Andrea Learned

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Women Leaders: Build Your Social Platforms

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Photo credit: Unsplash/HelloImNik

Women in the work world have for too long been culturally “quieted.” After listening to the fabulous ReCode DeCode podcast conversation between Joanne Lipman and Kara Swisher over the weekend (go, listen now), I realized that MANY more of us should be stepping UP and amplifying our voices through blog posts and social media engagement. This past year, especially, there’ve been a lot more women noticeably pushing past social norm boundaries in talking about their own leadership paths. Still, I’m frustrated at what seems to be missing:  thriving and engaged Twitter stream or LinkedIn pages.

This likely doesn’t frustrate only me. As women, we are building some incredible and historic collective power. How can we be better binding that all together for the most world-positive impact?

Those of you who follow me know I’m a de facto ambassador for The OpEd Project. Though it may seem on it’s face like a straightforward “writing coach” program, look more deeply into their site and offerings. This world-changing nonprofit is really about helping (mainly) women get comfortable with their leadership voices. First and foremost, that includes helping them learn to boldly express their wisdom in writing. Social media is a tool for furthering this.

The point: if you want people to read what you write or to extend the value of a speaking gig – and EVEN IF it gets picked up by a mainstream news outlet – you still need your own, already built, platform. You also need to know how to leverage it.

Too few of you are tending to this. Per my last post , this leaves much opportunity sitting quietly and politely on the table. ENOUGH!  As someone who almost cannot UNSEE opportunity, this hurts my brain.

If you need examples of social capital missed opportunity, take a look at this link and/or this one. You’ll see amazing news from companies with CEOs whose social platforms were not ready. In my mind, they missed a whole other step for further amplifying these very positive stories.

And, yes, both of the above examples are men. My frustration about lack of opportunity readiness is non-gendered. EVERYONE could use a much more sophisticated understanding of building leadership capital. But, my work emphasis these days focuses on the greater numbers of emerging women business leaders I see (yes!).

If you are intrigued but not yet investing in social capital building, here’s your chance to differentiate. You can form a strategic, manageable plan to be more accessible to journalists for interviews, to be more visible to conference programmers for panels or speaking gigs, and to be on the radar of the CEOs your company sells to or wants to more reach.

Just step INTO the influence waiting to be had.


…guiding organizations and companies in this way is my passion and expertise.