As the founder or CEO of a company, building a personal brand can be seen as a low priority task but investing in your individual media presence can deliver significant benefits for your wider business.
Recent research from Sprout Social demonstrates the benefit of having a tangible personality behind a business, with findings indicating that when stakeholders feel connected to brands, more than half (57%) will increase their spending – and 76% will buy from them over a competitor. Achieving this person-to-person engagement can be critical when driving brand preference and failing to do so can leave you at risk of accusations of others setting the agenda around you and your business.
Delivering consistent and coherent messaging across a multitude of channels enables this personality to be given a platform. When developing your personal brand strategy make sure you consider where your stakeholders are operating and ensure these channels are incorporated as part of your marketing mix.
Profiling and interviews
A key PR tool is storytelling. Describing your journey to where you are now can bring valuable context to a brand’s belonging. Although financial information and company expansion announcements remain of interest to consumers, potential investors and business people alike, profiling slots and interviews are an opportunity to give flair and show real personality of the people behind the business.
Some of the most successful interviews have covered the unexpected trials of working in business and the personal quirks of individuals, where interviewees have been honest about the hurdles to overcome and shown themselves to be human, closing the gap between themselves and their key audiences. Krisi Smith, co-founder of tea mixology company, Bird & Blend does this brilliantly, with her unconventional journey to success captured in features with Yahoo!, The Times, The Independent and podcaster favourite, Secret Leaders.
Thought leadership and commentary
While being vocal in the media gives your brand a personality, it also gives you a separate voice from your business which allows you to convey your expertise and personality with integrity. However it’s integral that that separate voice remains in line with a company’s values, as any disharmony in opinion or insight will diminish the individual’s credibility in role and the company’s impact.
Having the agility to respond quickly to the media landscape is a way to do this effectively and can be conducted with short, snappy commentary or in longer form pieces like op-eds or thought leadership articles. This creates the opportunity to embed your voice within the broader news landscape and establish yourself as an expert on the subject matter, while promoting the business in an organic way.
Events and speaking opportunities
Delivering these insights at events and speaking opportunities is an effective tactic to engage key audiences, going the extra mile by adding a physical voice to an individual’s words on paper. Industry-wide events are commonplace with speaking slots ready for experts to take on – but these are often a longer-term play, after the media presence is established through other PR tactics.
The previously mentioned Sprout Social report also found that 70% of consumers feel more connected to brands with CEOs that are active on social media.
Recent statistics have also suggested that personal social media profiles can generate stronger engagement rates compared to business pages, particularly on LinkedIn given the closer relationship individuals tend to have with connections. That’s not to say business pages are blunted, it just means your strategy can be elevated by launching a two-pronged approach that puts senior figures front and centre.
Depending on who you ask, content from an individual can drive as much as 10 times more engagements than content from a business page. Due to the nature of the platform, sharing insights such as news commentary, industry analysis and company milestones on a personal LinkedIn page can help enhance your personal brand while also building trust with your wider business. This more personal relationship can play a significant role when audiences are considering a business to partner with, purchase from or invest in.
‘If you’d be interested in discussing how we could help you build your personal brand for the benefit of your business, click here to read more.