Want to know the best way to create an unforgettable personal brand? Learn from the best!
One perk of learning about marketing is that there’s an endless supply of content at your fingertips to draw inspiration from.
Before launching or investing in your personal brand it pays to get your head around what’s working for other entrepreneurs. Everybody has been influenced by others and nobody that’s successful at it creates in a vacuum. With dedication to the craft, leaders find their voice and naturally stand out from the rest.
Let’s get into it! Here are 10 famous entrepreneurs that are making waves on social and in traditional media.
Marc Randolph, Netflix
Lesson: Inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs by sharing the wisdom you gained by building a disruptive brand. Cut the fluff.
When Randolph was fresh out of college and about to start his first job his father gave him his words of wisdom in a handwritten note. It’s a list of his eight rules for success. Marc still has the original, and it’s hanging next to his bathroom mirror.
Randolph has followed his dad’s example with his own personal brand. Knowledge and data are common. Wisdom gained from experience is precious.
While other famous entrepreneurs share their journey and what they’ve learned, Marc Randolph doesn’t hold back any detail. Making it as an entrepreneur is challenging and he wants people to win. LinkedIn in particular provides him with the long post-length and audience needed to bring his best.
If you want to reach the top in business you need to uncover the truths 99% of people don’t know or don’t act on. It’s rare for a founder who has moved mountains to learn these truths first-hand to slip you a cheat sheet. Marc does it all the time on social media.
Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia
Lesson: When you’re doing what you do best, get the cameras rolling. Unscripted, authentic moments create a powerful connection with your audience.
Is it even possible to have a conversation about personal branding without mentioning GaryVee?
He played an important role in developing the dominant style of personal branding for business leaders we see everywhere on social media. Vaynerchuk was more than willing to make himself the guinea pig in the early days of platforms like YouTube and Twitter. And he’s built a digital marketing empire thanks to his personal brand propelling it.
Today, Gary has a team dedicated to producing content for his personal brand.
His philosophy is it’s better to document rather than create. If someone approaches him to praise his keynote at Cannes, there’s a good chance it’ll be filmed. If an aspiring rapper asks him for life advice at an airport it could find its way to Instagram.
Real, unplanned conversations captivate audiences. It’s a great way to make the most of your time as a leader as well. Think of ways to kill two birds with one stone. Create change in the world, document it, and distribute it online.
Beyoncé, Parkwood Entertainment
Lesson: Stick with what you’re great at and empower others to do it too.
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter rose to stardom in the 90s as a member of R&B group Destiny’s Child. Since making it big as a solo artist she’s also made her mark in the business world. Two of Beyoncé’s key ventures are Parkwood Entertainment, her own entertainment company, and House of Deréon, a women’s fashion line.
Beyoncé’s image has evolved over the years, namely from a sex symbol to an empowered woman. At the same time, she’s been remarkably consistent. Her output has remained fully realized and excellent.
Strong visuals bring a personal brand to life. Beyoncé combines her striking presence and passion for fashion with a splash of fantasy. Whether she’s posing atop a holographic horse for the cover of her album Renaissance or performing with a pearlescent cape that flows in the wind, she speaks with unforgettable images.
Although she’s a woman of many talents she laser targets it all to elevate her brand as an artist. Beyoncé proves that there’s power in staying in your lane.
Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates
Lesson: Focus on making your audience better in business and life.
Every investor knows who Warren Buffett is, but when It comes to hedge fund managers even the most successful ones aren’t well known to the public. Ray Dalio is different. He’s seen the value in maintaining a personal brand long before the term was coined.
Dalio is in a unique position. He’s a billionaire that has achieved more than most of us can dream of. The driving purpose behind his personal brand is to share what he’s learned in business and life to future generations.
Many people believe personal brands have to be ego-driven. Ray Dalio has proven they don’t.
He loves to use the word principles. You see it in his book titles: Principles: Life and Work, Principles for Success, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order.
Ray Dalio breaks down his insights into bite-sized pieces and shares them on social media. While others give their audience teasers from their books on social, he’s known for posting in-depth content for free. Characteristically a deep thinker, he gives his audience the advice they didn’t know they needed.
When you approach digital marketing from a mindset of abundance, you not only drive more leads and get more sales. You also strengthen the most important thing of all: your reputation.
Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank
Lesson: Take a strong stance on trending topics. Not everyone has to like you or agree with you. Spice up your content by sparking a little controversy.
Kevin O’Leary has many sides to him that TV audiences didn’t see on ABC’s show Shark Tank.
On social media, he’s not always giving us a reality check about entrepreneurship and sharing hot takes about political issues that affect business. He’s passionate about playing guitar, luxury watches, and making pizza. He doesn’t always take himself seriously. Kevin is great at giving his audience a glimpse at these different sides of him in a way that’s right for each platform.
O’Leary has shared a personal story about a job he got fired from as a teen in Ottawa, Canada. The manager at Magoo’s Ice Cream Parlour wanted him to scrape the gum off the floor. He was mortified by the possibility of the girls from his class spotting him doing that at the mall. Thus, he refused and was swiftly sent packing.
Kevin’s conclusion was you either own the store or scrape gum off the floor. And not everyone on LinkedIn enjoyed the moral of the story. One person left a much-upvoted comment about how people need to do what it takes to get by. O’Leary should come back down to earth according to this part of his audience.
