5 Ideas to Promote Yourself OUTSIDE an Organization

What thought have you given to promoting yourself to career influencers outside your work environment? These are the people in the medium and big rings of your sphere of influence who can potentially help you move into a different role, company or industry.

Here are 5 great ideas for promoting yourself outside an organization.

  1. Get published. If you have written a report, white paper, or newsletter article to share within your company, try to get it published externally. There are thousands of online newsletters for all kinds of topics and industries and most are avidly seeking contributing authors. If published, be sure to get the link and forward it to your career influencers.
  2. Become a public speaker. I believe that the single most effective way to strengthen your personal brand is to become a public speaker. Think of ways to get in front of your career influencers and share your expertise.
  3. Broadcast your message. Almost all cities have at least one television station providing morning and midday news and public affairs programming. Producers look for “hot topics” and experts who can inform and educate audiences on a particular subject. Be proactive and contact these producers in your area. If you are interviewed, be sure to capture the video and stream it on your web site, then send the link to your target audience.
  4. Teach your message to others. Adult education classes are in high demand at community colleges. Teaching a class gives you extra credibility and you may pick up a few new clients or have the opportunity to do some freelance work.
  5. Join a board of directors. Many trade associations and civic organizations need industry experts, smart business professionals and creative marketers. Be sure to pick a cause that genuinely drives your passion.

By continuously raising your credibility and visibility within your personal network, you’ll not only strengthen your personal brand and open new doors of opportunities, but you can also create an emotional connection with them that makes them not only want you on their team, but feel they need you.

7 Ways to Promote Yourself INSIDE an Organization

In a my Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan blog post I briefly discussed the two tracks of your personal marketing plan. Now, I will give you 7 ideas for promoting yourself within your current organization.

  1. Write regular project reports and status updates. Use project updates, status reports, memos and emails to convey your message. Spend time carefully writing monthly status reports and project updates so they support the fact that you take your position and career seriously and that you consistently deliver your promise of value. Focus on the results of the project, or the goals and milestones that you achieved or helped achieve.
  2. Write a newsletter article. Teach others about your areas of expertise by writing about it in the company newsletter, on the company’s web site or on the company’s blog. You have knowledge to share with your internal target audience that could strengthen and add credibility to your personal brand. Consider how to package your knowledge so that you can distribute it online.
  3. Make a presentation. Look for opportunities to present your message in person. Volunteer to give an update on your project or area of expertise at the next staff or management meeting. Consider mentoring or offering an internal class to teach others about your area of expertise.
  4. Create a new project to showcase your knowledge, skills or signature talents. Is there a project you can work on right now to demonstrate your expertise? If not, then could you create a project to do so? Figure out what you really love to do and make a proposal to a company or client to do it!
  5. Lead a team or project. An excellent way to raise your credibility is to be seen as a leader. Successfully leading a project or team demonstrates that you know how to meet deliverables, time lines and budget goals, and lead, manage and motivate others.
  6. Facilitate meetings. Lead a management, department or project meeting, quarterly update meeting, organizational status meeting or annual celebration. More than likely there are many opportunities within your company to facilitate a meeting. Take the first step and tell your manager you would like to volunteer.
  7. Fill in for your manager. When you manager goes on vacation, is sick or overloaded and cannot attend a meeting who fills in? Ask if it can be you. This is a great way for other senior leaders and department managers to view you at a higher level.

Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan

How do you deliver your message to your personal network? In other words, how do you promote your value and accomplishments without overtly bragging and selling yourself in a cheesy, I’m-the-best-thing-since-the-invention-of-cheese-fries kind of way?

Just like successful businesses have marketing plans, you need to develop a personal marketing plan. Your personal marketing plan should include two tracks: internal and external. Internal marketing includes strategies within your current organization; external marketing focuses on promoting yourself outside of the organization.

Depending on your current situation, you may want to have a combination of both tracks or focus on just one. For example, if you are currently employed, but have decided to leave the company in the near future, you may not need to create an internal marketing plan yet. If you like your current company and want to move into a new position, you will want to increase your visibility and build your credibility with colleagues, managers and senior managers so they will champion you for that new role or promotion.

