personal branding

Fintech Companies: Secure a Smooth IPO Transition With Personal Branding

Few financial technology (fintech) companies realize just how big of an impact going public will have on their overall brand. Fewer still realize that their CEO’s personal brand can have a powerful effect on keeping the company outlook favorable after an IPO.

Our current economy is ripe for disruptive financial services - the global fintech market size reached a whopping $111.8 billion in 2018. Many financial tech companies are now turning to public trading to expand their market share. But somewhere down the line, these companies’ efforts often tend to shift from a customer-centric model to a profit-centric one. This approach might be good for business in the short term but can have devastating effects on the company’s bottom line if it’s sustained. 

Let’s take a look at the current trends of public trading within a fintech perspective and how to avoid the largest pitfall many fintech companies tend to stumble into after their stock market launch - decreased brand approval. Outlined below are examples of why a focus on fintech CEO’s personal brands can have a positive effect on keeping the company’s brand favorable after an IPO.

When Change Becomes a Problem

It’s no secret that those who decide to go public face a lot of challenges, but none more so than those in the fintech industry. For those working in Fintech, however, these challenges can compound due to increased competition and demand bottlenecks.

Of course, despite all those impediments, the world’s technological and economic ecosystems are ideal for new fintechs to enter the market. The prospect of going public is still a favorable move for many fintech companies. Which is why the burgeoning fintech sector is seeing such widespread growth.

Despite the positives, going public puts a lot of pressure on companies to show positive short-term growth. This can have an unhealthy impact on business activities due to shifted priorities within the company’s directorate. It’s a case of what is commonly referred to as shareholder primacy. This shift, while normal to a marginal degree, can become disruptive enough to its core brand to influence sales and user opinion.

How Fintech Companies Can Leverage The CEO’s Personal Brand

There’s nothing wrong with shifting focus to keep investors happy and attract more potential investors. It’s part of the public trading cycle and many companies have succeeded in balancing this new demand with their established brand virtues. In many cases, while some consumer perspectives falter during this time period, these companies have succeeded in leveraging the faith established in their leaders’ personal brands to push through any negative sentiment that would have otherwise developed.

One perfect example of this is LendingTree’s founder Doug Lebda, who has managed to keep his publicly-traded company profitable for 21 years - through a dot-com crash and two financial crises. Not only did this work because they kept their main focus on the product, but the hits their reputation would have taken due to the inevitable small shift in priority to a profit-based model was curtailed thanks to Lebda’s impeccable reputation. A reputation that is still going strong to this day.

Now, let’s look at some examples of flourishing fintech companies that have expressed intent to go public soon. They all have leaders with a strong personal brand, which they can utilize to ensure a smooth transition and to maintain public approval.

Credit Karma

The CEO of Credit Karma, Ken Lin, hasn’t expressly said that they’re planning to go public anytime soon, but there’s been lots of speculation, and the company’s efforts certainly seem to be gearing up towards an IPO. 

For his part, Ken Lin has been steadily building a solid personal brand through his various business ventures that should help him carry Credit Karma through any potential hiccups. Should the company decide to turn to public trading within the next few months, Ken will likely focus on the trust that he has built up with the public. His dedication to keeping the focus on the deliverable will also be a big determining factor of the IPO’s success.

Robinhood

This California-based company is run by co-founders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt. In 2018, they announced plans to take their investment platform public, with a projected market value of $5.6 billion.

Robinhood has only been up and running for a few years, but it’s founders are already working hard to make a name for themselves in the industry. What’s interesting about Tenev and Bhatt is that most of their personal brand building has been a joint effort that focuses on their partnership. Their efforts should pay off when they take the company public later this year or early 2020.

Key Takeaways

No corporate brand can exist separately from its CEO’s brand. A strong brand strategy becomes vital as a company grows and scales, to make sure that the initial brand of the company flows throughout the organization from top to bottom, and to consumers and investors.

