By Tim Brown
One of the most important traits of a great founder is learning how to be a brand evangelist. Not only is this vital when you are growing a new business and trying to attract customers, but it’s also crucial once you start looking for funding or liquidity events with investors.
At all points throughout your business journey, you will need to ignore the naysayers and continue to trump the benefits of your company which is why you must be an evangelist. If not, you will struggle to attract new customers, the talent for your workforce or investors to fund your dreams.
What is a Brand Evangelist?
An evangelist is somebody who believes in everything that your company stands for and who is willing to dedicate their time to helping your mission without any personal gain. Therefore, by being your brand evangelist, you should be vividly telling everybody possible about your business and trying to further your progress.
How to Be a Brand Evangelist
The first step in being a brand evangelist is dedicating yourself to sales and marketing. You don’t have to be engaging in minuscule campaigns actively, but you should be focussing your time on figuring out how to further your reach through sales and marketing.
Most of the great founders of our time have been extremely involved in marketing, and that’s what’s allowed them to succeed. In many cases, the sole reason why customers choose to buy from the brand was that they believed in the evangelist and their mission.
Creating Something Truly Brilliant
However, if you’re going to learn how to be a brand evangelist, then you must entirely buy into your own business and your mission. But to do this, you must create something that is truly brilliant because it’s impossible to buy into something entirely if it’s low quality.
After all, there’s only so much you can do to convince people to follow you if you’re leading them in a terrible direction. Instead, part of being a brand evangelist is being exceedingly obsessed with the quality of your products and services, so that you create something beautiful so that it’s easy to be an evangelist.
Telling a Great Story
Thirdly, you must learn how to tell a great story, the same way that the mystical Steve Jobs did. Perhaps his best skill was his ability to tell a compelling story that made people attached to Apple, making them want to join in with his mission which was far greater than just his company.
As a business founder, you will have to convince everybody that you meet to join your mission and the only way that you can achieve this is by learning to story tell.
In most cases, the best way for a small business to tell a story is by identifying a mission that is far greater than just the reach of a company. Steve Jobs did this with Apple; he would often talk about bringing fantastic design and software to the world, he wasn’t only interested in growing his sales revenue.
Then, you must learn the basics of public speaking so that you can craft your story and tell it in an efficient and compelling way that keeps people enthralled and amplifies its effect. Most likely your business idea isn’t that exciting to most people, but that’s only because of the way that you are telling it and the direction in which it is spun.
Building Your Audience
Unless you are already famous, then it’s vital that you build up your audience so that once you know how to be a brand evangelist it has an impact on others. You could tell everybody around you about your company, but if that’s only ten people, the effect will be tiny.
In this day and age, there is no excuse to have a reach less than a thousand people. Networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make it easy to build a following, people who will listen to you and who in-turn could become brand evangelists of their own.
Why Must a Great Founder Be an Evangelist?
It’s easy to hire salespeople, and it’s often not difficult to find competent CMO either, so, why is it vital that a great founder must be an evangelist? Primarily, all organizations take the lead from the person at the top and if you as a founder aren’t energetically and passionately telling every person about your company, nobody else will, and you won’t attract the right customers, employees or investors.
Being an evangelist is critical in the early stage of your company when you have little to no capital and must convince people to take the risk of joining your rocket ship. This statement includes customers who will often have a more established alternative and who are taking a chance by purchasing from you instead.
Every step in the right direction will be difficult, you will have to force people to do everything, and unless you are an inspiring evangelist, this will never change. If you look at Steve Jobs, the greatest brand evangelist of all time, people chose to move across the world to work for him, they paid more for his products and investors fell over themselves to join in.
Why? He told a compelling story about an incredible story to his growing audience that got them excited about his mission and the vision that they could be a part of.