Personal Branding for the CIO

Who are you? No really, what sets you apart from the countless other IT leaders currently employed by the industry? Well, according to Mark Samuels in a post for IT Pro, if you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s high time to figure it out. As you’re probably aware, CIOs are under more pressure than any other executive to justify their position in the company. The place to start is with personal branding.

Branding 101

The online CV (a.k.a. – the LinkedIn profile) is the place to start. As a CIO, if you’ve got nowhere digital to refer employers and/or clients (potential or otherwise) to your achievements and skills, then you’re brand is sitting still.

Striking Socks

Outside of the digital world, there are ways to enhance your brand that are a bit more, shall we say, idiosyncratic. For instance, Samuels has a coworker who only wears certain socks that are always a striking color. Another wears unique suits that reflect his outgoing personality. These tactics may seem superficial, but they’re important markers of brand that are actually judged by peers – whether we like it or not.

Hobby Branding

Another example of personal brand beyond the LinkedIn profile is hobbies. Certainly, not all companies are interested in mixing work with play, but the showcasing of hobbies has advantages in several areas. For instance, one might blog about IT through a favorite theme like sports or music.

Go Forth and Brand to the World

Your personal brand need not be confined to work or online activities. Those with particularly strong personal brands are fond of exporting them to speaking engagements and press profiles. Some professionals even brand themselves as personal brand experts (wink).

So whether you’re the next-generation IT leader, or the techie with the purple socks, make sure your accomplishments are coming through loud and clear. As the C-Suite exec with the most to prove, you’ve got to sing your own chorus. Certainly no one else will.

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