The phrase “face of the company” may conjure up cultural and technological stereotypes, especially in a world of “rockstar” CEOs and social media brands striving for comedic/personal uniqueness in an increasingly public world. This article will examine the reasons why you should be open to being the face of your company, and tips to increase your comfort and naturalness as you take a much more visible role in your company.
Best Face Forward
In this world where transparency is essential, customers, clients, and even employees want to know companies more than ever. While social media managers are their own talent, it’s best to go beyond simply an engaging voice and present yourself as a literal face, an entity that represents the best of what your company has to offer.
This doesn’t mean putting on a persona; if you’re not as witty as the hilarious corporate Twitter feed you love to follow, that doesn’t mean creating an awkward, “edgy” side. It also doesn’t mean standing alone if your company is experiencing negative feedback. What it means is standing by the core values your company presents to the public, and being willing to take on a more discernible role as an executive.
On your company website, you want a profile that combines the public and the personal. Naturally, your company’s mission statement is its own standalone information, but how does your biography reflect that? Social media and website profiles should be succinct, but as the face of your company, you want your image to reflect your business. This doesn’t mean copying and pasting keywords from your company’s site, but rather adapting its mission into your own description.
For example: does your company continually rely on new clients? Then your bio should emphasize your ability to achieve results for them. Does your company give back to the community? Then your personal statement should reflect civic and charitable goals. The important thing to remember: yes, you’re the face of the company, but you are your own person. The company and you are linked, but you should present your individual, unique self.
When you take on a role as the face of your business, you’ll need strong pictures to use on your social media feeds and company website. Even if your selfies get hundreds of likes, you’ll want to leave this to the professionals. If your company has outdated profile pictures on its website, scheduling a professional photo shoot for everyone can also coincide with a variety of options for your own presentation as the face of your company.
Yes, this will cost money; professional photographers have varied rates, but the investment for the options and legitimacy of your organization are well worth the photographer’s price. Consider a variety of outfits and backgrounds, so you’re not stuck with the same photos for months on end.
At the bare minimum, your position as an executive hints to strong communication skills; one doesn’t rise to higher positions by being unable to relay goals and results. However, your role as the face of the company, especially on the social media side, doesn’t mean you have to try too hard. If you’re naturally witty, you can use that to your advantage. But, as with everything, honesty is the best policy. Putting yourself “on display” doesn’t mean you have to be nonstop entertainment to your customers and clients. Rather, you’re putting yourself out as the company’s representation, the human face on the often unseen inner workings. You’re letting the public know there’s humanity at work.
The advice “be yourself” is a cliche, but it’s actually true in this case. Being yourself, being confident in your company’s value, and being open to representing it are incredibly valuable traits. A strong, consistent presence (open dialogue, consistent website and social media engagement) means more in the long run. You want to be genuine, you want to have your personality shine through. The fact that you’re actively looking to be the face of your company means a willingness to make yourself more public, as long you’re consistent, adhering to your company’s mission, and striving for the best experience for your customers and employees. Combined with your genuine excitement about this role, you should feel very strongly about customers being drawn to your enthusiasm.
As long as you’re continually engaged, backing up your company’s goals, and striving for results, your own personality will triumph in a world where customers crave humanity and dialogue.
Becoming the face of your company will take getting used to, and even in a world of immediate digital engagement, don’t be afraid to ease into the role. You’ll want to be visible right away, but it might take time to get fully comfortable with this vision.
To start, look at the basics: Does your email signature just state your title, or does it give clients a variety of ways to contact you? If not, include every piece of contact information, and instead of including an inspirational quote, use a direct message that leaves no doubt to your role and your ability to provide beyond the client’s expectations.
Do you tend to use the same profile picture for months on end? As with the photo varieties mentioned above, leave yourself a note to change your profile picture at least every six weeks.
Review your own social media voice. Are you merely sharing information and links, or are you providing your own insights into the knowledge you share with your clients and customers? You don’t have to provide endless paragraphs of analysis, but when you represent your company on social media and websites, clients want to know you’re absolutely engaged with what you’re sharing, and confident that it’s in their best interest. You don’t have to be constantly witty; just work to avoid monotony.
Taking the Good with the Bad
Whether your company is established or on the rise, being its face means having to accept the good and the bad, but you shouldn’t do this alone. Let’s say your company is on a hot streak: customers are happy, profits are strong, and all cylinders are clicking. Through digital engagement, your customers will view you as the representation of these good developments. Don’t be afraid to engage with your customers online, but also don’t take sole responsibility for these positives. A transparent leader is quick to give credit to everyone on their team for the group effort.
But if a customer is unhappy, or the company is going through a rough patch, your face will be associated with less-than-welcome emotions. This is where your leadership will be crucial. You’ll have to publicly answer for these missteps, and offer tangible solutions for fixing the problems. Even if it’s not “your fault,” being the face of your company means taking responsibility. Even if this means meetings behind closed doors, renewed changes in your policies, accelerated performance reviews, and other fixes, being open and upfront with unhappy clients is beneficial in the long run. Trust is earned, not given, and demonstrating your ability to overcome problems and candidly listen to peoples’ complaints is a sign of strong leadership.
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