A Quick Guide for the Image Conscious Modern CEO

Professionally Burning Out

In today’s business climate, image is everything. When people turn to brands, they search for the company’s leader and what they represent. CEOs can be more than the face of the brand; they can be its voice. So many memorable CEOs take their companies and elevate them with ideas, values, and opinions they share publicly.

So, how can you craft your image and help propel yourself as a modern CEO? 

Here is a quick guide for image-conscious brand leaders and how to take your business to new heights. 

Hone in on Your Audience

Your brand already understands your target demographic. However, something to keep in mind when crafting your “CEO image” is the audience you want to reach and how you can expand it. To whom are you speaking? What is the message you want to share with them? These are key questions to ask yourself before diving in.

Once you determine your audience, it’s vital to understand how to approach them. Which platforms are they using? Perhaps getting creative with the conversation can be another tactic. For example, Duolingo has made a name for itself on TikTok, becoming viral for its witty comments and responses. Consider how you can target younger generations or different demographics by creating an out-of-the-box marketing plan.

The key to figuring out your audience includes understanding them. A leader relies on their followers, so build a following based on what you have to offer and why it matters. 

This messaging ties into your personal brand.

Cultivate Your Personal Brand

Something valuable about personal branding is the authenticity and genuineness you bring to your image. People want to connect with leaders who are truthful in their efforts. It can be troublesome when a personal brand is only a brand. 

Or a carefully constructed image with no honesty and transparency supporting it.

Consider which CEOs have inspired your journey and what you appreciate about them. Is it their outspoken nature about certain causes? Their thoughtfulness in responses to their audience? Or maybe even their hands-on involvement with the business? Whatever the case, decide what you can do differently or how to stand out in your niche to make your brand personal to you.

Being image-conscious isn’t strictly tailoring your brand to the public. Instead, it’s taking those key elements of who you are as a person and tying that into your company’s mission. One example is Sara Blakely, the CEO of Spanx

Part of what Spanx focuses on is incentivizing staff. For example, Blakely gave each employee a $10,000 bonus as a thank you for their hard work when she sold a majority stake in the company. Her brand has been about empowerment and gratitude, so consider your values and how you can demonstrate those values to everyone on your team.

Utilize Digital Marketing Campaigns

Did you know that 73% of customers are willing to spend more with a brand that has complete transparency online? (Source) What’s important about this statistic is people value honesty, and their online habits determine their brand loyalty. Digital marketing campaigns can be as simple as having the right social media pages, email marketing to subscribers, or having an aesthetically-appealing website design.

When you focus on transparency in your marketing, that transparency has a powerful effect on brand awareness.

Having a social media presence is the equivalent of a soapbox these days. It’s a community platform where people can connect, share ideas, and promote themselves. When was the last time you heard about Elon Musk tweeting something controversial, and suddenly Tesla is back in the conversation? 

Though you don’t have to adhere to the philosophy that all press is good press, finding ways to stay relevant on social media is about the discussions you have and the thoughts you share.

Cultivate Your Public Speaking Skills

Unlike social media, public speaking involves face-to-face interactions and real-time conversations. Many remember Steve Jobs for his impressive presentations at Apple; believe it or not, that’s because there’s a science behind it.

Modern CEOs should be able to control a room through speeches of different types confidently, much as Steve Jobs did by demonstrating new and innovative Apple products and software. Applying science to improve this skill set is essential, not only for your brand’s image but for credibility as well. Studies show that the top 10% of authentic speakers were considered to be 1.3 times more trustworthy and 1.3 times more persuasive than the average communicator. (Source)

Effectively communicating ideas and topics to a broad audience can be simple when using a science-based strategy. Public speaking has long been persuasive in politics and business. It improves general sales pitches as it allows connection and conversation.  

Build a No-Code Tech Stack

An essential element of your image is precisely that: image. Whether it’s website design, logo, or marketing videos, a cohesive and inviting aesthetic can make or break your brand. Building a no-code tech stack is crucial, especially for teams with less know-how in this space and limited resources to create custom solutions to unique problems.

It offers a professional appearance without the need for hiring outside vendors or experts.

No-code tools are the new wave, and justifiably so. No-code tools allow people who aren’t naturally tech-savvy to build powerful applications which are both adaptable and flexible. Plus, you can easily update as the conditions of your business change. Adopting a no-code tech stack will allow you to pivot on a dime, something that’s essential for any startup, regardless of industry. Having the right tools in your arsenal is key to cultivating the right image for yourself.

Conclusion 

Since CEO reputation comprises 45% of a company’s reputation, it’s important to craft an accurate and authentic image of your brand’s values. (Source

Audiences are likelier to connect with CEOs who demonstrate transparency and speak authentically. Crafting an image shouldn’t be about starting from the ground up but taking from existing areas and building out what is already useful.

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