5 Raising the profile of my online brand at work
You’ve explored a variety of different online tools and it is clear to see how they might be used to raise your profile in the wider world. But what will work best if you want to raise your online profile in your current workplace?
While at work, your personal brand will often be communicated through your face-to-face interactions with colleagues and managers.
You’ll look at communicating your brand effectively in person in Week 7, but building an online profile with colleagues can also be a useful way to share elements of your brand that they might not see in your day-to-day interactions.
For example, starting a blog that discusses topics that are close to you and your colleagues’ hearts will raise your profile and give you an opportunity to share your thoughts and views in a different way.
If any of your colleagues already have a blog, or write for a departmental blog, you could share your ideas for posts, offer to guest blog or simply comment on the posts you read. This would be a good way to slowly build your voice without the responsibility of running the blog yourself!
If your department produces an online newsletter you could offer to write short articles for that. Even sending a thought-provoking email to key people suggesting improvements to a particular project or asking key questions can be a useful way to raise your profile and show others you are committed and engaged.
You’ll probably find that many of your colleagues are already on LinkedIn. If you connect with them, that will give you access to their connections, some of whom might be interesting contacts for you.
When inviting people you don’t know to connect with you on LinkedIn, it is always better to ask a mutual connection to make an introduction. People are more likely to accept your invitation if the connection comes via someone they know.
Once you’re connected, you can comment on their posts or message them directly to introduce yourself.
For the same reason, you shouldn’t accept invitations from everyone who invites you to link with them – they may just want access to your contact list. Also, your network will be more useful to you if the connections are relevant and can add some value to your professional life.
If you’re self-employed, then raising your profile online has a double advantage. People find out more about you and get to understand your personal brand, but you can also leverage that awareness to develop and sell your products or services.
Once you have an engaged target audience, you can devise your ‘call to action’ – inviting them to buy your products or expertise.
An example of someone who has carefully crafted their Facebook presence to do just that is copywriter Gayle Johnson from Red Tree Writing. Watch this short video to see how she has successfully built a community of potential clients.
Activity 5 Engaging your target audience
Consider the platform you identified in Activity 4. Is there anything you can take from Gayle’s experience that will help you to develop your approach further?
Even though she is speaking from a small business perspective in the video, what she says about relationship building is applicable in a variety of contexts. Think about who you might want to build a relationship with in order to enhance your career.
Note your ideas in the box below.
Rather than using social media as a tool to simply sell what you have to offer, Gayle talks about starting a conversation and building relationships. These connections can grow into opportunities or provide you with evidence that will demonstrate your commitment to, or knowledge and expertise in, a particular subject.
When you start to think about the content you want to share, Gayle has this advice: