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89. How to Build a Personal Brand and Become a Celebrity CEO

(Episode 2 of 2 with Ramon Ray)

89. How to Build a Personal Brand and Become a Celebrity CEO

Welcome back to another episode of Monetization Nation with Ramon Ray. In the previous episode, we discussed five ways to use failure to our advantage. In today’s episode, Ramon shared about his most recent book, The Celebrity CEO.

Here’s a great example of the power of a celebrity CEO. When I ask people if they know the name of the CEO of Tesla, the vast majority of people correctly answer Elon Musk. I then ask people if they know the name of the CEO of Ford or the CEO of Toyota. I have never had anyone successfully give me the name of either. 

Tesla reached a market_Blog

Elon Musk is a celebrity CEO. For example, he has 52 million followers on Twitter. Compare that to only 33,000 Twitter followers for the CEO of Ford. And, I couldn’t even find an official Twitter account for the CEO of Toyota when I searched. 

So, what’s the value of being a celebrity CEO and having all that reach and influence? 

Ford has more than 3,000 dealerships. Toyota has more than 1,500 dealerships just in North America, not including the rest of the world. On the other hand, Tesla doesn’t have any traditional dealerships. Tesla customers purchase their vehicles online

Ford was founded 118 years ago. Toyota was founded 84 years ago. Tesla was founded only 18 years ago, yet according to a December 2002 article in TheDrive, Tesla reached a market valuation more than the next 6 largest car companies combined. Tesla’s valuation today is approximately $650 billion. The power of a celebrity CEO has played a huge role in the success of Tesla, and in this episode, we’re going to learn how to become a celebrity CEO.

What is a Celebrity CEO?

You don’t need to be famous to everyone to be a celebrity. You simply need to be well-known inside your circle. An entrepreneur can become a celebrity in two ways: being well-known in their niche or in their geography. 

“That’s the aspect of being a celebrity. It’s not that everybody in the world knows you like Beyonce . . . or whoever it may be, but that your people know you. That’s the beauty of Celebrity CEOs,” Ramon said.  

In order to be a successful Celebrity CEO, we must become a brand, use self-promotion, build a community, and then use the marketing funnel. 

Become a Brand

You dont need to be a famous_Blog

Entrepreneurs need to become a brand. 

Who are you?

Contrary to what we might think, our audience isn’t just buying our products or service, they are buying us. In order to create digital monetization, we need to create a personal brand. 

“For most small companies [or] for very small businesses, people are buying me,” Ramon explained. “People are buying my handshake, my smile, my life, how I talk, how I don’t talk, my faith, my lack of faith.”

Building a brand starts with a purpose. What problem are we solving? What question are we answering? Once we know our purpose, we can create a brand. We need a certain style, a logo, font type, color, a business name, a trademark, and more. But beyond this, we need to focus on becoming our personal brand. 

One way to do this is through our physical appearance. This isn’t about being a model. It’s about representing ourselves, our beliefs and values, by the way, we dress and act. We can ask ourselves, “What makes me different? What makes me stand out?”

I think we are a lot more critical of ourselves than we are of other people. If we stop and look at our role models, we will realize that none of them are perfect. We expect perfection from ourselves, but not from others. We shouldn’t put that standard on ourselves. We don’t need to be perfect. In fact, if we try to impersonate this perfect version of ourselves, we won’t resonate with our audience. We won’t seem credible or authentic. 

Part of personal branding includes embracing our complete selves. We need to be real. When we are real, people will trust us more. Ramon calls this being magnetic. 

“You have to be who you are. Part of that magnetism is a little bit of bravado, naturally, is a little bit of what makes you different,” Ramon said. 

There is something about us that attracts us to others—what is it? Is it because we are thoughtful, energetic, introspective, bold? We need to use what God has given us to draw people towards us. 

Self-promotion

Entrepreneurs need to focus on self-promotion. 

Becoming a Celebrity CEO requires a celebrity mindset. To be successful we need to be willing to put ourselves out there. We have to recognize the need for self-promotion. 

