If you’re leading a company but you’re not leading the communications, interactions, and thoughtful content coming out of your organization — both online and in person —you’re missing a tremendous opportunity.

Leaders lead. They lead their team and their clients. They lead by example. They set the standard. If the leader isn’t doing it, why should anyone else? If the leader is doing it, then everyone else should be showing up ready to keep up.

If you think you’re too busy for it or above it in some way, it’s time to get over yourself. Some of the most well-known company leaders completely overshadow their company media efforts. Cheryl Connor explains in Forbes that within the Fortune 500, 61% of CEOs have no social media presence, but there is a small “group of CEOs using their social media pages to become thought leaders in their industries. Doing so creates massive amounts of free PR for their brands.”

[Image credit: Bloomberg]
[Image credit: Bloomberg]

Look at Richard Branson as an example — ever heard of him? Yep, that’s because he makes his presence known all the time. Social media, TV, events, you name it, he’s there and he’s usually tweeting about it, with more than 20k tweets to show for it.

Look at Marc Cuban. Barbara Corcoran. Donald Trump. Bill Gates. Gary Vaynerchuk. Mark Betrolini.

You name the industry, you can find the thought leaders pretty quickly. They make a name for themselves. You can’t help but pay attention.

Think this is too big and not relevant to you? Let’s bring it down to a more relatable scale. Leaders in our employee benefits industry are making tremendous names for themselves because they’re active online, in their communities, and at industry events educating people on topics near and dear to them.

They’re generous with their time, their ideas, and they genuinely want to see changes, not just talk about changes. They give away their secret sauce and invite people into their worlds to learn more.

I realize something as large as influencing industry changes may not be your thing. No problem. Maybe you’re just looking to influence your community. Great! Make that your focus and double down on it.

I was reviewing social stats with a client and with just a quick look, it was immediately obvious that when he shares things about his local community he gets flooded with activity from his local community — the CEOs, CFOs, and HR professionals.

When he speaks, people are paying attention. They may not engage with the benefits related posts with the same frequency as the local community content, but it’s quite likely they’re seeing them.

You have to give people a reason to want to connect with you. This is Business Basics 101. You won’t attract people to you if you don’t make yourself available and attractive to them in a way that matters to them. And if you leave all the work to people further down the ranks, it’s going to be very hard for those folks to get the attention of the CEOs, CFOs, and HR professionals you want to connect with.

Create peer-to-peer connections around peer-to-peer topics. Make that your job as the leader of the organization and lead by example. Take your cue from those making big names for themselves. When they speak, people take notice.

Think your agency could benefit from that type of influence?

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