As an entrepreneur, it can be easy to look at “personal branding” as a luxury and put it off until you have “extra” money. I have come to realize that not only is it a necessary but it’s also a “must have” investment.
As the CEO, you are the lead spokesperson for your company. Your employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders all look to you to personify your brand. Everywhere you go and everything you do says something about your company and its brand.
It’s not a question of whether or not you will be a brand, branding is your life and you are a brand. The question is will be a brand by design, or by default. Your personal brand is actually built from the inside out. It is the essence of who you are. It is your personal values and belief system and how you express them to others.
To make sure the essence of your brand is being communicated at all levels, ask others close to you to describe you with one word. Look for consistencies. This is what defines your personal brand and how others perceive you. Is it a reputation that would make someone feel inspired to work with you?