There’s an old adage that claims “all business is personal.” In the digital age, where social media has all but erased the layer of separation between customer and executive, that is even more true. Because of this, having a strong and vibrant personal brand is just as important as your company having a powerful and connective commercial brand.
One of the reasons for this is the high bar set by some leading Founders & CEOs, who are effectively leveraging social media as a marketing tool for their companies. They are using the personal connection created on social media to appeal directly to customers. People have responded to this overwhelmingly well and, even if they’re not always happy with the CEO, they are actively, passionately engaged.
There’s also some data to back up the importance of maintaining a trustworthy personal brand. According to surveys, eight out of 10 consumers are more likely to view a company favorably if the CEO is active on social media. This connection builds trust, which allows the CEO to transform this personal connection into a business benefit for the company’s brand. Here are a few ways that can help any business.
Personal Brands Create Distinct Connections
CEOs now have the opportunity to become influencers in their own right. Sure, it’s easier for celebrities turned entrepreneurs like Mark Wahlberg or Jessica Alba, but CEOs such as Elon Musk have also crafted strong brand loyalty with an active, albeit sometimes tempestuous, presence on social media. Consider the impact of consumers being able to talk directly to the CEO about Tesla and SpaceX. Instead of standing back and looking at these companies like proverbial ivory towers, they can see inside those towers and reach out directly to the boss.
Personal Brand Can Bring in Venture Capital
A CEO doesn’t need to be a billionaire like Musk or Richard Branson to leverage their personal brand to help their business. CEOs that build a trusted, professional, and accessible online presence reflect well on the company they run. This can help a great deal when the time comes to seek investment in a new or expansion enterprise. Investors love to see an established brand with a deep and strong connection to the target market. Even the CEO of a relatively small company can make this happen with a carefully cultivated personal brand.
Personal Brands Elicit Stories
People still love stories, and they prefer stories about people to stories about things. So, if a CEO is able to craft a good story around his or her personal brand, they put themselves, and their company, in a better position for earned media exposure. As the story builds, journalists in that industry will be more receptive to press releases and other media contacts. They know there’s something there for them to build on, a good story that their readers, viewers or listeners will want to know about.