One of the first questions that I get asked when I tell people about my career is “what is the value of personal branding”? None of the clients who work with us will tell you that they invested in personal branding because they wanted to be or become more famous or to make them feel better about themselves. Rather each of our clients have one or more specific goals in mind that personal branding will help them achieve. For many, those goals include helping to increase revenues or enhance the financial value of the companies they own or represent.
Here’s how personal branding can significantly impact company revenues:
Increased visibility and credibility: A strong personal brand can help increase visibility for business, particularly if that individual is the company’s CEO or other C-Suite executive. By building a personal brand, C-Suite individuals can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industries, which can lead to more opportunities for visibility such as speaking engagements and media interviews. This improves credibility because decision-makers are far more likely to believe it when an established third-party like the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times calls a corporate executive an expert than when the company says it.
Attracting high-paying clients: A well-established personal brand can also attract high-paying clients because clients like to be associated with entities they view as knowledgeable. As one Prestige Group director says, “A client once told me that she landed a prestigious client because when she sat down with the prospect he held up a few of her published articles and said he felt secure hiring her to handle his legal work because ‘she kept showing up in news periodicals he relied on most’.” Clients are more likely to trust and invest in individuals who have a strong reputation and established as seen as experts in their field.
Building trust: Personal branding can help build trust with potential clients and customers. When individuals establishes themselves as an authority in their field, they become more credible and trustworthy in the eyes of their audience. This can lead to more loyal customers and increased revenue. It also can help companies in regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services, energy and transportation. If a state or federal regulator reads articles, op/eds, or media interviews in which the CEO or Chief Compliance Officer shares his or her approach on how to ensure the company conforms to all legal requirements, the regulator is more likely to believe that any violation that might have occurred was inadvertent rather than willful disregard of the law and therefore may be far more lenient when imposing fines or other punitive actions.
Differentiation: Personal branding can help differentiate individuals from their competitors. By establishing a unique personal brand, executives can stand out in a crowded market and be more easily remembered by potential clients and customers.
Networking and referrals: Personal branding can also help individuals expand their network and drive referrals. By building a personal brand, an individual can attract the attention of other industry professionals and influencers, which can lead to additional networking opportunities and referrals.
More confidence to negotiate: A personal brand can give individuals more confidence to negotiate better deals, including charging more for their services or selling their company for a higher price, an increasingly important goal for executives who run startups or business owners seeking to retire or go into a new line of business.
Overall, personal branding can be a powerful tool for driving revenue by demonstrating credibility, attracting clients, building trust, and differentiating oneself from competitors. Additionally, it can also help in generating referrals. While no marketing communications initiative can guarantee increased revenue, and requires an ongoing effort that requires dedication, patience, and consistency, personal branding remains one of the most effective, cost-efficient methods to generate new or repeat business.