What's Your Personal Brand?
This week's blog is a bit different than my typical blog. Two weeks ago I read something in Fast Company that caught my attention. The title is "Your Personal Brand Is More Than Your Follower Count" and is a part of FC's Leadership area. The FC piece led me to a larger article in Forbes called "Personal Branding Is a Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign."
Normally I write about the challenges and successes within the nonprofit industry — be they specific to the agency side or the charity side of the business. You all know how I feel about the concept of the donor experience and how the overall brand experience is a critical part of organizational success. So, as you can imagine, reading the Fast Company and Forbes pieces about applying the same concept to us, as individuals, was very intriguing.
As leaders in agencies and nonprofit organizations, I think there is something here that we can all benefit from. It seems to have direct relevance to the overall concept of how we should all be thinking of the brand experience — personal or otherwise.
Here are some quotes from the Forbes piece:
- "Personal branding is about making a full-time commitment to the journey of defining yourself as a leader and how this will shape the manner in which you will serve others."
- "Your personal brand should represent the value you are able to consistently deliver to those whom you are serving. This doesn't mean self-promotion — that you should be creating awareness for your brand by showcasing your achievements and success stories. Managing your personal brand requires you to be a great role model, mentor, and/or a voice that others can depend upon."
- "View your personal brand as a trademark, an asset that you must protect while continuously molding and shaping it. Your personal brand is an asset that must be managed with the intention of helping others benefit from having a relationship with you and/or by being associated with your work and the industry you serve."
- "Based on a survey conducted (by the author), less than 15 percent of people have truly defined their personal brand and less than 5 percent are living it consistently at work — each and every day. Why? It can be extremely challenging and it requires a tremendous amount of self-awareness, action and accountability. But, 70 percent of professionals believe they have defined their personal brand and 50 percent believe they are living it. But when you 'peel-back-the-onion,' you realize that their focus was centered on self-promotion rather than a commitment to advance themselves by serving others."
- "Every time you are in a meeting, at a conference, networking reception or other event, you should be mindful of what others are experiencing about you and what you want others to experience about you."
There's more in the article, and I highly recommend reading it — but I'll stop with the five quotes above. Not only do I believe it is fantastic advice for all of us as professionals to think through, but there are so many similarities to the industry overall.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.