Marketers, influencers, colleagues - maybe even your own family – want you to be a thought leader in Social Media. Today is not enough to get your LinkedIn profile to a decent level. Your Social Selling Index is looming over you, whispering in your ear, "it's not good enough. Your competition is doing better. Be more active. Engage with your network. Create and share useful insights." Does this all sound familiar? Welcome to the club!
What do you want from me?
Let's be clear. You are a real leader in your company. You are guiding your team. You are coaching and mentoring them. You are working with them to accomplish all goals and commitments. You dominate your business industry, know your competitors, and you can convince even the most skeptical prospect about your company is the best option for them. The problem is that even with all of this, you know the digital guru is still looking down on you because your Social Media profile is performing below average as compared to your network.
You must create content, original and exciting enough to get the attention of potential prospects. You have to record short videos, create a podcast, share motivational quotes and establish connections with new people every single week. You have to leave comments on third party posts, congratulate this contact that you never meet before because she was promoted, and say thanks to others for sharing that "5 things that you have to do to be a leader" e-book you posted about.
We are the generation of leaders who are connecting the best of both worlds and let me confess: I love it.
Enjoy being the black sheep
My colleagues and my marketing team used to ask me to stop talking this way, but it's the truth. Being a thought leader or an influencer is not for everyone. One of the critical factors to be a successful executive is honesty. This word has many connotations, but in the context of this post, it means to be authentically yourself. If you don't have the time or the skills, or both, to be a digital thought leader, I have the following advice for you.
Keep your fantastic career in the physical world and let somebody else in your organization be this digital leader.
Ask your marketing team to create a social media plan for you. Ask them to keep in mind your voice, who you are, and how you do things.
Don't leave Social Media completely; keep an eye on things and remain active because you can find opportunities to increase your business.
LinkedIn could be a fantastic platform to find new qualified contacts for your business, but like everything in life, it needs a plan.
Avoid DIY methodology. Put your social media goals in the right hands, with your team or outside your company. You will save time, money and efforts to achieve your goals.
In the meantime, take a look around. Visit interesting profiles. Discover new potential prospects. Understand how the digital world is moving around the same need as always: a sale.
Let's go for a glass of wine
The world is changing fast, but not as fast as everybody says. According to Duke University, The Kauffman Foundation, the Founder Institute, and Northwestern, the average entrepreneur is 40 years old when launching her or his first startup, and the average age of leaders of high-growth startups is 45 years old. If you look at the decision-makers in the corporate world, you will find the same age range. People like you and me are still out there, making decisions, leading teams, growing companies.
For all of us, the digital is relevant for research and establishes the first contact, but we still need face-to-face contact (or at least by video) to talk about business, create confidence, and close business. And this is not bad. No matter what your team, my colleagues and the digital gurus said, we are a transitional generation, and we know how to get the perfect mix between digital and physical. We still open an opportunity on LinkedIn and close the deal during lunch or sharing a glass of wine. We are the generation of leaders who are connecting the best of both worlds and let me confess: I love it.
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