Whether you're just starting out in your industry or you've been in it for many years and are quite established, how you make a name for yourself is important.
Last week, my blog was about making a name for yourself at work. That blog is great for those of you who have a nine-to-five or working for someone else.
While there are many, many ways you can make a name for yourself in your industry, I'm going to focus on five specific ones that I really like. They are ones I have done myself when I was getting started in my industry, things that I continue to do today, and strategies I share with my clients.
You’ll love that they are actions you can do, no matter how much time, energy, or your skill level. In some capacity, you can do each and every one of these five activities.
First: Be Active in Your Industry
This means attending industry specific events and being in online communities. You can speak up in those. When you go to meetings, events, and conferences in your industry, make yourself known. That means working the room, chatting with people, and connecting with others.
Online that means giving great support, help, advice, or your two cents on whatever the topic may be or sharing resources with other people in your industry. In this way, ideally you're doing it in a way that doesn’t just shine a light on you, but supports other people.
When I started networking as a coach, I attended a lot of different events. I was really trying to find out where my community was and which one was going to serve me best. I didn't necessarily go to a lot of industry-specific ones just for coaches, just for speakers, or just for podcasters.
I had moved here from Ontario so I didn't have any network in the business market here, so I went to general networking events at first. What's interesting is that even though I was new and hadn't been around for very long attending these events, people got to know me quickly.
What I found was that by just being consistent in attending, I was meeting the same people, meeting similar people, and connecting with them over and over again. I was building relationships, I was building connections. I was building a name for myself to the point where people would say, “Wow, Diane, you're everywhere.”
Sometimes just showing up (not even being the speaker, a presenter, or an expert at that event), and being pleasant to others is all it takes to really make a name for yourself.
Second: Speak at the Industry Events
Check on the organization, association, and conferences website and see if they have a monthly event with a speaker. You can apply to be the speaker, put it in an application, or just see what the call for speakers is for that particular event. When you speak at that industry and you share your knowledge, you share your expertise, you share tangible content people can apply or would be happy to have the resources, then you start to make a name for yourself because you're positioning yourself as the expert.
Also what happens is in your industry, you’re getting a promotion from an organization, association, or conference that already is speaking to your industry. Whether you're in marketing, podcasting, sales, or whatever it may be, being the one on the stage already makes a name for yourself.
Plus when they promote you, even if people don't attend the event, they see that they trust you and think you're capable. They might read your bio and read the outline of what you're going to speak on. I've received speaking engagements just from speaking at an event that the person hiring me wasn't even at. They just saw the information online.
When you're speaking at an event, teaching an event, or whatever it may be, the cool thing is, it already shows that trust has been placed in you and your expertise.
Third: Be a Published Author
If you don't want to write a book, maybe you can be published in:
Think: What are the leading publications in my industry and how do I get on those?
Now, I'm not saying strategically that you want to be in all of them or that it even makes sense for whatever your goals are. But it is an opportunity to make a name for yourself because when people see that you're published, it means there's some confidence in your ability and in your ideas, your research, in how you teach, or in how you train.
It increases your credibility and positions you as an expert. That's how you want to be seen, especially if those in your industry start referring to your materials, whether that be your published materials, or when you were speaking at industry events. Having them refer to your work or think about the materials that you taught them is huge for making a name for yourself in your industry.
Could you imagine if a university or college that is in your industry started using your book as their textbook for one of their courses or even as a book club by someone else in your industry? Putting focus and shining the light on the work you do definitely create a name for yourself.
Fourth: Connect with Other Industry Leaders & Offer to Help
Offer to shine a light on what they're doing. Offer to connect them with someone. Showing up with an opportunity to share with them and to help them to connect them with someone is really going to get yourself far in your industry, especially when they're already the leader in the industry. That's showing respect and honor. You should always really show up to try and serve those that you connect with. But this way, those in your industry could very well become spokespeople for you. They could share about the connection that you had together.
If someone in your industry is launching a book, buy their book. Then when you receive their book, take a picture of it and put it online. What better thing to do for someone else than to promote and share the work that they are very passionate about.
Another action you can take is reaching out to the industry leaders. You can offer to interview them if you have a podcast or if you have a newsletter or a magazine or a blog, something where you can get the word out about them. If you interview them, then you get to know them in the process. Plus, you're promoting them. That's going to help build connections and get your name out there.
Fifth: Collaborate, Joint venture, & Affiliate with Others
When you work together on a project or you offer to support another person on their project, that is definitely a win-win. It's how you make a name for yourself. If you were to begin as an affiliate by sharing someone else's program, share someone else's book launch, or if you were to collaborate on a launch, you build a relationship and your name gets associated with them.
