If you are a leader of a nonprofit or ministry, your personal brand matters. You may not even realize that you have a personal brand, but you do if you have a leadership row in the organization you serve.
Now it's time to be intentional with it and cultivate your personal brand in a way that will grow your organization.
People connect with people. Your personal brand should infuse your personality, your personal passion, and the purpose of the organization that you lead.
If you have never established your own brand, now is the time. Today, people are looking to your brand to humanize itself and relate in a way that it likely hasn't before. So, where do you start?
We interviewed Laura Bull, author, and personal brand expert. She worked at Sony Music Entertainment for ten years and helped develop and market personal brands such as Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, and Johnny Cash (quite the resumé, huh?). She used her years of experience to now help organizational leaders understand the power of their own personal brand.
We talked to her all about how nonprofit and ministry leaders can benefit from a strong personal brand, along with some great advice as you work to sharpen one.
Here are some of our favorite interview points:
Identify your core personal brand pillars.
Identify 3-5 things that make you stand out uniquely (and yes, you have unique differentiators that make you different from your competitors).
Your core brand pillars do not have to be all about your mission and vision for the organization. You could be passionate about work-life balance if you are a busy mom. You might be an advocate for animal rights. I love horses and have helped rescue a few of them over the years.
Become an influencer.
And that means you are inspiring change and leading change both online and offline.
Not all influencers are celebrities, and not all celebrities are influencers. Just being you and inspiring change of some kind means you are influencing.
Connecting on a personal level is so important to create an authentic brand, especially if you lead a volunteer organization.
Showing your humanity and sharing personal experiences will help you become an influencer faster than just letting people know how much knowledge you have.
The adage is still true: people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
And that doesn't mean just about your organization and your work.
Find the social media channels that make sense for you.
There are so many options out there, from Twitter to TikTok, you could go crazy trying to post to 10 different platforms.
Pick one or two platforms and be consistent in those. I tell my clients to look out for two dynamics: where most of your target audience is and the platform I enjoy the most. And if you can answer these two questions with just one platform, congratulations.
Don't try and reproduce a personal brand that someone else has. Be you and be passionate about the cause you're supporting and leading.
While you can emulate someone you admire, fight the urge to copy their posts. Instead, notice what kind of posts they get the most engagement from videos, stories, and pictures?
If you are a leader, you are a brand. I might even say that if you have a social profile, you are a brand.
While you might not be doing much with your brand, you have an opportunity to help your organization and your career move forward faster by being intentional about building your personal brand.
Some of my clients tell me they feel like they're taking time away from their jobs by creating a personal brand.
The opposite is true. You help your organization by building a strong personal brand.