Want a competitive edge in 2022? Empower your people to become brand champions

- February 22, 2022 4 MIN READ

What if we told you that there’s an untapped resource in your business that has the potential to become your biggest brand ambassador? It’s time to empower your people to champion your brand, writes Samantha Dybac, founder and managing director of The PR Hub.

Personal branding is a tool many founders are wielding with incredible results. My business, The PR Hub, has built a reputation for harnessing the power of a founder’s story and leveraging that to showcase the amazing work their company is doing to leave a positive impact on the world.

But a good leader knows that their business includes its people – the teams that do more than just keep the wheels turning; the people who breathe life into ideas and take action.

In more recent years we have expanded our approach to showcasing key people within those businesses – experts in their own right who can offer insights and champion the brands they represent.

Why inspiring your people to champion your brand will deliver a competitive edge

Happy employees high fiving their success

As we move into 2022 I’m predicting a competitive advantage for those who go down this path and here’s a few reasons why.

Developing your reputation

Clients and customers want to know that the company or business they’re working with are reliable, and produce results.

Employees who cultivate strong personal brands can establish themselves publicly as subject matter experts and thought leaders, curating credibility not just for themselves, but for your business. Establishing your company’s reputation as one that only employs the best lends your brand authority and credibility.

Identify those in your team in senior roles (or with ambitions for such roles) who reflect the embodiment of your business’ values. Those who want to work with you to achieve a shared vision, but also have their own ideas and expertise they can bring to your business. Investing in their brand can look like media training sessions, entering them in relevant awards, or even simply encouraging them to develop their LinkedIn profile.

These small investments add up to greater visibility for your brand – and impact on your bottom line.

More than a name

People want to see the faces of the voice on the other end of the line – or email. Put simply, people trust people – especially people who have proven their skills, or to whom they can relate. But why put all that on just one person?

While a strong personal brand can be a powerful tool to wield, it can be heavy for one person to hold. When everything is going well, it can seem logical to put all the branding eggs in one very capable basket. Global companies as powerful as Twitter or more locally, funds management group, Magellan Financial, have built reputations on the backs of their incredible leaders. But as we’ve seen from recent times – leaders can’t always be a constant, even if they’d like to be.

As founders, many of us understand the benefits and flexibility diversification can provide – so why aren’t we diversifying branding?

By empowering our people to own their brands, we share the risks of consumer trust and expectations, as well as rewards.

Linked In sign in / welcome page

Greater reach in research

Having employees who are Google-able in their own right only enhances organic reach for your brand. Rather than relying solely on founder or company channels, employing people who are passionate and publicly recognisable for their expertise leads searching clients right back to you.

We know that potential customers do their research before purchasing a product. We know that customers – and clients of all kinds – are increasingly turning to LinkedIn and social media for that research.

When your clients research you – and they see your people are trustworthy and respected in the professional and social space – your whole business gains credibility (and publicity).

Improved talent acquisition – and retention

Clients aren’t the only ones on LinkedIn and networking sites. When your people are thriving and supported in their own branding journey, their shine will attract talent with similar ambitions.

And when your team members are engaged and know that you are in their corner and are encouraged to own their talents and story, they’re less likely to look elsewhere to grow their career and share their talents – a serious consideration in the midst of the Great Resignation of 2022.

Empowering your team members to develop their own personal brands doesn’t mean you have to take a back seat. While your employees are feeling empowered by their own personal brand and producing greater exposure for your companies, you have more time to narrow your focus, ease the pressure on you, and create space for greater vision.

In my podcast, Influence Unlocked, I’ve interviewed several founders who stepped down as CEO and made way for an impressive expert to take their place. Aaron Smith, the founder of KX Pilates and Cassandra Kelly, co-founder of Pottinger, both spoke of the value in not only recognising when it was time for them to step aside, but also the value in lifting others up and not having the sole focus on their personal brand.

Employees emboldened and equipped to create their own brand make for happier, more fulfilled employees that make you and your business shine.

Who doesn’t love a win win?

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