Forget ‘self-promotion’ and ‘networking’ – use these 3 personal branding strategies instead


There are strategies and language that might help shift your mindset and inspire you to enjoy the proverbial spotlight.
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For the vast majority of people, the term ‘self promotion’ is not a positive one. It tends to conjure up a picture of a selfish, self serving, personal agenda pushing braggart who is willing to go to any lengths to achieve success. Equally disliked, is the term ‘networking’, as most would prefer not to be seen as the social ladder climbing, business card thrusting opportunist.

Unfortunately, as they say, the baby is being thrown out with the bathwater. Though we may not like the terms and negative associations, it is important we don’t disregard the collective benefits at the heart of what they represent. For example, if you know becoming more visible will allow you to have more of a positive impact, isn’t it then a case of ‘self less promotion’. And if connecting with more people will allow you to be of greater service, aren’t you then creating opportunity as opposed to taking advantage.

Given personal branding is the art of presenting, packaging and promoting who you are and what you do for a purpose; it is safe to say ‘personal branding’, ’self promotion’ and ‘networking’ all go hand in hand. Thankfully, there are strategies and language that might help shift your mindset and inspire you to enjoy the proverbial spotlight (because you will have a new perspective of why you are seeking it in the first place).

Here are 3 strategies to consider-

Represent a message – connect with a calling bigger than yourself and let that be your driving force when it comes to visibility and influence. It immediately changes the game from what you are able to ‘get’ from any exposure, to what you are able to ‘give’. Whether it is about serving a team, company, industry, country or even global community, you decide how big you want the playing field to be.

Share for a purpose – access to a global audience is within reach to anyone with the will and a wi fi connection. It has undoubtedly led to a very noisy online environment and a paradise for egomaniacs. It has also led to the exchange of incredible ideas, exceptional experiences and life changing conversation. I recommend you not only focus on the latter, you contribute to it. Look to add value to your audience whether it is made up of one person or one million. Keep the following question top of mind when sharing your ideas and stories – How does this add value?

Help others get to where they want to go – I came across a quote on social media that said: ‘People who want to see you win, will help you win.’, I couldn’t agree more! I would also add, it is a no brainer to want to be connected to and surrounded with people who genuinely want to support our success. When reaching out to connect with others and expand your personal and professional network, think about how you can help that person get to where they want to go. No more reaching out to ‘pick someone’s brain’ or ‘have a coffee to get to know one another better’; take the time to research and actively put forward suggestions, introductions and ideas that will help that person and the role they play.

Words are meant to serve us, they are symbols to help us communicate with one another and importantly ourselves. If certain words and terms are standing in the way of us growing and reaching our potential then perhaps we simply need to change our words and in doing so our perspective, experience and outcome.

Carlii Lyon is a personal branding coach and speaker.

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