Why getting personal is key to effective executive branding

Why getting personal is key to effective executive branding

I read it three times and still had no clue what it all meant.

It was an email a client had written, pitching themselves to the chief executive officer of a large company for a role they wanted. My client had forwarded it to me, with a view of offering more insight into their personal brand and aspirations.

It left me questioning, was there a planet called ‘corporate’, and on that planet did they speak an entirely different language?

Don’t get me wrong, after being in PR for close to two decades, I understand the purpose of ‘technical’ language and I know each industry has its own. But this was entirely different. The email so full of business jargon it was impossible to understand or importantly connect with the incredible individual behind it.

I see the excessive use of business-speak and corporate lingo all too often, and nowhere is it more evident than in the land of LinkedIn and the personal summary section. It always leaves me confused. When did we ever think it was okay to sum ourselves up purely by the roles we play and the commercial results we deliver?

If human connection is what we all seek, and it is a well-known fact people invest in people and prefer to work with people they like, then what part am I missing? Roles and results are absolutely important, but it’s insight into who you are as a person and your personal drivers that really set you apart.

For all its downsides, the one thing I love about social media is it has put us all on notice. It has forced us to question who we are, what we stand for and how we want to present ourselves to the world. We have been offered the platforms to connect up, down and sideways and have been provided with unprecedented access to opportunities globally.

Behind every opportunity is a person or group of people that you will be required to connect with in order to move forward. If that is the case, and you really want to stand out among others, do not be afraid to get personal. I am not referring to divulging your dirty laundry or relationship issues; I mean letting others hear your voice, your story and the value you want to offer in the world.

There is a good reason the word ‘google’ is a verb, because you have surely been googled. Why not harness the power of social media to propel you in the desired direction. It really is as simple as allowing your true self to be seen. If you are pretending to be something you are not, or not showing yourself at all, how will you ever connect with the people and opportunities that are truly right for you?

There is no mistake one of the most prominent speakers in the world right now is Brene Brown. She has singlehandedly created a movement celebrating the power of vulnerability. There is also no better way to sum this article up then with Brown’s famous quote: “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”

This was first published on Smart Company here.

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