Avoid Near Misses With Your Personal Brand & Network
This week we are going to take a look at Chris and how he was able to avoid several near misses as he took steps to build an effective personal brand and nurture his network.
Chris’ First Near Miss
Chris was a successful, young professional – full of optimism about the future. He came to me for Career Coaching with a few years of experience, concerned about his personal brand and lack of network. Chris was looking for more. He wanted to posture himself for bigger things. You see, Chris latest career move landed him with a well-respected and well-known organization, but his boss was not ideal. Chris went in eyes-wide open knowing fully well that his boss had a reputation for excellence while also being demanding and difficult. However, Chris saw the tradeoff as worth it because he would be able to learn from one of the best (albeit demanding) people in his field.
Getting Personal (about Branding, that is)
Chris realized that he wanted to be “known” as a leader in his field and industry. Chris biggest obstacle was that he didn’t have time. I reminded Chris that “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” You see, we make time for the things we believe are important. When Chris was able to connect this to his long term strategy and bigger picture, it suddenly became important. Chris started with these steps:
- Identifying his CURRENT personal brand (including getting feedback on how others saw him)
- Determining his IDEAL personal brand
- Closing the GAP between the two
Chris determined that he was not too far off the mark within his organization, but that he needed to do work externally. Chris took the following steps to improve his brand in his field and industry:
- Identified external speaking opportunities to gain visibility
- Looked for a volunteer leadership role outside his organization, but within his field
- Updated all online profiles to align with his IDEAL brand
- Regularly contributed to RELEVANT content online with a focus on LinkedIn and Twitter
- Created his own relevant content once a month for social media/blogs
- Identified a mentor and sponsor inside & outside his organization
These steps positioned Chris to work on the other area that he wanted to get right, building a network!
Another Near Miss for Chris…Networking
Chris had made the cardinal mistake that I see so many other professionals make too, including even me at one point! Chris had put all is eggs in one basket. He was very well-known inside his organization, but not outside his workplace. This is all well and good, until it is time for a change. To course correct, Chris started a regular routine that included:
- Meeting with peers in his field at least once a month through an association
- Talking with 2 different people outside his organization weekly to network
- Volunteering on a committee for a local non-profit where there was sincere interest (which eventually led to a seat on the board of directors)
Just these three actions were game changers for Chris. Through Career Coaching, he now has a plan for success. As long as he keeps nurturing his network, he will continue to also build his brand. Today, Chris is well-positioned to make a change when the time comes.
If you find yourself like Chris and need some help figuring out how to navigate personal brand and networking, let’s talk. Let me help you build a plan for success.