Having a strong personal brand is vital to ensure you are viewed as a professional and respected leader in your industry. The stronger your voice, the more career opportunities present themselves and the more powerfully you can advocate for your industry and others. However the question many ask is "how do I start developing my personal brand"?
Novice to Aware
Moving from the first personal branding stage of "Novice" to "Aware" is a simple process. Becoming aware of your personal and career achievements is key, helping you understand what you can offer your industry, as well as giving you a strong focus towards where you wish your future career to progress. Getting quoted in local media is also good as you are starting to develop awareness about who you are and what you can offer others.
Aware to Established
For those with a solid amount of career experience in an industry are already usually at this stage. From here, having a professional online profile (think LinkedIn) that promotes your brand, up-to-date social media presence and writing the occasional article for local media is very positive.
Established to Authority
Here a person is respected as an authority in their field. They may have been quoted in national media as an expert or been featured in their industry magazine. As well as this, they may have presented at an industry conference as an expert and may also have an industry-focused blog to share what they know.
Authority to Influencer
As an "influencer in your industry", you will probably be employed in a senior level role in your field (e.g. GM HR of large company), have advanced-level tertiary qualifications and have spoken numerous times at industry conferences as an expert. You may also have developed you own industry intellectual property (IP) and featured on a recognised TV show as an expert.
Influencer to Leader
A leader in an industry is expected to speak regularly at industry conferences (both nationally and internationally), may own an influential business or be featured semi-regularly on national media as an expert in their industry. As well as this, they may have a published book in field of their expertise, have a respected industry focused blog or their own personal "expert" website.
After this last industry stage, an individual moves into the state of "societal influence" where they start to develop a "household" personal brand. For most business people, however, this is a "bridge too far", as the level of personal scrutiny (and potentially family privacy) a person is expected to share at this level, is one with which most professionals are uncomfortable.
Remember that transitioning from "Novice" to "Influencer" is a lifelong journey. Be patient with your progress and enjoy the rewards of helping lead and guide your industry for years to come.