Part II – Building Your Brand with Professional Peers
By Ernie Humphrey, VP, Thought Leadership, Stampli
The first part of this two-part blog series focused on driving career success by creating a powerful professional band focused on the foundation for building a successful professional brand and specific advice for building your professional brand at work. This blog will focus on how you build your professional brand outside of work.
It is important to once again to share the pillars of the foundation of a solid professional brand:
- Know What you Know – have confidence in what you know and the value you offer in relationships.
- Appreciate What you Don’t Know – understand what you need to know to build trusted relationships and what you can learn from each relationship you invest in building.
- Invest in Knowing Your Colleagues – trust is earned and people need to know you care.
- Let them Get to Know You – trust is earned and that means being authentic.
- Communicate What you Know – if you have knowledge that will help someone be successful, they will be open to what you have to say, and build a relationship with you.
- Communicate What you Need to Know – if someone feels they have knowledge that will help you be successful they will be open to sharing it with you and building a relationship with you.
- Actively Collaborate – identify opportunities to work with people for a goal.
Setting the stage for mutually beneficial relationships with your professional peers means understanding the value of your relationship with your peers and delivering value to them. In turn, they will make you better at your job, enrich your life, and many will become life-long friends.
First things first, you need to build your network of professional peers. The first step is understanding who you would like to have in your network of peers. I ask people to consider the following when building out their professional networks:
- Who Do You Want to Know?
- Who Do You Need to Know?
- Who Do You Already Know?
- Who Knows Who You Want to Know?
- Who Knows Who You Need to Know?
The next step is to identify channels to meet the people you want to meet. Channels where I have found success in making valuable professional connections include:
- Social Events
- Professional Conferences
- Professional Associations
- Public Speaking
- Online Communities
- Alumni Networks
Once you have built your network, which is actually a never-ending endeavor, you need to engage and manage your connections as this allows you to build your brand within and beyond your network of professional peers:
- Ask how you can help your connections
- Stay tuned to what your connections need
- Proactively share relevant information with connections
- Support LinkedIn contributions and offer congratulations relative to all professional accomplishments
- Communicate to connections how you can collaborate with them in mutually beneficial endeavors
- Do not let relationship momentum come to a halt
In terms of building your brand with professional peers, you need to share your expertise and challenges live and online. You need to be willing to share what you know and make learning a way of life to have peers share with you what you need to know to take ownership of your career.
The following are specific avenues for you to share your expertise and collaborate with professional peers:
- Speak at Live Events
- Attend Live Networking Events
- Speak on Webinars & Promote via LinkedIn
- Speak on Podcasts & Promote via LinkedIn
- LinkedIn & The Finance Trends & Disruption Community
- Direct Posts
- Comments on Posts
Many people do not realize how critical their professional brand is to career success. An impactful brand can help open doors and fuel career success while a less than stellar reputation at work and/or with professional peers can derail any career. Invest in your professional brand and take control of your career.