A rough gem still has value for what it is, but in its unpolished state, most people remain uninterested and unimpressed with its appearance. A minimal effort—cleaning with water, buffing it with a rag—may result in some improvement, but will it get the desired response? However, take a gem that has been shown some effort and care—polished, buffed, rough edges smoothed, and shined—and you have something that makes people not only stop and take notice but even take an interest in investing in.
Everyone who values their career and business also knows the value of a polished image that represents the face of the company. In our current digital era, that representation is now often in an online capacity. Having an online presence with the potential to be seen by a mass audience is a relatively new concept, and it can sometimes be perilous waters in which to tread. CEOs are no longer seen only by those who they work with or perhaps those who read an occasional media article. This now makes having a presence so much more than just a physically polished look, it extends to a wide range of professional information available about a person online.
A variety of factors may be inhibiting a CEO from achieving just the right online image they are striving for. A CEO may be highly proficient when it comes to running a company, but may not be educated on how to achieve a polished image. We will discuss several ways that you can successfully represent yourself and your company in the online world.
An online profile picture is the new “first impression”. The same as in the real world, a first impression can be very powerful. It can inspire confidence or do damage with one glance. Therefore, in keeping with good first impressions, it is paramount that your profile picture to be dignified. This does not indicate a stoic or stuffy demeanor, but it should relevant and your attire should reflect an executive presence. Avoid the use of vacation photos, pictures with abstract or confusing references, or inside jokes.
A professional online profile is somewhat akin to a resume. It should detail your education, professional history, professional accomplishments, and even relevant personal achievements. However, that doesn’t mean that it should read like a resume. Give people a solid idea of who you are and why they should be confident in your leadership, but in a manner that piques their interest.
In order to have an online presence, one must be present online. The internet is an ever-flowing, steady stream of information and anything not regularly updated quickly becomes irrelevant or can go to the bottom of the pile, especially on social media platforms.
If you only make a random and occasional appearance, posting new content or information every few months, it is easy for readers to perceive this as you being uninterested in your business or your audience.
If you are worried about what kind of content to post, remember that you are an experienced professional with a wealth of industry insights to share with others. This can be done in written or video format and posted in short segments, even a series of segments done over the course of time. Maintain literal visibility by taking advantage of the live streaming or “stories” options on a variety of platforms.
The public loves an “insider” look at high profile executives. Catering to that can have a “humanizing” effect on how a CEO viewed. Keeping in line with the previous segment, this can be accomplished through short social media postings or pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and other applicable platforms. Share a picture of daily business tasks you perform, or pictures taken with company employees.
Being personable is also apparent when you have personal interactions with the public online. Taking time to answer questions and respond to concerns demonstrates genuine interest and increases likeability.
The downside to online interactions is that not everyone will keep a professional demeanor. There will be those who make offensive comments or try to stir up controversy. It can be extremely difficult not to take this personally or respond in kind, but as a representative of your company, what you say and how you say it will not only be taken as personal sentiments but as a representation of the entire company.
Always maintain professionalism when responding, considering yourself a diplomatic ambassador for your company. However, sometimes the best course of action is to say nothing at all. You may feel the need to defend yourself or your company, but being baited into an argument can do more damage than good.
A common and unfortunately all too easy way to tarnish a polished image is through spelling and grammatical errors. These make the writer appear uneducated, sloppy, and unprofessional. Many will hone in on these errors which could detract from the relevant information or call competency into question.
A well-put-together online presence can inspire confidence in your leadership and in your business. Even if negative remarks exist online, and it’s bound to happen even to the best, presenting a well-polished professional and company appearance can go a long way in speaking the truth that you want the public to see.
Contact your friends at Repair Bad Reputation for more information.