Leave your comfort zone and take opportunities as they present themselves.