Five ways to increase your professional visibility
Jason Hiner: Being recognized in your field can make you more valuable in your current job and more marketable when you're looking for a new job. So, what are best tactics for raising your professional profile and maximizing your visibility and exposure?
I'm Jason Hiner, and today on Sanity Savers for Executives, I'll share several practical strategies that can help you increase your professional profile as an leader.
1. Speak to outside groups
Speaking engagements can give you credibility and increase your professional contacts. They can also build your own knowledge of your topic, because in researching and creating your talk, you will inevitably learn more about it.
Look for a topic you're familiar with and that will interest your audience. Avoid simply repeating facts. Focus on how your information can benefit the audience and what the takeaway will be.
When looking for groups you can speak to, consider industry and professional associations, local chambers of commerce, and service organizations. Your initial talks will probably need to be given free of charge. But as your reputation grows, you might be able to charge a fee.
One variant of speaking is to teach, perhaps at a local community college. However, keep in mind that those gigs usually involve a lot of preparation time and little pay.
2. Write for professional publications
Nothing beats seeing your name in the byline of a professional publication. As with speaking to groups, you should pick a topic you know well that will appeal to your peers, the readers. That means, of course, that you have to know the types of readers that a publication has.
Most publications will ask for a query letter or e-mail first. In it, you outline your proposed article and submit samples of your previous work to prove that you can write.
3. Serve as a source for news media
Reporters are always looking for subject matter experts to quote when writing a story. If they quote you in print or on the air, your reputation is enhanced. Once you identify a reporter, introduce yourself by phone or e-mail. If you call, start by asking whether the person is on deadline. If so, offer to call back. Such a question indicates that you re sensitive to the reporter s time.
If you're sending e-mail, include a biographical statement or resume if possible and stress why YOUR knowledge is important to the reporter s readers, viewers, or listeners. One caveat: Be careful about mentioning your company by name. Your employer might be upset if you appear to be speaking for the company rather than for yourself.
4. Moderate a panel discussion
Even if you aren't able to give a presentation at a conference, you still might be able to participate by moderating a panel discussion. The responsibilities will vary depending on the conference and the conference organizer. However, most moderators are responsible for making sure the discussion starts and ends on time and that all participants have a chance to speak. You'll also need to prepare some good questions beforehand. One quick tip: When taking questions from the audience, the moderator should always repeat the question so that the entire room (panelists and audience) can hear it.
5. Serve as board member or officer of a professional association
It's pretty easy to serve in one of these capacities because generally, no one wants to do it. The other officer and board positions are generally concerned with maintaining and increasing membership, for planning and finding speakers for meetings, and for handling various administrative tasks. Some positions require a little extra commitment. For example, if you're the treasurer, you'll be responsible for keeping track of money for the association, such as registration fees received for any conferences and expenses incurred for speakers and facilities. However, if you're willing to put in the time, this can be pretty rewarding, and it looks very good on your resume.
Developing your professional image can make you more successful in your current role and help advance your career. These tips we discussed today can open the door to more professional opportunities by enabling you to build a positive -- and more prominent -- reputation. For additional tips, see Calvin Sun's article that this episode was based on: "10 tips for increasing your professional visibility and exposure."
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