How to use Thought Leadership for Executive Job Seeking and Personal Branding
By Matt Craven, Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors and The LinkedIn Advisors
The terms personal branding and thought-leadership get bandied about on a regular basis, but what do they really mean and how can Executives harness them as a tool for raising their profile and attracting the right career opportunities?
Personal branding is all about controlling the way people perceive you - Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) summed it up nicely when he said that “personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”. It’s really no different to company branding - companies have a price point, a product (or service), a certain positioning and promotional activity (the 4 Ps). Apply this to yourself and think about your product (or service) i.e. when you work for an organisation as an Executive, what do you do for them and what do you deliver; think about your positioning; think about what you want to get paid; and think about how you are going to communicate all this to the senior job market i.e. the promotion.
Now that we have addressed personal branding, let’s have a look at thought leadership, which more or less falls under the banner of positioning and promotion. Thought leadership is one of your key pillars for developing your market positioning and controlling the way people perceive you.
The key is to present yourself as an expert in your field. Most people hide under a rock, so if you are the one that gets out there, writing articles and blogs, being interviewed for industry pieces, delivering webinars and presentations or contributing to industry groups, then people will gravitate towards you and see you as the expert or the go-to person in your sector.
More than this, try to turn your expertise into something tangible, is there a methodology or system that you have developed and follow? Is there a repeatable plan that you can package and parcel?
To illustrate this point, I was coaching a member of my business group yesterday on this exact point and all of a sudden, they had a light bulb moment! They had recently been looking to engage a supplier to do some video editing work - one supplier seemed good but just talked abou