Studying Celebrity Brand Ambassadors – First Impressions Matter in Business

Whether you are a solopreneur or the head of a corporation you must be completely in sync as the company’s Brand Ambassador.

Why is this so important?

Think of your potential clients and customers and their first impression of you. For that matter, think of the public’s impression of you over time.

If you were to list the qualities and characteristics that make your company great, would that match up with how you present yourself?

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Let me share a few people who I think are in total sync with their brands and why.

Lena Dunham – writer, actress, and producer of the award-winning TV series “Girls.”

Lena Dunham on HBO's GirlsWhen this first appeared on HBO I thought the show was brilliant. Over many episodes I have listened and watched and really thought this woman really knows who she is and is so comfortable in her own skin. I know her character doesn’t always act that way.

I just read an interview with her in Entertainment Weekly where they asked if she was the voice of her generation? Maybe so.

She said when the public watched Sex in the City they wanted to be those women, but when we watch her and her girlfriends (on Girls) it’s more like learning what not to do, or for those watching, maybe they’re thinking they really get it because they are like her.

To quote Michael Lombardo (from the article), who’s the network’s president of programming…

“The thing that’s so powerful about Lena is she’s enormously relatable… she’s not a size 0. She not the person who you know is going to find love because they’re “just so beautiful.” Lena’s just there, with all her wonderful imperfections.”

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Bill Maher – stand-up comedian, television host, political commentator, author and actor.

Bill Maher, Comedian - Real Time with Bill MaherI have been watching Real Time with Bill Maher for just about as long as it’s been on. I don’t always agree with him, but he does lay it out there like no one else I’ve seen. Saying exactly what he’s thinking whether offensive or not.

I know from reading about comedians that they have said they are laughing on the outside but crying on the inside. This cannot be the case with Bill Maher.

In 2005, Maher ranked No. 38 on Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time. You cannot achieve this type of fame if the public doesn’t “get you.”

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Richard Branson – business magnate, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, a group that has over 400 companies.

Richard BransonWhen I think of Richard Branson, I think of a go-getter, someone who’s almost larger than life itself. Who dreams really big and makes those dreams a reality.

He wrote in his autobiography of the decision to start an airline and I think this is exactly what we’re discussing here. He said:

“My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them… from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it.”

Someone who’s worth billions can choose any lifestyle and doesn’t have to help humanity, but he does.

According to Wikipedia, his next venture with the Virgin Group is Virgin Fuels, which is set to respond to global warming and exploit the recent spike in fuel costs by offering a cheaper fuel for automobiles and in the near future aircraft. It seems he was a skeptic, but was influenced in a recent meeting with Al Gore.

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Beyoncé Knowles – singer, songwriter, dancer and actress.

Beyonce KnowlesThe reason I want to talk about Beyoncé is because of “Sasha Fierce,” the alter ego who was born during the making of her 2003 single “Crazy in Love.”

Do some people need to create an alter ego that help them over their fears and at a certain point when they have become more comfortable, do they finally let go and just be who they are? Or perhaps when it comes to celebrities who are followed and watched ever so closely, do they need that separated persona to help keep a bit of privacy in their lives?

Recently there was a blip in the radar with Beyoncé. At the president’s inauguration, she sang or so we thought… It seems she lip-synced because she hadn’t practiced with that orchestra, and it was such an important event she didn’t want anything to go wrong. Well, to me it was fine. I don’t know why there was such a big fuss. It’s not like it wasn’t her voice. But the fans and the media went cuckoo. To make matters worse, she overcompensated by singing live at a press conference for her halftime super bowl performance. Like she needed to prove something. Maybe Beyoncé is still not 100% in sync with her brand?

She doesn’t need to prove anything. Her Super Bowl performance was great.

So, being real is being true to yourself, as well as to others.

So how does studying celebrities help business owners?

As business owners we must be the true face of our company, whether offline at conferences and events, or online through our website, social media and community sites.

The fact that video is surpassing other mediums means we must embrace it and show others who we are. When you shine through and others feel they get you, you will gain so many more followers. And that will lead to more business and unlimited success.

