SBX 28: Building Owner Brands

Building Owner Brands

Social media… it is NOT just for your business.  In an age of information and CEO celebrity-hood, customers want to know a little something about the owner of your company (RE: you).  It doesn’t matter if you’re an offline owner, an online owner, or an aspiring owner with a cool idea. Your online profiles are being searched, found, and scrutinized.  The thousand dollar question: are they helping or hurting your company brand?

Here’s an example of an online profile that is doing NOTHING for a business.  Seriously?? There’s nothing of value here… no link to the business… no sharing of this person’s values or thought-leadership… nothing but crickets.  No posts since 2006? I mean, hey, it’s not like Google is a popular search or anything.

(Gary: Mike, you should be ashamed of yourself.)
(Mike: I am.  Ugh.  Feel free to rip me in the comments.  I deserve it.)

Here’s an example of an online profile that’s pretty standard.  Some social proof (a decent amount of followers… did he pay for those?)  Pointing to this online hub and company.  Better than nothing… but how can we do one better?

Simple.  We track down Carisa Miklusak of T-Media and beg for her secrets.  T-Media not only handles social strategies for 8 and 9 figure organizations, they handle the personal brands of some of the world’s most ambitious CEOs. Carisa is a power-user of social media and, in walking her walk, has built a consistent owner brand across 7 social profiles.  (Amazingly enough, she has a kick-butt personal life too.)

WARNING: listening to this episode will inspire you to stop cheer-leading for your business and post less cat videos.  All right, meow?

Social media has created a demanding audience where individuals (customers & partners) want to connect with other people, NOT just a company.  — Carisa Miklusak — (Tweet It)


Listen and Learn…

  • The difference between having a social account and building a personal brand.
  • Why nobody wants to be friends with a business cheerleader (gaaah!).
  • 4 reasons why business owners can’t put all their energy into the business brand and ignore their personal.
  • How to get started on building value-based, ROI owner profiles, even if you haven’t cared up to this point.  (Hint: pick the profile that rhymes with Minked-Pin).
  • How to determine which sites you should be on and which sites you can ignore.
  • The power of an interest wheel = determining the periphery of things that your customers care about.
  • The 3 things that people use social media for. (20 minutes into the show.  This is GOLD.)
  • The pseudo-holiday that Ryan Holmes (CEO of Hoot Suite) has turned into an annual tradition.
  • CARISA ON THE SBX HOTSEAT!  Her greatest mistake and biggest AHA! moments as a small business owner… plus the tension between believing in people and hiring.  (With a fantastic TO DO list tip).

Action Steps from this episode:

  1. Explore your WHY.  Think about why you got started on this business endeavor in the first place… THAT is the thing that people care about.  A great owner brand begins with making a shift to value-add, and value-add can only exist in a space of purpose and care. Think about how you want to be viewed in the marketplace and how you would like to be described. Separate yourself from your company, but make sure your personal brand is aligned with your (1) values and (2) thought-leadership.

  2. Craft the Message on Each Profile.  The goal here is to humanize yourself.  Who would your customers like you to be? What type of information do they need when they come knocking on your door?  What kind of resources can you provide to your audience?  A stand-out-from-the-crowd content strategy is born out of putting your customer hat on and engaging in social listening.  In the show, Carisa gives a great tip on how to do this (even if you don’t have a mega-following).

  3. Design the System.  No, you don’t need to be everywhere and no, this doesn’t need to take up all of your time.  Carisa recommends picking 3 platforms.  Having a systems adds an element of predictability to what your persona is going to be sharing or doing.  If your current system is merely broadcasting and/or a one-way conversation, then there is opportunity here.  Listen to the show to hear Carisa’s favorite social media aggregators that will save you lots and lots of time.

Links and Resources:

  1. 5 Tools to Manage Social Media.  #4 is Carisa’s personal favorite.

  2. Carisa’s blog.  And if for some reason you don’t recognize her authori-tay 2 minutes into the podcast, you absolutely will when you read her about page.

  3. 13 Tips to Boost Your Linked-In Profile’s SEO.  It’s not even fair.

  4. Da Vinci Virtual Office Solutions.  A very cool thing for small business owners that Carisa references on the show.

  5. More information on how to be a consultative seller.  With John Jantsch.  Totally congruent with “value-based owner profiles.”


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