As long as they're a person of good character and you want to be associated with them, then it really is a great way to make a name for yourself.
When I started out, I jumped into a book to be a co-author on a project and it was a really cool experience. I learned so much plus I was able to connect with a lot of new people and make a name for myself by connecting with the person who put the book out. Now, I love that I get to use my platform to promote the stories and the secrets of other women in the Dynamic Women Secrets Series.
This photo shows me and some of the women who collaborated for the Dynamic Women Success Secrets book during our launch party!
First, we did the Dynamic Women Success Secrets book then the Dynamic Women Confidence Secrets book. With both of these, we have almost 100 women who are part of the process and part of promoting each other in the book. Everytime we sell a copy of the book, we're carrying the stories, secrets and the bio of other women and that is such a great way to make a name for yourself in your industry and other industries as well. And we are now working on the third one called Dynamic Women Trailblazer Secrets.
Think about how you can collaborate, joint venture, or affiliate with other people in your industry. Strategy-wise this might not be the best for everyone, if you have the exact same target market and you're offering the exact same thing, it might not be the best strategy for you.
Or it might be a fabulous strategy for you. You really have to look at this idea for making a name for yourself and the other four ideas, and just really work it into your marketing and your strategic plan for your business.
There are so many other ways that you can make a name for yourself. These are just five of them. Other things you could do are:
Do you have other ideas? I'd love to hear them in the comments.
Have you ever wondered how to stand out at work or how to make yourself noticeable to get a promotion?
This came from a conversation I was having with a professional whose company was overtaken by another company. They were bought out. They went from a company with around 50 employees to now in the 1000s.
She had some valid questions:
(Or for my entrepreneurs, These ideas can still apply to you. Ask yourself, “How can I be chosen out of all of my competitors?” Stay tuned for my next blog where I will specifically cover this for you.)
Here are five specific steps that you can do right now no matter where you are in your company and no matter what level you’re at.
Even if you’re not in a company, you can still think about:
And with every topic I cover, you can always think about how you can apply these to other areas of life.
First: Align Yourself with the Company’s Values, Mission, and Culture
If you are about to be bought out by another company or even if you are working for the same company, you have to think about:
If you can align yourself with that, it’s going to help you to stand out. When you have your next meeting, performance review and even in an interview, plan how you’ll share this alignment. Have examples or stories of your ideas, experiences, and actions to prove that you're in alignment with them, especially in casual conversations that happen, it's going to help you to make a name for yourself.
Second: Connect with Others
Whether you know every person in your company or not, this is an opportunity to reach out and get to know them or maintain and nurture that relationship. How do you do that?
There are so many different platforms that companies are on like Slack or you have another in-house messenger system. Shoot them a short voicemail or a short video or even just reach out and just say, “Hey, how's it going?”
If you don't know each other well, why not do a virtual coffee? Especially with Zoom and people being in their own homes, you get to learn a little bit more about them than you maybe normally would if you were talking in the office, workspace, or staff room.
Get to know them. Ask questions like:
I know these are basic questions, but when you get to know these things about them, then you can easily refer back to it the following week. You could say:
There are so many things you can talk about just based on you asking one question the week before or the last time you saw them. It might help to even write it down especially if you're going to be meeting a lot of new people. Write down one interesting fact about them. Then when you see them next time, follow up with that.
The cool thing is, in them sharing something about themselves, you can then acknowledge them. If you get to know them on a personal basis, acknowledge them for who they're being like:
Whatever it may be, you can do a very simple acknowledgment. You can use this formula:
“You are a” + “an adjective” + title
For example: You are a wonderful mother.
You can also compliment them. It can be simple or on a more professional basis:
Whatever it may be, you can compliment them on how they were doing in the job or how they were performing:
You can compliment them on who they were being like:
You can give people an acknowledgment or a compliment. There are so many different ways and versions of it and it can be personal or professional. You have two choices.
Third: Speak Up
You don't need to be the boss. You don't need to be the one that is going to dominate the conversation, but you should at least say something in meetings. Come up with ideas and share them.
When you have that opportunity to present something or even ask a question, do it. You need to have a voice to the name and the email. You need to have people see you when they normally just see your name up on a board somewhere.
If you're feeling like there's not really an opportunity for you to add ideas you can just add in one of these:
That shows interest. That shows that you care to know that what you’ve heard is right. If you don't have anything else to say, you can at least ask a question or provide a statement.
