Here’s Why Tech Companies Should Not Ignore Personal Branding
Do you fear that creating a personal brand as an employee will affect your job? Or are you an employer who doesn’t want employees to build their brand because it might not align with the company’s culture? This post will help you address these concerns.
Anjuan Simmon, an engineering leader, and public speaker has created a guide on why and how organizations should incorporate personal branding into their culture.
Here are the key takeaways:
Show your work and scale your brainpower
A quote from Simmons’ Twitter thread reads: “One reason I started speaking at tech conferences is to “show my work” and try to portray the thoughtfulness and deep understanding I have about working in software development.” The public speaker emphasizes that this way, you can present your skills in front of a larger audience and enhance your communication skills in the process.
Simmon also states that it’s essential to create a backup brain that can act as an automatic responder for queries that come your way. In his case, the backup brain is his blog. People can learn about his work and areas of expertise through his blogs.
Don’t miss free training and create a more comprehensive recruiting network
Simmons says that when you sign up as a public speaker, you learn about various technologies from people using them or who have created them. You get to learn about what is working in the industry and what improvements you can make. You also gain insight into the innovations going around— all of this, at no cost whatsoever! The engineering leader turned speaker has attended many seminars and has been able to bring some good ideas to their company. This way, personal branding efforts can aid company growth.
He recalls one such instance: “I attended a conference where an engineer discussed how they use a sponsorship spreadsheet to document the ways they support every engineer at their company. I loved the idea and presented it to my boss, and she empowered me to implement the same at Help Scout.”
What’s more, such events can also help you land good talent for your company. “I’ve always got my hiring manager hat on at conferences. I meet all sorts of people looking for new opportunities, and I’ve placed roles based on people I’ve met. It’s increased my pipeline tremendously,” Simmons explains.
How to develop a talk that can enhance your branding?
People don’t like robots speaking in front of them, no matter how interesting the topic. Simmons suggests that you should develop a funny and friendly talk so that the listeners can relate to it. Make it as factual as possible. He also suggests using relevant and engaging images in the slides to ensure accessible content consumption. This way, you will be able to convey your message without losing the attention of your audience.
The engineering leader also takes inspiration from the stand-up world. He believes that every speaker should understand and analyze their audience before going ahead with any session. A joke that works on one set of the audience might not appeal to the other. And thus, it is crucial to tailor your pitch according to the audience present.
Put it all together and practice
Good things take time. Learn from your experience and mend your mistakes. Identify what worked and what was not in your favor. Focus on creating a brand that is a reflection of your work.
Simmons recalls his experience where some companies he had worked with were not in favor of personal branding. He firmly believes that if a startup is reluctant to have their employees establish themselves as a brand, they are missing a huge opportunity. “Over the past five years, most companies I’ve worked at were very small. But I’m on the speaker list next to people who work at FAANG companies — it lends credibility to be out there, flying your startup’s flag,” he explains.
Company executives need to be openly supportive and vocal about employee engagement in personal branding. This practice helps employees know that they are part of a work culture that supports organizational and personal growth. Most importantly, personal branding through public events can significantly augment an organization’s credibility. It can also help organizations establish themselves as thought leaders in their fields, create a loyal audience base, and build a solid network of influencers to grow their business.
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