It has been true for a long time that business leaders and consultants alike must actively build their professional brand and influence. Trading just on your expertise, who you know and time-served is not enough in a transformational digital economy that just got the biggest kick up the arse in history courtesy of COVID-19.
We all know that the world has changed enormously, and we need to make sure that we have changed in response.
So how are you showing up right now?
FUTURE 1. STATUS QUO (play it small, safe, NO Brand)
If you are like most professionals, you do not have a compelling personal brand that tells you and the world the value that you bring to the table in terms of knowledge, smarts, commercial savvy, leadership and passion.
This means you are probably showing up online as unremarkable (remember in our digital-first world ‘online’ is where we check everyone out).
‘Unremarkable’ is a problem!
This is unfair, but it’s true. It’s particularly a problem if you are middle-aged and mid-career. The world is full of stereotypes – like older people have less energy, use out-dated knowledge, struggle with technology and are stuck in their ways.
People use lazy pigeon-holes (we all do). If you are showing up with a bland, safe LinkedIn profile, dated image and stodgy CV, you are playing into their hands. Promotions, pay rises, new roles, consultancy gigs are unlikely to come your way.
Instead, you will be painted as an analogue dinosaur in a digital world. Old = tired right!? What skills you do have will tend to be valued as a commodity with your reward dictated by the lowest common denominator of price. This probably leads to earning less than you should, with fewer choices and greater career uncertainty and frustration.
FUTURE 2. INFLUENCER (powerful professional brand that you love)
The alternative is to step out and start the journey of creating a powerful professional brand you love. There is a bit of work involved of course, but the rewards are immense. By becoming clear on what you offer, and capturing that in a compelling, energetic and authentic profile you create BRAND CLARITY.
You’ll bring this to life by regularly sharing your ideas and solutions to become a MARKET INFLUENCER. In the process of doing the brand and influence work, you’ll naturally build the confidence to show up at your best and, in turn grow and leverage a powerful professional network.
As a result, you’ll show up as Connected, Digital and Smart. This clarity creates its own energy. Confidence is attractive. You will attract greater rewards in terms of promotions, salary, the consultancy fees you can demand. You are a premium player (not a commodity).
Clearly, you will want to be in the second pile!
To start the journey, I’ve created a free Personal Brand Assessment. It takes 5 minutes and you’ll receive a 16 page report telling you where you are on the Influence dial and what you need to do next.
Life’s too short to be unremarkable! Let’s get cracking!