Fourth: Be Yourself
There can be many employees in a company and many people in your industry, so that everyone can start to blend into one another, especially for anyone that has a specific uniform that you have to wear. But:
Just be yourself so that you stand out in your uniqueness.
Fifth: Make Yourself More Recognizable
I don't know how many times I finally got to meet in-person someone I had only emailed with or spoken to on the phone and I was thinking, “Oh, I thought they’d look like this or thought they’d look like that.” People can be more connected to you when they know what you look like. In your emails, can you put an image of yourself so that you're recognizable when they see you?
When you jump on the meetings, get on video. I don't know how many times I've been on calls and people are not on video. They don't even have a photo when they're not on video, so it just says their name on a black screen. That’s not very memorable.
Get on video. Have people see you. Even if you're not the one speaking, be on video, to be smiling, nodding, looking thoughtful as if you're really listening, that goes a long way for someone who's presenting as a speaker.
I know I notice that. I was at a little meet and greet event the other week and one of the other women, as everyone was introducing themselves, was smiling and nodding and showing that she was really listening. That prompted me to reach out to her in a private message through the chat function of Zoom.
I told her something like, “Hey, who are you? You are doing such a good job smiling and nodding at people. I love it. Congratulations.” What started up as our own little conversation ended up having a virtual coffee date. She was making herself not just recognizable, but she was standing out as a good person.
When you go to a meeting or an event and you have a question or comment to make, start by saying your name. Don't assume that people know your name or know your department. You could say:
Let people know who you are. Say your name and say what you're working on or something just to connect people if they don't already know.
Those are the five ways that you can make a name for yourself in your company or industry. Most of them are focusing on great ideas for being an employee. However, if you are a business owner, you work for yourself, or in a different capacity and you want to make yourself known in the industry that you work in, then stay tuned in next week. This is exactly what I am going to cover. I'm going to share some of the tactics that I use as well.
Read more of my blogs here:
1. Stand out from your competitors... without it feeling hard or overwhelming
2. The Price We Pay for our Decisions
3. Stop Being Vanilla
“How are you?”
We always say it, but did you know that you could be using this simple greeting in the wrong way?
It may seem simple, but the question “How are you?” “How you doin’?” “How you goin’?” can be taken the wrong way. It can be used in the wrong fashion.
I didn't really put too much weight on this in the past. I know that people ask this question and use it as a greeting. Our common answers to this question are:
Then, we ask the other person the same question and they give a quick response. After that, it’s over and done with.
But how often have you actually asked other people the deeper question of “How are you really doing?” or “How are you actually doing?”
So often, we just use it as a greeting, and then we're on our way. We don't actually stand there and wait for the FULL response. We don't notice when there are inconsistencies with how someone is appearing: how they’re acting, their voice, their tone, the inflection, and the way their body language is speaking something completely different.
Have you ever noticed the time when you've said to someone, “How are you doing?” And they answer, “Oh, okay.” Then, you feel there's something deeper here. “I'm okay or “I'm good” isn't actually how they're feeling, but you don’t ask for more.
Why don’t you? We’ve all been there. Maybe you don't have time to find out how they really feel, or you don’t want to pry or it makes you feel uncomfortable or you’re just not that close to them.
How many times have you been asked this simple question, and you've given a quick “Good” or “Okay” but really deep down, you were hurting or there was more to that “I'm okay.” But you weren't ready to stop them from just being a greeting and to say more about how you're actually feeling.
This came to light when I was in an “after convention hangout”, and some of my colleagues were having a lot of light conversations. There were a lot of jokes, reminiscing, talking about what we learned, and sharing our goals.
Then there was a pause and someone asked one of the attendees, “How are you?” She opened up and shared that she’s actually not doing okay and she’s not doing fine, the truth came out. The truth of how:
We welcomed her honesty. It gave her the space to share. I know I could relate. At the time, I was dealing with my father's death, and I didn't feel like myself.
If you were to ask me right now how I am doing, I'm going to give you the real answer. I'd say I'm starting to feel more like myself. But if you'd asked me a few months ago, I probably would have said, “Well, I'm okay. I'm fine.”
But if you asked me how I'm really doing, and paused to hear, I would have told you, “I'm struggling.” I would have told you grief sucks. This colleague of ours had the courage to share more and had the courage to go into the truth of how she really was feeling.
It was nice for her to have that space for us to listen to her. Do you know what flowed after that? The truth. The truth of how everyone else was doing. No one had to keep up appearances anymore.
More people shared about
We had the ultimate sharing. What it came down to was someone asking her, “How are you really?” and being there to hear the answer.
