In the ever-evolving world of business, the concept of personal branding has become increasingly essential for professionals across all industries. As Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) invest more time and resources into developing their own brands, women executives are realizing the importance of articulating their skills and accomplishments to safeguard their brand equity and maintain marketability.
Yet, this journey can be daunting for women, who often feel uncomfortable and afraid to self-promote due to societal and cultural reasons, self-esteem issues, and the dreaded imposter syndrome. In this article, we’ll explore why personal branding is crucial for women, address the reasons behind their hesitation, and provide actionable steps to help them embark on this empowering journey.
Understanding personal branding
Personal branding is the image and reputation an individual cultivates in their professional life. As Amazon's Jeff Bezos eloquently puts it, it is what people say about you when you aren't in the room. For many people, and many women, this is scary.
The fear of self-promotion
Women often face unique challenges when it comes to embracing personal branding. Cultural and societal norms have traditionally designated women as caregivers, encouraging them to prioritize the needs of others over their own. Consequently, self-promotion can feel uncomfortable, as it may be perceived unfavorably.
Moreover, women frequently battle self-esteem issues and suffer from imposter syndrome, as a recent study reveals 75% of executive women have experienced imposter syndrome at some stage of their career. Imposter syndrome is the persistent feeling of being inadequate or undeserving of one's achievements, leading women to downplay their skills and accomplishments.
As a result, they might hesitate to put themselves forward and showcase their expertise to a broader audience.
However, for women executives, developing a strong personal brand is an invaluable tool that can help them gain visibility, recognition, and opportunities at their current company and for career advancement. Without effective self-promotion, their contributions may remain overlooked, hindering their growth in the workplace.
For this reason, investing in one’s brand equity could ensure your industry is aware of your accomplishments while positioning you for future growth.
Overcoming the hurdles
Getting rid of the fear and hesitation with putting yourself out there doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can start slowly to gain confidence and ease into building your brand strategically, recognizing it is an investment in time and energy that will involve strategically developing your persona to best exhibit your superpowers- those attributes that will position you the strongest for your career.
As such, here are a few tips to help you reframe your thinking and start to dip your toes into the personal branding pool:
1. Remind yourself your brand is important
Personal branding is not about bragging; it is about highlighting your unique strengths and contributions. Embrace the idea that showcasing your skills will ultimately benefit both yourself and others.
2. Stay focused on your purpose
Remember the reason you are embarking on this journey – to showcase your value, skills, and expertise. Emphasize the value you can bring to others through your knowledge and insights.
3. Embrace the process
Building a personal brand is not an overnight endeavor. Understand that it takes time and persistence. Stay committed to the journey, and the results will follow.
4. Start with your comfort zone
Begin by expressing your thoughts and expertise through text. Write articles for trade organizations or create content for platforms like LinkedIn, where you can comfortably share your insights.
5. Find your passion
Focus on creating content about topics that ignite your passion. When you talk about subjects you love, your enthusiasm will resonate with others, building a genuine connection. And research and author Brene Brown says, connection is why we are here, and personal brand building is all about connecting.
Harnessing the power of social media
In the digital age, social media platforms play a vital role in personal branding. Women executives are using platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Threads, and YouTube to showcase their expertise, connect with their target audience, and build their personal brand. The choice of platform depends on various factors, such as the type of content being shared, where your target audience hangs out, and the goals of your personal branding.
Considering one of the best platforms for networking with nearly a billion users is LinkedIn, this is often the first place your brand makes an impression. The fact that 92% of employers now use social media to search for talent, there has never been a better time to make sure you strategically shine.
In conclusion, personal branding is a journey of empowerment for women executives. Embrace putting yourself out there to share your knowledge, and connect with your audience authentically. Your expertise deserves recognition, and by investing in your personal brand, you are investing in your future success. Your brand is your greatest asset. Nurture it, protect it, and grow it. You’ve worked hard, and you deserve it.
A big part of your personal brand is establishing yourself as a thoughtleader, and CMO Alliance is the perfect platform for you to do that. Discover the different options to share your thoughtleadership content with a global community of marketing and business leaders.