It is not that hard to enhance your professional reputation. You need to put in real effort and time, but you can do it. The tips below are going to help you, and you might have to force yourself out of your comfort zone.
Being a Boy/Girl Scout. You need to have your act together and be prepared for every situation. Read this article from Teaching Personnel for tips for teachers. When going to meet someone, make sure you have their cell number so you can call them in case of a delay. The better approach is making sure your gas is full and you leave for the meeting earlier to give you time for traffic delays. Always have a pen, paper, and business cards with you. Learn more about the people you are going to meet by checking their websites or LinkedIn. When you research, you put yourself apart from the rest and you are going to leave a great impression.
Elevator phrase. It is a good idea to have a one- or two-phrase description of who you are and what you do. They need to be short enough that you can deliver them on a quick elevator ride. Don’t use industry lingo because you end up confusing someone unfamiliar with what you do. Repeat it in front of your mirror till it becomes second nature. When introducing yourself, always lock eyes with the person you are talking to. Be ready to give examples of your work if asked.
Networking. When you join organizations or attend events, you are going to get the chance of mixing with other professionals, and this helps in enhancing your personal brand. One of the best ways of telling your professional story is through face-to-face interactions. You can even go the extra step and volunteer your time. Take on assignments and ensure you have done them well. People are going to see this and are going to recommend you because they like the work you do. Volunteering gives you a chance of joining others for a common good, and this is also going to show you are the type of person who gets things done.
Following up. When networking, make sure you practice your listening and follow-up skills. You should be the type of person who takes notes on business cards you get, like sending an article, making an introduction, providing more information about an event, etc. When you way you will follow up, make sure you do it. If you want to succeed with networking, make sure you actively listen and ask questions. Find out ways of helping the other person with their needs. When you do someone a favor, you show that you a resourceful person and in the know. Listen to the other person and ask questions if you want clarification on something.
Publishing. You should be an active contributor to LinkedIn and other professional sites because it gives you the chance of expressing your opinion and illustrating your experience. Write articles for professional journals. Make sure your material is informative and not promotional. When you get published, share the links with your friends and colleagues. This will help you achieve a good online reputation as is advised here.
Speak. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to share your expertise and knowledge at business meetings, professional conferences, and community events. When you do this, you are going to be seen as a thought leader.