Is the state of your personal brand online built to set you up for success?
Many execs think that if they’ve gotten to a certain point in their career, they don’t have to worry about their online brand. We’d like to suggest that this is a question all execs should ask themselves. In today’s digital-first world, impressions of even the most accomplished professionals, historically driven by reputation and referrals, will be superseded by what surfaces about them online. We know this because we see this play out on the Bolster platform every day.
Bolster’s member marketplace is comprised solely of execs at the top of their game, yet we are constantly surprised by the numerous profiles we see that don’t effectively highlight their talents. And unfortunately too often we see Clients pass on talented leaders based on these first impressions. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The new year is a great time to take control of your personal brand online.
It’s not uncommon to use this time to take stock of your career, make updates to your professional information and plot the goals you want to achieve next. When you’re doing this type of digital housekeeping (ie. updating your LinkedIn, resumes, websites, board bios, social and more), remember to include your Bolster profile on the list.
But before you start housekeeping, begin with the end in mind to back into your positioning. Ask yourself: What are my goals for this year? Maybe the next 5-10?
Some goal thought-starters:
- Corporate Board Seat: Many executives get to a point in their careers where they know they want to contribute more, but aren’t sure exactly what is next. A board role could be a natural next step and something to position yourself for in this case. If you aren’t sure which aspect of your background to highlight, network to gather that information or hire someone to help you craft a board-oriented profile. Be vocal and make sure people know you are looking.
- Nonprofit Board Seat: You might be interested in landing a corporate board role but realize you have more work to do than just updating your materials to position yourself for these opportunities – you need a stepping stone, so perhaps this year you target joining a nonprofit or community board. There are often various committees to join within those boards too, and since financial fluency is essential for corporate board work, consider leaning into those roles to build up your credibility and acumen.
- Advising: If you’re looking to leverage your expertise in a new way as a mentor, advisor or coach, it’s important to make sure your expertise is clearly articulated and that you get some experience; advising in a volunteer capacity is a perfect way to do this, build credibility, and expand your network with the right people. Incubators and accelerators are good starting points. Don’t forget to ask for testimonials as currency for future opportunities.
- Speaking Opportunities: Some execs would like to participate in panel discussions or webinars but are not sure how to get selected. To land these opportunities, you’ll want to position yourself to be recognized as a subject matter expert in your functional area through thought leadership. You can also raise your hand simply by highlighting your speaking desires and experience in your various profiles.
It’s critical that the way you represent yourself online is congruent with your goals. A strong and consistent online presence increases your odds of catching the attention of gatekeepers to desired opportunities. But we know it’s easier said than done, and Bolster is here to help.
We recently hosted a workshop featuring Brand Anthropologist, Anouk Pappers, of Signitt, who’s been helping execs craft and control their personal brand online, across all channels, for 20 years. Anouk was joined in conversation by Bolster co-founder and lead recruiter, Jen Goldman, to provide insight into what Bolster Clients are looking for and how to optimize your profile to stand out in the marketplace.
If you’d like to learn more about how to take control of your personal brand online, and missed the live workshop, click here to request a free copy of the recording. You can also access the recap here.
In the meantime, jumpstart your online presence with a Bolster profile and give yourself a new channel to be discovered. Use this Anatomy of a Great Profile as your guide. Existing members log-in here, and if you’re new to Bolster, sign up here.
We can’t wait for you to be Bolster’s next success story and are here to support your endeavors to get there!
-Dana Ostomel, January 7, 2022