It makes me wonder how many of the people around you or me are not doing well. But we don't ask them in a way that's not a greeting.
I wonder if hundreds of thousands of years ago people used the expression, “How are you?”
Maybe people used it to find out how others are doing rather than just to spark a conversation with your neighbor. Maybe as you were cutting down a tree, or plowing a field, or bartering and exchanging goods, you actually had a conversation. You knew each other so well that you would share more.
But in today's world, the way things are, we're Zooming with people across the world. We're jumping into networking events and conferences online. We're rushing from here to there. And the greeting of “How are you” just stays at that. It becomes a rhetorical question. It doesn't really even matter what people say because are we really listening?
This is what my colleague brought forward. She said people ask her all the time how she's doing, but do they really want to know the full answer? She didn’t think so.
I wonder how long this colleague of mine felt unheard, but also how much of it is our responsibility to be able to say, “Hey, I really want to tell you how I'm doing. I'm ready to tell you now.”
A little while later in true Canadian style, she apologized to the group for dumping it on them. I private messaged her, “Don't ever apologize for speaking the truth of where you're at.”
If we encourage people to keep their true feelings inside, imagine what will happen. This is when it becomes too much, unbearable. If people are struggling, if they are having negative feelings or a hard time in life, then they need to not walk the journey alone. But how do they know who they can talk to if we don't ask them in a way where we stand there and we wait for the response?
I'm not judging because I constantly do a quick “Hey, how's it going?” to people as I catch them in the mall or walking down the street or at the school playground, especially now in the days where we have to stay so separated by 2 metres or when we're on Zoom meetings and everybody's listening. That's using the quick “Hey, how's it going?” as a greeting because there are too many people in the room to get an actual response.
But how about if we just took a little bit more notice… lingered a little bit longer after asking the question… checked for consistency, congruence between what their body and their look, their appearance, their tone, their intonation is telling you compared to the words they actually used.
If they say “I'm fine” or “I'm good,” then don't be afraid to follow up with them with:
Sometimes we just need that door to open to be able to share more of our feelings and of what is going on in our lives. How many times have we opened the door for others? I get that you're not going to do this with the waitress or a cashier. You're going to say your greeting, and maybe when they say they're good, you're going to say, “Well, I hope you continue to have a good day.” Maybe we extend the conversation a little bit beyond.
If you haven't seen a friend for a while, why not reach out and ask how they are really doing. Rather than just a text, an email, or a message in some other capacity, why don't you get on the phone and really ask? Have a conversation.
If you yourself feel like people are just asking you this rhetorical question, and they don't really care about the answer then take responsibility for it. Tell people you need them to listen. Say, “Thank you for asking. I'm actually not doing really well” if that's the truth about where you are. Choose the right people you want to do that with so that you have a safe space to share more and so they can then support you.
If we remain quiet and we don’t share with others how it's going, no one will be able to step up and help. You don’t have to walk this alone. There are many people out there who can help. Maybe not people in your current life, maybe not people you know, but there are people on call lines. There are people at churches. There are people who are trained to support you like counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and coaches. There are people out there that can support you beyond “How are you?”
As you go into the world, I encourage you, if you're going to do a greeting of “How are you?” that's fine. Just look for those inconsistencies. When you have the time or create the time, linger a little longer to look for the true answer and if you sense that the person is not fine or not good, and there's a little bit more underneath:
Or remind them that you're there to support them if they ever need it. If everyone did this, COVID would be a little bit easier to deal with. Life would be a little bit easier to get through. We'd all know that we weren't alone in this crazy world.
Are you not getting the results you really want? Are you not happy with the speed to get those results?
When you’re going towards your goal, you put in time, resources, and energy. Maybe in your business, you're trying some different marketing efforts. Then you realize that you’re not getting the return on investment that you’re looking for. Or you think you’ve got this goal that you want to reach, but you’re just not quite getting there fast enough.
One of the most common errors I see is that people are not investing in the right areas. I don't mean the right area of life or the right area of their business. It really boils down to three things:
One of these three things is the real reason why you have an obstacle. All obstacles stopping you from achieving your goal, getting the results that you want and having you feeling stuck come from either mindset, skillset, or network.
Answering these questions will help you choose which of the three areas you need to invest in and focus on. When I use the words “invest in”, I don't mean that you're investing in a business, like you're giving them $100,000 in capital or you're investing in a real estate property, or you're investing in stocks and bonds. However, the same kind of rules apply. If you put in so much money, then you should be getting back more than what you invested. It should have an ROI, return on investment. Spending money means that it's gone. It disappears. But when you're investing in something, you're looking to get a higher return. It's not just investing your money, it's also investing your time and investing your energy.
