The concept of personal branding, or managing how other people perceive you, is all the rage in business these days.
The logic goes that your reputation can influence everything from whether people return your calls to getting a deal done or locking in that big promotion.
Luckily, unless you’re a comedian or an actor, popularity at work isn’t all about how funny or good looking you are. Achievements and on-the-job performance count, which means promoting who you are and what you do well is incredibly important to get ahead.
Here are five ways to raise your profile at work.
Know what you stand for
Every brand stands for something. Just like Apple is known for innovative, high quality products and Volvo is associated with safety, your brand says something about you too.
So before starting to promote yourself, set aside time for a little self-reflection.
What are your strengths and where do you fall short? What are you most proud of in your career, and what do you want to achieve in the future? What type of person do you aspire to be, who do you look up to, and what are your core values?
Once these questions are answered honestly, you’ll be much better place to understand what your brand is now, what you want it to be and how to get it there.
Live your brand
Within thirty seconds of meeting someone, we’ve already formed a strong impression of them based on what they’re wearing, how confident they appear, their voice, body language, grooming, attitude and a bunch of other factors.
So to build a trusted and respected personal brand you have to live it at all times.
This can be as simple as dressing appropriately for your role and industry, being positive and professional, putting your hand up for new projects, or even just sitting up straight, keeping the yawns to a minimum and getting involved in team meetings.
Always Be Communicating
There’s an old adage in sales that a good salesperson should Always Be Closing, but when it comes to your brand a better motto is Always Be Communicating.
In this age of information overload and overflowing inboxes, it’s important to take responsibility for making sure the right people know about your work and accomplishments.
That doesn’t mean generating a constant stream of propaganda about how great you are. But if you don’t take credit for all your hard work, rest assured that someone else will.
Build your networks
Whether you’re looking for the next challenge, some unbiased career advice or an introduction to a possible client, there are countless ways a strong network can benefit your career.
So make sure to invest time and effort into building and maintaining those professional relationships. Identify allies and go out of your way to introduce yourself to people who matter.
And remember, networking isn’t all about what other people can do for you; a strong network is made up of trusting, mutually beneficial relationships.
Nail the elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a punchy, succinct summary of what you’re all about – perfect for when you find yourself alone in a lift with the CEO and want to make a great impression.
But don’t think you can only bust it out during random elevator encounters; there are countless situations where a polished pitch can help you stand out from the crowd.
For example, you could bust it out when you’re introduced to a senior manager, a potential client or when you run into someone you’ve always wanted to work with.
An elevator pitch will help you back up your brand when it counts, and every professional should have one.