Why Corporate Leaders and Their Employees Should Focus on Personal Branding

Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Branding [ 2 Comments ]

Would it help your company if you were known as a thought leader in your industry?  Of course it would!  One of the best ways to create a pull strategy for your company is to create a strong personal brand for yourself.

There is no doubt that you provide quality goods and services.  You know that you can be trusted to provide the best your industry has to offer; now how do you convince everyone else?  While hard numbers and profit margins are excellent indicators of success, these are not points of interest and they generally draw attention to your company on a broad scale.

Personal connection draws people into your company, and once they’ve experienced your superior product, they’ll return to a familiar face known for good service.  A few other benefits include:

  • By giving the public a human face to associate with your company, you engender trust and familiarity.
  • Potential deals can arise as other leaders recognize the synergies that can be created from a partnership with your company.
  • Top-tier talent is drawn to you because they want to work for the management figureheads who are the leaders in the industry.
  • Public confidence in management can build trust and ultimately lead to higher stock prices.

Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates are all people who reached the pinnacle of great personal branding.  Whether your industry is technology, a financial investment firm, or outsourced accounting, it’s about knowing that you have a high-quality product or service to offer and showing the public that you believe in your company so much that you’re willing to offer your personal guarantee of success (without the cheesy “I guarantee…” speech)!

Chances are you won’t reach the superior level of these leaders, but being a known thought leader in your industry can present limitless opportunities.  Think of the countless faces of industry leaders who haven’t reached the benchmarks set by the likes of Warren Buffett, but whom you still know. “Papa” John Schnatter is a prime example.  It’s unlikely that stock prices for pizza delivery would suffer as a result of John Schnatter catching a cold, but try to see his face and not think about pizza.

How to Begin Creating Your Personal Brand

The first step is determining what you want your personal brand to be before you get started.  Think about positioning your brand in a way that will benefit your business the most. Consider your goals, vision, and target markets to arrive at a brand that will position you for success. If your company’s goal is to become the leading reputation management firm, then you better be known as the “King” of reputation management.  It’s not easy, but you can be the Papa John’s of the reputation management world.

This raises the question, “How do you become a thought leader?”  You can be a modern-day Einstein, but if you don’t share your expertise with a large audience, nobody will know who you are.  There are many different vehicles you can use to obtain that authority to reach a larger market.  These include social media, online publishing opportunities, and speaking engagements.

Social media has become one of the best resources available to spread your message.  It’s free, so take advantage.  We are past the days where people are reading their morning paper with breakfast.  There’s now a social element to the spreading of news and ideas.  You can use a site like Zite.com and customize your readings on your tablet.  Speaking engagements can give your brand a boost.  There are also sites like Speakerfile.com out there that act as an eHarmony for connecting speakers and opportunities.

Use what’s available to you.  Tweet, blog, post, comment, and connect!  Let the world know about your expert skills as well as what your company can do for them.  Best of all, let them know you!

Photo Credit: uniqueproductfinds.com

John Hall is the CEO of Digital Talent Agents, a company that helps experts build their personal and company brand through producing high quality content for reputable publications.You can follow John at .

2 thoughts on “Why Corporate Leaders and Their Employees Should Focus on Personal Branding

  1. avatarPeter Sterlacci

    Great post John. Our personal brands certainly do enhance and support the corporate brand. I have heard people tell me they do not need to go through the personal brand discovery process for themselves because they are not “looking for a job”. I have to remind them that unearthing, communicating, and managing your brand will help you to advance the corporate brand. And if you happen to lose your current job the you have discovered your unique promise of value to help you to stand out in a crowd of people with similar credentials. Thanks again for a great post!

  2. avatarClaire Farnell

    I totally agree about the essence of personal branding to y especially to corporate leaders. A personal brand whether we like it or not, will reflect the reputation of the organization- just like how Bill Gates is to Microsoft or Steve Jobs is to Apple. Having said this, leaders must aspire for a very strong personal brand to reflect the organization. The advantages of personal branding are: First, it promotes self awareness to leaders highlighting their best qualities; Second it helps you to be crystal clear and be specific about your company goals ; and Lastly it promotes resilience- meaning despite downturns in the business a leader’s strong personal brand will stand among the rest.

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