Everywhere you turn, it seems like corporations and chief executive officers are becoming bigger and more media-friendly in this digital age. And it makes you wonder – is that just the lay of the land, or are corporations (and more specifically, those who run these corporations) doing something tangible and specific to grow their brands and become modern-day superstars and public figures?
Not surprisingly, corporate leaders and business people all over the world are working hard on developing their personal brands, and both their personal and business reputations – and for good reason, too, since a bigger personal brand means a better corporate presence. But how have these influencers worked to develop their brand? And most importantly, what can you learn from them to help develop your sphere of influence?
Be Authentic and Helpful
First and foremost, the most influential corporate and business leaders are authentic and helpful. Sure, at some points it is all about them personally, but they make it a point to make it about you. What can they provide for you? How can they add value to your day? When you look to develop a strong personal brand that can enhance your corporate one, be thinking about how to add value and information to those around you – by helping them, they will in turn enhance your reputation and help you in the long run.
Be a Superstar – without trying to seem like a one
Corporate leaders like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs are super stars, and there’s really no way around saying it. But they developed their brand and outlook by acting like they weren’t rock stars, but rather just businessmen. It all comes down to authenticity – if you develop a personal brand with the idea that you want to be seen as an influencer, people will see right through your fake motives. But, if you develop an altruistic personal brand that is trying to help others while being cool and holding influence, people will line up to listen to your opinions and interact with you on both a personal and professional level.
Accessibility matters in the 21st century!
With Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social and digital media at the forefront, it is critical that you are accessible if you hope to enhance any personal or professional brand. That means replying and interacting on social media, being available for speaking engagements and conventions, and being open to people questioning you and challenging you. The less accessible you are, the more people will shy away from wanting your influence, if they feel they can’t have a say or an opinion in what it is you do, promote, and think.
Richard Branson and Steve Jobs
Branson and Jobs took lots and lots of time to develop their personal brands, which in turn developed their corporate brands. It didn’t happen over night, and it didn’t happen in exactly the way they may have imagined. But they looked at adding value to other people’s lives, as opposed to just promoting their own, and they asked themselves questions about how they could best help and add value to the people around them. Take it as a lesson for you: if you can’t help others with what you are doing and promoting, you have no hope of developing a personal brand or a corporate brand for purely selfish motives.