The days of the faceless corporation are over. Fact. More than ever before business leaders and visionaries need to be seen. And, more crucially, heard.
Why? Because it…
Also because it helps anyone who engages with your brand to feel like they’re getting the real deal. An actual human story. Which is a powerful platform to grow your business.
People buy people. Fact. Beyond the cliché is this… people buy stories they believe in. And they love to follow them. It’s why the current buzzword on the block is ‘authenticity’. We all want something real we can believe from someone real we can believe in.
IBM calls this Brand Belonging and they’ve measured its business impact to prove that increasing Brand Belonging can grow revenue and increase market share better and faster. How is this possible? Because we’re in a world where too much is superficial and temporary. Where we need to question what is actually true. Even on the news.
Have you ever tried to connect with a faceless company? Even if that company has an amazing vision and mission statement, words mean little unless you believe there’s a human story behind them. That’s why we get so excited when inspiring ideas are presented by the founder, with passion, power and conviction. Think Steve Jobs and his keynotes. Think Simon Sinek and his thought leadership. We want to listen. We want to hear more. Sometimes we make notes. And, if it really resonates with us then we spread the word. This is why TED is so popular.
What’s really exciting is that it’s never been easier to find a relevant channel to broadcast your message. It’s never been easier to reach your audience and light up their world!
Yes, it’s hugely important to invest in crafting your company image. However, getting your own message out there as the founder has many additional benefits. Before you build your sales team or spend on marketing, the majority of your business will likely come from your existing contacts, from networking and word of mouth. You need a powerful and memorable personal brand to maximise these opportunities.
Equally, when you want to attract the right people to join your team. People who align with your values and want to become part of your success story. People who buy into you as a leader. That’s when personal branding comes into its own as a driver of growth.
“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” – Tom Peters in Fast Company
Should you avoid making yourself visible as the founder? Not at all. It’s your vision, personality and ideas that will make your business unique. If you’re building your business purely to sell then you probably have a shorter, more defined timeline in mind. You’ll need even more rocket fuel to get off the ground. And guess where that’s going to come from? Your personal brand. You’ll fire-up people to climb on board. Clients, team, partners… and eventually your buyer.
And finally… Apply for that TED talk! 😉
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernhard Shaw
At Firestarter we already create engaging, authentic and highly differentiated brands for purpose-led businesses. We now also create powerful, stand-out identities for their leaders. We can help you to make an impact even when you’re not in the room… firstname.lastname@example.org