It takes a lot of ego to rise to the CEO spot. You need to be confident and charming, smart and articulate. These are excellent qualities in a blogger, too.
I can understand why you’d be interested in “joining the conversation.” It’s an interesting conversation – after all, it’s a conversation about topics of interest to you and to your company, and the people you’ll interact with will self-identify themselves as being interested in what you’ve got to say.
Done well, you’ll get both personal satisfaction and bottom-line results from your foray into blogging.
Ha!! Caught you. You were nodding in agreement all the way through my li’l speech. Well, sorry to burst the bubble, but you should have raised a quizzical eyebrow when I used the word “foray.”
A “foray” is nowadays thought of as an experiment; more tellingly, the word’s archaic meaning was “to ravage in search of spoils.” Is that what you want to do? Are you hoping to exploit the blogosphere? (Good luck with that!)
Too many would-be CEO bloggers treat their new toy as little more than a weekly newsletter. They expect that simply because they are the CEO, naturally people will be magnetically drawn to their words. And then they are crushed to see “Comments (0)” after each post, and are mortified to see a wan, unbudging Technorati ranking…
And then they give up, poo-pooing the ballyhooed Blogosphere as they munch on some sour grapes. Because they couldn’t tame the blogosphere, they lost interest. Now, all other blog-related projects at the company become suspect – after all, if THE CEO couldn’t hack it, who dares think that they could do better?
And thus a company loses a golden opportunity to engage with their customers & prospects.
But you’re not like that? You truly want to engage? Cool. Start by NOT blogging.
Don’t blog for at least one full month following your decision to start blogging. Instead, spend that time finding OTHER blogs in your industry. Read them. Comment judiciously. Leave your “agenda” on the coat-rack. Just get to know a few folks. Introduce yourself.
As the CEO, you’re probably accustomed to being noticed when you walk into an industry function. You may even have handlers to squire you to the centers of power in a conference hall. But, you wouldn’t presume that level of recognition and clout if you walked into a block party in a new neighborhood, eh? You’d hang back a little, insert yourself mildly into a wedge of conversation, ingratiate yourself. You’d be a gentleman.
And yet there might still be moments of awkwardness. All the neighbors know each other. There are cliques. There’s context, politics and in-jokes to figure out. You wouldn’t expect to be the life of the party right away. But, you knew that going in… so, to help grease the skids, you brought some nice bottles of wine and some of your killer BBQ ribs.
Same with blogging, Chief. Think of it as an extended block party. You’re certainly invited, but please don’t expect to be Mr. Popular right away. Giving freely of your attention in the form of commenting & linking liberally to your peers’ blogs is the equivalent of handing out your BBQ goodies. It could take YEARS, but sooner or later your neighbors will come to respect, expect and love your contributions.
Up for it? Awesome. Cover up the keyboard, lay aside your ambitions, start reading, and join the fun.
Posted on: December 12, 2007 at 7:27 pm By Todd Defren