Entrepreneurs share about their personal brand
CEO & Founder of Kowabunga Studios
When you think of Nike, Apple, Bill Gates, Donald Trump – you have a collection of words describing these people or companies.
When you think Oracle, Emerson, or Hexel you really don’t have anything to say because you probably know nothing about these Billion dollar companies.
A personal brand allows you to occupy space in people’s minds.
Knowing when the time is right, they’ll think of you, your company and your brand for what you provide.
Without the name recognition, you’ll be passed over with the value of your services less than if you had a brand.
My personal brand is one of doing the right thing, no matter the cost.
Loyalty to our customers and the mission of helping improve the lives of everyone in the construction industry.
Lifetime student, because learning never ends.
Hard discipline – doing what you say you’re going to do and following through.
Going the extra mile – the small things matter a lot, do the little extra because it’s worth it.
CEO of The Engagement Strategy Group
We live in a world where your visibility and reputation are very important currencies, often more than others.
Digital communication and social media created easier and faster access for all to information and therefore brands are no longer just “abstract identities” that serve one-sided content (ads, reports or other).
They are identified with the humans behind them, and more often than not, these humans and the humanized face of the brand, are the make or break when it comes to investments and fundraising, marketing and PR and even sales.
This also aligns with the importance of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) these days.
In other words, brands are living organisms and the human beings you are trying to reach expect them to be more and more “human”.
The CEO of a large corporate or the founder of a brand new startup, therefore face the same challenge: they become, whether they like it or not, the face of the brand.
This goes beyond just appearing on a google search or having a profile on Linkedin and Crunchbase.
It is not enough to show up. What’s important is what shows up and how you look.
Investing in your personal brand helps both you and your company drive forward positive change.
For you, it helps you gain thought leadership and reputation, which could mean you will have easier access to PR, investors and clients.
For the brand, it helps to have a human voice on the top of the pyramid, connecting with communities and communicating values.
Your personal brand also ensures your future progress and the expansion of your current company or your transition into other fields.
A strong personal brand means you will have the best foundation (network, reputation, resources) to do pretty much whatever you want when you grow up.
The Engagement Strategy Group
Founder of GetSpeedBack
It’s important for a founder to have a personal brand for two reasons.
First, it enables them to have an established community on which they can rely.
They can speak to fans, engage followers, and collect information that would be helpful in founding a business.
Secondly, a founder’s personal brand can help to set the tone for that of the business.
In the beginning, a startup is its founders.
They pour their efforts into something separate from themselves.
An existing brand can help to guide the formation of the branding and culture of the new business.
My personal brand stands for fun and having a casual approach to things.
I feel like I’m a part of a new business movement that doesn’t take itself so seriously and as such focuses more on the outcomes rather than procedure.
I’d like to develop this brand further if I can.
Founder & CEO of Maven + Co
Too often, founders/CEOs assume that their brand is their business’ brand.
We, as our businesses’ leaders, spend such time investing in building, running, growing our businesses that they become a part of our very bones; our lives blend in to our business, so we perceive them (and subsequently our brands) as one organism.
Whilst this mindset has some value, it keeps you personally devoted to the outcome of your business, it ultimately stifles the long term growth + success of your business + your professional future.
Business + Personal brands are mutually symbiotic organisms.
If built well, they feed, support and grow each other.
As you, as CEO/founder, become more recognised in your expert markets, it raises the profile of your businesses and vice versa.
For the founder/CEO, it is critically important to separate your identity from a mindset perspective.
Most entrepreneurs will not remain with a single business for their career.
If you lose your identity with each business or after the first one, you lose invaluable time to a constant identity crisis.
Also, when your identities are co-mingled, your sense of worth, expertise, and self becomes tied to the performance of your business.
Frequently, founders believe they’re a failure because their business failed when the truth couldn’t be more opposite.
We also end up playing out our own habits + ego drives through our company when we perceive ourselves as one.
To be the best leader you can be for your business, you need to hold a strongly defined sense of self independent of your business.
It keeps your ego out of the business’ operations, your sanity intact through the rollercoasters of entrepreneurship, and tees both you + your business up to be independently stable + successful.
My brand was my company’s for many years.
I hid behind my businesses because it was an easier job than trying to define all the different things I did as a founder, serial entrepreneur, investor, activist, and creative.
It also meant who I was got completely lost along the way.
Investing in separating out my personal brand enabled both my brand + my business’ to grow.
It’s also allowed me to showcase the areas of my expertise that are outside the realm of my business.
My personal brand is builder. creator. challenger.
I stand for building a better world 1% every day.
My brand is working to change the face of capitalism + society by re-ingineering the way businesses are built + run to leveraging them as a force for good.
Maven + Co
Managing Director of Andrew Laws Associates Ltd
A personal strong brand is crucial for two key reasons.
First of all, a strong, positive and progressive personal brand will stand out in a world where many CEOs appear to be trying to fit into a preconceived idea of what a CEO ‘should’ be.
Being prepared to do things a little differently and stand out of the crowd is a key indicator of a strong personal brand.
We all love ‘disruptors’, and as long as you have the knowledge and experience to back up your boldness, your personal brand will shine out!
My personal brand stands for enthusiasm, empathy and progress.
Andrew Laws Associates
CEO of Elevate Diamond Strategy
It is important because buyers of services and consumers/customers increasingly care more about who you are and what you stand for in business and in life.
It also serves as a differentiator.
My personal brand stands for authenticity, actionable results (“get it done”), strategic thinking with an executable mindset, and is focused on making complex strategies and solutions simple and easy for all to understand.
Elevate Diamond Strategy
CEO & Co-Founder of Stasher
With a personal brand you make it easy for your audience to buy into what you do.
Anthony (my cofounder) and I are building a joint personal brand.
As Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneurs, we started our career with Stasher – which was a smart, scalable travel niche.
In the pandemic, we’ve gone back to innovation, but this time focused on climate change, with Treepoints.
We also co-host the Morality of Everyday Things which is in the top 5% of podcasts worldwide.
This year has given us the opportunity to step back and reflect on our brand.
Sarah Beth Perry
Founder & CEO of With the Band
You need to show that you are a thought leader within your space.
As much as a founder views their company as their baby, they also have to think of the day when they will either sell their company or shut down their business.
As a founder you want to make sure you have made a name for yourself that people know you as the expert in a specific field so you can go on to other ventures or jobs.
Through my personal brand I want to show people that you should lean into your authentic self to find your passion or super power.
Most people are really good at what they love to do, and maybe they could create a company out of it.
I also want to empower women to excel in music, tech, and business.
With the Band
CEO of The Bright App
A CEO’s personal brand is a reflection of their company’s values.
It’s an indicator to potential customers, clients, partners, and the public at large what they can expect if they choose to interact with or support your company.
It may be referred to as a personal brand, but for most CEOs and founders, there’s almost no delineation between who you are or what you stand for and the public perception of your company’s values.
You don’t have to look hard to find examples of founders and CEOs being fired or forced to resign because their actions reflected poorly on their company.
One example is when Papa John’s founder John Schnatter resigned after several racist remarks he made went public.
As a CEO and founder, you’re under public scrutiny and a smart company board will cut their losses by cutting you out as soon as perceptions of you become negative.
The Bright App
CEO of Money Crashers