73: How to raise your profile at work – with Personal Branding Specialist, Jennifer Holloway
Jennifer Holloway is the author of 'Personal Branding for Brits', which is now in it's 4th edition and is a best seller on Amazon in the category of 'Personal Branding'. With a background in PR, running press offices and dealing with journalists, Jennifer now runs workshops with organisations such as Santander, Vodaphone, RBS and Asda, as well as working one to one as a specialist coach .
A common question
...Jennifer gets asked is, 'I need to raise my profile, how do I do that?'
Her first response is 'Why? What do you want your profile to be?'
Often it's not about everyone in the company knowing who you are and what you do, but there will be key people (often stakeholders in your career) who you want to buy-in to you and your personal brand.
Jennifer suggests the two things to get clear in your mind are:
- 'What do I offer?' - the knowledge you offer, the qualifications, the results and the technical expertise
- 'Who I am?' - your values, your motivations, your character and strengths.
Here you are giving them a brand to buy into.
It's more than just your expertise
It's hard to stand out if you just focus on your technical expertise, as lots of people may offer this. What differentiates your brand is when you add your personality to the mix.
This is your USP.
Your values and your real strengths, these are what make you different. When you understand yourself, it's easier for other people to understand you and to recognise your mix of talents.
How do I raise my profile?
Here are a few ideas:
- Giving a presentation when no one else wants to, a good use of time if you are raising your profile among a group of people
- Writing an article for the company newsletter, often they are looking for contributors and Jennifer had a client who had written an article that got noticed and discussed by the CEO.
- Identify who you want to have face time with and ask to grab a coffee with them
- Find a mentor in the business - a great way to raise your profile and if they buy into you, they will go out of way to help you as they want you to succeed.
- Use Linkedin to expand your network. Linkedin is efficient way to reach people but always personalise your requests to connect, even from a mobile.
- Customise your feed on Linkedin so you can still be connected with people but not follow them. Therefore you can focus your interactions with your A listers, making it easier to engage with them when their activity comes up in your feed. This is a great opportunity to deepen your relationship with them.
- When you want to contact a person who is already connected to someone you know well, ring your contact and ask them how well they know the person and if they can introduce you. Send an email which they can easily forward on, so you control how you are described.
See below for more help on how to use Linkedin to raise your personal brand, plus my one page Linkedin checklist.
...is crucial to your personal brand. Here are some key things to consider:
- Have a photograph of how you would look in front of someone else.
- Edit your headline - tell people what you deliver and make sure you include key words for search optimisation
- The summary - people don't use this effectively, and often write boring copy. Linkedin publish a list of most over used words e.g. creative, passionate, expertise, responsibility... don't be the same as everyone else!
- Help the reader understand: what you have to offer, your credibility, the results you've achieved (ideally with some numbers if you can). Put some of your brand in there: who you are, what motivates you. Let the reader know you're a human being. Even before people have met you, give them a feel for the type of person you are.
- Understand the ratio of...WHAT you are (the credibility) to WHO you are (your personal brand) to the HUMAN element (something about your interests)Change these ratios according to your audience. Introduce a bit of your personality, but carefully think through what it says about you.
To help save you time, I've put together a one-page Linkedin checklist you can use to quickly get your profile in shape. You can download a copy of that here:
Thank you Jennifer for giving your time to discuss such an important element in growing your career.
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