What is personal branding, and why does it matter to tech leaders?

By Caroline Orr, Marketing Director at Program

Program is a partner for Growth Forge 2024, a business acceleration programme for ambitious tech companies. Learn more here.

In the competitive and ever-changing landscape of today’s tech industry, standing out can be a challenge. This is where personal branding steps in, as the not-so-secret weapon for tech leaders looking to elevate their presence and impact in the digital age.

Tech leaders who take control of their personal brand not only drive their own success, but also elevate the brands they lead.

Caroline Orr, Marketing Director at positive impact marketing agency, Program, talks us through the importance of personal branding – and what on earth even is personal branding, anyway?

What is personal branding?

You already have a personal brand, even if you don’t know it. It’s your reputation, the impression people hold of you. It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

Unlike a company brand, personal branding is inherently subjective. It’s not about being ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but about authenticity. You can consider it your ‘brand DNA.’ It reflects your unique combination of behaviours, skills, experiences, personality traits and attitudes. 

It’s not just your career history. Your personal brand extends beyond the bullet points of a resume. It’s your entire narrative – the story you want to convey to the world about your professional self.

And it’s not static. Your personal brand is dynamic, evolving as you progress in your career and develop as a person over time.

Why is taking control of your personal brand important?

Your personal brand is the handshake, the first impression you get to make. It shapes people’s perceptions of you. And it exists whether you want it to or not, so it is better to consciously embrace it.

By taking control of your personal brand, you get to build your own powerful voice, and amplify what you care about.

It also allows you to maximise the power of human connection, making genuine connections with people who connect with the ‘real you’, opening up opportunities.

In a nutshell, it’s a strategic move that tech leaders can’t afford to ignore.

How can personal branding help my tech business?

Crafting a compelling personal brand isn’t just an investment in you; it’s a strategic move that can pay dividends for your business. In a crowded tech landscape, a strong personal brand can be the secret sauce that differentiates you and your company from the competition.

According to a LinkedIn survey, 83% of customers prefer to do business with people they know and trust. People buy from people, not faceless corporations. Having leaders with standout personal brands at the helm can help build that trust, and allow you to influence how others perceive your company.

Building relationships is paramount to building good business. Personal branding can be pretty powerful in creating genuine human connections, opening up vast opportunities for your career, and your company.

Where do I start with my personal branding?

Like any sort of brand strategy you need to firstly understand the current situation; how do people see you, what are you known for, where are the gaps? Then you create a strategy, again just like you do for any type of brand. You need to think about your why, what, how etc. Finally comes activation – this is often the scary bit as it is essentially the part where you put yourself out there but usually once you’ve settled into it you’ll start flying.

In the competitive tech ecosystem, personal branding is not just a nice-to-have – it’s a game changer. Get in touch with Program’s expert team to find out how they can help elevate yours.

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