A study by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research says 44 percent of a company’s market value is directly linked to the CEO’s personal brand.
Here’s some more detail–that same study said that when a CEO has a good reputation (which is another word for “personal brand), they are better able to attract investors, positive media attention, and talent. They also retain talent better, and are fortified against PR crises.
Does this all sound like stuff only a B2B CEO would benefit from?
Personal Branding + B2B + LinkedIn
When was the last time you visited a company’s LinkedIn page? I’m not saying it never happens, but I never do it. Whenever I ask rooms of attendees at my talks and workshops to raise their hands if they’ve ever visited a LinkedIn company page I rarely see a hand go up. If you work at a company that has figured out how to do effective marketing through a LinkedIn company page then more power to you–you’ve figured out what almost nobody else has. What I know for sure is that it’s a LOT easier to focus on the personal brand of an executive and drive bigger results.
You’ve heard the saying “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.” You could say they do business with companies they know, like, and trust, but tell me honestly–how much does anyone really “like” a company? Sure, we like Nike, Apple, Tesla, and…notice how those brands have relied heavily on personal branding? Nike uses the personal brands of its sponsored athletes, Apple is still riding the Steve Jobs wave, and I guarantee half of Tesla owners are men who imagine they’re Elon Musk at some point while driving. Ok, those are all consumer brands rather than B2B brands, but the point is all things being equal, we would rather do business with a smiling person we like than a faceless corporation.
What about Amazon, Facebook, and LinkedIn itself? We don’t use Amazon because we like Bezos, or Facebook because we want to feel like Zuckerberg, or LinkedIn because we want to feel like Reid Hoffman walking out of Microsoft with a check in his pocket for $26B.
I’m not saying you can’t build a successful business without personal branding, I’m saying a powerful personal brand can pour fuel on the fire and take you to places you could never go otherwise.
"I attended your story telling course some time back. And I've enjoyed keeping up my knowledge with your blog. You may not have realised however, that the Whole of Government is implementing Internet Seperation. Hence I'm not able to access the links to read your articles. Could I suggest including a QR code in your emails so that I can use my mobile to scan it and gain immediate access to the article? It would be most helpful"