If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? Along the same lines: If you have a fantastic personal brand and no one knows about it, is it still impactful? Unlike the first, much-debated question, I believe there is a clear answer to the second. If you want to benefit from your personal brand – if you want it to have an impact – then you have to be known, and specifically, you must be known by those who can directly affect your career. Your personal brand must be in full view of the decision makers who have a say in whether to hire or promote you, and those who decide which opportunities to give you and what teams and projects are assigned to you. In addition, it’s also helpful to be known by the influencers, those who have the ear of the decision makers and who can relay information to them about you, your performance, and your potential. To heighten the impact of your personal brand, be intentional and develop your visibility.
Are the decision makers and influencers who can impact your career a part of your relationship network? If not, how can you strategically bring them into your circle? Proactively look for ways to increase your contact with them, and seize opportunities to interact. Make it a point to speak up in meetings and share your thoughts and ideas. Present at lunch and learns, town halls, and other events. If your personal brand is best communicated in writing, use that to your full advantage by regularly contributing to your corporate intranet or creating a white paper. Actively participate in organizational activities and gatherings, propose and lead new initiatives, and volunteer for special projects and leadership opportunities that will heighten your visibility with the decision makers and those who influence them. Having a strong personal brand is just the beginning. Develop your visibility by living your personal brand everyday and effectively communicating it to the right people. That tree in the forest can’t do anything about having someone around to hear it fall – you, on the other hand, can. Make sure the right people are aware of you and what your personal brand brings to the organization.
More information on this tip, and others, can be found in Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want