To build an executive brand: let go of your fear of self-promotion, and ask yourself “why?”

FEI asked Wendy Pavey, executive brand strategist and founder of Executive Brand, about the increasing importance of ‘personal brand’:

Personal brands have always existed but we didn’t describe them as such. Perhaps we said ‘name’ and ‘reputation’ instead. The internet and social media have democratised brand-building, making it possible for almost anyone to build a visible profile and position themselves for a role. Along with opportunity, that brings with it new challenges – I recommend today’s executives focus heavily on demonstrable credibility as a differentiator. 

An effective executive brand supports you being chosen, perhaps even sought out, for the opportunities you aspire to.

Wendy suggests executives approach brand building in 4 successive stages:

  1. what to say – the information about you that supports your goals (your brand story)
  2. how to say it – the communication of that story in multiple ways
  3. how to show it – the proof of your credibility
  4. how to be seen – the ways others will know your name

A top tip to get started is to ask a series of “why?” questions:

You want to be a CFO — why?  Why would you be good in that role?  Why are those reasons important?  Why does that outcome matter?  Write down your answers and you’ll instantly feel more prepared.  And let go of your fear of self promotion. Many executives are afraid of being seen as egomaniacs, so they stay hidden. There are many activities on the spectrum of self promotion – I rarely ask clients to do anything that’s much past the halfway mark. 

For a full Q&A with Wendy, or to watch the event recording, join FEI today and access the FEI Learning Library.