These Strategies Used by Ultra-Wealthy Entrepreneurs Like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos Will Help Your Business Stand Out Customers don't just pay for a product anymore. They invest in people, which is why your personal brand is more important than ever before.
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The names Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos are much more well-known than the companies they have created. All of them work hard on their personal branding using a whole set of powerful PR techniques. Memes, content pyramid, storytelling and other instruments they use might also help you step your game up behind the scenes.
Personal branding for entrepreneurs is crucial to grow business, drive sales, attract investors and hire talents. According to a BRANDfog survey, the most important element of PR and communications strategy for business owners is social-media activity — 80% of respondents agreed with that. Moreover, 82% of employees trust a company more if its executives have a strong reputation online.
Customers don't pay just for a product anymore; they invest in people. That's why it's time to work on your personal-branding strategy.
Meme-controller Elon Musk
There are plenty of memes about Tesla and SpaceX on the internet, and they are not separate from the image of Elon Musk. Every seemingly random action of his is part of an elaborate strategy. This strategy has proven extremely successful, as Musk was named Time's 2021 "Person of the Year." Here's how Musk has made it happen.
We have seen Elon Musk in many cult films and TV shows; for example, he was in Iron Man in 2010 and The Big Bang Theory, in which the entrepreneur played himself. Because of this, those who follow the news of the electric vehicle or space-technology market aren't the only ones who know about him.
The businessman frequently says in his interviews that he really loves cinema, so his image appearances don't come across as overly forced. Musk even launched a mini-series about his company SpaceX in yet another move to establish his personal brand and company with audiences who might not otherwise encounter him.
Speaking up openly
If you Google "Elon Musk says," you'll encounter a litany of the entrepreneur's grand plans and musings: from promises to send a rocket to Mars and detonate an atomic bomb on the planet to make it habitable for people to predictions about the absorption of the Earth by the Sun and the extinction of mankind. Musk's willingess to delve into big ideas generates intrigue and strengthens his personal brand.
Related: 10 Things Entrepreneurs Never Want to Talk About, But Should
Creating a relatable image
Musk hosts "Ask Me Anything" sessions on Reddit and responds to messages from followers on Twitter. In 2014, he even reposted an ad that was made for Tesla by several college students. People like to feel connected to their heros, so cultivating that sense of camaraderie can go a long way towards boosting the public's perception of you and your business.
Content creator Gary Vaynerchuk
American entrepreneur, founder of VaynerMedia and VaynerX, Gary Vaynerchuk generates an enormous amount of content. He has his own blog, YouTube channel, podcast, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Because of this activity, Vaynerchuk has built a powerful personal brand that is followed by millions of people. His strategy is based on a few techniques.
Different formats of profitable content
In his blog, the businessman writes about a content pyramid, which involves dividing a large topic among different formats. He publishes long Q&A videos, short texts, stories, pictures and memes. On each network, content is released in a unique format, which keeps people coming back for more.
Related: What to Post on Each Social Media Platform: The Complete Guide to Optimizing Your Social Content
Vaynerchuk gives concrete examples and reveals his own process. For instance, he advises his followers to get rid of curated social images (for business, for family, for friends) and be "who you are" on the internet, as it is impossible to play several roles in different spheres of life at once. Naturally, this sincerity draws people in and bolsters his credibility.
Willingess to engage
Despite the number of people who consume Vaynerchuk's content, any subscriber has the opportunity to communicate with him directly by writing him a message, and Vaynerchuk actively replies to his followers on Twitter every day. This willingess to engage, combined with the entrepreneur's sincere approach, no doubt strenghthens his fan base.
Business legend Richard Branson
Today, Branson's corporation Virgin Group includes about 400 different companies in the field of sound recording, cellular communications and air transportation. Despite the scale of his businesses, Branson is an open person who is interesting to follow and can be trusted. Here are some of his secrets.
Representing courage and risk
Branson's attitude towards business and risk deserves special attention. He says "If you can run one business well, you can run any business well." This ability to take risks and accept the likelihood of failure is indeed exciting. Therefore, the audience likes to follow him and get inspired.
Giving a memorable performance
Even when some of Branson's business ideas don't work as well, he still turns it into a vibrant PR campaign. At the launch of the Virgin Brides bridal salon, the entrepreneur dressed in a bridal dress, which attracted the attention of the audience. That business has not survived, but the image of Branson in that dress is still remembered by many — as is Branson's willingess to have fun and connect with people.
Representing openness and simplicity
Branson cares about both Virgin Group employees and customers. The best team members are invited to dinner or on a trip with him. This establishes him as a leader people can look up to — and as someone people want to model their own behaviors after, which further contributes to the integrity of his brand.
Related: What Richard Branson and Warren Buffett Reveal About Personal Branding
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos
Once the richest man in the world according to Forbes, the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos speaks about innovation, entrepreneurship, recommends books, launches space projects and talks about saving the planet. This is what distinguishes his strategy from others.
Drawing attention to environmental and social agendas
Bezos often articulates the need to tackle climate change. He has created the Bezos Earth Fund to that end. He has also visited India and promised to help with the creation of additional jobs. These tactics generally result in positive press and more engagement with his company.
Focusing on the quality of service
Delivering top-notch service is one of Bezos's primary aims. At one conference in 2019, a woman told him she hadn't been able to get a refund on Amazon. She handed the parcel to the entrepreneur, and he accepted it and apologized for the inconvenience. It's likely this display fostered a favorable attitude within the audience.
Related: How to Use Storytelling to Sell Your Brand and Vision
Look for new approaches, act sincerely and don't forget to tell your audience about it — these are the main recommendations for those who are thinking about developing a personal brand. Individuality and honesty captivate people, so use the above tools to help your business stand out among the competition.