Let’s start by agreeing that if you are a CEO, you’ve been working a while. And you’ve clearly had success, so you already have a personal brand. If you have any doubts, check out my most recent blog.
But, knowing you have a personal brand and that it should be working for you — to get you where you want to be faster — where should you be focusing your efforts?
Easy answer: LinkedIn.
It’s really a no-brainer on so many levels. Specifically designed for professionals and business-focused engagement, LinkedIn offers credibility, connection, conversation, and compounding results. Consider these five benefits and how to make them work for you:
#1 All Your Audiences Are on LinkedIn — Be Intentional & Available
With over 875 million users worldwide, and growing, LinkedIn ranks as the largest professional networking platform on the internet. Members of your many stakeholder groups — customers, partners, investors, board members, employees, and the media — are likely to already have LinkedIn profiles and be active on the platform. This means you have automatic access to them regardless of their location or industry.
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s scope by building a network that works for you. Reach out and connect with other leaders in your industry, LinkedIn Influencers, your partners and investors, plus your leadership team and employees. Your online network should reflect — and expand upon — your real-world network.
#2 LinkedIn Profiles Rank High in Google Search Results — Be Findable & Prepared
When someone searches your name on Google, your LinkedIn profile is likely to appear at the top of the search results. LinkedIn is a highly authoritative site, and Google places a lot of value on the content published on it.
By establishing a strong LinkedIn presence, you can effectively control the information that appears on the first page of Google search results for your name. Given all the online information that you cannot control, don’t miss this opportunity to be seen in exactly the way you want to appear.
#3 People Use LinkedIn to Learn About You Before Meeting You — Be Authentic & Clear
Many people — at least the savvy ones — will use LinkedIn to research and learn about you before meeting with you in person. What will they find? A profile and posts that reflect your vision, goals, and accomplishments? Or a partial profile and no recent activity, which leave a less-than-ideal impression?
By using LinkedIn to communicate your vision, traction, and culture, you allow people to educate themselves before the meeting. It pays off by attracting the people you want (and not those who are not a great fit). And you will spend less time telling the same stories — and more time getting down to business.
#4 LinkedIn Allows You to Maintain Mindshare — Be Consistent & Helpful
When you use LinkedIn to share updates and stories about your company, you maintain mindshare with all your stakeholders in an informal way. Develop a strategic calendar so you regularly post content for each specific audience.
Share helpful information (which builds trust) and educate readers about your company and solutions. Don’t worry about information overlap, because each group will get a broader and deeper concept of who you are as they see the content — board members and investors will see your company culture and how you treat employees, and employees will benefit from knowing the big-picture progress of the company. Let them all see your traction increase in real time.
#5 Your Stories Get Greater Exposure — Be Relevant & Inspiring
When you publish stories on LinkedIn, they are visible not only to the people in your direct network, but also to the networks of the people in your network. This means that your stories have the potential to reach a much larger audience, increasing the exposure and reach of your brand.
Maximize that reach by sharing relevant experiences and insights to connect with readers. What’s happening right now that inspires you? Can you see a past struggle that prepared you for today’s challenges? Is someone on your team going above and beyond? Post about timely and meaningful moments to engage with others and draw them to you.
Put LinkedIn to Work for You
LinkedIn is an essential platform for anyone, but especially for a CEO who wants to communicate and connect with stakeholders. By leveraging its tools and features, you can build and showcase your personal brand — every day, everywhere, with every prospect.
If you’re that kind of CEO, we can help. Our team has a wealth of experience in helping CEOs and leaders to create and grow their personal brands on LinkedIn.