The goal of your marketing plan is to find ways to deliver your message to those who can help you advance your career. By continuously raising your credibility and visibility within your personal network you’ll not only strengthen your personal brand and open new doors of opportunities, but you can also create an emotional connection with them that makes them not only want you on their team, but feel they need you. I will explore ways to promote yourself inside and outside your organization in upcoming blog posts.

Types of Career Influencers

Forming strong strategic partnerships with career influencers in four key categories can help strengthen your credibility and elevate your personal brand.

  1. Those who can evangelize your talents and accomplishments to others. They are your personal public relations representatives who give you visibility and exposure to other career influencers. They spread the good word about your work, accomplishments and the value you provide. They are living testimonials who can recommend you to other managers or clients.
  2. Those who currently hold, or have had, a position you desire. They can be career mentors or advisors to you providing invaluable advice on the skills and personal characteristics required to be successful in that role. They can offer guidance on your career path, share their steps in reaching that position or give insight into the professional challenges they faced and specific strategies they used to overcome obstacles.
  3. Those who can teach you a new skill. They are experts in their fields and possess specialized knowledge or experience to help you reach your career goals.
  4. Those who, just by working with them or being associated with them, can strengthen and add credibility to your personal brand. Simply by sitting on a board of directors with a well-respected industry expert, or reporting directly to someone well positioned in the company, or winning a new client who is admired within the community could give your personal brand a boost.

Who Is In Your Sphere of Influence?

Now that we’ve discussed what a Sphere of Influence is, let’s talk more about who’s in your sphere of influence. Think locally, nationally and globally. Perhaps there is someone you want to meet who is an author or a conference speaker. Perhaps she is someone in the media, a political figure or a business owner. Think about who might be a good connection, role model or perhaps even a mentor – someone who can help advance your career (or introduce you to others who might advance your career).

As you think about your network of career influencers, analyze your current work environment. Include managers and colleagues who have specific areas of expertise and those who can provide guidance and share information.

Every company has an inside network of influencers who are well positioned within the company. Influencers are easy to spot. They are well respected and usually well liked within the organization. They are movers and shakers, constantly helping to move the organization forward. Others seek out their advice and ask for their suggestions. These are career influencers you should add to your target audience list.

Now think bigger. Who are the influencers in the industry? Attend professional association meetings, industry conferences and business networking events. Meet the members, speakers and those on the boards of directors. Join a committee or the board of directors of an association. The idea is to meet people who are successful in your chosen position or industry. Add them to your target audience list. Find ways to make connections with them to learn about their career paths, obstacles they had to overcome, best practices and key lessons they learned.

The universe is truly amazing. Once you begin identifying these career influencers, you will notice that you begin connecting with all kinds of people who can help advance your career. I really can be supportive and positively influence my career, the universe has connected me with the right people at the right time. I also have many clients who believe they were connected with me in the same way at just the right time.

Please feel free to share in the comments who your career influencers have been throughout your career.

What Is Your Sphere of Influence?

Let’s start by looking at your sphere of influence. Picture three rings – one big, one medium, and one small. The three rings fit inside each other. You are represented by a single dot in the center.

Sphere of InfluenceEach ring symbolizes a target audience. The ring closest to you symbolizes the people you connect with on a regular basis and know you fairly well. They can include your manager, co-workers, peers, clients, family, close friends, etc. They are people whom you associate with directly, who could impact your career. Conversely, you can influence their perceptions through your messages and actions.

The medium-sized ring symbolizes others who may have some influence on your career. They are people you know, but may not see you on a regular basis. They could be managers from other departments, senior managers, past employers or clients, externals suppliers, or people whom you’ve met at professional associations, civic organizations, or trade shows.

The big ring symbolizes your wish list – those whom you want to meet and add to your sphere of influence. Is there someone who impressed you, whom you would like to get to know? Write down her name. Is there someone you admire for his knowledge, skills or career success? Expand your mind to think big. I love what Donald Trump said, “If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”

3 Tips to Create a Red Hot Personal Brand

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What is your personal brand saying to others? Getting bigger promotions, better clients, and a richer career depends largely on how you are perceived by senior managers, and potential clients or employers. So to maximize your career opportunities and get into a career that actually inspires you to get out of bed in the morning turning cartwheels, let’s start by polishing up your personal brand.

