Google your name. Do the results look like this?

Ravi Kumar S - Cognizant

A credible online image is the first step for an executive to open new doors of opportunity.

Probably the most underrepresented part of any brand are its leaders. In a typical organization the most common focuses are (not incorrectly) growth, revenue, product. But if a company is a composite of its members and people are doing the activities and character of the company, then why is the executive forgotten?

Fear of empowering others.

We have heard many organizations say that if they elevate their executives image they are concerned that they will become so powerful that they will lose them. Well, there’s probably something wrong in an organization anyway if they think like this. The power of the people as a whole determines the power of the organization.

An executive, supported and mentored, elevated and empowered by an organization will likely not leave, or if they do, will support that organization moving forward. Power brings power.

To any CEO, CMO or Head of Comms thinking about whether to invest in their online (and offline) image, consider this:

  • The executive and leaders are the faces of the organization
  • To do anything as a company, you need credibility
  • Credibility and reputation to the public is what “they think about you”
  • People talk to people

How to build an executive image online

The media strategy to build an executive’s online image and reputation is relatively simple.

  1. Define what is your brand as an executive (What is your purpose and message)
  2. Analyze and identify who your audience is (who do you want to notice you?)
  3. What are your readers pain points (how you can help)
  4. Use the pain points to design your media content strategy
  5. Produce and write the media content
  6. Distribute it everywhere

Audience Alignment: Identifying the True Target

  • If you could have the ideal person in front of you at this moment and tell them about this article, who would it be?
  • What is their industry and title?
  • What problem do they have that your article will help them with?

Content Strategy: Tailored to Pain Points With the audience now clearly defined, the next step is to address their specific challenges. This phase goes beyond mere speculation; it involves empathetically stepping into the audience’s shoes to understand their pain points. By identifying these challenges, the executive can tailor a content strategy that not only resonates with the audience but also positions them as a solution provider and thought leader in their domain.

Authentic Voice: Ensuring Quality and Consistency Creating content that aligns with audience pain points is only half the battle. The other half lies in ensuring that the content is of high quality and authentically represents the executive’s voice and expertise. In this case, a blend of personal and ghostwritten content allowed for a consistent narrative that was both professional and relatable. This approach keeps the executive’s unique perspective at the forefront, ensuring their voice isn’t lost in the content creation process.

Strategic Distribution: Maximizing Reach and Impact Distribution is where many executives face challenges, but in this instance, the approach was methodical and strategic. You can utilized a mix of platforms – from business journals to podcasts and virtual speaking opportunities – each carefully chosen to align with the industry verticals. This wasn’t just about casting a wide net; it is a calculated effort to ensure that the content reached the right audience in the right context.

Digital Presence: Building a Thought Leadership Profile Finally, the impact of this well-orchestrated strategy became evident in the digital realm. A consistent flow of high-quality content associated with the executive’s name started influencing their positioning on Google’s Knowledge Graph. This wasn’t an overnight success but a gradual elevation of their online presence, culminating in an enhanced perception as a thought leader in their field.

This case study is a blueprint for executives looking to refine their online image. It underscores the importance of accurately identifying and understanding the target audience, creating content that addresses their needs, and strategically distributing this content across the right channels. In the end, it’s a blend of empathy, authenticity, and strategic thinking that defines successful executive image management.