22 August 2019

Leadership Branding: 8 Easy Steps To Become An Executive Influencer

Posted in Executive Reputation, Featured Articles
Melissa Brown

Author

As head of Massive's Establishment team, Melissa is an integral part of the effective machine-end of the company. She oversees and ensures the quality of all program execution by our staff in reputation management and corporate or political brand control.
Photo by TK Hammonds on Unsplash

Elon Musk, Buffet, Gates, Cook and Bezos to name a few dominate our “media waves” because they have chosen to be the faces of industry. While they are involved in day-to-day management and endless board meetings, they also have a responsibility of being the public face of their respective brands. What they do and say sends ripples throughout the world, impacts share value and can even shape an industry direction.

This is leadership branding in the form of Hollywood recognition. They are celebrities.

The power of persuasion, trust, and meaningful communication from an industry leader carries a lot of weight. If you look at how many people are joining the influencer movement, you’ll see why it’s such an efficient marketing tool. It’s not just social influencers who are leveraging the strength of social media. Today we see industry executives assuming the role as influencers as a key strategy to shape brands and trends.

Businesses worldwide are capitalizing on leadership branding to bring innovation to industry, encourage disruptive products and increase productivity. Leadership branding marketing strategies are not a myth formed out of chance; they are carefully designed advertising channels, which, if done correctly, results in lead generation, social sales and brand awareness. You can consider it a self-marketing model, which turns executives into celebrities of industry.

To become a successful leadership influencer, you must identify what you love to do and turn it into your principle niche.

In marketing, an leader’s main role is to formulate an idea around a brand, product or industry. Here’s how to brand yourself as an executive and dominate in your space.

Leadership Roadmap

There are many mediums to share your voice. LinkedIn.com Author, Medium.com, ThriveGlobal for publications and Twitter, LinkedIn Social and Facebook are a great start. Before you can identify the best platform to use, you should define your target audience. Look at your competitors and check what platforms they’re using. Decide what type of content you’ll be putting out into the world. After you’ve pinpointed these elements, you’ll be able to make a smarter decision about your main social platforms and media publications.

In Executive Leadership Branding You can eventually become a contributor to CNBC, Fox, or CNN. Or Perhaps an author on Forbes and Inc Magazine. Depending on your industry, selecting where you want to share your voice is key. There are several leadership branding products out there which can help with this.

Pinpoint Your Niche

Choosing the right niche is the backbone of your entire career as an influencer. To become a successful leadership influencer, you must identify what you love to do and turn it into your principle niche. Also, it must be in line with your character traits, emotion and even tone of voice, because it’s the only way you’ll convince people to trust you.

People can easily acknowledge bogus energy. Don’t underestimate the damage you can do to your media presence by faking it. For example, if you are passionate about a healthy work and family balance, you would start motivating and helping others to improve theirs through your media platforms. No need to limit yourself to a single niche, try to combine a variety of your executive hobbies to create a well-rounded digital social identity.

The Power of Being Unique

To stand out from the crowd in such a competitive online ecosystem, you must be as authentic and unique as possible. Don’t attempt to reinvent the wheel; just put your own spin on what you love to do. This is done with a simple formula:

  1. Decide what image you want of yourself in 5 years (consider career changes or new ventures),
  2. Determine what makes consumers “tick” in your industry (do some polls/surveys),
  3. No need to copy someone else, work out how you would say it to the brad audience.

To become recognizable and an authority in your chosen industry, try by demonstrating expertise, talent, and a unique voice. To achieve your aim, you must develop a different mindset, which will make you seem authentic and real. This way, you’ll earn the trust of your audience and strengthen your position as an influencer in your industry sector.

The Impact of a Social Strategy

You should approach leadership influencing on social media as a profession. The more you view it as a business, the more serious you’ll take each task. This will improve your performance in no time. Just like in any business, failing to plan is planning to fail. So, the key to a strong start in the world of influencing is developing a content strategy. Google’s search algorithms just love social interaction. An engagement of people is one of the most important measurements in creating an online power image.

