When you think of executive branding, oftentimes your immediate focus is on the direct benefits to your personal brand. And you might think that spending company resources on personal branding won’t help accomplish your company’s goals.
But executive branding is about much more than one person. At the core, it’s about boosting company credibility and reach in order to drive growth.
When you leverage your expertise to help others, you’ll naturally increase your personal influence and, more importantly, you’ll draw positive attention to your company. In short, you will become a thought leader.
But earning this reputation isn’t easy. The best way to start growing your thought leadership is to contribute content to industry publications.
When people read your content on your own platform, they’re more likely to take your advice with a grain of salt. On the other hand, reaching the audience of a well-recognized publication can increase trust, discoverability, and credibility in your space.
Influence & Co. works with executives to extract their knowledge, translate that information into relatable, reader-driven content, and secure publication placements that align with their strategies. As a result, we help our clients do the following:
It’s almost a given that being published in industry publications will help you reach new audiences. Untapped readers represent potential relationships you can build over time. As you continue to engage new followers, you never know which relationships will end up generating a trusted referral partner, a long-term customer, or a valuable connection.
For instance, let’s say you connect with the organizer of an industry conference or event. Your relationship could land you a high-profile speaking opportunity that puts you in front of new audiences and ramps up your credibility.
Getting published in industry publications directly boosts your credibility. Your innovative ideas and thoughts demonstrate your expertise on a specific topic or industry. Readers also see you as a credible expert by extension of the prominent publication placement.
When a publication recognizes your authority enough to publish your ideas on its platform, it also affirms your company’s credibility in the eyes of readers. A customer who sees and recognizes your work is more likely to choose you over a competitor.
Reaching new audiences doesn’t just fuel your personal brand. It also generates exposure for your company. More eyeballs lead to more awareness, especially when readers learn about your unique perspectives and expertise. Buying a sponsorship or banner ad won’t yield the same benefits as publishing content that increases long-term understanding and appreciation for your brand.
Increasing awareness with content also supports the storytelling and educational components of your brand. When a customer can solve a problem simply by reading your content, he’ll be more likely to think of you when the need for your product or service arises.
LearnVest’s Alexa von Tobel is a prime example of an executive branding success story. Alexa has become a thought leader in financial freedom with her book “Financially Fearless” and her columns on Inc. and Cosmopolitan. Her content efforts have not only raised her personal profile, but they’ve also created valuable exposure for the company. As a result, these new relationships with customers, partners, and investors fueled major growth, and earlier this year, Northwestern Mutual acquired LearnVest for $250 million.
When you limit the focus to yourself, it’s easy to dismiss or overlook the benefits of executive branding. After all, you might not even want to increase your personal profile. But take a minute to think about the benefits for your brand, and you will realize that executive branding can deliver new relationships and provide increased credibility and awareness for your company.
I am a Vice President of Influence & Co. I'm passionate about entrepreneurship, technology, Mizzou, and all St. Louis sports teams. I've contributed to Forbes, Entrepreneur, Under30CEO, and Linked2Leadership.