Want to advance your career? We all know that a positive personal brand, excellent workmanship, and building connections within your company play a starring role in your career trajectory. What’s often overlooked is that what you do outside the organization may also be a factor.
How you show up outside of the 9-5 can position you as a thought leader, build new connections, and raise your visibility inside your company – and out. It’s entirely possible that your next job offer or big client will come from outside the organization. Boosting your external visibility is an essential part of any career growth strategy.
It doesn’t matter where you are on the corporate ladder. There are so many ways you can win the attention of people in your professional network, people in your industry, and people with influence. And whether you’re a social media ninja or not, there’s a strategy that’s right for you, online or off.
Even if you don’t spend much time on the internet, keeping your profile fresh and up-to-date is essential – and possibly even more important than your resume. Take a look at your profile to review your summary and ensure that it is current. Also, make sure your profile picture looks professional. You never know when a recruiter or potential client might be looking for someone with your unique background.
Here are some other ways you should be using LinkedIn to bolster your visibility outside the office:
Seek Testimonials: Strengthen your credibility by collecting positive feedback from associates. You can reach out to your connections to request a recommendation or endorsement, and be sure to return the favor. An honest gesture of support goes a long way.
Join Forums: Find discussion groups relevant to your field and be an active participant. By posing thoughtful questions and respectfully sharing insight and experience, you’ll look like an industry leader who knows their stuff. You can also expand your network if you follow up with others who take part in the conversation.
Post Comments: if you see something (good), say something! Let your colleagues know when their articles impress you or change your way of thinking. Congratulate award winners and promotion-getters. Share additional facts or resources in the comments, and let them know when you’re open to a more in-depth discussion.
The Write Stuff
Being a thought leader means you have to share your thoughts and put them out there where people can see or hear them. One of the simplest ways to do that is by starting a blog. It might be hosted on your company’s website, or you can start your own webpage. Be specific about your scope and keep your content fresh to give readers an excuse to visit regularly.
Not sure how to build out that content? Some low-hanging fruit might be interviewing leaders in your field, leading to a new connection for you and more visibility for them: win-win! Other topics might include commentary on a recent news story, reviews of a new product, or reporting on a conference you attended.
You may also look to publish your articles on other sites. Search for platforms that advertise for outside authors, but be sure to check their policies on making payments or providing bylines. If possible, include your photo, social media links, and other contact information to drive traffic back to your website.
Finally, offer your voice as a source for journalists. They need experts in all kinds of fields for inside knowledge and quotes. If someone at your local news outlet specializes in your field, try to establish a relationship with them. Send them your bio and ideas for stories, and be sure to reply promptly when they reach out to you about an article.
You need not rely on the internet to up your visibility, especially if you are a person who is more comfortable with in-person interactions. Keep business cards on you at all times as you never know who you might run into, and try any of these tactics to expand your reach:
Professional Associations: Become active in the local chapter, attend monthly lunches and show up early for networking. Volunteer with the welcoming committee or help plan the annual fundraising dinner.
Networking Events: Check the community calendar in your local newspaper. Register for a workshop on social media or drop in on a book signing by a leader in your field.
Public Speaking: Whether it’s a high-paying keynote speech or career day at your daughter’s middle school, talking to an audience means a lot of people suddenly know who you are. No pressure, though! Practice beforehand, breathe during, and you’ll do great.
Volunteer: Choose a charity you care about and propose a volunteer project that engages others. You could research historical information, strategize on a marketing campaign, or coordinate a food drive.
Mentor: You have so much knowledge and experience to share. Reach out to organizations that serve students or young professionals, and give a mentee a head start on their careers. You’ll probably learn as much as you teach!
“VISIBILITY – You’ve got to find a way to make people know you’re there.” – Nikki Giovanni
You’ll uncover unexpected opportunities by raising your profile and sharing your expertise., both online and face-to-face. Increasing your visibility will take some effort and commitment on your part, but the potential rewards make it worth it.
So… where will you begin? Contact me, if you want help.