How was Kristi able to develop and implement a vision for her brand?
In the first five years of her career, she worked so hard that she went from an Individual Contributor role to a VP role. She wasn't building a brand and only doing the work she needed to do. She kept her head down and focused on the work. And she had zero regrets. She learned a lot. She took away the knowledge, the experiences, and the life lessons with her that gave her the content to then share as she continued to move on.
The single most important thing to building your leadership brand was doing the work first, before ever building it.
Kristi wanted to share her stories so others could learn from them. It took her a full year to find her voice and feel comfortable sharing her stories on social media. And because she had been there and she had done it, her way of sharing her stories is authentic. Her stories aren't theories. They're coming from her own experiences.
There are a lot of people who are putting out content without authenticity because they feel like they need to be present and they are trying to build their voice. But if they did take some time to really just hunker down, and engage in a different way, they can still be present and engaging.
Build the experiences first. Build the expertise, build the credibility, and then come back with those stories. People will connect more with your stories than they will with just plain content that is regurgitated.
Sometimes it can feel like you're left out if you're not present or engaging but the reality is no, you're not. It's just that now might be the time to focus internally, get the stories down, and figure out how you're going to even tell your story to be able to communicate something that you know inherently that worked inside your organization for some part of your customer strategy.
And communicate that in an effective way where someone else can take away that learning and then apply it in their world. That is a very challenging thing to do and it takes time. So if you're out there, if you're thinking about your brand, know that it's okay to focus on yourself to get the reps in and to get sometimes years in. It does not have to be an all or nothing.
It's also not the worst thing to be known in the community as the number one learner. Be the learner brand. Be the person out there in the community who wants to take in all the information. You don't need to be the person pushing it all out. Take it all in and be known for that. Be the person who wants to be someone who is personally invested in their own professional growth.