“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old one, which ramifies, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of minds.” John Maynard Keynes
Some of the leading global CEOs are blogging. In India, CEOs are shying away from blogging. Content Marketing has emerged as one of the powerful tools to engage with the target audience. CEO blogging could add value to this powerful initiatives. But CEO blogging can do much more for the company than mere content marketing.
It’s a huge opportunity. The opportunity to tell stories. The opportunity to reveal more. Reveal what the ecosystem you cater to and influence want to know about you and your company. People are more and more interested to know the inside stories from the horse’s mouth.
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As a CEO and as an individual your pain, challenges, life approach, management practices, and everything else is up for active consumption.
Yes, CEO blogging is a means to create awareness about the brand, it’s about creating a thought leadership position, direct communication with your target audience.
Advantages of CEO blogging:
- Thought leadership about the industry
- Your unique life experiences
- The social cause your company supports
- Direct communication with employees/customers
- Brand Building – company/personal
- Educate your audience about the problem your company solves
- It’s good for public relations
CEOs are busy folks. Yet with the advantages the blogging brings, it deserves their priority. We have busy CEOs like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Kevin Roberts of Saatchi & Saatchi, Tony Hsieh, of Zappos, who all are extremely busy. Yet they blog regularly. So can you.
Dangers of CEO Blogging:
Transparency and public presence have its own pitfalls.
- Unhappy customers could use your blog as a direct way to vent about problems with your company. (But Bill Gates calls it a learning opportunity)
- Stakeholders, including employees, customers, journalists, and competitors, will read your blog. (But this is the very purpose)
- There are compliance risks so be careful about what you write about, especially if you’re publicly listed.
However, these dangers should not deter CEOs from blogging. It’s an opportunity to be in direct touch with the target audience. It’s an opportunity to share your worldview. It’s really fun to be in dialogue with the target audience.
Mr. Amitabh Bachchan is a popular public figure, he blogs daily. He does not worry about the dangers of blogging. He has the highest followers more than customers of most of the CEOs cater to.
Lessons from Blogger CEOs:
Successful entrepreneurs are successful bloggers. Bill Gates is known for his blogging.
The kind of subjects he writes about and how he makes serious subjects interesting is worth learning about.
Gates Notes, the personal blog of Bill Gates, does a fantastic job of combining his personal interests and publicizing the causes he believes in. His blog is heavily geared towards educating readers about the work of his charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
It would be easy for his blog to be a dry and dull read given some of the topics he writes about, such as foreign aid and malaria. But he writes in such an entertaining and engaging way that draws you can’t help but be drawn in by his attention-grabbing post titles
Qualities of an inspiring Blog:
Interesting, contextual and real-life experiences. These are the three ingredients of successful CEO blogs.
People like posts written passionately in an informal way.
People like real-life stories.
Richard Branson’s blog is the ideal example of an executive blog. It displays thought leadership. It promotes Virgin as an industry leader. It also promotes his own personal brand.
Richard Branson is a fun blogger. He shares his entrepreneurial experiences. He also writes about his observations about everything from travel to living a happier and more meaningful list.
He makes it interesting. He blogs his personal experiences, he posts pictures and videos, he writes on a variety of subjects and not just about his business interest Virgin Group. This is what makes him an interesting and popular blogger.
His latest post is Why you should act more like a child indicates the variety of subjects he writes about. His posts are very popular.
Interesting stories always attract good numbers of visitors. Be a storyteller.
In his book Wired For Story the author Lis Cron writes;
“Thus it’s no surprise that when give a choice, people prefer fiction to nonfiction, they would rather read a historical novel than a history book, watch a movie than a dry documentary. It’s not because we are lazy sots but because our neural circuitry is designed to crave story. “
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How to start blogging:
This is simple. Make a list of topics you wish to cover.
It could be your personal stories, your professional stories, your management style, your entrepreneurial journeys, social cause you wish to support. Making a list is important.
It will make your mind ready for the topics. Your mind starts finding stories you wish to blog about. You become an active observer.
Marketing Guru John Jantsch in his book bestselling book The Referral Engine suggests how blogging gave him some hidden advantages:
- Blogging makes me a better thinker
- Blogging makes me a better listener
- Blogging makes me a better writer
- Blogging makes me a better salesperson
- Blogging makes me a better speaker
- Blogging keeps me focussed on learning
- Blogging allows me to test out ideas
- Blogging makes me a better networker
- Blogging allows me to create bigger ideas
I am sure these advantages will help CEOs in their other areas of work and personal life.
Your blog post will form part of your company website. If you wish to have a separate blog WordPress is a good platform.
Decide frequency, decide the length of the post, and start writing the first blog post.
This is good for CEOs of all size companies. The Internet is a great leveler. Good content wins. Over to you.
Remember, “People don’t want more information. They are up to their eyeballs in information. They want faith, faith in you, your goals, your success, in the story you tell.” Annette Simmons, author of Whoever tells the best story wins
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