People are judging you everyday. They are using the information at their disposal to determine if they want to hire, promote, or book you as a speaker for an upcoming event. Don’t miss out on a chance to influence how people perceive you. People will begin to see you as a thought leader in your industry if you start doing these five things:
1. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Have you ever googled yourself? Are you satisfied with the search results? Most likely, your LinkedIn profile appears in your top four search results, so you are given a rare opportunity to influence how employers perceive you before they even meet you. LinkedIn gives you access to free digital real estate, giving you the flexibility to craft a compelling profile that immediately advances your professional brand. Through your photo, headline, summary, and experience, you help others determine if they want to invest in your brand while also providing bait for others to want to know more about you. The first thing you need to do is make sure you have an all-star profile, and, next, make sure you have at least 500 connections. If you have under 500 connections, the entire world knows, because LinkedIn will display that specific number on your profile. Once you hit the magical “500+ connections,” no one will know how many connections you actually have unless you reveal that information. So, if you have 550 or 5000, that’s your little secret. The more connections you have, the better your chances are of having your profile noticed by the universe of professionals who are waiting to work with you.
2. Enhance Your Communication Skills
You can be the smartest person in the room and have the best ideas to bring to the table; but, if you can’t communicate your value in a powerful and compelling way, all of those million dollar thoughts go down the drain. Communication skills are the building blocks of success that you can’t live without. Start finding ways to build your communication skills every single day if you want to attract success beyond what you’ve experienced. Build your vocabulary by reading more, subscribe to relevant blogs, and start perusing newspapers to find out how people articulate current events. Write as much as you can so you can get better at expressing your thoughts on paper. If you ‘re ready to test your communication progress in a safe and supportive learning environment, join your local toastmaster club; you will have a chance to speak about any topic that you desire and receive a 2-3 minute verbal evaluation from an experienced toastmaster.
3. Take Advantage of Speaking Opportunities
Are you skilled in an area at work that others can benefit from knowing? Offer to deliver a presentation. Are you a member of professional organizations? Take on a leadership role that will require you to speak often. Do you have valuable information that can benefit community organizations? Reach out to the volunteer services coordinator and pitch relevant topics. If you want to practice and implement the speaking skills that you have gained, there are multiple ways to get in front of an audience in order to share your knowledge. Speaking is an important aspect of building your professional brand that you shouldn’t ignore. Build your portfolio of speaking appearances and you will soon receive requests from others asking you to speak at their events. Those who have mastered the art of speaking and have used it to elevate their brand can reap steep financial rewards in a short period of time.
4. Obtain Feedback and Testimonials
Have you ever delivered a speech or training seminar for free? Well, you should be getting something in return that will help you to build your brand in the marketplace. There is no such thing as a free speech–you need to get evaluated! Evaluation is the compensation for the pro-bono services that you deliver; this feedback allows you to get more insight into how audiences perceive your message; giving you valuable information about your greatest strengths and areas of opportunities for the next speech. This collection of feedback can be added to your speakers kit, website, and LinkedIn profile.
5. Promote Your Brand on Social Media
How can someone hire you if they can’t find you? There is someone who needs exactly what you have but they don’t even know that you exist. Make sure you promote what you are doing and showcase your brand expertise on social media so that you can design your social media brand to millions of people who use the internet as their one stop shop for their next professional resource. Create a list of powerful quotes, tips, and resources that you can share with your network on a daily basis. People will associate you with the things that you post about most often. Don’t have time to promote your brand daily? Let Hootsuite do the daily work for you! Hootsuite is a social media management system that allows you to schedule your posts in advance and track all of your social network channels in one place. Therefore, you can look like superwoman even when you are just sitting on your couch catching up on the latest episode of Empire.
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