This strategy needs to ensure that the brand stays consistent with what made it successful in the first place. Especially as the company looks to go public and takes on the responsibility of its shareholders’ expectations. It will be interesting to see which fintech brands will succeed in building on their CEO’s personal brand to dominate the market moving forward in such a newly budding marketplace. 

Personal Branding for Real Estate Agents


The rise of the internet has effectively leveled the business playing field and in no industry is this more true than in real estate. The omnipresent online universe including the prevalence of smartphones and social media sites means that you can, theoretically, connect with anyone anywhere. And in order to be competitive in an industry founded on personal reputation, trust, and word-of-mouth, that is exactly what you have to do! Real estate has never been more competitive than it is now. If you want to find new clients, close deals, and expand your business, you’re going to need a strong personal brand to help you stand out from the competition.

Real estate is an industry that thrives on name recognition. It is virtually impossible to attract new clients without a strong reputation within your local community, supported by genuine testimonials from happy clients. If nobody in your community knows your name, you will be unable to grow your business. Period. You have to be proactive about establishing and enhancing your personal brand; a strong personal brand is crucial. So, the obvious question is, how do you make a name for yourself?  

When you set out to build your brand, don’t forget who you’re talking to. In other words, before you turn your focus towards yourself, take a good look at your prospective audience. Take some time to identify your ideal client base, their needs, problems, and concerns, what pushes them to purchase and, most importantly, where they spend their time both online and offline. You need to put yourself and your message in front of their faces, or you’ll be talking to an empty room. If you take the time to identify your target audience, then you can tailor your personal brand to help people solve their problems and connect with them wherever they are. Never forget that your business is building relationships. 

Once you have identified your client prospects, turn your attention to what makes you different from your competitors. Think about your passions and areas of expertise, why you became a real estate agent and who you most enjoy helping. Consider talking with past clients to learn more about their experience working with you. Why did they choose you over another agent? What was most helpful or important in your interactions? Would they refer you to a friend or family member and, most importantly, what could you do better in the future? 

Now that you are starting to develop a clear sense of your client base and yourself, it’s time to make yourself visually recognizable. You should hire a designer. A strong personal brand comes with a distinct kit of branding visuals that will accompany your name wherever you choose to market yourself. This is not a time to be frugal. Hire a professional designer to help you develop a logo, color scheme, and graphics for your digital platforms. Now is the time to cultivate brand consistency. You should be equally recognizable in person, on Twitter, and on a billboard. 

Your personal brand is tailored to your ideal customer, rooted in your strengths and individuality, and primed for brand recognition. You are ready to build your blog, generate content, and share your brand with your prospective clients. 

How Personal Branding Can Help You Make Money Through Webinars

How Personal Branding Can Help You Make Money Through Webinars

The term “webinar” is a clever blending of “web” and “seminar” and represents an online lecture, workshop, or presentation. The key feature of a webinar is the promise of real time interaction between the audience and the presenter. Webinars are radically accessible, offering potentially valuable content, generally free of charge, to geographically disparate individuals from the comfort of their own home. In this way, webinars are tools for immediate customer engagement and dynamic avenues for content marketing strategy.  

Why Personal Branding Is Crucial for Professionals in Finance and Investment Banking

Why Personal Branding Is Crucial for Professionals in Finance and Investment Banking

Being a professional in this industry can sometimes bring an unwarranted negative image. The perception of finance and investment banking professionals often attracts blame for issues such as the financial crash in 2008.

In order to overcome this stigma, professionals in the finance and investment banking industry should look towards increasing their personal brand and changing people’s mind through positivity.

How to Become an Entrepreneur Within Your Organization

How to Become an Entrepreneur Within Your Organization

Entrepreneurship is a mindset. An entrepreneur is someone who embraces critical thinking, innovation, and change rather than waiting to adapt to changes as they occur. Entrepreneurs who operate within an organization are looking to add value; they are open to advice from mentors and managers and proactively seek innovative solutions. They take full control of their career paths. Strong business leaders understand that human capital is the most valuable asset they have, even though it often does not show on the balance sheet, and that the best employees are the ones who are proactive, not reactive. These are the people who make the clients and customers happy.