Monday, February 27, 2012

Bragging through Networks

Let's face it, few of us like the thought of Bragging.  We want our work to speak for us so that we don't have to.  We will more than willingly put in more time, accomplishing more 'stuff', if it means we don't have to talk about it. However, as we hear so often, working harder isn't necessarily working smarter. Those who may produce less but promote themselves and their accomplishments more often tend to gain more recognition, rewards and opportunities.

How then can someone who is, by nature, quieter and less vocal about their achievements, gain recognition and advancement?  One key tactic is to use your Social Networks more strategically.

To gain recognition, and the inherent rewards that accompany it, people need to know who you are and what you've done.  You need to give a voice to your accomplishments.  However, it doesn't require you to shout it from the rooftops to all within hearing.  What is needed is for you to ensure that you keep your network informed and up-to-date.  By doing so, you are arming these people with the tools needed to help promote you effectively to their network.  As so often happens, it is not about who you know but who 'they' know that will count in the long run.

If you don't share anything with anyone, then you have sent them out into the world with little ammunition to fight on your behalf.  Instead, consider your close network to be your Personal Marketing Team.  You need to train them on what you want them to be promoting by keeping them informed about what you have been accomplishing.  Providing them with small updates will give them tidbits to share, information to drop into conversations on your behalf.  This ripple-effect serves to strengthen the power of your voice, helping it to carry further and faster than you can possibly do on your own.

Keeping your network educated about what you have been doing isn't about persuading them about your worth, it is about helping them to persuade others.

Try out the following tips and tactics to help your Voice carry further throughout Networks...

  • Don't think of an update as a long, yearly summary of everything you have done (like those family inserts to Holiday cards!).  Instead, we are talking about small brag-bites of information dropped into and peppering your conversation on a regular basis.
  • When asked by an acquaintance 'What's new?' don't respond with phrases such as 'Oh, nothing much' or 'Same old, same old' or even 'It's been crazy busy'.  These were bragging moments that you let slide by.  Instead, provide them with a very brief summary of what you have been doing.  'I've been really involved lately with wrapping up Project X.  We're ready to launch it on Monday.  I'm so excited to see it go live'.  
  • Use web-based Social Media networks strategically.  Don't just fill in your profile on Linked-in and expect it to 'work' for you!  Post updates to your skills, share expertise in the forums, initiate online connections with those you've met 'live', post blogs... work it!  You can create a web-voice without having to actually speak!  Great for those introverts out there!  (bear in mind though the difference between promoting yourself professionally versus personally.  Build your business persona, not your personal one,  if your goal is to get ahead)
  • When doing favours for those at work, never use the phrase 'No Problem'.  It's almost always a problem for you when you adjust your schedule to fit in their request.  Don't diminish the favour you're doing (or that they owe you!) by indicating it's not a problem.  Let them know it's a challenge for you but that you're willing to make it work for them.  
  • Show interest in what others are working on so that they will reciprocate.  Helping to promote others will often lead to them wanting to return the favour!
Your bragging moments need not be big or brash to be effective.  You simply want to provide others with information that you would love for them to share with others, thereby creating your own mini marketing team.   You are your own small business after all!

(for more help and direction on Bragging... check out our NEW online Bragging Rights program.)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Cindy! I am definitely a quiet person especially when it comes to bragging. As a craftsperson selling a product it is easy to underestimate the value in selling yourself to your customer. I think so often it is pottery I'm trying to sell but in truth customers find a real value in "my story".


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