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How To Build Your Personal Brand Like A CMO

If you follow me now on LinkedIn or have seen any of my content online, you might think public speaking comes fairly naturally to me.

You might even think I enjoy it - that I’m an extrovert.

But that’s not at all how I started.

Diary of a first-time CMO by Alice De Courcy
By: Alice de Courcy
1 minute read


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Yes, now I’ll moderate or host a webinar or speak directly to the camera without much thought, but don’t be fooled, I’m an introvert.

I remember the first time I introduced using webinars at Cognism - which was an amazing quick win, they’d never done them before so it was a great opportunity.

We had plenty of in-house expertise to utilise and it would cost next to nothing to implement. However, I knew I was going to have to be the one to moderate the call.

While I’d sat outside of brilliant webinars in the past, I’d never moderated one myself. But there were no alternatives, it had to be me. So how do you bridge the gap?

I’m afraid I don’t have any magic recipe to fix this problem, my only advice is to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. The more you practice, the better you get.

In the early days of running webinars, I was so scared. I’d have a script, and if anything, I’d say I would over-prepare.

That just meant I was stunted and awkward. I couldn’t respond in a way that felt natural ‘cause I was so restricted by my script.

But with experience and time, that fear started to dissipate.

Once I realised that I was able to answer questions, and that I did actually know what I was talking about, my confidence grew.

If I were to give someone in this position advice, I’d say stick to topics you’re comfortable talking about - just initially - while you find your feet. Because once you get going on a topic you enjoy talking about, the rest fades away.

I had a similar experience when I first started posting to LinkedIn. I thought nothing I was saying was valuable and I would have no engagement on my posts.

(A quick nod to the full circle moment here, talking about how I was scared to post to LinkedIn, now I’m sharing all my posts again and going into more detail. Funny how the world works sometimes, eh?)

Anyway, I was sitting at my desk, spending ages pouring over my post, trying to make sure it was perfect. And I struggled to press go on it.

And of course, eventually - I did, because we wouldn’t be here doing this. But one thing I’d love to tell anyone struggling like I was is that we can all learn from one another.

You don’t need to know everything right now, and the people around you can learn with you as you go.

No matter what your experience, your seniority, if you have a story to tell, there are people who will want to listen and learn from you.

I can now spend 4 or 5 minutes writing up a post, and I’ll publish it without much thought. But that didn’t happen overnight. You have to commit to doing it regularly. Repetition is key.

We are in an age now where your personal brand is important. It can help propel you in your career, and it can help the businesses you work for as well.

So getting comfortable with putting yourself into the public eye is a great lesson to learn.

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