While reading a newsletter, have you caught yourself asking, “Why are they always quoted and not me?” Or “Why am I not more recognized in my field?”
You are an important person in your professional world, you read a lot of newsletters, blogs or e-newsletter touting the importance of your colleagues. However, you remain on the sidelines wondering how to get your name out there to join them on that professional stage. The steps to the stage are fairly simple and actually a lot of fun.
Step one is the most transformative and begins with you.
Step one: Consider yourself a person of interest to others in your field. Visualize yourself as a conductor in the symphony of your career. For some of us this is the hardest to do. You may see yourself as a novice or still learning the in/outs of the industry. In that case, even more reason to hear your perspective and experience. You have not ensconced yourself in entitlement and self-fulfillment. You probably have as much or more to share than your colleagues in their ivory towers. After that first step is made the rest will just be tasks and sharing your work with others in fun formats. It may feel a little self-promoting at first, but remember that there are those out there that seek mentors, leaders or experts to learn from as they start their own careers. This not only does you good, but you’ll be paying it forward as well.
Step Two: Write your biography. Create 2-3 paragraphs to share publicly about yourself and your experience. Start with what you do, why you do it and how long you have been doing it. From there, highlight 3-5 achievements you are particularly proud of accomplishing. Lastly, be sure to specify the direction you intend to take your career. It doesn’t have to be long or inflated to have to mean. Take the time to edit, proof and share it with someone who has an eye for detail. Once you have a solid bio use it as your calling card, update your LinkedIn profile link it to your Facebook page and every other social media outlet you utilize. This way when you post or share information about your industry, people can see who you are and the experience you lend to your recommendations and the things you share.
Use twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube channel and other social media professionally. Use the people who “like” you to share your message and build a base of interested followers. Posts, fun facts, statistics and engaging questions related to what you do. Keep it positive, engaging and light. Keep your image clean online to avoid any mixed messages of what you represent. Although it is perfectly acceptable to have a personal and professional page, using your name on both makes it seamless in a search for both to come up. It is an inalienable truth that what you say and do is a direct relationship to the judgments people will make about you, online as well as in person.
Step Four: Leverage your online connections and budding professional image for invitations to organizations, affiliations and reputable forums related to your industry. Or better yet, create your own forum and share your knowledge and invite others to do the same. Reach out to those organizations or individuals who you respect and who you feel share the same vision. This can be in the form of a blog, a website or leading a workshop in your area. In order to be on stage, you will need an audience. There are many people who crave knowledge, training, and guidance to improve their own skills either in their formative stages of career development or for someone one who craves a mentorship.
Step Five: Lastly, volunteer to share your time and expertise with your professional community. Look for ways to share your knowledge with others and look for opportunities to build a platform for your career image. This could be something like hosting a Hairstylist “pop up” event to showcase up-styles to existing clients and their friends. It’s a great platform and it’s also a wonderful marketing tool for bridal season business. You could teach a workshop on some of your strengths. Things like hair styling, stress reduction techniques, event planning or grassroots marketing ideas. These things are often not designed to be profit driven and require a very low to no budget. However, after a few trial runs you may be ready to elevate and make back some of those previously spent expenses. These workshops, classes, pop-up or networking events are meant to give you a platform to share your expertise and promote the passion for what you do every day. We all want to hang out in the kitchen with the host at a dinner party because they are the most interesting, right? This is a lot like hosting your own party where people come to connect with you.
Start with owning your expertise, the rest will follow if you take each step. Once you have done that, you will begin writing your own blogs, just like this one.
Go for it!