Let’s see if your problems are part of your mindset, skillset, or network.
Mindset really helps you to feel like you can go for it and feel like you can achieve it. Mindset examples are:
When you have a top mindset, when you're really playing at that higher level:
I was playing soccer the other day, and there was a 50/50 ball between my team's player and their team's player. As they came up, their player hesitated to jump in to get that free ball. In that split second, her mindset threw her off. Her mindset caused her to hesitate and her mindset caused her to lose the ball. My teammate got it.
So I ask you now, how is your mindset inhibiting your business and your life? Where is it holding you back? Where is it stopping you from feeling like you can achieve things?
When we don't feel like we can achieve something, it might cause perfectionism. Where we just keep going over and over and over something and tweaking and perfecting but we never actually finish. Our mindset makes us procrastinate because we don't believe we can do it, so we avoid it and we do other things rather than actually pushing forward and trying it out.
The sad thing is, when you hesitate, someone else is going to pick up that
They are going to have that opportunity because their mindset is on point. When you think of Olympic sprinters, their physical ability in running is only fractions of seconds from each other. Their ability to go from being an Olympian to being a gold medalist and the Silver and Bronze is so close. Most of that comes down to mindset training.
How is your mindset holding you back?
Ask yourself these questions:
When I started my business, I didn't know how to offer from stage. I didn't know how to build programs. I didn't know how to even coach. So I had to invest in training, mentors, and coaches to be able to boost these.
I'm sure if you've had a business or you work in a business or even in your career, you've had some form of training or some form of skills taught to you so that you're able to take on new or more difficult tasks.
If you're going towards something new in your business, something that's the next level, or even in your life, you need to have that special skill set. You need to invest in the training/education, mentors, and coaches to be able to do that.
If that's the piece that's holding you back, if that's the piece that has you stuck, let me tell you:
If you feel like a specific skill set is where you're lacking, you don't have the right skills or the right talents to move you forward, like
Then there are places you can go. This is where you need to invest your time, energy and money to upgrade or master a skill.
This can happen over time or you can be really good at it and have your network grow pretty quickly. Your network is the people you serve. It's the people you know. It's the people you can offer to, and those who surround you, like mentors, coaches, colleagues who push you forward.
The truth is with no platform or network, your success will be slower, and it will take more energy. It's much easier with other people as your fans and connections. With the right people, you can leverage their network in order to push your business forward.
You don't have to be a lone wolf. AND you don't have to be Superwoman. I know we're trying to do all these things ourselves or we're trying to have a lean startup, but leveraging your network is so smart. Even if you don't have the money, maybe you have the time. You could trade. You could barter with other people. You could do an hour for hour swap with someone who has something that you want and/or you have a skill or talent that they want.
I'm part of CAPS or the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. I was speaking with someone who is producing the networking content for our convention this year. She wanted to talk to me because she says I'm the queen of networking, which made me laugh and also really felt good to hear.
It made me think well, what is it that makes me the queen of networking?
It's collaborators. It's joint venture partners. It’s affiliates. All three add so much to your network. When we started talking about the different CAPS networking and breakouts that they were going to do between the educational and keynote sessions, I got quite excited. I was thinking that this is going to be so cool. It’s going to be a really great opportunity to expand my network and for all the attendees to be able to expand their networks as well.
When you expand your network, so much more can happen and it will happen much faster. So answer this, how can you expand your network by investing time, energy, and money into it?
What You Can Do
If you’re not where you want to be, it is because you're lacking one of the three areas: mindset, skillset or network. Which is the one you need to focus on right now? Maybe you're honest and think, “Oh, Diane, it's all three.” Well, it doesn't have to be all three. You can just pick one right now. Pick the one that makes the most sense.
Once you pick the area that you want to focus on, then ask yourself: What do I have an abundance of? Is it time, energy, or money? Then invest that into that area.
Options for Mindset
Options for Skillset
Options for Network
Your best investment in life and in business is not always in things like cars, houses, stocks, bonds, or items you want. I know that there will be financial advisors that will tell you to invest in those things. Yes, you need to. But I’ve found that not enough attention is put on investing in your mindset, your skill set, and your network. When you do, you can get a higher return. These are areas that cannot be taken from you. Lastly, the only way to be able to hit your goals is by investing in yourself.
So which one do you want to work on right now? Is it mindset, skill set, or your network? Which one needs to take top priority right now?
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