As you consider how to grow your company and increase investment, is CEO/founder profile building part of your overall strategy?
A well-known, authentic and consistent personal brand will build credibility and trust with investors and partners, create a competitive edge, and create lasting value that will continue to yield dividends for your future endeavors. Here are some tips to get started in as little as two hours a week:
If you aren’t already an avid social media junkie, the thought of starting out or ramping up your efforts is daunting. But by carving out an hour or two each week, social media engagement is one way to see tangible results for a relatively light lift. More than 90% of the world’s leading corporate executives report that LinkedIn is their primary source for business news and professionally relevant content. So, if you’re only going to use one platform, make it LinkedIn.
Start simple: Make sure you have a solid LinkedIn profile. Use a professional-looking headshot, clear and compelling summary and current bio. Your summary should speak to what your potential investors, customers or stakeholders need to know about you. Include a brief description of your startup and the problem you’re solving. Join relevant industry groups and aim to post, share or comment on posts at least a few times a week to start.
Be a human.
The wise Simon Sinek says, “People don’t invest in WHAT you do, they invest in WHY you do it.” So, tell them. Express your values, your beliefs, your motivations. Show that you share values and are driven by the same ideals. We encourage our clients to write a personal vision piece or “CEO Credo” to share their story of what led them to start their company; their experiences, beliefs, hopes for the future and what motivates them to continue to charge forward each day. These CEO Credos make great content for your website and you can use your social media channels to point people in that direction.
You’re an expert in what you do, and you’re driving innovations that will help humanity thrive. Share some of your knowledge and insights. If you enjoy writing, contemplate producing blog posts or articles for LinkedIn. These don’t need to be long; you can convey a lot of valuable content in 200-300 words. Consider submitting a column or think piece to an online industry publication as a guest contributor.
Look for speaking opportunities that go beyond the traditional industry conferences and give you visibility with potential investors. Offer to speak about the challenges and experiences you’ve had as a technology entrepreneur. The effort will be well worth it; you’ll position yourself as a credible and recognized thought leader in your industry, contribute to important discussions that advance innovation and you’ll get some good karma points, too.
As the leader and figure head for your startup, your personal brand is intrinsically tied to the brand of your company and as your profile grows and strengthens, you will see the momentum propel your company as well. If you have any questions on how to get started, we’re always here to help.