Why Women Must Start Building Their Leadership Brand Right Now

By Women Love Tech
on 12 June 2024

Michelle Redfern, the author of The Leadership Compass, shares why you need to start building your leadership brand right now.

I love the connectedness of the world. Thanks to the wonders of technology, including social media, I can connect with people, stories, and information much more quickly than I could ever have dreamed of when I was early in my career.

However, because of this connectedness and its visibility, paying attention to our professional branding has never been more critical. As a woman leader, your brand is your calling card, influencing how others perceive you both within and outside your organisation. Here’s why you need to start building your leadership brand right now.

The Importance of Your Leadership Brand

The concept of the small world and six degrees of separation highlights our interconnectedness. This idea becomes more relevant daily because the distance between us has effectively shrunk. This hyper-connectivity means how you present yourself online and offline is vital to your career success.

I realised the importance of building my personal brand nearly two decades ago. It wasn’t a single moment of realisation but rather a series of experiences that led me to understand that I am the CEO of my own brand. One of those realisations was when I joined LinkedIn in 2006. It served as a wake-up call, making me realise that I am more than just my job title; I am a unique individual with diverse skills and experiences that I want to be known for. 

6 Compelling Reasons for Women to Take Action Now

For women, taking control of their professional brand is especially urgent. Here are 6 compelling reasons why:

1. Breaking Barriers: It is no news flash that women face barriers that our male counterparts do not. The lack of visibility caused by biases and systemic barriers in the workplace requires us to be intentional about developing a solid personal brand. This can help us overcome these obstacles by clearly and confidently showcasing our capabilities and accomplishments at every opportunity. 

2. Visibility and Recognition: Because women are still underrepresented in leadership roles, we must have a robust brand that enhances our visibility, making it easier for decision-makers to recognise our potential and contributions. We have to stand out!

3. Negotiating Power: A well-defined and curated brand establishes credibility and authority, giving you greater leverage in salary negotiations, promotions, and new opportunities.

4. Networking Opportunities: A compelling personal brand can attract mentors, sponsors, and allies who can accelerate your career growth. It also opens doors to new connections that can be pivotal for professional advancement.

5. Confidence: Deeply knowing who you are, how you show up, and the skills and expertise you bring and being able to articulate this is a confidence booster like no other. This self-assurance is crucial for advocating for yourself (and other women!)

6. Aligning with Values and Goals: A clear personal brand helps you stay true to your values and goals, ensuring that your career decisions align with your mission and vision.

Defining Your Personal Brand

Let me make this really simple. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. How comfortable are you that what is being said about you aligns with what you want to be said about you?

Start by reflecting on some critical questions about who you are and what you want to be known for:

  • What do people think about when they hear or see my name?
  • Are there subjects or areas of expertise I want people to associate with my name?
  • How do I want to be perceived as a leader?
  • What do I want to be known as an expert for?
  • What do I stand for?

Understanding your core attributes, values, and strengths is just the beginning. I want you to really understand your superpowers, those skills, characteristics and traits that make you who you are. 

For example, two of my leadership superpowers are:

  • Curious observer of people: I recognise people’s strengths and align them with the right roles at the right time for the right reason.
  • Get sh*t done: I am decisive and have a bias for action, driving momentum and results within my team.

What would you write?

startup women female founder leaders
Via Pexels

Go Beyond the Buzzwords

Building a personal brand  is understanding, nurturing, and positioning yourself strategically. Your personal brand should always feel real (everyone can spot a faker!) and at the same time aspirational. Your brand will reflects your unique strengths and values as well as your potential. Taking time to stop, breathe, and reflect on who you are, how you show up, and what people can depend on you for will help you build and maintain a leadership brand that resonates with those you seek to influence.

Remember, your personal brand is your greatest asset. Be intentional, consistent, and brilliant in how you present it. The world is waiting to see your leadership shine.

Michelle Redfern is the author of The Leadership Compass: https://www.michelleredfern.com/books

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