Decide which social platform you’ll focus on, what form of content you’ll distribute and list a variety of content topics. Make sure that you’re balancing everything out and implement the 5-3-2 rule. This means that out of 10 posts, you should distribute five posts with top-quality and unique content, three posts with useful and informative content, and two posts related to your personal life. Prepare yourself for at least half a year if not the whole year.

Delivering the Content

Delivering your content by simply clicking the post tab doesn’t mean you’re done. Content distribution will show you if users find it informative and useful. You should track the engagement levels of your post to identify its relevance to your target audience.

Also, before you post or share your content, you should consider a few metrics such as timing, the format of your content, and the platform you’re using. The best time to post on Instagram might not be the best time to post on Facebook, Pinterest, or any other social platform. There are platforms more serious marketers and journalists use like trend analytics platform Currents.

Depending on the platform, which you’re using, you should develop a well-designed and engaging theme. And stick to it. This will help your prospects identify you in their feed. Also, it will help you improve your personal brand awareness. Just make sure that the layout and theme you choose are accepted by your prospects. Your audience’s acceptance will lead to high engagement levels.

Digital Networking

Expand your online network. Connect with other leadership influencers, executive mentors, journalists and other relevant industry authorities.

Establish partnerships with industry influencers to leverage and capitalize on their audience. They will share your content, link to you and quote you. Collaborations can be formed which benefit both parties and thereby fuel the breadth of reach leveraged from both channels.

Always Engage

Contrary to popular belief and general marketing rules, Executive Branding requires a focus on quality rather than quantity. Google’s algorithm requires it and the audience requires it. Quality of content encourages engagement, which then leads to the next rule of always maintaining an interactive relationships with your followers. And the most efficient way to achieve high levels of engagement is by making your followers feel special and appreciated. You can do this by thanking them for following you or liking your posts. If someone shares your article on a social platform, thank them for it through DM or publicly. This will create loyalty and future interest for them to do it again.

You can’t expect everyone to like you or your content. Whether through articles, social or video you will get trolls and haters. When you receive negative feedback or bad comments, you should act professionally. You can either delete the comment if it was designed just to nullify your work or, if an honest bad review, take it with a pinch of salt and look out for similar comments to see if you need to adjust your strategy. Important: Only adjust your strategy if the negative feedback is from a high volume of followers. This works as a survey tool. Don’t knee jerk on one or two trolls only.

Track Your Performance and Be Consistent

Tracking your performance and maintaining consistency are the foundations for your Leadership Branding. By continuously tracking your publication or post metrics, you can identify what type of content triggered high engagement from your followers. And you’ll understand what they like. So, you can tailor your future posts to be aligned with your followers’ preferences.

The more you grow, the more doors will open. And by daily tracking your performance, you’ll discover the dos and don’ts in your specific niche. Also, consistency plays a major role in creating a strong social media profile. Always deliver on your promises and never let your audience down. Otherwise, you’ll gradually lose them. Keep in mind that it’s hard to build trustworthy relationships in digital media. So, to keep your content publishing on track, you should determine a schedule. For this, you can use a variety of online resources and special programs, which allow you to set automatic posting times.

A Few Final Words

Executive Influencer marketing doesn’t need any further proof of work. It’s matured significantly throughout 2019. And, today, it’s become so mainstream that you can label it as being an extension of content marketing. You can expect a series of strong trends to develop in this industry sector with new products evolving to support executives in their role of bringing their knowledge to the world.

Melissa Brown

Author

As head of Massive's Establishment team, Melissa is an integral part of the effective machine-end of the company. She oversees and ensures the quality of all program execution by our staff in reputation management and corporate or political brand control.
It's not just social influencers who are leveraging the strength of social media. Today we see industry executives assuming the role as influencers as a key strategy to shape brands and trends.

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