How A Strong Personal Brand Supports High Business Growth
By Georgia Kirke with special guest Guy Remond
Why is building and growing a community around your personal brand so important? Is its sole purpose to direct prospective clients towards your business?
Perhaps you have set ideas about how to go about building a community, if so you’ll love the inspiration that angel investor, tech entrepreneur and non-exec Guy Remond has to share.
The snowball effect
He adopted a creative approach to building a community around his business Cake Solutions Ltd; not only did Guy’s strategy boost revenue, and attract the best talent, it got them ready for their eventual buy out by Disney Streaming Services.
Guy: “Around 2010 my then Chief Technical Officer Jan Macháček began writing blogs on some of the research and development he was doing for my software development company. A big part of his role was to plan ahead and look at what was round the corner. He blogged, and people in the online world started to follow him.
Over time he was invited to speak at conferences and the whole thing snowballed. We got our first lead through someone who read one of Jan’s blogs and we realised that sharing our expertise through high-value content could become an essential part of our business strategy.”
What’s really interesting is that Guy didn’t position himself as the star of the show or the go-to expert, he created more of a self-managing company and gave Jan the freedom to openly share his research findings and opinions. He then went on to motivate the rest of his workforce!
Rolling out his strategy
Guy: “Because we were a fast-growing company we were hiring regularly so we made it part of our recruitment process to be upfront and talk about the importance of building a personal brand. It’s inevitable that when you [a team member] build a personal brand the company you work for benefits from that exposure.”
Guy motivated a third of his company to regularly blog, offer lunch and learn sessions and speak at events (sometimes to an audience of up to 700 people). The stereotypical tech expert is introverted but this was not an issue for Guy’s team.
Guy: “Some could be a little bit reserved or slightly less outgoing but everybody enjoyed being part of the tech community because they were chatting to their peers about stuff they really enjoyed. By building that personal brand they elevated themselves within that community which was really powerful for them.”
I wanted to know if at any point Guy had been apprehensive about their rise in popularity and whether that brought up any vulnerabilities.
Develop a brilliant work culture
Guy: “The biggest fear companies have with their staff creating their own personal brand by speaking at events and so on is that recruitment firms will phone them, but you can’t try to protect your team like that; recruiters will phone them anyway! It’s far better to make sure that the company culture that you create is strong enough that nobody wants to leave no matter what promises a recruiter makes!”
Guy’s company culture centred on personal branding which helped them secure six- and seven-figure projects. I wondered if Guy had been aware that his strategy was quite so potent at the time.
Guy: “Our event planners told us they’d been following us for years, reading our blogs and watching our team at conferences. We didn’t even know they were there watching us!”
As an entrepreneur it’s natural to feel impatient and want to see immediate results from your output. Creating and sharing expert content with your target audience doesn’t always pay off immediately, but as Guy explained it was enormously rewarding, and the benefits didn’t stop there!
Two major benefits
Guy’s company enjoyed two big benefits from encouraging team members to create and share their expertise through content:
- It generated high-quality sales.
- It was a sought-after place to work.
Guy: “You don’t need to hire a sales team. The sales were generated through our expertise. People were phoning us and because they’d followed us for a while they didn’t question our expertise; they already knew about it. We were able to get straight into the commercials.
People wanted to come and work for us because they had seen all the great things that we were working on and wanted to be part of it.”
From what Guy shared it’s clear that a personal brand has the power to take your business from startup to powerhouse, and build a phenomenal, engaged community along the way.
10-second take takeaway
For today’s challenge, create one social media post for your platform of choice that will genuinely serve your community. Share it in our Facebook group or if you’re ready to share it more widely tag Write Business Results on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
Are you ready to amplify your business success through sharing expert content and building a strong personal brand? If so, why not invest in a brand and content strategy session with us. We’ll show you how to leverage the power of books, blogs and podcasts so that you step into 2022 with a strategy for exponential growth.