Leverage Your Online Presence To Attain Your Leadership Goals - Anouk Pappers

Point of View
4 min readMar 6, 2023
Image from Unsplash by Christin Hume

As a brand anthropologist and CEO of a company that helps C-Suite executives strengthen their online presence, my aim is to help these high-profile individuals be recognized for their achievements. By identifying their personal brand and publishing relevant content, we position them to reach their next professional goals.

The Leverage Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of Black executives on board and in senior leadership roles in all sectors of the healthcare industry. Their Leverage newsletter shares insights that will better prepare their readers to obtain board seats and promotions, as well as help them as they lead America’s healthcare institutions.

It was an honor for me to be featured in a recent edition of Leverage. In the article, I elaborated on the importance of online presence and why it is especially crucial in today’s digital world.

When the world locked down in the face of a global pandemic, we had to find different ways to conduct business, so we pivoted to the online world. From day-to-day planning to networking at the highest levels, virtual meetings became the primary form of contact. As a result, ensuring that our personal brand is properly reflected by our online presence has become more relevant than ever.

It’s essential that we realize that we are not our job titles. Most executives have a LinkedIn profile that includes their biography and work experiences. This is important, but it is limited to past achievements. In order to move forward, we need to pinpoint our next career goal and determine how we want to be known in order to get there.

By identifying your personal brand – stating who you are and what you stand for – you position yourself to stand out from others with similar expertise. The secret is to have a laser focus on the future; to create a digital conversation based on two or three key topics that reflect your thought leadership.

For everyone who has a next professional goal, having a strong online presence is key. This is how people will find you. It is how they will decide if they want to connect with you, to work for or with you; to judge whether you are the right person to fill that open role. Your online presence is the tool that can make – or break – those decisions.

Once you have established your personal brand, the next step is to consistently create and publish relevant content. This is what will raise your profile and establish your credibility.

Strengthening your leadership position

In order for you to succeed as a leader, you need to present yourself online in such a way that your teams will follow you. How do they see you in your current job? Do you convey your thought leadership clearly? Can your team understand your vision? Are you expressing what you do for your community?

If the answers are not easily found, then your online presence is not a good reflection of the leader you want to be.

Google serves as your wingman (or wingwoman!) in achieving your goals. These days every executive search professional, all hiring managers, and anyone seeking to do business with you Googles you before they ever meet you. They will base their decisions on whether to move forward on how you come across online.

At every presentation we ask three basic questions:

1. Do you Google yourself?

2. Do you Google others?

3. Have you ever decided not to follow through based on what you found?

The results may surprise you. For example, you have two board candidates have similar experiences and resumes, but one has a strong online presence and the other does not. Who do you think is more likely to get the first interview and then consequently, the board seat?

As you navigate our hybrid world, you need to leverage every digital tool at your disposal.

Connect with Anouk on LinkedIn.

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As a brand anthropologist Anouk Pappers has been storytelling for brands since 2002. In the course of interviewing over 900 CEOs, CMOs and business owners — and publishing 15 books with the best stories — Anouk noticed that 90% of the people profiled were white men. She then decided to focus on working with women executives and leaders from underrepresented groups to tell their stories and build their online narratives. Her company, Signitt, enables these people to create and maintain strong online presences, which positions them for the next step in their professional lives.

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Point of View

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