I asked Rod Drury (Ceo of Xero Ltd) a question about Ceo bloggers this morning. He was speaking at the Lowndes Associates Business Intelligence Series breakfast session in association with the National Business Review and The Auckland Chamber of Commerce on the topic of ”Emerging A Winner From The Recession.”
It’s a question that I have asked many executives and Ceo’s over the last 3 years and received varied responses - the usual good, bad and ugly rule applies.
I remarked that he has been a profilic blogger over many years and whether any of the current successes he and his company have had can be specifically ascribed to writing a regular blog about his thoughts about his industry , his company and his personal experiences? Rod was an extremely active blogger for over 5 years, 1626 posts, 3 companies, 3 children and 10 kilos (he says) and while he has moved now to an occassional post on Xero’s blog and in some other mainstream media blogs, he absolutely believes that blogging has made a significant contribution to his personal and business succcess. He went further to say that he probably wouldn’t have been able to raise the capital he did unless he had that rich repository of his “back story” readily available for investors and interested parties to see his track record and credibility.
Another Ceo who blogs is Carey Smith , Ceo of Ray White who has a personal blog about leadership and all things related on his personal site (including promoting his book – Deliver -36 Life Stories on Leadership) , and has created a company blog to discuss meaningful events with loyal followers of Ray White, his staff, suppliers, media and the market in general. The blogging has created opportunities to share his story with all stakeholders in a personal, regular and meaningful way.
More and more Ceo’s, business owners and executives are now taking this out of the”too hard” box and beginning to think how they can use blogging to further their own personal and business goals. Many of our clients for example executives from Results.com , Switch Business and others have begun blogging in the last two years – with dramatic results.
What are the benefits of blogging for CEO’s?
- Blogging creates discipline for developing worthwhile ideas and content that will enrich your audience and add value to readers, who include staff, suppliers, clients, prospects, media and (yes) competitors.
- The idea written up in a post creates the perfect opportunity to have open dialogue about an idea and get feedback – instantly.
- Especially if you are in the intellectual capital or service related business , it’s the perfect opportunity to merchandise your teams IP and case studies that create value and bring readers benefit. But don’t be fooled – even people who are product manaufacturers or distributors can be successful bloggers.
- Each post becomes a “syndication opportunity” for influential online news sites and blogs that can spread your ideas further afield and attact like minded people into the debate.
- The blog shows your personal and company milestones along the way and helps communicate your intent and “backstory” in a meaningful way.
- Blogging and your style and “voice” can be a source of differentiation from your competitors.
- Your latest blog post can be shared by your “community” – at least the ones that find your latest idea interesting on Twitter, Linkedin.com and elsewhere on the bloggosphere.
- People who understand their business and industry in detail have a dramatic advantage when it comes to blogging- and when you can translate this into words in a blog- then its adds instant credibility if you have been at it for some time and have developed a following.
- The blog and its associated tags and posts are found easily on Google and all the other search engines – all working together to show your vision, intent and actions – all usefull when engaging with existing and potential clients.
So when executives tell me that they are too busy minding their business to do any of that nonsense, I usually tell them that blogging can be a very useful instrument for Ceo’s in business. The Ceo blogger can achieve more depth and engagement with all his or her stakeholders than someone who only practices management by walk-about (which is also a necessity !) Of course the Ceo who engages their team in the process and gets the team involved in posting has that one further advantage- multiplying the ideas and thoughts that attract other like minded people.
So I say to would be bloggers who are Ceo’s – carry on minding your business – and start a blog. Start small. Be authentic. be purposeful.
Yes, make a calendar entry for the first one, by the end of the quarter. (Lets be realistic now) Start a plan for what you would like to write about and give it a go.