In the personal brand stakes, being good at what you do and having a strong network are critical to your success.
Following on from an article I read about the value of networking, which states, “It's not about doing good work or networking. It's about doing good work and being sure you have the contacts and personal brand to get noticed.” (Source: Adam Grant on Networking is (Unintentionally) Misleading)
It’s really easy to fall into the trap of focusing on doing good work and neglecting your network, hoping that people will notice, but personal brands aren’t built that way. It’s vital to keep your head above the parapet and to stay visible, and that means staying in touch with people, talking to them, meeting them and sharing news and ideas.
Often people think they have to be constantly out in the market, but I want remind you that your internal network is just as important as your external network, and by internal, I mean the people you work with and the people you transact with, such as customers and suppliers. These relationships are vital to your everyday health by ensuring you don’t work in a toxic environment.
Let me give you an example. When I worked at the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) during the Oil-for-Food Crisis it was crazy, we were on the front page of the paper every single day – and not in a good way. Everyone had an opinion about the various issues and were not backwards about coming forwards to tell us what they thought about them. I clearly recall being at a party on the 28th floor balcony of an apartment building doing very narrow, reverse figures of eight because a journalist was telling me what he thought of the situation.
Despite the immense challenges, the team internally was solid, people were talking to each other and supporting each other because we were all going through the same thing and working really hard at the same time. It made it very rewarding to come to work knowing that.
So don’t neglect your internal network, a cup of coffee here and there can be more than worth the effort of finding time in peoples diaries.
That said, don’t be intimidated by developing an external network. It can be as simple as attending an industry event about a topic you’re interested in.
My view on these events is that you are better to aim for quality over quantity. If I meet one or two interesting people and learn something in the course of the conversation it has been a success. I see no point in handing out your business card to all and sundry, because without a personal connection people are going to forget you, or worse, spam you.
So it’s worth asking yourself, how strategic is your network? Have you reviewed it recently? Are you ready to make the most of the social season and build your contacts? Do you even know where to start or what a strategic network is?
It's where you work out who you know and who you need to know to create better business outcomes.
We can help you figure it out, we’ve been doing it for 20 years.
Please feel free to get in touch.
#personal brand #LinkedIn #networking