When it comes to personal branding \u201cif you\u2019re not appearing, you\u2019re disappearing\u201d #8212; a quote by jazz musician Art Blakey #8212; was the advice delivered to IT leaders at Sydney's 2011 CIO Summit.\nFormer CIO editor and founder of the CIO Executive Council in Australia, Linda Kennedy, said that the development of a personal brand can aid CIOs looking for greener pastures or to widen their career prospects.\n\u201cIf you\u2019re not communicating, nobody\u2019s hearing you,\u201d Kennedy said.\nKennedy told the summit that three steps of brand strategy are\nDeveloping your brand\nPackage your brand\nCommunicate your brand\nThe initial phase of building a personal brand, Kennedy said, is to think about what you want to do with it #8212; tell people what\u2019s unique about you that differentiates you from the crowd, and show why you\u2019re valuable. However, Kennedy said it is important that CIOs project an \u201cauthentic\u201d persona of themselves.\n\u201cIt\u2019s who you are and what you stand for,\u201d she said. \u201cYou should be asking 'What do I love, what do I hate?' Obviously this is job-oriented. What am I passionate about?\n\u201cIt\u2019s a very critical and objective look at yourself. What do you know, what\u2019s important and valuable to you, what are you proud of that sets you apart.\u201d\nKennedy said that a brand message is the combination of the value CIOs provide and how it helps other people. She said creating a brand message is \u201cnot totally easy\u201d; the message should be a single sentence that answers the following questions:\nWho\u2019s your target audience?\nWho do you provide for?\nWhat do potential employers want?\nThe next step is packaging the personal brand. Kennedy said that this includes marketing the CIO name and title on everything they do, and developing a speaking style to engage with their audience, such as using an authoritative voice or a more personable tone to engage with the audience.\nThe third step is to communicate the brand. Kennedy said that CIOs should spend about 15 per cent of their time on \u2018public focus\u2019 #8212; Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter #8212; and 85 per cent of time on doing 'behind-the-scenes' work, including networking, sending emails to people and regularly updating contacts. Kennedy also advised self-branders to avoid overused words, such as innovative, motivated, results-oriented and passionate.\nKennedy said that when it comes to social media, CIOs need to think about that they put out there and pass on valuable information.\nCommunicating a personal brand is not just limited to social media; CIOs can also attend roundtables, join the CIO Executive Council, do more interviews, write a blog and contribute to magazines.\nKennedy said when it comes to personal branding, it is important to consistently make a good impression and to build a reputation that precedes you by raising your profile and visibility.