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This Unique Marketing Strategy Is Winning in 2024 — Here's Why (and How You Can Implement It Successfully) Use this strategy to connect with customers, build trust and differentiate your business.

By Danielle Sabrina Edited by Chelsea Brown

Key Takeaways

  • Founder-led marketing leverages personal branding to create a strong brand identity and build direct relationships with customers. This strategy emphasizes authenticity and personal engagement.
  • Founders using social media platforms to connect directly with their audience can control the narrative and ensure a consistent, authentic brand story, which helps influence customers' purchasing decisions more effectively.
  • Building a successful founder-led marketing strategy involves reflecting on what sets the brand apart, understanding the audience's preferences and pain points, and consistently engaging with them on social media.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A new trend in the B2B SaaS sector has started to challenge traditional corporate marketing strategies. The term "founder-led marketing" leverages personal branding to establish a strong brand identity and build direct relationships with customers. However, with the traction this strategy is getting, I can't help but wonder whether this customer-centric approach is entirely new or if it has been present the whole time, and executives are just not paying attention and maximizing its benefits. While tools, platforms and technology have evolved dramatically, I believe that a successful marketing strategy has always revolved around a genuine connection and trust with consumers.

Looking ahead into 2024, this shift reflects a broader transformation within marketing towards valuing authenticity and personal engagement. In a digital-first world, brands' ability to forge real connections and humanize their approach has become essential for differentiation. This strategic pivot towards authenticity, personal stories and the human element signifies a deeper understanding of evolving consumer engagement.

I recently saw a post where Mark Zuckerberg casually roasts Apple's latest product in a living room video filmed on his Meta Quest 3. It seemed unscripted, but its relatable approach resonated with a much larger audience and was labeled as "far more than a meticulously crafted interview" compared to those shot with fully hi-tech equipment in a more elaborately set-up interview room.

Similarly, figures like Sam Altman of OpenAI and Brian Chesky of Airbnb have started using their personal platforms to connect with their communities. The same is true for consumer brands such as George Heaton (Represent), Nick Bare (Bare Performance Nutrition) and MrBeast (Feastables). These founders have become the faces of their companies, effectively blurring the lines between a founder and a brand ambassador.

Related: How to Create Authentic Relationships and Build Customer Trust

Why is founder-led marketing winning in 2024?

There are two key elements that are driving the rise of founder-led marketing: direct connection and narrative control.

According to Edelman's B2B report, economic wobbles are causing sales cycles to stretch, with a staggering 90% of global buyers reporting longer purchase processes in the past year. This shift highlights their preference for a self-directed digital discovery journey, making it harder for brands to be seen and influence their purchasing decisions; hence the positive traction personal branding is getting.

Since founders have a unique take and perspective on their vision and mission, it's just fitting that they take charge of their messaging and how they choose to send it across their following, which in turn guarantees a consistent brand story unfiltered by third-party media outlets, thereby influencing customers' purchasing decisions more effectively. This strategy emphasizes authenticity as they become the embodiment of their brand's values and aspirations.

When founders use social media to connect directly with their following, they project these leadership qualities in a way that piques the emotions and interests of their audience. Humans are wired to respond to strong, dependable figures, and social media provides the perfect platform for founders to establish themselves as such.

Related: Why Personal Branding Is Crucial for CEOs in Today's World

Building your founder-led marketing strategy

Take time and reflect on what sets you and your brand apart. Find your core and think about why you want to thrive in your industry, how you can change people's lives for the better and why exactly you're doing what you're doing — this will fuel your entire strategy.

Next, identify and understand your audience. This goes beyond demographics; you have to know their preferences and pain points. A great deal of your founder-led content should be about getting people to notice your ideal customer profile (ICP) and becoming the best reference for it within your niche. Think of the customer journey as a funnel with different stages leading from initial awareness to conversion. For example, at the top of the funnel, focus on informative content that attracts potential customers. As they move down the funnel, provide more in-depth content that educates and establishes you as a thought leader. Eventually, offer targeted content that drives conversions, such as case studies or free trials.

Now comes the launch. Creating a 90-day campaign on various social media platforms, especially on LinkedIn, has been proven to cater well to professional networking; you can post as often as five times a week. Experiment with different formats, such as text posts, videos, series of pictures (carousel) or in-depth articles. The goal is to learn where your audience relates the most. You have to consistently post and monitor results through your entire campaign period for a data-driven and refined next step.

Social media thrives on interaction, so it requires your full commitment if you want to be seen and build a loyal following. You may respond to all comments on your posts, both positive and negative, but respond with a genuine message not generated by AI.

Additionally, a daily 20-minute engagement with relevant profiles on LinkedIn would greatly help — react or leave a comment to your connections' posts. Focus on building genuine connections with potential customers, not just spamming them with promotional messages.

Related: 8 Effective Ways to Connect With Your Customer

Ready to take action?

Founder-led marketing is not merely a trend but has become a strategic move for brands striving to stand out. The unique blend of authenticity, direct engagement and narrative control accessible to audiences via social media platforms provides an unmatched opportunity for genuine connection. Such connections establish trust and loyalty, invaluable in a time of information saturation and growing skepticism towards traditional advertising.

For entrepreneurs and business leaders, the directive is to leverage their personal brand to enhance their company's message and vision. Begin with a deep dive into what sets your brand apart, gain a profound understanding of your audience, and develop a strategy that aligns with your brand's ethos and meets your customers' needs.

In a digitally advanced era, connection and commitment are your success drivers. Start now by carefully planning your marketing campaigns and crafting a brand narrative that educates, motivates and leads to conversions.

Danielle Sabrina

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of Society22 PR

Danielle Sabrina is a celebrity publicist and the founder of Society22 PR, an award-winning boutique PR firm. Before founding her agency she started her career on Wall Street at just 19 years old becoming one of the youngest traders in the industry. Known for her media and brand strategy, her results-oriented reputation through the years has gained the trust of many high-profile CEOs, professional athletes, and celebrities making her one of the most sought-after brand and media strategists. Additionally, she was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year, CIO's Top 20 Female Entrepreneur to follow and Entrepreneur Magazine’s expert contributor.

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