We also discussed the importance of starting any communications efforts that involve you as an individual, such as a LinkedIn strategy, with clear personal brand goals. This means asking questions like, ‘Why am I on LinkedIn?’, ‘Who is my audience?’ and ‘What about this will interest them?’ and answering these in light of both your goals for your formal career and for any other important projects, such as committees and volunteering.
By spending time communicating the core of your personal brand – your purpose, values and leadership style – and by setting clear personal brand goals, you will greatly increase the chances of others understanding your work as a whole individual and gain interest in the initiatives for which you are seeking support.
The multi-faceted career of an experienced professional
In a meeting this week to discuss a client’s shift to a more personally-branded website for his consulting business, he showed me a pictorial timeline of his career that he had constructed for a recent talk. This was a fantastic way to understand how his experiences had taken many twists and turns, through various ‘mini-careers’, to lead to the collective expertise he uses in his work today.
For many highly experienced business people, their careers have not been a straight line and they often have multiple projects on the go at once. This may include heading up a business they started, while working as an NE Director on other boards and perhaps doing some charity work and some speaking. I find that these types of individuals often want to demonstrate who they are as a whole professional by incorporating different aspects of their experience within a unified theme. The have a desire to show the world more of who they are as they look back on their careers, and this brings personal satisfaction as well as highlights to people the different ways that they might engage or support them.