As a CIO you have to carefully manage and nurture the perceptions that others have of you. By ‘others’ I mean internal staff and stakeholders, and outside of your company I’m talking about your peers, industry professionals, and thought-leaders. One of your key assets is your brand. Your brand expands upon more aspects of your character and your skillset than your job title, your CV and your career history. This article explains how you can build a brand that helps you to earn respect throughout your sector, and how the development of your brand can turn you into a sought-after personality in your marketplace.

Step One. Define your brand: From your job title ‘CIO’ and the sector you operate in, others can take an educated guess about what your general responsibilities are. However, your job title is not your brand. When deciding how you would like to be perceived jot down a list of your specialisms. Are you a thought-leader, a technical whiz, a strong man-manager, a development expert, a transformation specialist, a digital guru, a BI expert and so on…

Next, make another list of your key attributes, strengths, and personality traits. A good way to gain more insights into this is to ask trusted colleagues, industry associates, friends, and family how they would describe you. You can also try reflecting on recurring words that you have received in performance feedback over the years.

Finally, take a look at the maths. Do any stats show that you’ve have achieved something special? If so, note the details of these projects.

When you have gathered all of this information write three or four short sentences that convey this information. Reread what you have written and tweak so it reflects the brand you wish to portray in a clear and succinct way that can be understood by different audiences. Memorise these words and make them your mantra. They are the foundation of your brand.

WARNING: Be authentic. Emphasise your strengths but don’t try to be someone you’re not. People will see through this.

Step Two. Social media: Once you have settled on your brand identity make sure that this is reflected in your LinkedIn profile.

The other social networks must be used appropriately too. Don’t be a spammer. Don’t feel like you HAVE to post on Twitter. It is good to have a voice but only comment when you have a constructive point to make and remember that the language and tone you use should reflect your brand. CIO Journal suggests that before posting on social media you should “think about the things you care about most. Maybe it’s your company, your family, your hometown, a hobby, or a social cause that’s important to you. Whatever those things are, you likely have a lot to say about them, making them potential topics for your posts.

“Don’t be shy about asking for help. Just because you’re a technologist doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers when it comes to social media/social technologies. Social platforms change often, so it’s important to be a perpetual student. If you have tactical questions about posting, ask a social expert.

“Finally, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and make mistakes. It’s part of being authentic. Learn from every misstep, and share what you learn. It will not only help you get better; it will also be a powerful way to help others and deepen your connections.”

Step 3. Speak at events: Presenting your views at industry events and seminars can be a great way to build your personal network, gain recognition outside of your company, and most importantly help to nuture your brand. Online magazine, Entrepreneur has said “If you’re looking to build your brand, then you should be speaking on a regular basis. Naturally, this will mean developing your communication skills. If you speak in exactly the same manner others do, you will never stand out from the crowd.

“Speak from a place of knowledge and power. Show that you know what you’re talking about, and answer questions in a way that serves your audience.

“Show that you are confident. Some may criticize or disagree with you. The important thing is to remain open to feedback. Thank others for sharing their views, and if the points they raised were legitimate, determine how you can improve and do better next time.”

The best way to develop your speaking skills is to start with small events and build from there. You won’t be offered high-quality speaking engagements immediately so buckle down, show willing, and begin to build your audience.

Step 4. Associate with strong brands: Your personal brand can be strengthened or weakened by the brands that you are associated with.

Forbes recommends: “Find and leverage strong brands which can elevate your own personal brand. Start with the three C’s: company, college, colleagues. Which school did you attend? Are there groups you can join? An alumni newsletter you can contribute to? What hidden opportunities are available within your company which you have yet to tap? Consider submitting a guest post to the company blog or look at other digital assets you can connect to your brand.” Make a point of networking and become a press contact for your company, sharing your opinion in articles written by other people is a quick and easy way to gain recognition.

Published on  Lead Consultant – Senior IT Appointments

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