Harnessing the Influencer’s Art to Raise the Profile of Procurement

Practitioners can use the art of influencing to amplify their message beyond their own organizations to raise the profile of procurement.

By Hugo Britt | August 24, 2023

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Superman isn’t afraid of the spotlight. Throughout the long-running comic series and film franchise, the Man of Steel often uses interviews with journalists, TV appearances, and even press conferences to get his message across to his adopted planet.

Batman, on the other hand, stays in the shadows, operating at night and literally hiding in a cave to maintain his secret identity. This approach often leads to tension with the people of Gotham who mistrust and fear the Caped Crusader.

Procurement needs to be less Batman and more Superman. In many organizations, the reality is that Sourcing Heroes are perennially unsung. They’ve achieved great things but are not celebrated or recognized for doing so.

How to elevate the profile of procurement

Why does this matter? Being humble is a good thing, right?

Not always. Behaving like behind-the-scenes quiet achievers hampers procurement’s quest to gain a seat at the decision-making table, reduces our level of influence in the organization, shrinks our talent pipeline, and diminishes the function in the eyes of the C-suite. In the age of automation, our anonymity may even lead to the profession being seen as outdated or unnecessary.

It’s high time for procurement to stop operating in the shadows and step into the spotlight in order to achieve our goals. A great place to begin is to learn the art of self-promotion from social media influencers.

The time has come for procurement to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight to reach its goals. Practitioners can learn from social media influencers and master the art of self-promotion to raise the profile of procurement.

Embracing social media

Influencers thrive on social media platforms and know how to harness technology to amplify their message. Procurement professionals can use these tools to connect with a broader audience.

But where should we spend our time?

LinkedIn

Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is the primary platform for professional networking and B2B interactions. Procurement influencers can share industry insights, articles, and engage with professionals interested in the field.

It’s also a good place to connect with young professionals and students who may be looking to enter the industry.

Follow Una’s LinkedIn page for industry insights, free resources, and, on occasion, our take on the latest trending memes.

X (formerly Twitter)

Regardless of what you think of the rebrand, X is a great platform for sharing quick updates, industry news, and engaging in conversations. Using relevant hashtags can help your content reach a broader audience.

Procurement influencers can participate in chats and discussions to connect with a diverse audience.

Instagram

Instagram can be used to showcase the more personal and creative side of the profession.

Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your work, success stories, and visually appealing content can attract a younger audience. Utilize stories, reels, and IGTV for interactive content.

TikTok

TikTok is a rapidly growing platform with a younger user base. Short, engaging videos that explain procurement concepts, highlight industry trends, or share career advice can be effective in reaching a younger audience.

Facebook

While Facebook’s user base skews slightly older, it’s still a valuable platform for sharing longer-form content, hosting webinars or live events, and connecting with a wide range of professionals, including those who may be interested in procurement careers.

YouTube

Video content is increasingly popular, especially among younger generations. Creating informative videos, tutorials, and interviews with industry experts can be a powerful way to educate and engage with young people interested in procurement.

Check out Una’s YouTube channel. New podcast episodes are loaded every week.

Clubhouse

Clubhouse is an audio-based social platform where influencers can host discussions, panels, and talks about procurement trends and career opportunities. It’s a more interactive platform that can be appealing to those looking to learn from experts.

Podcasts

While not a traditional social media platform, podcasts are an effective way to reach a broad audience. Procurement influencers can host their own podcasts or be guests on relevant industry podcasts to share their insights and experiences. Have you checked out The Sourcing Hero?

Tailor your content and approach to each platform and your target audience’s preferences. Consistency and engagement are key, no matter which platforms you choose.

On top of building a social media following, practitioners can develop a personal brand that is authentic to help elevate the profile of procurement.

The power of personal branding

Personal branding has become a potent tool for professionals across industries, but some people do it a lot better than others. From Kylie Jenner to Simon Sinek, influencers who have mastered the art of personal branding can offer valuable lessons for procurement professionals seeking to raise the profile of their profession.

Be authentic

The best influencers succeed because they are authentic. They share their passion, expertise, and experiences with their followers without hyperbole or exaggeration. They’re not afraid to share both the ups and downs of their career rather than attempting to paint an always-rosy picture. Procurement professionals can similarly leverage authenticity to showcase their dedication to their craft. Authenticity breeds trust and respect.

Be an educator

Influencers often use their platforms to educate and inform – this is crucial in terms of attracting young people to the profession who may not have even heard of procurement. Follow suit by sharing insights, best practices, and industry knowledge to showcase your expertise but also position yourself as a thought-leader within your field.

Be a networker

Networking not only opens doors but also elevates the entire profession. Engage with influential people in your industry or sector and get them excited about procurement to the point where they share your stories with their followers. Several procurement publications regularly publish “top ten” lists of procurement influencers to follow.

Become a storyteller

Influencers are adept at storytelling, which engages and resonates with their audience. Procurement professionals can use storytelling to highlight their role in solving complex challenges from sustainability to modern slavery. Compelling narratives captivate the audience and help in crafting a memorable professional image.

Influence isn’t just about followers and likes; it’s about making a lasting impact. Procurement professionals have the knowledge, skills, and stories to do just that. It’s time for the hard work, dedication, and expertise of Sourcing Heroes to be recognized and celebrated.

By borrowing a few pages from the influencer playbook, we can raise the profile of the profession, attract younger talent, and ensure that the vital role we play is acknowledged and appreciated.

Learn more about applying the influencer marketing model to procurement in this episode of The Sourcing Hero podcast.

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