Join Jon as he dives deep into the world of venture capital and uncovers the importance of having a personal and business brand. Discover how a strong personal and business brand can unlock new opportunities and drive success in this dynamic industry.
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Podcast Editor and Producer: Ana Carolina Alves
Additional Voice: Charles The Voice
Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)
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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of image group international, an award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image and reputation.
Hello, everybody, and thank you for being here. In today's episode, we will explore how personal and business branding elevates venture capitalists. Now personal and business branding leadership services might not be the first thing that comes to mind, when we think about venture capitalists, I will share my experience with you and leave it to you to make your own decisions. Venture capitalists, essentially players in the startup ecosystem, you know, they invest in companies with high growth potential, providing capital and this is the key and of course guidance and they love to make money. And NYT article, New York Times noted that in the US, they also have an interesting background, most of them come in from the top Ivy League schools, many worked in banking, consulting or law before entering the venture capital world. And numerous were also founding partners of their own VC firms. So there's a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit there for sure. So it's money with entrepreneurship, and the two, of course, highly powerful combination. Traditionally, venture capitalists have been focused on tangible returns and financial aspects of investments. And what that means is like, you know, many people in the finance world, venture capitals might perceive branding as an intangible and emotional, in contrast, the logical and financial aspects they're accustomed to, you know, so they often prioritize tangible returns on investment. However, in my experience, once they understand the potential personal branding, as a trust, building, and value, adding exercise, and then witness, of course, the positive results for the firms they represent, they become enthusiastic proponents, the problem would witness in the positive result is, you know, you're gonna get into action before you see the results. So that takes an element of faith and trust that this is actually going to work and certainly going to add value to the overall proposition. As I said, it's a matter of presenting the financial possibilities and demonstrating how these services can add value to the asset. But one thing that they are always interested in they care about is their reputation. So anything that's gonna make them look good. And definitely in the same case, if they're representing a product, a startup, etc, that will make that product look good, or the startup look good, certainly that is enticing from them, because that's also about value adding. So this is the important aspects to consider. Because like most professionals, especially from the world they've come in, they are very, what I would call his image conscious, although it might not be obvious, definitely, they're very status orientated. So all of these things come into play, even if it's covertly done, as opposed to overtly for instance, like a marketing person might do. So let's explore how venture capitalists benefit from personal and business brand leadership services. First, they can create a memorable brand identity. Now this is essential, not for only them, but for any business. And bases can benefit from personal and business brand leadership services, because to develop a distinctive brand identity gets them to stand out from the competition. And of course, competition is always out there, it doesn't matter, you know, if you're at the top of the tree, and competition is everywhere, so you got to you know, anything that's gonna make you stand out will be part of that, you know, and the services also, of course, assist in developing a unique storyline that accurately represents their values, purpose and objectives. Part of this brand building could also be some of the non for profit and charitable activities that they are also involved with as part of their personal branding. And of course, many of them do that. And if you have a look at some of the biggest foundations on the planet, that are also designed that way, so there's different ways how to brand it doesn't have to be just the areas that you actually think till now that could be different ways. I mean, and branding, remember, it can be done overtly or covertly doesn't really matter because everyone's got different needs and aspirations.