Not everybody can take the heat associated with covering divisive topics. If it’s part of your identity, there’s an opportunity to grow your online presence by sparking the debate.
Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock, Teremana
Lesson: Providing value and entertainment is the heart of a personal brand, no matter how big it gets. Earn the opportunity to fit in promotions.
Professional wrestlers need to be larger than life to make it in the business. Many put a lot of emphasis on their appearance and tie it all together with a theme or concept. The Rock has so much charisma and ability as an entertainer that he doesn’t have to use gimmicks.
Not since Arnold Schwarzenegger has there been a star that transitioned so successfully from the world of athletics to Hollywood. Your average fan might not think of him as a savvy businessman, but they should.
Dwayne Johnson has acquired companies such as the XFL. In other cases, he’s partnered with leading companies such as Under Armour and Molson Coors to launch brands like Project Rock and ZOA Energy, respectively. He also founded a production company called Seven Bucks Productions, and Teramana Tequila.
On social media, The Rock gets it. He knows his personal brand is his most powerful asset as it draws attention to all his other endeavours.
Building affinity with his audience comes first. He’ll share his thoughts at the gym, post what he’s eating on his cheat day, and share bloopers, and moments with his family. He seamlessly integrates products such as ZOA Energy drinks and Teramana Tequila into his slice-of-life clips in a way that doesn’t feel forced or overly promotional.
Tai Lopez, Retail Ecommerce Ventures
Lesson: Do what most leaders don’t dare to do online. If your approach is novel and intriguing people won’t forget you.
If you watched business-related content on YouTube back in 2015, there’s a good chance you saw Tai’s “Here in My Garage” ad. In fact, you probably couldn’t avoid it.
Its style was fresh at the time. He filmed himself with an iPhone and talked to everyone like they were already friends or fans. He showed us his Lamborghini first and then directed our attention to his bookshelf, which was a transition nobody expected. Many kept watching just to solve the mystery of exactly what he was selling.
Love or hate his approach, Tai Lopez is a risk-taker that jumped on social media trends most businesspeople were too conservative to go near.
He picked up tricks from influencers and deployed them himself rather than believing he was above them. Initially, business leaders didn’t take this style of marketing yourself seriously. Before long, they were rushing to Instagram and YouTube to catch up.
Trinny Woodall, Trinny London
Lesson: You need to be at 120% to beat the established competition. Let your passion shine through in all your video content.
Entrepreneurs are holding a trump card: passion. In that area, big companies can’t dominate.
Trinny Woodall lives and breathes fashion. It only takes a quick visit to her Instagram to experience that passion and dedication in her videos.
Her company, Trinny London, is a makeup and skincare brand. Some founders allow the category their product is in to put them in a box. Woodall knows that since style content is closely related, it’s right for her audience.
When she describes what she’s wearing, or lists all the ways you can integrate a piece into your outfit, she isn’t pushing brands. Rather, her audience feels like they’ve been invited to overhear a real conversation.
Personal brands need to be fueled by personal passion. If it only exists to direct eyeballs to a product or brand, that passion won’t stay alive.
As an entrepreneur, your company is a big part of your life, but you aren’t your company. Talk about what excites you. That’s the best way to keep your audience engaged while maintaining your drive to create content.
Richard Branson, Virgin Group
Lesson: There’s no personal brand without personality. Don’t just reveal your unique traits, magnify them.
When it comes to dynamic entrepreneurs that love to bask in the limelight Sir Richard Branson is the first many of us think of. He’s been called the poster boy of personal branding.
Certain people grab everyone’s attention right when they enter the room. Branson is one of those for certain. And it’s a phenomenon that works just as online as it does in life. He’s well-spoken, charismatic, and adventurous. And it isn’t a persona he puts on for the camera. It’s his real personality.
Long before social media took off Branson became well-known for his outlandish publicity stunts. He knew what it took for things to go viral before anyone said viral. He’s tried to fly around the world in a hot air balloon… twice. He drove a tank through Times Square in New York City and pretended to blow up the Coca-Cola sign.
Again, it isn’t an act. The man is a daredevil. He’s the kind of person that goes kitesurfing across the English Channel on his day off.
Hala Taha, Young and Profiting
Lesson: Podcasting is one of the best ways to build a B2B personal brand. Connect with your ideal customers by inviting them as guests.
Hala Taha is known for getting A-list guests on her Young and Profiting podcast. There are names you instantly recognise like Matthew McConaughey, Deepak Chopra, Daymond John, and Seth Godin. And then there are the names you don’t know yet but should know. Taha is excellent at finding brilliant people that are making waves on social media for her show.
What happens behind the scenes is what makes Taha a strong entrepreneur. Normally it’s challenging to reach prominent figures in business. They’re being sold from all angles every day. Inviting them to be on a podcast can lead to unbeatable new connections.
Her company YAP Media provides the social media chops many B2B leaders need. And she’s won business based on decision-makers seeing the effectiveness of her marketing in action.
Podcasting is mutually beneficial for its host and its guests. Thus, businesspeople want to meet individuals with popular podcasts. They have the power to give them valuable exposure and it’s an opportunity that doesn’t take much of their time. People from all walks of life love to share their journeys, and leaders are no different.