Step into the spotlight! 10 tips for better online visibility as a leader

February 5, 2024

The resistance and desire of every leader to be visible, both internallyand externally, are observed in many. Why do we always see that one CHRO in thelimelight? Why are they the first to be asked for interviews? Why are theyoften part of panel discussions and speakers on stage?

When I answer these questions and explain to my coachees what they could doto experience the same exposure, my advice is often met with initial reactionslike, "Isn't that too exaggerated?". Some may say, "That's notme" or "I haven't done anything really special to talk about."

So, what exactly should you do, and how do you do it?

In 2016, I won the CHRO of the Year award in the Netherlands and in 2017 inGermany. How did I become visible? As a CHRO at Hunkemöller, I gainedexperience in the power of social media, branding, and storytelling over a fewyears. I learned a lot from my Marketing and E-commerce colleagues. I decidedto apply similar principles to the People and Culture domain. A significantinternal movement of brand ambassadors, both internally and externally,followed. The effect was mind-blowing. Hunkemöller became one of the mostpopular employers of that time. It led me to think one step further. If thisknowledge and method are successful in building a strong customer brand, whynot apply these ingredients to building a popular employer brand (EVP)? And whynot use the same knowledge and techniques to enhance your own personalleadership brand?

In 2019, I conceived the plan for my startup, Fanployer. Part of theFanployer proposition is to showcase the top leadership of an organization onrelevant online platforms and provide concrete tips on how these C-suiteleaders can increase their online visibility and popularity. We always startwith the visibility of the CHRO and CEO. The most common findings are that:

·     C-suite leaders often don't see themselves as a brand,even though they are the talent magnet for active and passive job seekers.

·     There is no vision and concrete action plan for thevisibility of the executive team as a whole and the directors as individualleaders.

·     Internal marketing and communication resources are notasked to help profile the leadership brand externally.

·     There is minimal active use of social media, videos,podcasts, etc.

·     Individual leaders have not created a unique narrativewith visuals and sound.

What are the first 10 tips I can give you if you want to become more visible?

1.     First,determine your goal. What do you want to achieve in terms of visibility in2024? Dream big!

2.     Why do youwant this? Ask yourself the same question after each answer. Do this 6 times.

3.     Answer thesequestions: What do I stand for as a CHRO, and what am I striving for?

4.     What is yourUSP? What makes you unique compared to fellow directors and other CHROs?

5.     Write aheadline for LinkedIn as an exercise. What is your identity in a nutshell? Keepit short and simple!

6.     Write anarrative. Tell the above in a captivating story. Think of a Disney Storystructure. Consider seeking help if needed.

7.     Convert thenarrative into a short bio and a keynote.

8.     Become visuallystrong. Invest in a good photoshoot with visuals that align with your story(narrative). Overcome any reluctance :-).

9.     Make aconcrete plan. Involve others for more input and courage. Ask for help.

10.  Take thefirst step today and keep going. Going to the dentist only once a year won'tgive you a radiant smile.

Truth or dare? Are you currently in the spotlight as a leader? If not, youprobably haven't considered it important enough to take the right actions untiltoday. It doesn't happen on its own. If you don't work on your own leadershipbrand, then who will?

And if that little voice still says, "Oh, that's all too much for me…” thenlisten to the other voice (mine): People want to work for authentic, sincere,passionate leaders who know where they're going and invite others to join andencourage them on the journey. How will everyone know what you stand for andstrive for if you don't share it? Step on the stage and shine your light!

Anne Jaakke
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