Association professionals don’t like to talk about “brands.” It sounds dirty. There’s work to be done who has time to think about brands?
Creating, cultivating, and promoting your personal brand is not about bragging or putting yourself before your association. It’s what you need to do to be an effective leader of your association and your industry in today’s business environment.
If I’m not Looking for a New Job, Who Cares about Personal Branding?
Building a well-known personal brand is not about finding your next job, although it certainly helps you do so. Having a strong personal brand helps you lead your association more effectively and communicate its mission with greater reach.
People look for leaders. With content becoming more and more important, people are searching for authorities and subject matter experts. If you leverage your personal brand to become a thought leader in your industry, people will naturally look to you for solutions, content, and help. This cultivates more awareness of your association, which in turn, means a higher number of people interested in membership. People want to surround themselves with subject matter experts and knowledgeable industry representatives. Your personal brand helps them recognize you as one.
Make Your Opinion Matter
Another benefit of becoming an industry expert is the sway you have on policy, opinions, and conversations. When people are looking for industry answers and guidance, they’re apt to turn to those they respect intellectually.
A strong personal brand, and reputation as a thought leader, allows you to get things accomplished. Don’t be afraid to take a stand on a topic that effects your industry or association. As a leader, people are expecting that from you. If you have built up your personal brand they are likely to follow your lead and share your thoughts on the matter. You become well positioned to frame the conversation and institute action.
Creating and growing a personal brand is less about job hunting and more about leadership. It means establishing a tribe of followers, creating and curating worthwhile content, and taking part in conversations that effect your association and industry. If you’re not willing to take on that role, you may find that leadership in the age of digital marketing isn’t for you.