• Lauren Mundell

Why You Should Become the Face of Your Cannabis Brand

In 2015 & 2016, I began helping my clients at PepsiCo and Weight Watchers build "executive personal brands." We worked with leaders to help them develop their content pillars and strategies. Each morning, we'd send them a suite of social media content for all of their applicable channels for approval. Then, we'd post on their behalf, monitor for comments, and flag anything notable. We'd brainstorm topics, do research, craft their blog posts, send them for quotes and approval and post.

We did a fantastic job of creating "executive personal brands," so much so in fact that most of these leaders have taken their platforms to new heights even after they left their companies. The voices of the leaders were imbued in our work because we learned their voices and became an extension of them. We helped them write their speeches, we built their slideshows, we helped them find their narratives and their voices.

This extremely time-consuming work of literally putting the right words into someone's mouth and on the page cost clients upwards of $20K per month per executive.

I have yet to meet a founder-led cannabis brand that has $20K per month for their entire company brand-building, much less for one executive's visibility.

My advice: combine the two -- until you can afford to support your brand marketing at the level needed, put yourself out there as the face of the business.

"Oh, great," you're probably saying, "now I have to make stupid reels and take pictures of myself and my product!" Well, no, but also yes. And, I promise you won't regret it.

Here are some tips to help you grow your executive brand and your company brand at the same time:

TIP: Make a video of yourself every day. Look at the camera, pretend you are talking to all of your future customers and tell them about yourself and some of the things you and the biz have got going on today. Tag people you'll be seeing or talking to.

Some people definitely just stopped reading. For the brave who remain, this is the key. You must become the STAR of your company's content. I know you're uncomfortable, I know you hate how your mouth does that weird thing, you hate your voice, etc. But, if you want this all to change (and even if you don't want to, your biz needs you to) you will start looking yourself in the face (in the camera) every day.

TIP: Start livestreaming a weekly call between you and your team. Stream it to LinkedIn and record it to produce post-event content of your great ideas. Turn that into a podcast and a weekly blog. You just made 25+ pieces of content doing something you and your team already do! Is your quality going to be professional? Not in the beginning (unless you hire us). But also, not a lot of people will be joining in the beginning. As your content gets better, your audience will grow. And, isn't that what you want?

TIP: Take over your company DMs. Coming from the large agency world as a 45+ entrepreneur, I was so excited at the prospect of having a young instagrammer running my page. This was a mistake. And, it's when I started focusing on my DMs and a relationship-building strategy that my relationships in cannabis started to bloom.

On the other hand, I have seen so many misses by top brands in the DMs. I believe it's because people without passion for the company, people who are just "doing their jobs" whether in-house or at an agency are missing opportunities and relationships in the DMs. Can you have someone else on your team handle mundane customer service stuff? Of course! But, especially if you're 40+, don't decide you can't do it. Learn it!


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