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At the heart of executive thought leadership is a distinctive personal brand voice. Have you mastered your leadership voice, or is something holding you back?

A distinctive personal brand voice is the crux of becoming an executive thought leader. A compelling and authentic brand voice can significantly enhance your influence, visibility and impact.

But when it comes to developing your leadership brand voice, why do you struggle?

Let’s break it down.

Three Common Barriers Executives Face

There’s an unspoken pressure for high-level executives to appear polished, authoritative and relatable, while also likable to the broader audiences. And when you look at it like that, it’s overwhelming. 

In fact, a survey by Weber Shandwick reported that 50 percent of executives believe that establishing a strong executive brand is more important today than it was five years ago. However, only 41 percent say their CEO has a strong personal brand. 

This disparity highlights the need for executives like you to invest in your personal branding efforts.

Barrier 1: Identity Clarity

One primary barrier is a lack of clarity about your own leadership identity, values and unique selling points. And, without a clear understanding of who you are and what you stand for, you may struggle to articulate your brand effectively.

A survey by Deloitte found that 51 percent of executives report feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of their professional lives, which can contribute to a lack of clarity about their personal brand identity.

Barrier 2: Time Constraints

You’re not alone. A study by Harvard Business Review found that 94 percent of senior executives work more than 50 hours per week, so the time constraints are real. 

“People often forget what was said but never forget a good story and how it made them feel.”

And yes, building a personal brand requires time and consistent effort. So, only pursue it if you really want to grow a personal brand.

If you’re serious about building a distinctive leadership presence, delegate tasks where possible – work with someone who specializes in personal brand messaging; they can help you get to where you want to go.

Barrier 3: Fear of Judgment

No matter how successfully established you are in your industry, there’s a destructive little voice who perpetuates a cycle of fears. Fear of criticism or negative feedback can prevent you from expressing your authentic self.

Research published in the Journal of Management Development noted that 62 percent of executives expressed concerns about how others perceive them. 

You can overcome this barrier by focusing on your message’s positive impact and the connections you can build by being genuine. And, as the saying goes, feel the fear and do it anyway. 

Now, let’s arm you with some tips for nailing your leadership voice fast.

Step 1: Identifying Your Unique Leadership Voice

Define Your Personal Brand Personality

Your brand personality should be a true reflection of your identity and values. It needs to be genuine and something you already are.

1. Start by defining your brand personality.
2. Consider your brand characteristics like tone, style and values.
3. How do you want to be perceived by your audience?
4. What sets you apart from others in your industry?

Understand Your Audience

You’ll know what to say when you know who you’re talking to. Understanding your audience’s demographics, preferences and pain points is fundamental to future content creation. Tailor your messaging to resonate with their interests and needs.

Once you know your audience, authenticity is the number one priority. Be genuine and transparent in your communication. Share personal anecdotes, insights and experiences that align with your brand values. This approach not only builds trust but also makes your message more compelling.

Consistency Across Channels

Consistency helps reinforce your brand identity and builds trust with your audience. Messaging should be uniform across all communication channels, including social media, speeches, articles and interviews.

A LinkedIn survey found that 74 percent of executives believe that consistency in messaging is critical for building a strong personal brand. Yet, only 27 percent say they are highly confident in maintaining consistency over time.

If you resonate with that stat, overcome inconsistency by clarifying your leadership brand voice. Anytime you become unsure about what to share, check-in with your values, tone of voice and communication style.

Step 2: Crafting Compelling Thought Leadership Content

My clients often tell me they are unsure about what to share or write about. These four tips will resolve those concerns.

Embrace Your Uniqueness

Highlight what makes you unique and leverage it in your brand voice. Showcase your expertise, passion and perspective to differentiate yourself from others in your industry. Your unique insights can set you apart as a thought leader.

Tell Compelling Stories

Stories are a powerful way to convey your brand message and connect with your audience emotionally. Share personal stories, case studies, or examples that illustrate your brand values and resonate with your audience. A narrative approach can make your content more engaging and memorable.

“A distinctive leadership brand is one that maintains consistency in messaging, content creation and engagement.”

Listen and Engage

Listen to your audience’s feedback and engage with them through comments, messages and discussions. This interaction demonstrates that you value their input and helps strengthen your connection with them. It communicates that you care about the connection and community, not just posting content.

Adapt to Feedback

Be open to feedback and adapt your brand voice based on your audience’s response. Continuously refine your messaging to remain relevant and resonate with your target audience. 

If your leadership messaging needs to shift and you’re not confident about how to do so, hire someone specializing in brand voice development.

Ready to Command the Room?

If you’re ready to grow your executive through leadership presence, yet lack confidence about crafting your personal brand voice, help is available. 

Working with a copywriter specializing in brand voice can provide the guidance and support you need to develop a compelling and authentic personal brand.

Don’t let barriers hold you back – take the step to refine your voice and amplify your impact.


Contributor Collective Member

Monica Kade is a Senior Creative Copywriter. She helps six-to-seven-figure professionals master their brand voice and build a distinct digital presence. Her clients save time, grow their personal brands and attract the right clients faster. For more information visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/monicakadecopywriter

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