No matter what type of job or career you’ve chosen, you can always improve your standing and move up the ladder. One of the best ways to increase your worth to the company and become an asset that they will want to keep is to build your personal brand and position yourself as an expert in your field. Here’s eight ways to build your personal brand and make more money.
1. Start an industry blog.
The best way to build your personal brand is to start a blog. When some people think of blogs they think of musings and daily updates. For the best bloggers, that’s not the case. To create a truly engaging blog, you must find a focus that you understand and become an expert in the area so people want to hear what you have to say. By creating a blog within your industry, you already are the expert.
And you don’t have to do it alone. Find areas where you don’t have a full working knowledge and find guest posts that can help your audience understand every aspect. You can also research these areas yourself and blog about the process. By offering insight into each aspect of your business, you build a blog that is a must stop for industry professionals and position yourself as a leader in the space. Plus, you get the added benefit of learning and expanding your knowledge outside of a classroom by digging in and researching those areas which you aren’t familiar.
And the best part? Industry-leading bloggers can make a nice side income or even make blogging a full time job. Targeted blogs have the best conversion rates and will offer the highest advertising rates for your industry. And even if you don’t post ads, you become a better employee that can do more. When you understand the industry and what’s happening outside of your position, you have a much clearer path to moving up the ladder to a higher paying job with added responsibilities.
2. Build your social media accounts.
While a blog may be the best way to build your brand, your social media accounts are often the quickest. Position yourself as an expert in your space on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter. Follow, friend, and connect with industry experts and use social media as a way to keep up with all the news within your industry. Twitter is an amazing tool to help you curate the most influential players. LinkedIn insures that you can connect and network with those players. And Facebook offers you a chance to connect to co-workers, bosses, etc. on a more personal level and engage in meaningful discussion.
Build your accounts wisely and ensure you share your blog content consistently. You can quickly position yourself as an industry expert that’s worth the follow.
3. Network. Join groups outside of work.
All too often, companies and employees are stifled by what they know. The do the same things they’ve always done and expect the same results they’ve always had. And while this can work, if you want to become a true thought leader, you have to get outside the bubble of knowledge that exists in your company and tap into the wealth of knowledge available outside those four walls.
Attend networking events, find meet-up groups, and do coffee with people who perform your job at other companies. Talk shop. Learn what they are doing, what is working, and what doesn’t work for them. Find people who work in completely different industries that have similar problems and see how they are solving them. If you’re the marketing director at a pet shop, for example, find someone who does marketing at an email marketing company and find out how they get clients. You may find something that relates to your business.
4. Take additional classes or courses.
Learning through experience can work for some, but others need a path. Taking additional courses at the local college or training courses from an association in your market can be incredibly helpful. Often your current employer will pay for these opportunities, making your decision a no-brainer! Learning more can help them, sure, but it helps you the most. By becoming a more well-rounded employee who takes initiative, you will have a better chance at moving up quickly. And when an employer invests in your education, they will be much more likely to ensure you stick around, which can lead to raises and promotions.
5. Attend conferences & trade shows.
And lastly, don’t forget about conferences and trade shows. These are often the one time a year that everyone important in your industry is in one place. And don’t just attend the sessions and the exhibits. Schedule meetings, dinners, coffee, and drinks after the sessions are over. Meet your vendors outside of the confines of the trade-show floor and get down to what products really sell. Soak up as much as you can! I’ve gotten job offers at conferences and made lifelong connections that help me to this day.
Featured photo credit: Cranky Pressman via flickr.com