Once upon a time, there was a CEO of a B2B tech company who had a superb mind for business. She transformed a great idea into a thriving enterprise, hired well, led with clarity, and delivered value to her investors and customers. But she also thought that a personal brand was for egotistical people and that social media was an absolute waste of time.
This wise and worthy CEO enjoyed a sterling reputation within her circle of direct reports, partners, customers, investors, and friends. But she started noticing things that seemed just beyond her reach — misinformation about a new initiative that generated grumbling among employees, an investor who seemed unaware of recent developments, some reluctance from a potential recruit for a key position. She felt as if she was becoming a bit invisible to the people who mattered most.
Luckily for our excellent CEO, one of her advisors persuaded her to start using LinkedIn to communicate directly with their important audiences to build influence and momentum and achieve their goals.
Invest in Your LinkedIn Personal Brand to Avoid Falling Behind
Here’s a truth for 2023: If you don’t have an online presence, you don’t have an influential presence. And your competitors are happy to be there in your place.
How can you tell if your personal brand could use some work? See if any of these indicators seems familiar.
#1 Limited Online Presence
Do you ever get some ribbing about how outdated your LinkedIn profile is? Do people say, “I didn’t know you did that” about something you think everyone knows? Are you wondering why you’re not getting relevant offers to partner, speak, or advise?
When people want to know about you today, they Google you, and the results of their search often inform their first impression of you. It may not seem right or fair — of course, you’re much more than what shows up in an internet search. But, in a world where approximately 92% of individuals in the United States access the internet — astute professionals use social media to advance their vision and goals.
With more than 930 million members — 199 million of them in the US and 137 million of those folks using it daily — LinkedIn has established itself as the go-to platform for business. It’s where people look to see what’s happening and who’s making it happen. If you’ve lagged behind and have a minimal cohesive personal brand on LinkedIn, it’s time to invest in building and maintaining one.
#2 Ineffective Stakeholder Communication
Do you feel like your people hear you? Do they feel the same way? Or, are your stakeholders — customers, investors, partners, employees — clamoring for more communication, clarity, or engagement? Are you spending too much time in meetings proving that you know what you are talking about?
If your current channels of communication aren’t reaching the desired audience or producing the expected results, it’s an indication that you should explore LinkedIn as a strategic communication platform. And if stakeholders such as investors, partners, or customers express a desire for more communication and engagement, it’s a sign that you should be more active on LinkedIn.
Start thinking of LinkedIn as a communication tool and how you can deploy it strategically. Define your audiences — stakeholders who need to hear from you, people you want to influence — then start posting. What do they need to know about you and the company? How frequently should they hear from you? What kind of results do you want to see? Use the free online space of your profile and posts to ensure that people can easily find everything you want them to know.
#3 Low Engagement
When you post, are you a little disappointed at the engagement you get? It’s not too surprising ― LinkedIn has been clear that they don’t even attempt to deliver a dopamine hit from likes and shares.
And the CXOs, VPs, and investors in your network are less likely to engage than average professionals.
But you may need to refine your content strategy to resonate more with your target audiences. And you almost certainly will benefit from engaging more with others, including thought leaders outside your current network.
#4 Increased Competition
Do you see the rise of more competitors in your industry? If so, this is the time to invest in a stronger personal brand to differentiate yourself and your company from the crowd. Use LinkedIn to tell your story — origin, vision, mission, milestones, traction — to ensure that prospects know you and why they should do business with you.
Invest in Your LinkedIn Personal Brand to Move Forward
Our excellent CEO was missing out on how LinkedIn could help her build strong and dynamic professional relationships. But, with a strategic plan and a few minutes each week, she — and almost all CEOs — can reap some amazing benefits across multiple areas of business.
Fundraising and Investor Relations: Raising funds and engaging with investors are high-stakes efforts. You want to grab their attention, spark an interest in your vision, and inspire them to join your journey. And at the same time, you need to assure them that your team can deliver results. A strong personal brand and consistent communication on LinkedIn go a long way in helping you demonstrate credibility and establish trust.
Recruitment and Talent Acquisition: People want to know — and like — the people they work for, and LinkedIn offers an open channel to share posts about your leadership philosophy, what it looks like in action, and the culture of your company. Let top talent, who surely are on LinkedIn, see how you and your company work together, treat each other, and celebrate wins. Be consistent and authentic, and you’ll attract the right people.
Expansion and Partnerships: Are you expanding into new markets or seeking strategic partnerships? A well-developed personal brand on LinkedIn can create a positive impression and foster connections with relevant stakeholders. Use LinkedIn to let people know who you are and what matters to you before you even meet them. It will speed the process of them getting to know, like, and trust you.
Industry Recognition and Thought Leadership: If you’d like to be better known as an expert in your industry, LinkedIn offers a platform to share your thoughts and expertise with a wide audience. Start publishing blogs and posts with your insights and knowledge and engage with the people who respond to them. You can also follow other leaders and respond to their posts — you’ll see your engagement move from comments to conversations as your visibility increases.
Company Rebranding or Pivoting: When your company undergoes a significant change in branding, messaging, or product offerings, it’s essential to communicate these changes effectively to all your stakeholders. Use the network and community you’ve built on LinkedIn to ensure that information is accurately and widely shared throughout your company, industry, and beyond.
Put LinkedIn to Work for You
For CEOs, investing in your LinkedIn personal brand is crucial for staying relevant and effectively engaging with your stakeholders. And, having a limited online presence in today’s digital age hinders your influence and allows competitors to fill the void.
LinkedIn, with its vast user base and professional focus, is the go-to platform for business professionals, providing an opportunity to showcase your expertise and build strong connections with your stakeholders, creating a dynamic network of professionals who are eager to hear your insights and join your business journey.
How Is LinkedIn Working for You?
To assess your current LinkedIn presence and unlock the potential of the platform, we invite you to request a Free CEO LinkedIn Audit. Our team will provide valuable insights and recommendations tailored to your specific needs, helping you build and maintain a strong personal brand on LinkedIn.