For most people, the idea of speaking up about their good traits sounds self-involved and even arrogant. The fear of being ostracised as a know-it-all holds most of us back. But for matters success, the reality remains that we must all, to some extent, rely on self-promotion. This translates into situations where you want to get ahead in your career, start your own business, or even change a hobby into an income generating base. It is true that your work speaks for itself but for it to stand out, you need to put in some work.
Self-promotion only gets a bad reputation when it comes across as inauthentic or insincere. When people feel that a person is not building a relationship but targeting a quick pay off by pretending to be polite or friendly, they resent that. Therefore, self-branding becomes a slightly grey area. But in an age where information at the click of a button is king, we just have to learn how to get on the train.
Find your own definition of success. Is it money, accolades, building a happy family, real estate? Whatever your definition is, pursue it relentlessly by aligning your every thought, goal, action, and reaction towards this dream. Find the original seed of potential within you, water it, and let that flower bloom. You can do this by thinking back to all the events and things that you value in life, past, and present, and make a list. You may find a love that you let get covered in dust. With this list, you will be able to determine exactly what your core values are. You will be able to realize what you admire about these things and why they resonate so much within you. This is the internal foundation that you need to set.
It’s good for more than hilarious GIFs, memes and irresistible cat videos. Personal branding is the conscious effort of managing and enhancing the way in which you are presented to other people. Social media can become one of the biggest keys you can utilize in managing your brand online, especially if you are looking to elevate your expertise and knowledge. To begin with, review your current use of social media, to determine whether you need to separate your hobbies from your work. You may need to use alias accounts for your more personal, goofy postings.
Next, be sure to keep the name professional and have the same imagery, pictures, and tone across all platforms. Consistency helps others find you easily and fortifies a more memorable mental image of you in others. Rather than just talking about yourself, strive to become a thought leader by sharing credible research information, links to informative articles and engaging with your followers on these links at regular intervals. You will come across with more authenticity and likely gain more followers in your field of interest.
Change your former approach to networking one-on-one at events. Become a keen listener among professional peers. Begin asking thoughtful questions in order to build a rapport based on professional interests. This is so much better than just talking about yourself, and the things you love, which can come off as conceited. Start focusing on taking other people’s business cards, rather than giving yours out, and then go a step further by following up later with an email or one-on-one meeting.
Give Value Every Time You Speak
You will not feel like an intruder if you are telling people something that carries weight and gives them a valuable takeaway. Think about what it is that separates you from other brands, or colleagues and build on that in a tangible way. Don’t just say it, show it. People tend to tune out on things that sound regurgitated or practiced. Be believable by adding insightful points to a discussion in person or online. Similarly, you should be mindful about the context in which you want to toot your horn. Be self-aware as well as aware of the audience receiving your information. You must adapt your message to suit these factors or else you risk hitting a wall.