Here are my 3 tips to creating a red hot personal brand…

    1. Understand your value to an organization. Having a powerful personal brand means that you consistently deliver what you say you’re going to deliver. In other words, it’s the skills, experience, and value that you provide to your employer or clients. Whether it’s bringing in new streams of revenue, managing highly valued projects, developing creatively outrageous marketing campaigns, or whatever, your career is fueled by the value that you consistently deliver to employers.Your value is a unique blend of your strengths, professional accomplishments, and personal characteristics (such as being a good leader, risk taker, problem solver, strategic thinker, etc.). All of these things combined make up your “value package” which makes you truly unique from a crowd of colleagues, business associates, and even job applicants.


    1. Get into a career where you can thrive (not just survive!) Today’s marketplace is so volatile that “surviving” is not a smart career strategy.
      Being in a passionless job is a career killer! If you’re walking around dull and listless, then others are sure to see you that way. It’s impossible to have a powerful personal brand if you’re just going through the motions at work. You’re not fooling anyone. Everyone sees that you are NOT a key player in the organization.You need to be in a career that challenges you, flexes your professional muscles, and excites you! That’s when people are going to take notice. That’s when doors will start opening up for you. People want to be around others who enjoy their work and enjoy talking about it and sharing ideas. That’s the kind of positive energy that others are drawn towards.

      And when others are drawn towards you they’re going to let you know about other career opportunities. That’s when the better jobs and bigger promotions will start coming your way.


  1. Send the right messages. Everything you do and say sends messages to your manager, senior leaders, clients, peers, and potential employers. Your words, actions, presentations, reports, work deliverables, shape the perceptions others have about you and the value you provide.Think of yourself on a stage.

    Think about how you want others to perceive you. Do you want to be recognized as being smart? Strategic? Having specific expertise? A great leader? Whatever it is, you should be striving to send that message loud and clear.

Every day you have opportunities to shape and manage your personal brand. In every presentation or update that you give, in every meeting you attend, in all your networking conversations with other professionals – think of yourself as being on a stage.

Talk about those things that excite you in your career – those project, or teams, or initiatives that you ENJOY doing… or talk about what excites you about working in that industry… find something in your career to get excited about!!

It’s your opportunity to shine and get noticed.

Powerful personal brands don’t happen overnight. It takes time, focus, and commitment, but the payoff is huuuuuge. Imagine a world where you are in such high demand with potential employers that you get to choose where you want to work :))

PARADE Update: One (Penguin) Step at a Time

PARADE Update: One (Penguin) Step at a Time

When a career change overwhelms you – take penguin steps In our session today, Meaghan shared that she was feeling overwhelmed. Trying to juggle a career change with managing a family, home and “life” was taking its toll on her sanity.

This is common among career changers (which is why I think so many professionals stay in jobs that are unfulfilling and unmotivating.) Reinventing your career is a step-by-step process that takes persistence, endurance and a lot of patience. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, my advice is to step back, breathe and take penguin steps.

In the movie “March of the Penguins” the penguins took tiny baby steps as they shuffled across the frozen ground of Antarctica. Their steps are tiny but with their focus and commitment they successfully reach their final destination over 100 miles away.

Changing careers is also a journey. Sometimes you can run, sometimes you can walk, and sometimes (like when you’re feeling overwhelmed) the only way you move forward is by shuffling along and taking penguin steps.

Meaghan is in a similar situation. She has successfully assessed all of her experience, strengths and successes, and has determined the type of work she wants to be doing in her next career move. Now, she is assessing the job market to determine the industry that most excites her.

However, she shared with me that didn’t get very far with last week’s assignment of checking company websites, on-line job postings, business periodicals and industry magazines to find those industries and companies she’d most like to work in – because she was feeling overwhelmed.

