Traditionally, founders and or business owners work behind the scenes. They run and manage the business and achieve growth incognito. However, this is quickly changing as many founders and CEOs are becoming the faces of their companies and in the process becoming the brand’s biggest advocates.
Take Oprah, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart, and Elon Musk for example. They are all the faces of their business and their brand’s most engaged ambassador. They walk around representing, developing, and selling their brand 24 hours a day, 365 days a week and all own or owned very successful brands.
Consumers are more likely to be convinced to make a purchase by a brand they have a connection with. Authenticity boosts brand engagement as consumers look for a brand they can believe in. A successful face can also serve as an inspiration. In the case of Oprah for example, her story of unfathomable success as a woman who belongs to a minority group and comes from a less than privileged background is an inspiration and aspiration for many. Consumers relate to Oprah as well as want to be her and associate her brand with success, humanity, and perseverance. This allows Oprah to make money in many different ways. She is trusted to make endorsements that will sell out in minutes as well as produce content that will attract millions of videos. She was even able to create her own network! And, she even became a part of pop culture with iconic moments such as the time she gifted every person in her audience a brand new vehicle.
As well as being the face of your brand for consumers, you are the face of your brand for the entire company. You are the largest role model within the business. Think about why you started your brand and why you are so passionate about it to this day; share that passion, enthusiasm, and vision with your employees. Being able to spread this loyalty and engagement with your brand will breed other advocates amongst your employees. Reproducing advocates will soon become one of your most effective marketing tools. In order to do this, you must treat your employees well, live your brand values internally as well as externally, and make your employees a part of the business.
As a business owner, you have access to forums that others do not. For example, you may be invited to attend trade-insider conferences or to be a member of the chamber of commerce or just have access to wealthy friends. During every interaction, be sure to put on your brand ambassador hat. As a business owner, you do not get a break from your brand; you are always a walking billboard for your brand. Take advantage of this and communicate the best aspects of your brand. Identify and pursue opportunities to grow your business amongst your peers.