The way we interact and engage with brands and agency leaders online has shifted dramatically, thanks to the evolution of social media.
But that “hype train” of winning business if you have a large following on social media is now starting to slow down, Ryan O’Keeffe, founder of personal branding agency Jago, tells Prolific North.
“People are starting to see through that,” he says. “That’s not to say having a large following is not a good thing, it can be good and there are lots of people with large followings that are really authentic, but I think there’s a lot of people that have just been playing the game.”
Do those leaders know what they want to achieve online, is their messaging having the right impact on their businesses, or are they just shouting into the void?
“You might have a large following, but you might be attracting the wrong people. We’re not interested in that, or making people celebrities. We’re not interested in the influencer-style personal branding, that’s for someone else.”
With this in mind, Jago has published its first Personal Brand Benchmark Report, packed with valuable takeaways for agency owners about the power of building their personal brands the right way.
Following a Personal Brand Health Check (PBHC) survey of over 250 agency owners on their personal branding, Jago has collated vital insights into how those leaders approach their personal brands, alongside key takeaways on what leaders should be doing to see results.
According to the key findings in the report, leaders are now recognising the need to address their personal branding and are starting to venture into this arena.
But it’s crucial for leaders to approach personal branding strategically, by first understanding who they are and what they want to achieve, which will, in turn, drive personal and professional growth.
With the discovery that 40% of agency leaders do not have a strategy in place for ensuring their personal brand supports their business growth, that’s where Jago steps in.
First meeting at the age of seven, Jago co-founders Steve Richards (pictured, left) and Ryan O’Keeffe (pictured, right) have been “studying people from the get go” but have tread very different paths in life.
Previously working in the charity sector, Richards has established himself as a dynamic storyteller and anthropologist, while O’Keeffe comes from a sales background. Previously working for the Yellow Pages, it’s where he figured out what makes business owners tick and how to connect with them using the power of Emotional Intelligence.
The duo transitioned into personal branding “by accident”, after they were first approached by a leader in need of help.
“It was one person pretending to be a much bigger business than it was. So, we went all in on this people-focused business, and we scrapped everything else.”
They soon discovered it was their “calling”. Fusing their passions and skills, they founded Jago three years ago with a mission to “actually have an impact” by helping leaders build meaningful personal brands.
“It feels like the world’s turned on to personal branding and what we do. But not only that, they’ve seen what I think is the right way to do personal branding,” adds O’Keeffe.
With a team of emotional intelligence experts, anthropologists, filmmakers and storytellers now at the heart of Jago, they are supporting leaders to develop a clear identity, arming them with the tools and knowledge to tap into the right network and grow their personal brand and business.
“We built on that and we’ve become B Corp certified through that process,” he says. “I think we’re the world’s only personal branding agency to be certified.”
It’s “exciting times” for Jago, now in its third year of recertifying as a B Corp. But the vision for Jago is much bigger. The “big audacious goal” is to have a positive impact on 10,000 leaders and for it to snowball, with those leaders going on to have an impact on 10,000 more.
“We do it through the lens of personal branding, but actually it’s about scaling quality leaders and scaling their reputation to have a positive impact through that messaging.That’s what we’re interested in.”
As personal branding has become a critical tool for leaders to connect with their audiences, building a strong personal brand has never been more important to stand out from the crowd.
Get your copy of Jago’s Personal Branding Report here, where you can uncover the power of personal branding and find out why great personal brands need strategic intent, a clear identity and consistency.
Next week, part two in this series will dig a little deeper into Jago’s methodology and explore why agency leaders should care about personal branding…