By Janice Burch, Co-Owner, Pro Resume Center, LLC
Today, clients and consumers want to know who stands behind the products or services they buy. Studies repeatedly show that clients are doing their research and that sustaining revenue is often built on relationships, shared purpose, and brand reputation.
Take a hard look at the most important thing your company has going for it – are you promoting and leveraging
Why Does This Matter?
As a company owner, your leadership team is the most valuable asset you have. We know that marketing and selling come down to this very basic idea: building relationships. Customers can spend their dollars anywhere and with anyone they wish. You increase the chances of getting them to spend it with YOUR company by creating a personal connection for them with your firm. You, the owner, and your senior leadership team and public-facing personnel play a pivotal role in creating these connections and relationships from their first brush with you, your website, or LinkedIn profile. In order to leverage this asset, you should be educating prospects and partners on the muscle, experience, and wisdom that stands behind your company’s product or service.
No matter the industry – insurance, real estate, health care, technology, financial services, IT, manufacturing and engineering, construction, advertising and marketing or business services – your company will benefit from making sure your executive team’s profiles are up to date, showcasing their breadth of accomplishments and what their expertise means to the company and clients.
What is Your Leadership Team's Image Now?
Do an internet search of your executive team members. Usually, the search will take the viewer to your company’s executive staff profiles on your website and/or their LinkedIn profile – another valuable tool to which you should be paying attention.
Are these descriptions of your top people hitting the mark, helping clients see the VALUE each has to offer as a member of the company? Do they offer value to the potential customer in helping them see why they want to do business with your company and your people?
These online profiles, websites, professional networks are an opportunity to showcase your top assets. This is your chance to show credibility, knowledge, authority, and authenticity in your company's leadership, augmenting your company's value in the eyes of potential clients, investors, the media, your community, and the industry.
A robust social media plan can be built around your senior leadership team but if any one of the members has a weak or even worse – missing- executive profile, that anchor or pillar won’t be there from which to distribute thought leadership content. The profile lends credibility.
Here are five steps to take with your senior team’s executive profiles on your website, LinkedIn or any of their business networking profiles:
- Make sure each team member has a clear and engaging profile on your website and on LinkedIn, summarizing their background, significant accomplishments, and niche areas of expertise. As you write or rewrite these, ask this question: How do these profiles show value to a potential client? Read your team's profiles from the perspective of a potential client, investor or partner. Be sure the profiles highlight the value each professional brings to the needs and challenges of your client, and always pay attention to keywords that will resonate with your intended audience.
- Provide brief personal detail about community involvement, volunteer work, or hobbies. I’ve seen connections made and contracts signed simply because a potential client noticed that the SVP also played college lacrosse, runs marathons, or takes off once a year for Pebble Beach to golf with buddies. Making personal connections with potential clients builds relationships, increasing chances they will say yes to doing business with you.
- Make sure the profiles share a common company thread tying the executive team leadership to your company’s overall mission and message. Perhaps the mission statement is woven into their summary, or perhaps they each sign off with a similar call to action to engage with your firm. Don't miss the opportunity to include your brand's message in these key profiles.
- Make sure profile pictures are professional-looking. A little smile and an approachable facial expression can go a long way. A tiny scowl or too serious of a face can turn people off. Make sure ties and collars are straight and that the blouse is not see-through or cut low. Pay attention to the little details.
- Make sure team members make available their email contact information. Whether an administrative assistant is manning the LinkedIn profiles or the executive’s online bio and email, being able to allow engagement via your website or LinkedIn can be critical in responding to new business inquiries or investor interest. The number can be routed to the administrative assistant. Just be sure they have a way to connect.
So Many Ways to Use Your Executive Team Profiles
When updating your online profiles remember there are other ways to use these when reformatted for distribution. They can be sent to the media with a pitch for using the team member as an expert resource for your industry or sent to industry event coordinators for public speaking opportunities.
Make sure you are building up and highlighting the most valuable asset you have – your people.
If you need assistance writing your executive team’s profiles for your website, business/social media profiles, or need a master storyteller and business writer to write your company's corporate story, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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*Resources include: Accenture Strategy: From Me to We – The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand;85% of consumers conduct research before they make a purchase);