Opinions expressed by entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Having worked in business strategy, technology, retail and marketing for decades, I firmly believe that personal brands are the future.
You will drive the future. You will shape the future. You will lead into the future.
People like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington have proven that visionary leaders with unique and recognizable personal brands have the power to shape our world.
These misfits go well beyond using their personal brands for book deals, speaking opportunities, and reality TV spots. They really are extreme pioneers. They create extraordinary changes, transformative legacies and riches that will endure far beyond this lifetime.
And they do this by building iconic empires.
An iconic empire is a group of interconnected companies creating diverse streams of wealth for a visionary founder. These visionaries don’t devote all of their energy to a single company or model. Those who build iconic empires create departmental structures that leverage their ideas across many platforms.
Think of Chip and Joanna Gaines, who have their own television network, several bestsellers, a hugely successful line of hard goods through a partnership with Target, several real estate investment firms, and a shopping/dining/tourism destination with Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, Texas . From the very beginning, they have spread their talent through multiple avenues, thereby generating enormous wealth for them. Iconic empire isn’t something that just happens to entrepreneurs with outstanding personal brands; it’s a strategy.
And it’s a strategy you can use. Here are three ways you can start building your own iconic empire today.
Own your industry
Before you can think about creating multiple streams of wealth, you need to establish yourself as the best in the world at what you do. Slip fully into this role. own it And prepare to send it. You have zero competition and are in a category of one. Or if you’re in a multiples category, make sure you’re at the absolute top of that niche.
Use your status as the best in the world in a statement about the paradigm you are changing. Talk about the revolution you are leading, the concepts you are pushing. Say something so incredibly bold that people will sit up and pay attention. Of course, don’t be controversial for the sake of controversy, use language that is perplexing and declarative. Tell people how you push boundaries and own up to it. This will feel awkward at first, but once you step inside, that fear will go away.
Work hard, stand out, and tower above anyone foolish enough to compete with you.
See also: The 5 most important rules of personal branding
Make a diversification plan
Once you have become the undisputed owner of your niche or industry, consider how you could start cultivating multiple streams of wealth. Outside of your core business, what could you do to share your ideas and talents with others? Which formats and business models make sense? What goes well with the revolution you are leading? Don’t force yourself to open markets or use strategies that conflict with your mission or push you too far out of your genius zone. Pursue ideas that naturally fit your vision.
Think of an icon like producer and showrunner Shonda Rhimes. It makes perfect sense for her to write books (she’s a gifted writer), negotiate brand partnerships (she’s a spokesperson for Dove’s body positive campaigns), and build media and content departments (she blogs and podcasts like a pro). . It makes no sense for her to sell certifications and licenses (she doesn’t advocate any proprietary method), host retreats (she’s a confirmed introvert!), or build a retail arm of her empire.
Pursue streams of prosperity that will thrive because they are organically aligned with your gifts and support your core work.
See also: Self-Marketing: Developing Your Personal Brand
Build a magical world
Next, you need to create a place where your biggest fans can interact with you. Build a place of true beauty and breathtaking experiences. Your magical place is where your customers and potential customers gather. Since you will also be leading rather than teaching, I am using more religious terminology here. When you build your magical place, you are effectively creating a temple for your people to come and worship you. It must be a space that truly represents you through images, words, movement and sound; everything the visitor experiences there. You need to create a place where people who are curious about you can go and people who follow you can connect.
Your magic spot is also where strategies like sales funnels come into play. Where do you send people when you become visible? When you start talking to your market, where will people go to learn more? And when they are there, what will you show them, offer them, and tell them?
Consider the experience carefully. When visitors enter your magical place, they should feel a drastic change. It should be like leaving the noise and dirt of the airport and stepping into the first class lounge. Elite, sublime, refined and unspeakably beautiful. If you create this magical world now – even if it’s just a Facebook group at first – you’ll have something to build on as your business grows.
Chip and Joanna Gaines and Shonda Rhimes did an impeccable job. Magnolia Market at the Silos is a literal physical magical world dedicated to all things Chip and Jo. Visitors can dine at their restaurants, purchase merchandise Joanna designed, stay in a vacation home the Gaines renovated, and attend events on the beautifully manicured grounds.
Rhimes has an online hub at Shondaland.com where you can find links to all of her current and upcoming projects, buy her books, watch videos of her giving advice, revisit her most famous speeches and listen to her podcasts. It’s a bold and colorful side that exudes the same energy that Rhimes himself is famous for.
Of course, the wealth generation aspects of an iconic empire are private, but the magical world is public. It is a place where people curious about the revolution you are leading can learn more about you, connect with you and gain a deeper understanding of your ideas and accomplishments.
All icons are dedicated to creating extraordinary wealth with their businesses and making a deep impact with their work. The brightest among them turn that dedication into a multi-layered, diversified, interconnected empire of aspirations that amplifies their abundance exponentially. If you’re looking to build generational wealth and make an impact with your innovations, start crafting your iconic empire plan today.
With your plan in place, make the bold, strategic moves that will bring your iconic empire to life!
Also See: Self-Made Billionaires Around the World: Where and Why They’re Thriving (Infographic)