Have you ever noticed how all the biggest CEOs have a strong personal identity? Can you imagine Virgin without the inimitable Richard Branson? Or Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg? Apple without the late Steve Jobs? These entrepreneurs define, and even transcend, their own company. They have raised their profile, and become a key marketing and branding aspect of the business. Good CEOs understand that this personal profile matters. But, how do you start creating one?
Become active in the industry network
Well, the first stage is putting yourself on the map within your industry. As a small company, the public isn’t yet interested. But, your industry peers certainly are. Make sure you’re attending at all the major networking events in your circles. Try to land a great speaking gig at the next trade show or conference. Ask questions, and start taking an active role in the network around you. Build connections with each and every notable person in the business. You’ll slowly see your reputation and authority rise.
Create a bold bio and story
As your business profile rises, people will begin to search for you online. They’re looking to find out more about you and your history. First this will be colleagues and new associates. Then it will be the media. And eventually, it will be the public. It’s up to you to create a bold persona and biography. Craft the story early, before journalists craft it for you. Make sure you have a strong, bold biography and story online.
Write blog posts
People like to see a company’s CEO active on the business blog. It shows that they take a keen interest in the events around them. It’s also a great way to grow your profile, and spread your name. Include a headshot of your face and that killer biography each and every time. In your blogs, make grand statements about the industry. Make sure your opinion is heard, and build your reputation and authority.
Secure influential media coverage
The best way to grow your personal brand is through outside media coverage. When influential journalists include you in their news pieces, it boosts your reputation. You can do this by using PR sites to distribute press releases on your behalf. If you’ve got a new product or service launching, make sure you include a quote for journalists. Even better, start trying to arrange interviews and features. It’s a chance to get your name and picture in the influential media.
Be bold and controversial
If you want to really put yourself on the map, you’re going to have to capture attention. Be bold and controversial in your interviews and blog posts. There’s a fine line to walk here. Steve Jobs, for example, perfected the controversial tone to his advantage. Others, like Uber’s current CEO often causes more harm than good with his outspoken nature!
That’s all for now, folks. Be sure to stick around, and you’ll find plenty of other resources for budding entrepreneurs. For now, think about how you can build your personal brand, and create a successful persona.