Last week while I sat in on an interview with Gabrielle on a press release, she asked our client how he wanted to be projected. At first he went into discussing the product and the branding, but she stopped him, saying, “no, how do you want to be seen?”. This was certainly something he hadn’t considered as I suspect most entrepreneurs don’t.
I ran through a quick list of names: Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Combs, Dov Charney,
Steve Jobs: authoritative dictator of Apple, whose ruthlessness created some of the most innovative products and services of the past decade.
Richard Branson: the charming risk taker who will parachute out of an airplane for a product launch and start a new business on a gut feeling.
Mark Zuckerberg: the nerd that screwed over a couple frat boys and created the most successful social media platform in the world.
Sean Combs (aka Puff Daddy, Shawn Diddy Combs, P. Diddy, and a million other stupid names): bad boy rapper turned record producer, actor, and serial entrepreneur has risen to the status of the richest figure in hip hop with a cool, smooth style
Dov Charney: sex addict who went from selling shirts out of the back of a van to creating American Apparel worth of half a billion dollars
While I don’t recommend adopting Charney’s integration of sex in the workplace and as of last week neither does his board who are looking to remove the CEO after numerous sexual harassment cases, it is important to identify the personality of the president. Who is at the helm of the business?
This is something that Philip and I have discussed at great length. I get to play the role of the wild creative while Philip is much more conservative and thoughtful in his mannerisms. It’s a balancing act that we’ve been able to perfect. While I can put my energy in creative direction for web design or storyboarding for a video project while Philip can ensure the timeliness of deliverables and focus on the technical aspects of projects. There is always bleed over in our skill sets, especially in strategy, but when we present ourselves we show the divide.
We think through scenarios like this because it’s important to maintain consistency in how you project yourself whether internal or external. It has become so ingrained in what we do that we tied it into our slogan “Strategy Before Design”, because we set out to differentiate our agency by allowing marketing strategy to drive design (not the other way around). The thought process is simple: use analytics to drive decision making. Not only in marketing, but business decisions as well. Because if the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere would work together then you would have a whole brain.
It’s also equally important to not keep the CEO hidden in the backroom. Bring them to the forefront when appropriate. Late last week, I came across a new platform for SEO and poked around just long enough to see if I could get the free trial without using a credit card….NOPE! Three quarters of the way through and then it demanded a credit card number for the free trial and to charge the card $100 a month afterward. So I left. I knew they had enough info on me to start the email campaign, which they did. Unexpectedly, I also got something a little special. The CEO left me a voicemail and followed up with an email. He knew I stopped at the credit card info and wanted to know if I would be interested in doing a demo of the site with him.
Two things. First, admitting that they had their analytics set up to track when I dropped off the site was a little creepy. Two. I was impressed. Damned impressed. I had to know who this guy was. I grabbed his first name and last from his email and set off to stalk him on LinkedIn. He was in the first 3 results and I noticed we shared a lot of similar industry connections. Education and prior experience matched up with someone who should know the pitfalls of most SEO platforms…..hmmm….he had my interest, but now he has my attention. I forward the info onto Philip and our SEO jedis to review and set up the demo.
That’s when I realized how important a social profile is for EVERY C-level in a company and that I should write a blog post about that. So there you have it. This guy having spent time to identify how he was going to project himself and having a social profile that backed it up, is probably going to start a strong relationship between our two organizations.
So what does your profile or your bosses presence look like? Branson rockstar or a black hole?
As always, if you have questions or need some help. I am humbly at your service: firstname.lastname@example.org