So you know, this is something to keep at the top of mind because just because you can't see The obvious does not mean it's not happening. The second point I want to cover today is how to differentiate from the competitors. Now with so many VCs competing for the same investment standing out from the crowd is important. And I can tell you having worked with numerous VCs over the years, definitely, even when they are, you know, the leading investor in their, in their particular category, competition is still fierce. So this is, you know, because in the end, other than money, right that you're given, of course, if you've got specific expertise, that's very important as well, what else have you got to offer, and this is where differentiation comes into play. Now, in my experience, because they have got money to sort of invest with that gives them also a lot of power. And at times, they pretend this is not so important for them. But trust me, it is, it's just a, you know, they might underplay it for whatever reasons. One of the other reasons I discovered where they ended up playing at times is because if they autonomous, why not like a potential startup to have too much branding down to a bigger potential that could have lifted its value, before they invest in of course, they ended up paying a lot more money. So you know, there's different reasons why people do what they do. So it's critical to differentiate yourself from the pack, given the fierce competition for similar investments, personal business leadership, brand new services, certainly can assist VCs in developing a special value proposition. And of course, establishing new connections with investors and forging a distinctive brand identity that are noted earlier. And the third point is this builds trust. Now, as I've noted earlier, in my past podcast with the Edelman Trust Barometer showing that institutions and major names out there are not trusted anymore. This is where trust is paramount. And without trust, of course, you're going to a disaster on your hands. So this is must establish trust with other potential investors. And also, that's how they're going to get great referrals along the way, as well, when they are trusted. Someone developing a strong identity that communicates integrity and dependability, personal and corporate brand leadership services can aid VCs, in gaining the trust of potential investors, they can assist in producing, also, you know, these services, premium content that will create a thought leadership in the marketplace, meaning somebody wants to speak to somebody regarding that, as an industry leader, of course, contact the person that's actually putting that premium content out there. And of course, a communication strategy that informs potential investors and the media, okay, have the benefits of investing in such businesses, strong relationships are always built by using powerful and trusted networks, first and foremost. So I want to say to you, yes, that's why VCs are very important, because they've got strong relationships, and normally very strong networks, especially in the finance world. So the key here is, of course, that we know this is one of the most important things, networks are virtually everything. And it's one of those things that is underplayed constantly, as you know, one of the things you need to do now, it's the first thing you've got to do without a network, you're in trouble. And that means you've got to do everything yourself. I mean, how do you attract investments if you haven't got a powerful network, so interacting with potential investors and connections and cultivating relationships is part of their personal and business brand leadership approach.
So the final point is, they're gonna also have increased visibility. Now, I've already spoken about this many times before increased visibility is about getting your known getting, you heard getting your value. So if you're not seeing out there, it's not going to happen. So that's why it's essential. Think of some of the biggest VC brands in the world like Sequoia Capital 28 billion, Andreessen Horowitz, 35 billion, clean up Perkins 6 billion Khosla ventures 15 billion. Another one, of course, I sell at 50 billion plus, say VCs can benefit from personal professional brand leadership services to improve their marketability. So we're talking about all the leaders Definitely 100% Definitely improving the team brand positioning, and of course, the whole trust element from the point of view of being visible in the marketplace. So this work assists VCs in producing premium material that can also be shareable, accessible through a variety of digital media, including mainstream so this is going to build a powerful social media presence and use influencers to connect with other potential investors and collaborators. Like other professions, whatever you do to differentiate yourself in the marketplace is essential. And that's why we spoke about today about venture capitalists. It's one of the unusual ones, because generally, I will be talking about a lot of other professions before them. But in my experience, they're great to work with. And of course, once you've communicated value to them, and this is what they're looking for, and of course, did I mention again, they love making money, anything that's going to bring that to the surface and make that easier for them, they'd certainly be interested to hear more. So and that brings us sort of to the end of today's episode, before we wrap up, let's reflect on what we've learned. From our discussion to clear the venture capitalists have the unique opportunity to benefit from personal and business leadership branding, they have the potential to improve customer and of course, employee trust, boost the company's brand and attract top performing employees and of course drive superior organizational performance, you know, leading to increase revenue, and client loyalty. By investing branding venture capitals can create a lasting impact and position themselves for long term success and profitability. Well, I'm sure they're very successful with even without doing that. My point here is is how to maximize value. And hopefully this is something that makes sense since makes such sense for every other profession we work with. Well, I hope you found the in such shed today valuable and certainly inspired to take action. If you'd like to continue the conversation, or have any questions I invite you to connect with me on social media. You can find me on Twitter as John underlying Michael on LinkedIn as John Michael and on Facebook as image Group International. Let's stay connected and explore the world personal branding and growth together. Remember, if you need help with your personal business brand, our experienced team will be here to support you. Feel free to reach out to us. We'll be glad to help once again. Thank you catch you next week.
Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world. To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops, please visit imagegroup.com.au or call 1800 631 311.