Who else do you think is totally in sync?

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To learn more about building your brand and online presence like a Superhero, visit Udemy where I have a 10-class series on “Brand Visibility.”

Going Viral: How An Off Topic Led to the Greatest Reach So Far

On my other blog, the awareness organization Frogs Are Green we usually stay on topic. That means most of our posts are about, yes you guessed right, Frogs. On occasion, depending on current events we wander a bit off topic and talk about creating a wildlife friendly backyard or the Keystone XL Pipeline, among other global issues.

To get more people engaged we’re always trying new things. Every year since 2009, we have had a creative contest. It started with a frog photography contest and then in 2010 expanded to Earth Day and Kids Art Contests too. Each year they open in the late Summer, the deadline is in the Fall, and we get hundreds of entries from around the world.

Last year we started an eco-interview series and just published this wednesday the 4th interview. I am blown away by how this one post/image on Facebook is going viral and is sending hundreds to our site. In just two days, the post has been shared more than 80 times, and been seen by 10,000 and climbing. I can’t wait to see where those numbers are by tomorrow.

Our best and most read/shared posts are usually the ones that feature something or someone unique! For example our most viewed post after many years is still the 10 weirdest and most unusual frogs.

Coyote Peterson with snapping turtle

But the reason this one is taking off is because the person who is featured (Coyote Peterson), already has a large following and great visibility and it’s obvious that the people who follow him are interested in what he’s doing. It’s so exciting to gain that brand visibility from his following as well as our own and I know it will lead to more likes, blog readers and perhaps sales.

We know that content is king, but it also matters who and what that content is about, the following that person has and if they are willing to share and help build your visibility while building their own. When we have common goals and we can collaborate in a way that can bring the awareness we are reaching for, we accomplish our mission. (And with this post I’ll be helping us both along.)
 

How Do We Achieve Brand Visibility?

Brand visibility is so important to every business. Today if you are not visible on the web, you do not exist.
what is brand visibility - 10-video series by susan newman

A brand is defined by its core beliefs, but also by what the public perceives about it. A brand along with its marketing strategy, products and services has a mission and the need to get that mission across to others. A brand is also driven by it’s own employees from the top down and they must represent those same core beliefs, while on the job or at events.

No matter which brand we talk about we would want to see if their online and offline presence is sending the same signs and if our experience is the same no matter the place or format?

So for example if we were to look at a top brand such as Apple. What do we perceive about them, their products and services, and is it consistent everywhere? Is the experience of using an apple product in line with scanning pages on their website, or when you visit a store? If you met an employee at a function would their mindset be in line with the company? Is the visual footprint the same across the web, on social media, in print advertising or marketing, and commercials past and present on TV?

When we talk about brand visibility we must realize it means all encompassing.

So as a small business owner and entrepreneur, I feel I must act, speak, dress, and fully represent my brand. Is what I blog about in line with my brand? When someone meets me in person when they previously only knew me by my avatar and online posts, am I the way they imagined?

Interaction with clients must be true to the brand as well. Customers can drive how other customers feel. Today with constant social interaction, if a customer writes about their experience on social media or in reviews and others read it, it’s immediate visibility, whether good or bad. A brand must pay attention to this and respond.

Because of the web, many small businesses get confused between being visible globally and locally. Yes having a website and social media presence helps others find you, but can the local community find you?

My new 10-video series on “Brand Visibility” covers in depth the attributes and actions that make a brand strong, and outlines strategies for you to implement across the web, on social media and in person at events.

Series topics include:

What is Brand Visibility? How to Use Email Marketing, Opt-in Offers and Social Media Correctly. The Google Search: Understanding and Creating Long-Tail Keywords and SEO in Action. Why Giving Back Looks So Good on You and Propels You Forward.  How Finding Your Exact Target Audience is the Key, even when it’s hard. Are YOU as Brand Ambassador and Your Company in Sync? And much more.
 
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Watch the entire 10-video series on Brand Visibility, more than 73 minutes of content!