Over at SyncLab Media, we frequently find during our client’s digital marketing strategy session that many of the executives on the business’ leadership team do not have a personal brand. This puts them and their business’ marketing at a huge disadvantage.
Consumers Demand to Know
In today’s consumer driven marketplace it is not enough to just have a business brand. Everyone who holds a leadership role in the business should also have a personal brand that tells customers what they do for the business.
Of course once we get to this part of the strategy session these questions are usually asked:
- What is a personal brand?
- Why do we need a personal brand?
- How do we create a personal brand?
In most cases many of the executives have already created a personal brand and did not realize it. Or, in the worse cases, the consumers have created an image for them.
How someone finds out if they have a brand image created is to Google their name followed by their home town. If they have a Facebook page or LinkedIn profile their name usually comes up on the first page. Many times someone might have mentioned them in a local news article or on one of the social spaces.
All of these things said or posted online about them are part of someone’s personal brand image.
Once we show business leaders their digital footprint they usually say…“That’s Scary, isn’t it?”
We then spend time explaining how they need to “Get over it” since that information is already out there and there is nothing they can do about.
What they CAN do is manage their personal brand so what the public sees about them is what they WANT them to see.
Personal Brand is the image a person has developed, or has been developed by the public, from the content posted in traditional and social media channels.
Not having a personal brand is considered in the eyes of the probing public as a Negative. Allowing the public to develop a person’s brand is also regarded as being extremely risky since many times the public is going to post content about them that is not true.
The internet can be a business’ worse enemy or it’s best friend. Taking control of how the consumers see the company can be difficult since consumers now are very internet savvy and look beyond the company web-site to see what else they can find out about the business.
Consumers are getting scammed everyday by online businesses offering produces and services they want or need. As a result, consumers will go to extreme lengths to find out more about the business before they buy anything from them. If given a choice of buying from a business who leaders are found outside the confines of the company web-site and from a business that seems to be hiding who is managing the business, consumers will make a purchase from the business they can find out more about who is running the business.
This is why there is now an influx of businesses creating or hiring CBO (Chief Brand Officers) or Brand Managers. It is not enough for the directors of a business to institute a brand policy for the company to follow if there is not someone assigned to manage the policy.
Have a well planned out digital marketing strategy to developed for all key personnel. Have personal brands created for all of them…and even everyone in the entire company… is now a prudent part of a business plan. Have the same image and message posted across all online social spaces. This will result in the business building a greater credibility with consumers.
Offers Secondary Media
Have key personal list their employment in all of their personal profiles. This will broadens the businesses digital footprint. Personal brands can bring to a business another tier of word of mouth networking.
Even if the leadership team of a business already has a sound strategy for using their personal brand there has to be maintenance kept on keeping the content posted in the personal space from being too controversial or detrimental to the business’ image.
Next steps usually is to train all employees on the company’s social media policy. How this is to be done is usually run through the company’s general legal counsel to keep the message concise. Done correctly the results are positive once all employees understand the value of their personal brands to their jobs.
The damage a negative image of just one key executive of a company can create could be devastating. This is why it is very important every business have, at the very minimum, all of their leadership team and key personnel create a positive image in their personal online social space.
My suggestion is, if you are not sure how to develop a brand image or social media policy, look to hiring a professional who offers that service. It will help eliminate problems later on when consumers start checking out the brand’s image.
Let me know how I can help.