Whatever you do professionally, it’s always nice to be recognized as a person who knows what they’re doing. It feels great when people seek you out to join their teams, or for advice on solving their problems, or to work for their company. It’s fun to get calls from headhunters with an offer you can’t refuse.
How Do You Establish Yourself As That Go-To Person Everyone Wants To Work With? Work your way through this 12 step plan a little bit every day and it is quite possible that you will attract new job opportunities and move up to a new level in your career. Sooner or later you will become the go-to person in your particular niche.
Prerequisite: Passion for Your Work
If you are involved with work that you love it will be so much easier to be successful with this plan. Check out WorkHappyNow.com if you want some help with finding your niche.
12 Steps to Becoming a Recognized Expert
1) Set up a Gravatar: A Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar. It’s the picture that most blogs will automatically use when you make a comment. It is also used by many membership websites. Using the same photograph of yourself across the web helps people to remember who you are. Go to www.gravatar.com and set up your personal gravatar so that it will be automatically associated with your professional email address.
2) Complete Your LinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn is the number one site for professional networking. It’s the first place we look when we are recruiting people at Stafflink. Make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date. Your LinkedIn profile may come up when people “Google” you or when people search LinkedIn for people with skills that you mentioned in your profile.
3) Subscribe to LinkedIn Groups related to your field. Get involved in the group discussion. Answer questions. Share articles and tips. Ask questions. Comment on things that other group members share.
4) Get Active on Twitter: Set up a Twitter account. Talk about your work in your Twitter profile. Follow everyone you can find on Twitter who is involved with your area of expertise. Create and follow Twitter Lists of experts in your field. Share and retweet things that people in your field will enjoy. Tweet about your projects. Reply to questions related to your expertise.
5) Join a Facebook Fan Page: Join a Facebook fan page that is related to your field. Share and participate in the discussion. When you really start rocking your career, start your our Facebook fan page.
6) Start a Blog: Now you are getting really serious about building your reputation as a go-to person. Its easy to start a free blog on Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Post professional articles, podcasts or videos on your blog. Repost these articles to your networks on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Make sure to link to this page when you apply to jobs online. You can link to your blog from you profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook too. Any time you comment on a blog post someone else has written, add a link to your blog. See “The Easiest Way to Build a Blog Portfolio Website”
Aside: Are you thinking “As if!”? No worries. I’m going to tell you exactly how to accomplish Steps 6, 7 and 8 in future posts.
7) Add a portfolio page with your best work, accomplishments and projects to your blog. You can add your portfolio as a new page on the blog that you started in Step 6. It will chronicle your career highlights and the skills you develop as your grow and develop professionally over the years. The items in your portfolio provide concrete proof to people that you know what you’re doing. Our recruiters love visiting the portfolio pages of job candidates.
8) Add an eResume or “About Me” Page to your blog: You already have a form of your eResume on your LinkedIn profile. Now you can expand your personal brand by adding a page to your blog that tells people about your work and what you can do for them. This is the place to broadcast your “super power” and the unique solution that you bring to your field.
9) Follow other people’s blogs and make comments: Find some blogs of experts in your field to follow. Comment on some of articles that you find interesting. Most blogs will allow you to link to your own blog or personal website when you comment on one of their posts. Some of the people who read your comments will click through to check out your blog. Comments are a great way to become known to people who are working in your field.
10) Join Special Interest Groups: This is a great way to stay on top of trends, grow your professional network and get your name out there. When you sign up for a membership in a special interest group you can answer questions, ask questions, be helpful and build relationships. You can also add a link to your blog which makes Google like you better.
11) Offer Training and Tutorials on your blog: This is a way to give back to your community, build good will and just have fun teaching people about the work that you love.
12) Reddit.com/Zoomit.com/Mashable.com: Find new places to broadcast your best blog posts and tutorials. Reddit, Zoomit and Mashable are sharing networks that will help you attract visitors to your blog, make some new fans and improve your search ranking on Google. These are not the only places to share your posts, but they are three of my favourite.
One Day at a Time
I know what you’re thinking — managing my online profile sounds like a fulltime job in itself. How will I ever find the time? But believe me, if you commit to this plan it will be more than worth your time. I’ve seen it work for our internal staff here at Stafflink, and for many of the people with place in jobs with our clients.
Just focus on one step at a time for as long as you need to integrate that step into your repetoire. Start by setting up your Gravatar. Use that image on your LinkedIn profile. Get involved with a LinkedIn group. Have some fun with Twitter – it’s addictive. And so on.
Try to do a least one thing every day to strengthen your online profile and grow your reputation as an expert. It’s amazing how those little acts add up over time. One day one of our recruiters here at Stafflink will call you with an offer you can’t refuse.