The CEO’s Guide to Personal Branding

Mar 18, 2024 | Careers

In today’s world of business, it can be difficult to separate CEOs and the companies they lead. Their actions often reflect their company’s identity.

A CEO who promotes community-focused, customer-centric morals will establish their business as a leader in the industry. By the same token, negative CEO actions can damage a brand’s reputation.

So, what can CEOs do to build a personal brand that shows their company in the best light? This article will provide suggestions and share real-life examples.

Promote Authenticity

Authenticity is a critical factor in promoting positive personal branding. Customers, stakeholders, and employees want to know that your company’s beliefs align with your beliefs. A CEO of an environmental company can’t be seen littering or smoking.

In a Quantified report, CEOs weighed in to provide advice on promoting authenticity. Many recommend working on public speaking to ensure you seem natural in your body movements and language. Use straightforward language to avoid confusing the public. Jargon can diminish a sense of trust.

The article also mentions examples of CEOs who stand out for their authenticity. J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon did an outstanding job of showing authenticity in his now-famous rant against Washington in the organization’s July earnings call. His straightforward language appealed to the public and showed his dedication to the cause.

Thought Leadership Through Content Creation

People want to work with companies that stand out as thought leaders. They want to know if the companies they partner with are innovative in their product creation and quality standards. They want to take pride in purchasing superior goods and services.

CEOs can establish themselves as thought leaders through content creation. They can write blogs, create videos, and post on social media to establish their industry expertise. People who read the content will understand the company’s products and services are coming from a reliable source.

Several CEOs have established their expertise through content creation. Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, establishes himself as a thought leader through his blog and his “How I Built This” podcast. He shares information on entrepreneurship, politics, economics, and other relevant topics.


People want to connect with CEOs on a personal level. Storytelling is a great way to do that. Storytelling lets people know there is a face behind the persona, and hence the company. It builds engagement and establishes an element of trust.

Many CEOs establish a sense of storytelling through their content creation. For example, Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group creates a blog that does more than promote his company. One of his posts, My Letter to My Younger Dyslexic Self, has been shared over 11.5K times.

Bill Gates of Microsoft also blogs to establish a connection with consumers. He uses his content to reveal his interests and publicize causes he believes in. Rather than blog about Microsoft, he discusses his charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and social issues like foreign aid.

He uses an engaging tone that draws readers in.

Social Media

Social media is another powerful tool for building a personal brand, but it must be used correctly. For example, Alexis Ohanian, Sr. founder of 776, posted a picture of a princess pancake he made for his daughter on LinkedIn. The post showcased his authenticity and endeared him to the public.

Matt Stephenson, CEO at Code2 College, also used social media right when he posted photos of himself at AfroTech 2022. His post showed him alongside attendees and exhibits. He revealed a fun-loving side of himself while establishing his genuine interest in the cause.

While there are plenty of great ways to use social media to promote your image, there are also several faux pas to be aware of. It’s nice to share personal moments but beware of posting inappropriate images. Elon Musk is known for crossing the line on social media by posting hate speech and other controversial content.

As a CEO of a popular company, there are eyes on you all the time. Your social media posts will be viewed by thousands or even millions of people. You must be careful about what you post.

Want to learn more about improving personal branding to boost your company’s reputation? Subscribe to our CEO newsletter for more helpful tips.

Additional CEO Resources

CEO Personal Development: Balancing Work and Well-Being

Keys to Effective Executive Decision Making

How Effective Is Executive Coaching?


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