Become a Celebrity CEO and Watch Your Business Grow

Become a Celebrity CEO and Watch Your Business Grow blog post image

As a small business owner, you can become a celebrity CEO to gain an advantage over your competition. As your personal brand grows, so will your business. Made possible by

We’re BIGG fans of small business, so we’re happy to be celebrating #SmallBusinessWeek. To kick it off, we talk with Ramon Ray on The BIGG Success Show today.

He writes for Entrepreneur, Inc., Small Business Trends, Business Insider, and more. He joins us today to talk about his latest book, Celebrity CEO: How Entrepreneurs Can Thrive by Building a Community and a Strong Personal Brand*. Here’s a summary of our conversation.

What is a celebrity CEO?

Ramon says that small business owners have the ability to go very narrow and serve a niche market. Few of us are going to be Oprah Winfrey or LeBron James.

But we can all have a narrow lane where we are well known. That’s a celebrity CEO. It’s Ramon’s story. He’s not known to the whole world, but he’s well known in his little market, in his little world, in his small lane

Want to hear what Ramon’s wife said when she learned that the title of his new book was Celebrity CEO? Listen to the show. Simply click on the PLAY button above.

Why does branding even matter?

Ramon says that a brand is important because of mindshare. Before you make the sale, you can build a fan base – a community of people who know about you. They may not have bought from you yet, but they know who you are, what you do, and what makes you different.

How can personal branding help you attract more customers to your business? Ramon shares three examples on the show. To listen, simply click the PLAY button above.

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Why should a bottom-line kind of business person place fans before customers?

Ramon agrees: You must make sales. However, once immediate needs are taken care of, you can focus on the long-term play.

When you build a fan base first – you have 500 to 1,000 people that know you in some way. Then you can sell them. You can nurture them until they become customers.

If you just have two customers – once they’ve bought from you, the well is dry.

What if you’re struggling to pay the bills right now? Ramon says you have to separate short-term and long-term. Listen to the podcast to hear his full answer. Just click the PLAY button above.

What’s the difference between the corporate brand and the personal brand?

Ramon states that – in very, very small businesses – the owner is the brand. He offers his company, Smart Hustle Media, as an example.

He works with large companies. They hire him because they’ve heard his voice, they saw him on stage, they like his version of the world. Conversely, nobody knows who owns The New York Times. Nobody cares.

People care who owns the local pizza shop or dry cleaning business. They go to the local lawyer or accountant. They remember the guy who rocked their baby to sleep as he helped them with their taxes.

Find out how Ramon landed a large company as a customer because of burnt pancakes and bacon. Click the PLAY button above.

Why are you such a proponent of video marketing?

Ramon says he does video because it works. Social media gives it more prominence. Video personalizes and humanizes your brand. It builds trust. It builds your fan base.

But he admits that video can be hard. And it isn’t for everyone. However, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

To get started, keep it simple. All you need is a smartphone, good lighting, and good audio. Answer questions that your customers commonly ask. You can even interview your customers.

You can rip the audio from a video and re-purpose it. Or make the text a blog post. You can carve it up into multiple posts on social media. There are so many ways to use it to build your fan base as a celebrity CEO.

Mary-Lynn cracked Ramon up with her question about doing video when you don’t want to see yourself on video. Hear her question and Ramon’s answer by listening to the podcast. Simply click the PLAY button above.

Funnel is a little jargon-ish. What do business people who aren’t digital marketing experts need to know about the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel?

Ramon explains that the top of the funnel is full of people just vaguely interested in you. They may have seen your videos or your posts on Twitter. Maybe they gave you their email address. This is the top of the funnel.

The prospects in the middle of the funnel are moving closer to a sale. You have their attention. They start to like you. Maybe they’ve read your ebook. Or watched your video. Or attended one of your events. Whether it’s online or offline, they are warming up to you.

While the first two parts of the funnel are educational and relationship-building, the bottom of the funnel is about getting them to buy from you. They’ve been engaging with you. It’s time to offer them something of value because, now, they’re ready to buy something from you.

What childhood game is a great model for marketing today? Get Ramon’s answer by listening to the show. Simply click the PLAY button above.

What sparked you to strike out on your own?

Ramon started building a business part-time while he worked at the United Nations full-time. Yes, that’s right – the United Nations!

He said it was a great place to work, but he wasn’t happy. Not because of the mission of the organization. Ramon believes they do good work. He was unhappy because he was an entrepreneur at heart.

But he continued working at the UN until they changed a policy – UN employees weren’t allowed to have side hustles anymore. Ramon refused to give up his business, even though it was only part-time. Before long, he “got fired resigned” as he put it. That really launched him.

Ramon says a lot of people just see the end of the story, or they only hear about the glamour. He says he’s a regular guy who’s been through a lot of pain. Entrepreneurship is tough. But now he wants to see people do more. He wants to see small businesses not just paying the rent. Not being Oprah. But more than paying the rent. To be able to give to family. To start another business. Entrepreneurialism – it’s what America is about.

Our mission at BIGG Success is helping good people have more money to do more good. With your BIGG success, how are you doing more good?

Ramon says he and his wife have one income. Through their partnership, she is able to do other things, like volunteerism. He adds that God has spoken to him and he has been able to give money and time to other people. And he’s very purposeful about mentoring – like the young man he helped earn a GED. Now, Ramon is helping this young man launch a business.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of all the great information in Ramon’s book, Celebrity CEO*. If you want to watch your business grow using modern marketing methods, we highly recommend it to you!

Here’s to your BIGG success!

George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
signatures: George & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

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