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If you’re a successful company founder, chances are you have deep industry insights. But does your target audience really know that? Establishing a strong, recognizable brand goes beyond expertise; it’s essential for connecting with clients, staff, and the public. That’s where executive visibility strategy comes in. A recent survey by LinkedIn and Edelman revealed that nearly 90% of B2B decision-makers are receptive to outreach from companies known for high-quality thought leadership. When tied to a founder, this leadership can be particularly impactful, making the founder the ideal face of their company’s brand. 

But how do you go about creating or strengthening your visibility? The way forward is not piecemeal – speaking at a conference here, getting a media interview there – but holistic and comprehensive. To become a recognized face and name in your area of expertise, you need to build your own platform. This entails not just third-party relationship-building and validation (what was traditionally meant by public relations) but owned platforms like blogs, newsletters and podcasts that can continuously generate original content. And all this needs to be in your voice, so that you leave a distinctive imprint in the minds of stakeholders and become an instantly recognized and sought-after expert. Here are three things to do as a company founder to get this type of executive visibility up and running, in chronological order: 

  1. Craft your core message and identity: You need to pull all your various threads of experience and insight into a coherent vision of your industry and focus area. What’s the story of your relevance? What problem – broadly speaking – are you trying to solve? But this is only half the battle. You need to also cultivate your personal identity and voice as a company founder to create wide visibility and recognition. That needs to inform your content and delivery, so that you come across as not only knowledgeable but authentic.  
  1. Build your owned platforms: Historically PR focused on getting straight “wins” in terms of media  and conference experiences. But that’s harder than it used to be. Early on it pays to focus on the media that you can control: your website, your blog, your podcast. This helps you refine your messaging, amplify your expertise and create a solid foundation on which to reach out to the wider world. This often requires a big investment of time, but it’s increasingly expected of thought leaders – and company founders.  
  1. Focus on key conferences and media relationships: Third-party publicity will always be the ultimate goal of an executive visibility strategy. But trying to prioritize quantity over quality, which was never great for building a memorable brand since you’re likely to only get quoted here and there, is becoming less viable as competition for the attention of conference organizers and reporters intensifies. In a crowded, noisy market, you need to identify a handful of places you must be and people you must talk to move the needle – and work on targeting them. Having already built up an arsenal of thought leadership on your owned platforms helps give these influencers a window into your unique perspective, turbo-charging outreach efforts.  

People are easier to remember and relate to than company names. As a company founder, you should want to be the face of your firm to drive visibility and results. This is the blueprint for building and executing that strategy.  

Building Your Brand as a Company Founder: An Executive Visibility Blueprint  was last modified: July 3rd, 2024 by Brian Sherry

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