Active job seekers are not the only ones who should be trying to create positive buzz for themselves; building your personal brand in your industry is a continuous process.
Laying the foundation for your career future should happen little by little, and in everyday ways. Whether you are a small business owner or earn your paycheck from someone else, there are simple ways to boost your career and keep your name relevant in your industry.
Take a look at a few suggestions for building the brand of you:
#1. Join Industry Groups
This should happen both online and in person. Offer to be your company representative at local business events, and if you own a small business, make sure it is part of several local networking groups.
You can also join groups online that are specific to your industry, either through social media or individual organization websites. It is important to learn from other professionals and in the process, boost your own career and visibility in industry and local communities.
#2. Make the Most of Conferences
Some employees view industry conferences as a chore, or a boring way to spend a workday. In truth, these industry events are hotbeds for networking, learning and promotional opportunities.
Take the time to really meet the other people at the conferences you attend and to find ways to expand your own personal brand while you are there.
Where else are you going to find so many like-minded people from your industry in the same physical space at the same time?
View conferences as more than an opportunity to get away from your desk for a few days. Take advantage of the career-boosting elements they bring.
#3. Host Your Own Blog
You will first need to check with your job to be sure it is allowed, but launching your own site where you can weigh in on the issues of your industry can be a really savvy move.
If you are a small business owner, hosting a blog is even more vital. Writing consistently on a blog will do a few things for your career: first, it will establish you as an expert on the topics you discuss.
It will also give your name a face, and a voice, which will make you more appealing to customers and future employers.
#4. Carry Business Cards
There are some who would argue that business cards are antiquated networking tools, but that’s exactly what makes them more relevant than ever.
There’s just something about handing someone a tangible piece of paper with your information that personalizes the experience much more than an email or smartphone-bump.
If someone hands you a business card, make sure you follow up via email within a few days and store the information for the future.
#5. Act Professionally Online
There have been numerous cases where employees have made headlines after being disciplined or fired over things they have posted online. These are extreme cases, of course, but keep in mind that everything you post has an impact on how others view you.
Think before you post anything negative, controversial, political or low-brow on your social accounts. Could it impede your future career success or even the current job you have? If so, it’s best to leave it alone and opt for more neutral content instead.
#6. Read, Comment, and Share the Works of Others
Follow other industry experts that you admire through your social accounts and interact with what they post. This could mean commenting on a link on Facebook, retweeting content, or posting a link that you like on your own accounts.
Take a few minutes each week to automate these social media tasks in advance where possible.
Reading the works of others in your industry keeps you informed. Starting a conversation with them raises your own credibility.
Finding ways to give back to your community and industry is admirable all on its own but it comes with an ulterior motive too: more networking.
Don’t limit yourself to the charities or organizations that your employer supports. Join other volunteer opportunities as an individual and extend the reach of your efforts.
#8. Talk to Strangers
Did you know that Americans spend a collective 37 billion hours annually waiting in line? That’s a lot of time just standing around, waiting for the next thing we need to do.
Use that valuable time to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Learn as much about people you don’t know at every opportunity. You never know when they may need what you are selling, or when they may have something that your business needs.
Even if there are never any business deals made, getting to know other people is always a good exercise in personal development and world understanding.
#9. Post Job Highlights
While your friends and family likely don’t want to see constant advertisements for your business or employer on their social feeds, it’s okay to talk about it sometimes.
Save your business posts for when there is a new product launch, or an award your company receives. Be sure you occasionally link to your blog and any other relevant places where you appear professionally online.
While you don’t want to constantly sell to your social circles, it’s important for them to know what you offer from a professional standpoint and to be reminded of how good you are at it from time to time.
#10. Exude Positivity
If all people ever see in your social feeds or hear from you in person is how much you hate your job, or career, or how badly things are going, they aren’t going to want to be part of your misery.
Be the type of professional that people jump at the chance to work alongside and you will see your career flourish as a result.
It’s important to never get too comfortable in one place in your career. Keep building up your good name in your industry and work toward even more visibility for your personal brand.
Whether you are working toward that next promotion or hoping to gain more exposure for your small business, finding everyday ways to market yourself will work to your advantage both short and long-term. [Business]