“I promote myself, and I hope it comes off in a nice, authentic, beautiful way,” Ramon said. “That’s part of [having] a Celebrity CEO mindset: promoting yourself, telegraphing what you’re doing, when you have a win, sharing it with your community, and building the fan base, building the community and rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.” 

While we are promoting our business, we can’t forget to promote ourselves. That doesn’t mean being arrogant, stuck up, or self-absorbed. It means recognizing our value and sharing it with others. 

Ramon explained self-promotion is his game and business. He consistently shares his stories on social media platforms. On his Instagram, he posts IG stories; on his Facebook, he posts videos. He also posts on his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. In a three to five-day period, Ramon shares several different videos. 

“[For] those who want to be the celebrity CEO, yes, it’s about your business. Yes, it’s acknowledging your team . . . But on the business side, how do I make a living with the big brands I work with? I promote myself.” 

Build a Community

Ask for a smile_Linked in

Entrepreneurs need to build a community. 

Ramon says the secret sauce of personal branding is to “ask for a smile before you ask for a sale.” We shouldn’t focus so much on the sale but on the needs of our audience. In order to build a community, we need to earn their trust. 

“So many times we go for the sale first, the sale first, the sale first; we don’t take time to say, let me just ask for a smile. That’s so much easier to get than asking for a sale. And part of that aspect is building community. Part of that aspect is building my fan base,” Ramon said. 

As we build trust with our customers, we can eventually get them to purchase our product or service. The secret is to build a fanbase and community before trying to convert customers. 

Implement the Marketing Funnel 

Entrepreneurs need to implement the marketing funnel. 

After we become a brand, promote ourselves, and build a community, we can then implement more marking principles to monetize our brand and community.  

People often ask, “How can I use my websites and social media platforms to build an audience that, at the end of the day, will give me a sale?”

Ramon says it starts with narrowing the trust gap. “Before I ask somebody to buy something from me, what I suggest is, use the digital tools that we have to offer something to someone, find out . . . what their real problem is, and say, ‘Let me educate you further about it. Let me give you a nibble about it. Let me help you get a taste of what I can do for you.’ Now they’ve taken a nibble. Now you can educate, educate, educate, educate, educate, until they buy from you, and you’ve narrowed the trust gap.” 

The marketing funnel typically falls into these six steps:

1. Awareness 

2. Interest

3. Consideration

4. Intent

5. Evaluation

6. Purchase

Before anything else, people need to know about our product or service and develop an interest. Once they have developed interest and consideration, we need to get people to start consuming our products. This is often done through free content such as eBooks, podcasts, blog posts, videos, images, and more. We can call these pieces of free content “investments”. 

We give things away for free so we can ask for something in return such as a customer’s email (our lead capture) and eventually, money. Once we have a customer’s email, we have our leads. With these leads, we can continue to send newsletters and targeted emails, encouraging our loyal customers to buy our products. Without them, we have no way to nurture relationships. 

To effectively use social media to build our brand, Ramon suggests four things: frequency, engagement, relevancy, and analytics. We need to constantly produce content, engage with our customers, meet our customers’ needs, and then, we need to use analytics to determine what is working and what isn’t. 

Key Takeaways

Thank you so much Ramon for sharing your stories and knowledge with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:

1. We don’t need to be famous. We simply need to be well-known inside our circle.

2. People are buying us, not just our services or products. 

3. We need to become our own personal brand. 

4. We need to build a following and community before trying to convert customers. 

5. We should be focused on “asking for a smile before asking for a sale.”

5. We need to narrow the trust gap by providing our customers with valuable content.

6. We need to focus on using lead magnets.

Connect with Ramon

If you enjoyed this interview and want to learn more about Ramon, connect with him on his website, ramonray.com

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    About the author

    Nathan Gwilliam

    Nathan Gwilliam

    I help organizations navigate tectonic shifts that are transforming the business landscape, so they can optimize marketing, accelerate profits, and make a greater difference for good.

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