How to Become an All-Star in Your Industry


There are numerous opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs to reach the next level, but you need to have a lot of patience, dedication and understanding of basic marketing principles such as branding. Fortunately, there are many current and up and coming all-stars who you can take inspiration from. Following their example will enable you to position yourself as an industry leader without needing to reinvent the wheel. In order to help you get the most out of the lessons that each all-star can give you, we have compiled a list of four leaders across the eCommerce and offline worlds. Each of these individuals has built a successful business, but they are all at different points in their career. As an added bonus, we will give you some insight into exactly what they did to achieve their current level of success. Emulating even just one of these industry leaders is virtually certain to help you on your path to becoming an all-star.

Online Entrepreneurs

1: Sean Russell

Owner of MenProvement.com – The secret of Sean Russell’s success is understanding how to get the most out of great content. Every piece that that is posted on MenProvement.com is highly sharable, and all of their articles are also accompanied by eye-catching titles and images. When we asked Sean to comment on what helped him reach his current status as an all-star, he was quick to credit networking, and he also reiterated the importance of time and patience.

Sean utilized an unconventional but highly useful method after he launched his site, and it was able to keep him motivated and focused. In brief, he ignored all site stats for the first six months. Although this advice is contrary to what many business owners have done, it does make sense when you consider the fact that it is initially more important to focus on building a great site with compelling content. If Sean had allowed himself to get bogged down in statistics from day one, he might not have achieved the easily recognizable brand that he has today. Sean also knew that it could take up to two years to make money, and he stuck to his plan of offering high quality content as opposed to posting a large quantity of articles per week.

2: Kallum Mitterer

Owner of PeakNootropics.com and LumberJacksBeardOil.com – Kallum Mitterer is an online entrepreneur who owns several successful websites, but PeakNootropics.com is what he is most well-known for to date. LumberJacksBeardOil.com is one of Kallum’s latest creations, and this is part of his commitment to finding and filling specific niche markets.

According to Kallum, it is possible to be successful in even the most competitive marketplace if you stick to a niche item. When asked about this philosophy, Kallum said, “A “niche” is a target market for a product, and to be successful you have to move quickly and precisely into a trending niche. You may discover a potential niche but you need to have the right set of tools and knowledge to move ahead.” Kallum also shared with us his three pronged recipe for success: “The first thing necessary is to use a keyword tool such as Google’s keyword planner. Every profitable online venture starts with good keyword research because this way you know people are searching for your potential product. Next comes branding. Work hard to make your product and website look desirable and set yourself apart from your competitors. Once you have those two things, you can move ahead with promoting and sharing your business with other bloggers.”

Offline Entrepreneurs

1: Michael Simon

CMO of Bai Brands – Michael Simon successfully helped Panera Bread expand their branding during the five years that he was their CMO, but he decided at the end of 2014 that he wanted to move onto a start-up instead. Bai Brands was Michael’s start-up of choice, and the company is currently experiencing a 300 percent revenue growth.

Instead of owning their own brick and mortar stores, Bai Brands offers their fruit drinks for sale at a wide variety of locations. The company was able to score a distribution deal with the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, and this has helped push their innovative healthy product into the limelight. However, branding and advertising was not a focal point until Michael came onboard. The new CMO has forged an all-star career working with Panera Bread and Pepperidge Farm, and he recognizes the importance of branding and consumer marketing for continued growth. Bai Brands is expected to have another large surge of revenue growth under Michael’s leadership.

2: Leonard Riggio

Executive Chairman for Barnes & Noble – In 1971, Barnes & Noble was a family owned and operated business with one location in Manhattan. After Leonard Riggio purchased the company, it became a Fortune 500 business. There are now 658 brick and mortar retail stores in the U.S., and Barnes & Noble also has 714 college bookstores.

Leonard’s successful transformation of Barnes & Noble traces its roots back to his unprecedented branding and marketing ideas. In 1974, the company made history by becoming the first bookseller to ever utilize a television advertisement, and they followed this up one year later by being the first bookstore to begin discounting bestselling titles. Both of these innovative ideas belonged to Leonard, and they truly highlight the importance of marketing and branding. As of 2011, Barnes & Noble is the last existing chain bookstore in the U.S., and they are still operating profitably.

Other Examples

There are countless examples of companies that started small and became huge due to the vision of one inspired entrepreneur. Amazon.com was started in Jeff Bezos’ garage, and Carlos Slim reinvented Telmex after purchasing it in 1990. Amazon.com now has annual revenue of approximately $74.45 billion, and Telmex became one of the largest cellphone and landline providers in Latin America.

The one thing that all of these companies have in common is the fact that their leaders know that branding and marketing is essential. Therefore, if you aspire to be the next all-star in your industry, you should utilize the services of a professional branding company to help you reach your goal.  

About the Author

Holly Chavez is a freelance writer and entrepreneur. She is also a business consultant for start-up companies such as qualitycontentplus. She has degrees in engineering and business management and attributes much of her success in business to her university studies and life lessons.