The Virtual CMO Podcast
Season 6, Episode 14
Hosted By: Eric Dickmann
With Guest: Rob Levinson
Our Featured Guest
Co-Founder - Leverage Advisors
Rob Levinson is a writer, seasoned brand strategist, personal brand coach, and Co-Founder of Leverage Advisors. He has over 35 years of experience in branding, positioning, and storytelling.
Levinson’s superpower is making a long story short and leading companies call when they need a laser-focused brand strategy to align with their business strategy. Rob’s expertise are in brand positioning, brand architecture, brand strategy, brand mission statement, brand vision statement, brand heritage story, brand voice, messaging strategy, and elevator pitching. He can even get your personal brand narrative down to a hashtag!
Rob Levinson also coaches individuals seeking to refine their personal brand narratives to be more successful at work and play.
"Leverage Advisors connects the dots. Your advantage is a seamless, highly efficient end-to-end solution."
Leverage Advisors is a team of seasoned business brand, creative, and digital subject market experts led and co-founded by Rob Levinson and Samantha Allison. Their team has over 25 years experience advising clients how to achieve their top-priority business, brand, and creative goals. They are subject-matter experts who together offer a seamless end-to-end solution that inspires a company to strategically evolve, change, and express itself.
They address business strategy issues, resolve brand conundrums, effectively nail creative requirements, and strengthen digital connections. Leverage Advisors has catered to many clients such as- The Princeton Review, Hilco Global, The Bank of Maine, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, and LPL Financial.
So the very first thing I tell people to do when developing a personal brand is take a really good look in the mirror and identify what are my key strengths? What am I really good at? What do people turn to me for? What am I really proud of? List all those things."
What We Discussed with Rob:
On this episode, host Eric Dickmann interviews Rob Levinson about why building a strong personal brand helps your business. Here are some highlights of our conversation:
- [00:03:05] Who out there has done a stellar job with their personal branding?- Many people have mistaken their job descriptions as their personal brand. A person's job is just what they do, but it's not who they are. Celebrities are often good examples because they are the people who have done a great job in representing themselves. According to Rob, among the many stars who has made a name for themselves, Lady Gaga has one of the best personal brands. Wherever she goes to perform, whether it be at an inauguration, Super Bowl, or even the Academy Awards, her loyal fan base will support her because of her consistent message around inclusiveness and integrity.
- [00:04:42] What are the elements of a powerful personal brand story?- When Rob works with clients on their personal branding, he constantly reminds them to be their authentic selves. Rob mentions that people should take the time to look at themselves in the mirror and identify their unique qualities, defining attributes, and areas of improvement. Aside from evaluating yourself, it is also equally important to ask friends and colleagues about how they view your attributes. There are instances that people view themselves far differently than how others perceive them.
- [00:13:27] Building your personal brand online- There is something very gratifying and rewarding about just being authentically yourself. Rob points out that on platforms, most especially in LinkedIn, professionals are doing a pretty lousy job in positioning themselves. According to Rob, their descriptions are often generic and unattractive. When people surf online, they ask themselves- What value will person bring to me? How can this individual help me? You don't need to put everything about your job in the profile section; there's a resume that people can look at if needed! Instead, create a narrative that makes you stand out.
- [00:19:35] Corporate branding vs. Personal branding- Rob shares that the main differentiator between the two is that personal branding is more personal than corporate branding. While corporate branding may be heavily reliant on a color palette, logo design, theme song, and advertisements, personal branding is about presenting yourself to the world in an authentic but interesting way.
- [00:25:45] Allowing people to identify you better- It is essential to express the aspects that set you apart from the crowd. Wherever you go or whatever platforms you frequent, people should be able to recognize your brand immediately. Rob personally believes that there should be some congruency between individuals and corporate branding because customers don't support companies or personalities just because of what they have to offer. They associate with entities that stand for something and who actually care about ideologies above and beyond what they're selling.
- [00:31:49] Rob Levinson's online personal branding tips- Having a LinkedIn profile and being present on social media is not a nice to have; it's a GOT TO HAVE. Like a company, your personal brand cannot be successful without having an online presence. Rob advises professionals to keep their lights bright and try to connect people regularly or post content at least once every week. Keeping your light bright does not take much time. That light may be your chance to uncover great opportunities.