Creating and leveraging your personal brand to establish credibility for your business is one of the most successful marketing strategies you can implement quickly and easily. It is also a way to position yourself as a leader in a specific field or industry, therefore carving out a niche or platform that is linked to your business.
As an entrepreneur you have knowledge and expertise that makes you who you are; it is your unique story and ideas that make you stand out. Your story and your brand gives credibility to the business especially if you have specialised knowledge to offer. And as you grow, you can bring in other leaders within the business to profile too.
What do you stand for?
The most important part of profiling yourself is to get very clear on what your personal platform is and strategically link this with your business. You need to ensure that what you stand for is not incongruent with your business. What do you want to be known for? What makes you unique? What makes your business unique? What expertise do you have that others don’t? By being very clear on what platform you will become a spokesperson for and what subject matter you will become known for, will ensure a consistent message to focus for marketing.
Here are 3 great “leadership” strategies to get you noticed with the media:
#1 Get profiled
Connect with media who have a leadership or entrepreneurial section by introducing yourself and sending them your profile. If your profile is good, they will come back to you asking for more information or to follow up doing a profile.Your starting point is to have a well-written personal profile ready that is good enough for the Who’s Who of South Africa. It is best to have the profile written by a professional writer in a story format, you want to resist just sending through your CV. Showing the human side to a company is one of the most successful marketing strategies you can implement quickly and easily. You can also use your profile on the company website, for LinkedIn or new business proposals. You can create more than one profile including your leadership team in the process.
A well-written personal profile should be good enough for the Who’s Who of Top People. It is best to have the profile written by a professional writer in a story format; you want to resist sending through your CV as media receive many pitches every day and you want to stand out.
The key elements that make up a great personal profile:
- A great profile photograph – it is worth paying a professional photographer to take a variety of photographs to use in your profile and also to send to media as the PR campaign progresses.
- Explains who you are and what you stand for very clearly and succinctly.
- Showcases both your business prowess and your human side.
- An impactful intro, one paragraph, which is a summary of who you are, where you are now, what you are known for and what makes you unique.
- Tells a story throughout the profile, highlighting your key experiences, achievements, passions and expertise areas. Is backed up with proof – gives specific companies worked with, names of projects or people, education, accolades received.
- Positions you being associated with other business leaders and companies that are successful.
- Has a forward thinking paragraph which highlights your plans for the future.
- Highlights any significant initiatives that make you stand out – it could be an award, an event you spoke at, an article you have written, participation in any industry bodies or memberships, a personal achievement or community involvement such as an NGO you support.
- Is supported with a good company profile.
#3. Offer expert advice
Offer yourself or someone in your team as an expert to media who need commentary or opinion. This usually includes professions such as Lawyers, Psychologists, Finance etc., or it could be you know a lot about Real Estate, Tech, Careers, Marketing and so on. Your expertise should match your business so that you are always tying back your personal profile to what your business does.
#2 Become a valuable source
Provide a monthly industry update to key media you have identified. This can take the form of a simple email highlighting 3 key trends or newsworthy items you noticed and your opinion on them. This would literally be one paragraph per item: the idea is for media to see you as a valuable source of information. If you do this consistently and to the right media, you will soon find yourself being approached by media for comment.