Brandon Gutman is an expert connector, business developer and a Founding Partner of FOCi Group, a digital brand management firm serving the Fortune 500 community.
He has also coined the term “Executive Celebrity” and helps many of his clients step up their own brand presence as they turbo-charge their business development efforts and expand their horizons.
Brandon, how do you define executive celebrity?
My business partner, Brock Pernice, and I coined the term while collaborating on our first book. Executive celebrities are business professionals who have reached a certain level of success and public notoriety. These individuals are held in the highest regard within their respective industries and, as a result, receive public exposure. Barry Diller, Tony Hsieh and Richard Branson are prime examples of individuals who rose to the top of the business food chain and demonstrated enough significant success to become “celebritized.”
What are some of the benefits of being an executive celebrity?
There’s clearly a long and wide list if you think of the benefits that apply to these corporate stars. The key benefit is raising positive awareness for your personal brand and company. If you have higher visibility within the business community, it will see you as a knowledge base and center of influence. Your peers will want to know you and work with you. This will result in a higher level of sales leads, media attention and validation within your sector. They say that part of success is based on who you know. Being an executive celebrity is more about who knows you.
What are some simple ways that a person can expand their profile and become an executive celebrity?
If you truly believe that you’re destined to be an executive celebrity, then start acting like one right now. If you follow just a few basic fundamentals and stick with them over time, you will reach higher executive popularity. Here are some tips:
1 - Contribute Articles – Connect with publications that are important to your colleagues and offer to write a column. Business publishers need content. You can submit a weekly or monthly byline. These articles can become white papers which position you as an expert.
2 - Present at Conferences – Just like publications need content contributors, conference producers are hungry for professionals to participate as panelists and even keynote speakers. Pitch the events that are attended by the people you want to be known to.
3 - Run your Own Blog – Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a corporate employee (like my friend at P&G), you can author your own blog. It’s quick, simple and affordable to set up and manage.
4 - Get Interviewed – you don’t need to hire a publicist just yet. There are awesome resources like Help a Reporter Out which connect you to reporters looking for interviews. For example, I personally landed placements with Fox Business and Wall Street Journal by utilizing tools like these.
5 - Host VIP Events – It’s much easier to get prospective buyers and other important business people to a nice dinner with their peers than schedule a meeting during 9 to 5 with them. Once a month host an exclusive cocktail or dinner reception and invite individuals who are important to you. You’ll be amazed by who actually shows up and the groups will be extremely impressed with who knows you.
6- Give to Your Network – Your database is money…if you give more than ask from it. Send helpful articles rather than newsletters that only promote your services. Brand a research study and provide the results each quarter to your connections. Produce a Webinar and invite everyone to attend.
To learn more about Brandon's Company, Click Here
To visit Brandon's posts on Digiday, Click Here