Branding yourself – how to be acknowledged for the superstar you are


So we’ve established the many benefits of having the right sort of reputation within your organization ( But how to push this reputation beyond the limits of your organization to have a regional, national or even global reputation in your field?

Before we answer that we need to see if this fits who we are and what we are trying to achieve in our career. Some professions and lines of work are simply best kept from other people (spies, criminals and elgo-traders). Others are lines of work simply don’t benefit much from being known outside their closed circle- government officials, army officer and the likes could not gain much (at least if the aim to stay in this role) by having regional or global acknowledgment. But most other professions I can think of, including the most solitary ones (CPO, computer coder) can benefit from having the right exposure and reputation. For instance, the VP of R&D at the company I work for is a women (pretty rare),and we’ve used this to get some press coverage. She didn’t like the spotlights at first, but when she received an invitation to participate in a professional panel discussion as part of an all paid, prestigious event she began to like the idea more. She now actively pushes me to get her more in front of the media, and I’m sure this exposure and added reputation will assist her in the years to come.

So how do you make yourself well known and respected, outside your closed network?

the principles are roughly the same as branding yourself within your organization. You must first develop a network, spread the message of how awesome you are and maintain it. Building a network nowadays is easier than ever- use whatever channels that are respected within your professional community- LinkedIn, industry forums, Quora etc. you need to build a large network of networks (meaning you should be connected to people who are well connected, like journalists, bloggers, social-media addicts etc.). most of these people will happily connect with you regardless of them actually knowing you in person (remember, they benefit as well from extending their network).

Than, start establishing yourself as an authority in your field. Participate in discussions, answer relevant questions on Quora, post interesting news stories. If you have a chance, blog about your thoughts (you don’t need to have a blog to do so, you can doing easily on both Quora and Medium).

Ask many questions but answer more. Be helpful- if you don’t know and answer or can’t help, find someone who does (I’ve been asked a very technical question regarding IT security. I’ve asked around the office and reverted with a superb answer)- it will be much appreciated.

Do this constantly, and your reputation will be built by itself. Do try to avoid conflict, both personal and professional. You want to be perceived as a solid, helpful chap, not a war monger.

Now the hard part begins- you need to be consistent and diligent. Keep publishing, contributing and assisting others. It will take some time but in the end it’ll pay off- you will build a community of followers, people who cherish your work and will likely to recommend it to other. And that’s when the real magic happens- when word of mouth (or, nowadays, word of the web) will start to spread about you. By that time, don’t be surprised if head hunters contact you regarding open positions, journalists want to interview you and people you’ve never met want to follow you and hear what you have to say. It is up to you how to leverage this. But remember, all this hard work can be blown away if you are careless, so be kind, use your reputation and reach to help others (for instance, help people find jobs) and enjoy the fact you have earned this reputation rightfully.

Growing your network as an introvert

So we’ve established the necessity and value of multiple connections in your professional life (

Connect- it doesn't hurt
Connect- it doesn’t hurt

But do you go about obtaining and maintaining these connections? Well, if you are an outgoing type, than making connections should be a breeze- you simply talk to people, call then, chat them up and connect with them on social media (and keep their cards in the rolodex).

But what if you’re an Introvert?

What if mingling or “networking” isn’t really your thing? What if you shy from social interactions with people you don’t know, and think that calling people you don’t know is simply too embarrassing? Well, since we are in 2015, there’s an easy solution. It’s called the INTERNET. And using internet tools such as email, social media and CRM you can easily avoid most of the awkwardness associated with making new connections.

But let’s start with the easy part- regardless of what you like or not, you are bound to meet and talk to new people- be it when meeting customers, attending professional seminar or even on your leisure time. And since you’ve already talked to them (delivered a presentation, participated in a sales call, whatever) you can easily reach out to them later and “claim” the connection. Simply look them up in the appropriate social network (in 99% of cases it would have something to do with your profession, so LinkedIn would be it) and send a connection request. That’s it.

No words spoken.

No awkward email introduction needed.

No awkwardness on the receiving end.

And if you want to connect to someone you haven’t actually met? No need for “extra smoothness” (as you recall we’ve met at …) – all you need to do is to write how you’ve met (or came to know), what is it that you want and why. Something like- I’ve attended a presentation you deliver last week at the conference and would like to add you to my professional network.

With time this will become easier and more natural, and as your network grows your visibility will grow and voila- people will start contacting you, asking to connect with you. Be kind and reciprocate. It costs nothing an has enormous value to your career, even if it is not obvious right now.