Posted by: alexswallow | October 1, 2014

Are You a Charity Leader Who Wants a Better Personal Brand?

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If you are, you should consider coming to this event that I am chairing on the 14th of October.

I will be joined by a specialist from Buzzacott,  Jan Carrington and two prominent charity Chief Executives whose personal brand I admire, Debra Allcock Tyler and Simon Blake.

Personal branding is an area I am fascinated by. As someone whose career has spanned a number of different sectors so far, I am very conscious of the need to properly communicate who I am, what I do and what I believe in. It’s one of the things that I hope my upcoming new website will help me with. My online efforts have helped me to try to build a personal brand via social media, including blogging, and helping to set the agenda for issues I care about. I’ve found certain tools more useful than others- chiefly for me LinkedIn and Twitter– and everyone will have their own portfolio of things that they find helpful. For example, I’ve recently discovered podcasting and look forward to learning more about making videos one day too.

Of course your personal brand is not just about how you come across online. You have to think about what you are like in real life: do you come across as confident, convincing, considered and cooperative, to name just a few positive qualities? Perhaps most importantly, do you seem authentic? Have you bothered to develop your knowledge in the areas you care about? Do you think deeply about the causes you support? Is there a match between your virtual persona and your living, breathing one?

As a charity leader, or an aspiring charity leader it is worth you asking yourself a number of questions around your personal brand, some of which we will look at during the seminar:

– Am I effectively communicating the things I want to stand for?

– Am I developing the personal brand of the people I lead?

– Is anything damaging my personal brand?

– What is the interplay between my own brand and that of the organisation that I lead?

– How will my personal brand  help me get my next job?

– How will my personal brand develop throughout my career and help me to have the career (and life) that I want?

I would argue that there are two main things that make personal branding for charity leaders a particular challenge as distinct from other sectors. The first is that as a sector we don’t invest enough in the training and development of our staff- and that includes training or support around personal branding for our leaders. The second is that our work in the sector is very brand led- people support charities specifically because they identify with a brand/cause- so the interplay between that and your own brand is a complex one.

If you would like to learn more about personal branding and investigate the topic further, the best and most thought-provoking website I have found is this one.

I will also be producing a paper in the run-up to the event that looks as the issue of personal branding for charity leaders and provides some backrground, tips and guidance, look out for that too!

Please spread the word and share the event information page with friends and colleagues who you think might be interested.

This video on personal branding is worth watching- it’s good to see the story of how someone built his personal brand:


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