By Janice Burch, Co-Owner, Pro Resume Center, LLC
Most industries are crowded with everyone saying their company, product or service is the best. High-priced marketing consultants and agencies are probably telling you to innovate or reposition your product better, buy advertising, redo your PR plan, create new materials or build a new website or social media program.
All of these things can be important components of a strong marketing strategy to reignite your brand.
But, my work with companies and clients often begins with a more elementary, yet often overlooked approach and question. Take a hard look at the most important thing your company has going for it – and are you promoting it and leveraging it?
Why Does This Matter?
As a company owner, your people and in particular, your senior leadership team, is the most valuable asset you have. We know that marketing and selling comes down to this very basic idea: building relationships. Customers can spend their dollars anywhere and with anyone they wish. You increase 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 or your website or LinkedIn profile. In order to leverage this asset, you should be educating prospects and partners the best you can on the muscle, experience and wisdom that stands behind your company’s product or service.
No matter the industry – insurance, real estate, health care, beauty, law, 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 they bring toward client results.
What’s Your Leadership Team's Image Now?
Just for grins, do an internet search of your executive team. 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.
These are opportunities to showcase your top assets – are you using them wisely? This is your chance to show credibility, authority and authenticity of your company's leadership, augmenting your company's value in the eyes of potential clients, investors, the media, your community and 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 right now with your senior team’s executive profiles on your website or any of their business networking profiles:
- Make sure each team member has a clear and engaging profile on your website and on LinkedIn, concisely summarizing their background, significant accomplishments and specialty areas over the course of their career. Throughout your review, keep in mind one primary focus: How do these profiles show value to a potential client? Read your team's profiles a second time, but from the perspective of a potential client- not an HR manager or recruiter or a friend. Be sure the profiles highlight the value they each can bring to your client challenges, and always pay attention to key words 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 enjoys perfecting their golf game at Whistling Straits. 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 the team’s 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 profiles, remember to think about the number of ways these can be used. You can use well-written profiles to send to the media with a pitch for using the team member as an article source related to your industry, or can be forwarded with executive board applications or used for public speaking opportunities that help promote your company.
A two-pronged approach is the best – create a brief video showcasing your leadership team for your website and individual biographies that can be viewed by potential clients, and further leveraged by you or your company marketing director for media, public speaking and other corporate opportunities.
Don't ignore the most valuable asset and marketing tool your company has –
If you need assistance writing your executive team’s profiles for your website, business/social media profiles, or creating a video highlighting your top team members or need a master story teller and business writer to write your corporate story, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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