What is the common element of successful people that you see? You can see them, they have made themselves visible to their network, to their customers or maybe even with a public profile. Some of the best products have failed, not because they weren’t a great product, but because no one had heard of them.
A recent coaching client is a great example of this. She was in a manager level role, tasked with delivery projects and solving many and urgent problems. She was well respected and took great pride in getting stuff done but was getting increasingly frustrated that she was never considered for a more senior or broader role. The problem was, she was so busy doing tasks but didn’t spend any time building trusted connections and being known for her ideas or value she could bring.
Being successful within your own organisation or within your industry requires you to be seen regularly, contributing in the right meetings or events, to let people build an experience of you. Being more visible, makes you accessible and approachable, leading to conversations, and creating trusted connections.
To build your visibility, consider how you may want to show up
1. Occupying space
Be aware of whether your body language and demeanour in a meeting or even as you enter a room, is trying to shrink and not be seen. The first place to start is focus on our physiology.
2. Speaking up
Do you tend to just listen in meetings and constantly question if you have anything valuable to add? If you have an idea, trust that every solution started as an idea. By framing your idea or thought as an open question rather than a statement, it can be more easily received by a listener, and will feel less like you are taking a position.
3. Be Social
Reach out to your connections and colleagues to catch up, ask how they are. Each one of us craves connection but it is more innate for some than others. Even if people are too busy to catch up, they’ll appreciate the gesture.
4. Ask for advice
If you need advice or information, seek out counsel from a connection you respect or someone you want to build a connection with. If they have the time, and it’s not what they do for a living, people love to give their advice.
5. Raise your profile
LinkedIn works on engagement. You can raise your profile simply by engaging in conversations and forums. Building connections based on shared ideas and values can be a powerful way to build your network.
6. Share your thoughts
If you are looking to build a personal brand in your industry, then creating content and speaking at industry events may be the next step. Write content, share video’s and attract followers to your ideas. When industry conferences ask for submissions, consider if that’s the right step for you.
Making yourself visible opens you up to judgement and criticism, it can be hard. So be mindful of an imposter syndrome or critical inner voice derailing your efforts or instinctively looking to avoid being seen. From holding your space differently to speaking at a conference, the more you do something, the better you will become.