People bank with PEOPLE. And a bank is now so much more than a building. Consumers build trust for their bank based on the people who work there.
So, what better way to build that rapport and trust than to develop a brand as a banker who cares for their clients and the community?
The question really is – how do you build a reputation, share your value and your story, meet people in the community regardless of a pandemic, differentiate yourself from the pack, and crush your competition quickly and consistently? You have the power to craft your own unique brand story. At the same time, if you don’t take control of your brand, you can’t hide from it. Your uninspiring story is still out there for all to see.
First, you must understand what a personal brand is and not think of it as fluff. Second, you must share it consistently in-person and online.
What is a Personal Brand? After being in the brand business for 20 years, I have broken down personal brand into these parts:
- Principles + Values
- Your Why + Purpose
- Stories + Storytelling
- Emotional Intelligence
- Image + Reputation
- Social Media Presence
- Growing + Learning
Building your personal brand is vital. The only thing that has really changed in the past few years is how important growing and sharing your personal brand has become. Growing it on social, having a social presence, sharing stories like never before.
1. Know your values. 3-5 key words that you use as a filter for everything you do. How you dress, speak, act, post on LinkedIn, follow-through, talk, choose words etc. Just like successful companies and corporations, your values are WHO you are and must be used every minute of every day.
2. Discern what people think about you now.
Ask: What do people currently THINK about when they think of me? What values would they use? Are they the same as the values you associate with yourself?
3. Tell your story. Research shows that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts. Who knows your story? WHY should people work with you? You’re smart? Care more? Have more experience? Word harder? Have better connections? Well, you must share your stories in-person and online because people aren’t mind readers. Through branding and storytelling, we control that narrative by sharing our own stories, reclaiming brand hits (mistakes), being transparent, sharing value, co-branding with people and publications to show who we are using other stronger brands.
4. Use LinkedIn like your life depends on it. It isn’t an option. Post daily. Post for all demographics. Use pictures, words over pictures, quotes, stats, share articles that have value and tell people why you agree or don’t. Helps people know who you are much faster than having to figure you out. Don’t simply post – ENGAGE. It is called ‘social’ media after all.
Studies show that companies whose C-suite is visible are trusted up to 80% MORE than companies where the C-suite isn’t visible. I would venture to say the ‘trust’ part applies to everyone.
5. Grow your Emotional Intelligence. Without this, you can be brilliant and broke. Definition? The ability to monitor your own and other people’s emotions, to distinguish between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use this information to guide your thinking and behavior. How you walk into a room, reply on text, use your tone of voice, read the room, share your value, tell a story, follow-up fast or slow – EI should be leading everything you do. Don’t have it? Failure is around the bend!
There is so much more, but those are a few of the most crucial reminders for building a personal brand that not only lifts you, but the bank you work for. Your brand is either building or destroying the bank brand daily – through every interaction you have or don’t have. Why do strong brands get paid more? Why do companies pay ‘influencers’ to rep their brands? YOU ARE THE BANK INFLUENCER – get it? Strong brands win.
Side note: Don’t get caught up in your company without realizing the world is much larger than those four walls or the people that you work with. Be prepared for anything to happen at any time to your company or to your position. Do you want a promotion? Do you want to be valued in seen? Do you want to sit on a large corporate board? Do you want to create a legacy that lasts longer than your life here on earth? Building your personal brand and ensuring that you are using your gifting, reaching your purpose, and excelling at work and at home is why you build brand. You never fall further than your personal brand allows you to fall. It is your foundation.
Mila Grigg is an expert personal, employee and company brand builder. Her book, Forged by Fire: How to Develop an Unstoppable Personal Brand, is set for a 2022 release.
Connect with Mila on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/modaimageandbrandconsulting/