My recommendation was to break down the assignment into smaller bite-sized chunks (think penguin steps.) So we took out a piece of paper and scribbled out four columns which we titled: industry, company, job role and personal contact.

Through a few coaching questions, Meaghan tackled the 1st column which was “industry.” She was able to quickly define two distinct industries that really excited her – education and food sustainability. This was a great start! She was breaking through mental roadblocks and seeing two different industries where she knew she could thrive!

Next, she quickly identified a couple of companies within each of those industries that she’d like to explore career opportunities. Then, we discussed job roles that she would be qualified for within each of those companies and industries. Also, she thought of a few contacts in her personal network that could potentially provide support.

By breaking up the step into smaller tasks, Meaghan was able to break through the clutter and roadblocks in her mind, and move forward in identifying possibilities to a career that would motivate and inspire her!

Thinking back on my own personal career, I made several job changes and I remember feeling overwhelmed just like Meaghan. Mostly, it was due to fear. Fear of change, fear of failure, fear of the unknown. But what pulled me through was knowing that if other professionals could be happy in their career, then I could do, too!

By looking at a career change as a “process” and then breaking up the process into smaller-sized tasks, it allowed me to take bold steps towards a new career – even if some of them were only penguin steps!

Meaghan’s Assignment this Week
In my book, Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand, one of my strategies for transitioning into a meaningful and purposeful career is to define the industry and job role of where you want to be. This becomes part of your career blueprint (i.e. North Star) in helping you transition into an inspiring career.

Meaghan’s assignment this week is to research a variety of industries and companies, and then complete her spreadsheet with a list of those that would excite her, as well as the job role for each industry and company listed that defines how she could potentially bring value to the organization.

By assessing the current job market and identifying job roles that are right for her, Meaghan is getting one step closer to identifying a more meaningful and purposeful career.

Suggested Promise of Value – Ready to Transition

If you are in the market for a new job with a new company how do you identify the skills, knowledge, and training the marketplace values and the right messages for the potential employers? Let’s look at a few simple steps.

The first step is to research the current marketplace to identify the skills and job requirements. (I give more tips on searching the current marketplace in my February 15th post.) Don’t worry if you cannot find your ultimate dream job, the point is to identify the kinds of companies that are hiring and the types of positions that are available.

Getting a job offer can be a challenge. Look at yourself from the hiring company’s prospective. More than likely they have waited longer than they should have to fill the position, meaning that their employees are overworked, overwhelmed and over stressed. Now they have to take precious time and resources to advertise for the position, sort through stacks of resumes, conduct multiple rounds of interviews and train the newly hired person. It is a time intensive and resource draining process. Making a poor decision and hiring the wrong person not only results in extreme frustration and stress, but also can cause a company to lose a big project, an important clients, or worse, credibility among peers, clients or companies within the industry.

If you have the skills for the job, the message you should be sending is that you are the one and only candidate – and that you will succeed. Your resume and the answers you give during an interview must give a clear message that you are results driven and have the skills, strengths, and experiences required to succeed at the job.

Suggested Promise of Value – Employed & Successful

The number one frustration among my coaching clients is that they are ready to move up to bigger clients, projects, or a promotion, yet are not being given the chance. If that is how you are feeling, then I’ll tell you the same thing I tell my clients: It is up to YOU to prove you will succeed in that expanded role.

One of the single most difficult things to accomplish in your career will be to convince your current company that you will succeed in a higher level position. It’s not impossible, but it IS challenging. That is because your managers have already formed their perceptions of you based on how you have performed at your current level at your day-to-day responsibilities.

You must look at yourself from their prospective. If you want a promotion from within your current company, find out the job requirements and expectations. You need to fully understand the kinds of work experience, level of education, and personal characteristics required for the position you desire. It may not be necessary to have ALL the job requirements for the new position, but it will be critical to have all the major requirements. If you feel you can successfully do the job, then send the message that you have the proven skill set, knowledge, and training the new position requires – and that you will be successful in the new role.

It is not your employer’s responsibility to “take a chance on you” or “give you a shot”. It is up to YOU to prove you will be successful in that role before you get the promotion.