What if the future success of your organization depends on how you show up online?
Like it or not, CEO branding puts you in the driver’s seat to pro-actively manage your reputation and that of your company. The share price isn’t the only important KPI either, employees are looking for authenticity from their leaders, someone who humanizes the brand’s values while building trust in the process.
I have spent most of my career helping business leaders attract and retain clients through digital marketing and sales strategies. This includes ghostwriting for founders and executives, and I have seen the results that can come to fruition from consistently showing up. We are not talking about likes here either. I have helped contribute to building authority around specific expertise that has led to:
- Past clients re-engaging
- Job promotions
- Lead gen demo appointments
- Charity fundraiser donations
- Brand awareness
- Strengthened partnerships
Personal branding for leadership teams has never been more important than it is today in the B2B space. I don’t need to tell you that we live in a different climate with macro trends that likely already impact your business because you already know.
Today’s forward-thinking B2B business leaders need to lean into their personal brands on social media to share their mission and core values to connect with the market and engage with employees directly.
There’s no more time to hide behind the curtain or show up only once in a while. To stay dynamic and competitive, today’s CEOs need to action:
- Values with a commitment to those you serve
- Sharing expertise and “hot takes” on industry developments
- Opinions on social issues (since your employees are watching and expecting a response)
- A demonstrated commitment to retaining staff in today’s hyper-competitive workforce
The challenge and opportunity today is how business leaders humanize their businesses to connect with both their internal and external stakeholders.
If you are leading today, here are some insights on the value of committing to putting yourself out there.
No, They Aren’t Thinking About You or Your Company — Stay Visible to Stay Competitive
As a reminder, it’s improbable anyone is thinking about you unless you are visible to them. Perhaps your competition is showing up and educating your target audience more effectively than you are. If this is the case, you wouldn’t want to sit on the sidelines. As a CEO, it will always be your duty to share the company’s key messages and demonstrate your core values if you want to bring a vision to life. After all, your team will be following your example or the lack thereof.
Website Traffic is Earned
Being visible consistently is the first step in developing a relevant personal brand. Once you earn trust and engagement with your content, you can then expect more engagement and actions from users to learn more about you. Don’t bank on anyone heading to your website “just because” if you aren’t showing up and demonstrating value with your content regularly. Traffic is earned, demonstrate relevancy to your industry and watch your authority soar.
Establishing Trust and Credibility with Thought Leadership Content and Social Proof
Sharing your expertise and unique views on your industry positions you as an authority. Sharing insights and words from customers builds trust and credibility. Developing content based on your core themes while leveraging social proof can lead to media outlet features and speaking engagements, expanding your reach and connection with your target audience.
Demonstrate Your Values and Brand Promise
The personal values of the CEO and the brand values of an organization are interlinked, and these values are a magnet that attracts like-minded individuals. Senior leaders are responsible for using their values to maintain a positive, productive workplace culture that attracts customers that are also aligned with them.
Proactively Manage Your Reputation
What do people think of your leadership? A simple pulse check can be found on your Glassdoor and Indeed employee reviews. Do current and past employees approve of your style? Can you attract and retain the best talent available in the market? Whether you need to improve basic visibility or do some damage control to fix some of the current content out there about you, creating a communications plan that addresses the needs of both internal and external stakeholders will pay out dividends. What’s the story you want to put out there? Shape the narrative and Google search for your name.
Cultivate an Image with Intentionality
Reflect changes that take place in your company into your branding and positioning. It’s essential to keep your key value proposition messages, bio and headshot fresh and current. Innovation needs to be executed throughout all channels, communications, and profiles.
Leading by Example by Doing the Right Thing
Just like being a parent, as the leader of your organization, you too must practice what you preach if you want to be effective. They are all watching. With all the social changes and injustices coming to light, sharing an opinion and taking a stance on what is right or wrong can increase employee engagement. Don’t sit on the sidelines on critical social issues. Are people proud to say they work for you?
Attract and Retain Employees Through Connection
With the ongoing pressure to invest in the right technology, grow revenue, and keep customers happy, another area of critical focus is retaining your existing team. Employees want to feel a connection with their leaders. Scaling is impossible if you cannot retain the right people to help you get to where you want to be. New ways of working have emerged, with employees having more choices for where to invest their careers than ever before. In today’s tight labour market, talented professionals have options and refined expectations for how, where and who they want to work for. Stay competitive by communicating the vision’s whys, while enlisting your team’s opinions to help you get there.
Forward-thinking CEOs know that your company brand is not what will carry the weight moving ahead to attract the right people to your organization. Today’s focus must be on the people behind the logo to generate new opportunities while keeping employees engaged.
Showing up consistently and intentionally allows you to demonstrate your expertise while nurturing relationships. The personalization needed to set you apart, is humanizing your values and sharing stories about who you are, and what makes your company unique.
In a follow-up piece, we will discuss how to start crafting your online communications planning and social media strategy.
Want to learn more? Arrange a consultation, contact us today!