This problem is less common, primarily because most companies recruit their top executives from a group that is well known in their industries. This often means they will bring their own book of business and even a proven executive team.
But occasionally, a de novo firm or a serial entrepreneur moves in from another business and needs to quickly establish the company’s management team as players in the new industry.
We typically like to start with the Chief Executive and move through the C-suite, but some companies have a dynamic Vice-President of Marketing or Sales that they want to get introduced quickly. This can shorten the sales cycle and get a new company up and running quickly.
Here are some of the ways we help our clients solve this problem.
Executive Byline Articles
Have them author articles for major industry publications showcasing their unique perspectives on market challenges. Why not just jump straight to the media tour? We sometimes do that, but it’s nice to have some of our executive’s thought leadership crystallized into writing first so the journalists we want our clients to meet already have a feel for why they are not the same old thing they’ve been seeing.
Secure speaking sessions at high-profile industry conferences to give the executive exposure and recognition. This is a great win when we can get it, but it’s not easy to do. If we can book a speaker within the first 30 days, we create our own opportunities with podcasts and webinars. Anything that gets the voices of our client’s executives heard.
Pitch them as sources for relevant news stories, op-eds and commentary to build a diverse media presence. This is an ongoing effort. The way we make it work is with our periodic Environmental Report where we research current events in our client’s business and suggest stories they should get involved in. If they agree, we help them craft soundbites, expert commentary and, if warranted, bylined articles to serve up to our friends in the media.
Social Media Profiles
Develop their personal presence on LinkedIn, Twitter and other platforms with a steady stream of insights and engagement. Don’t ignore this. It’s not the end-all, be-all that many new social media marketing firms want you to think it is, but it’s still an essential component of every campaign.
Industry Awards Programs
Enter them into relevant awards recognizing excellence to gain third-party endorsement. Are these just pay-to-play programs that win you a logo for your website? Maybe. But not all of them are and even the ones that are will show that you’re willing to invest in being a part of the industry. People respond to that.
Internal Thought Leadership
Have them author blogs, newsletters, webinars and videos for your own platforms showcasing value. This takes the longest but is hands down the most effective. If you don’t think I believe that, spend some time browsing this website. If people don’t know how you think, it makes it harder to get your prospects’ attention and, when you do, it extends the sales cycle. One of my favorite tools is the LinkedIn article section. Here is mine.
People do business with people so if your executives are not already well known, this is a problem you need to fix as soon as possible. We can help. Reach out to us for more information.