As much as you know what you currently do, advancing your career usually depends on your ability to earn recognition outside of the circle of people you’re working closely with. Your next promotion, job offer, or major client is likely to come from someone who doesn’t work by your side each day. You are your best brand ambassador, so get to it.
Regardless of your position, you can gain people’s attention. Try these techniques for promoting your career while helping others online and off. They’ll remember you when they’re ready to make new hires or looking for a consultant.
Building Recognition Online
- Update your LinkedIn Profile. Your LinkedIn profile may be more important than your resume these days. Keep your summary current and compelling. Recruiters may be shopping for passive candidates or potential clients looking for someone with your qualifications.
- Keep your resume, too. Enough said!
- Seek testimonials. Collecting positive feedback from others strengthens your credibility. Gather quotes that you can use on your website. Ask for recommendations and endorsements on LinkedIn. Line up people to be a reference for you. Offer testimonials to others too.
- Join forums / user groups / like-minded communities. Take part in discussion groups related to your field. Be positive and focus on people you may want to follow up with. This type of networking will allow people to get to know and build a relationship with you.
- Post comments. Let colleagues know when you’re impressed with their articles or find them thought-provoking. Provide helpful information and links to other reputable sources. When appropriate, include your website or additional contact information so others can get in touch with you. Many people want to know that you have an opinion.
- Start a blog. Contribute to your company blog or start your own. Stay on topic and provide fresh content so readers will have a reason to keep coming back. Interview leaders in your field or comment on a famous news story. Review a new software package or report on a major conference.
- Publish articles. Contact sites that advertise for outside authors. Check their policies on making payments or providing bylines. Include your photo, social media links, and other contact information to drive traffic to your website.
- Become a media source. Online media outlets and classic journalists need experts in all fields to verify facts and give them quotes for the content beyond the traditional newspaper. Develop a relationship with people who specialize in your area. Let them know who you are. Email them with a brief bio and story ideas. Reply promptly if they request details for a piece they’re working on.
Building Recognition Offline
- Participate in your professional association. Become active in the local chapter of your professional association. Attend the monthly lunches and show up early for networking—volunteer to serve on the welcoming committee or help with planning the annual fundraising dinner.
- Attend networking events/conferences. 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.
- Be prepared. Business leads can turn up anywhere. Carry business cards with you if you run into someone interesting while having your dog groomed or washing your car.
- Speak in public. Brush up on your public speaking skills. You may be able to arrange high-paying appearances or arrange a slot on the schedule for the next career day at your daughter’s middle school.
- Volunteer in your community. Select a charity you care about and propose a volunteer project that will involve working with others. You could research historical information or strategize a marketing campaign.
- Mentor others. Reach out to students and young professionals. You can learn a lot by teaching others.
Uncover exciting opportunities by making your strengths and accomplishments widely known. Sharing your expertise with others online and face-to-face is a great way to extend your network and become more marketable. These tips go beyond your career, and you may be able to be a fantastic resource for others.