In our last newsletter we introduced Natasha who missed out on an international assignment because not enough executives in the firm knew her well enough (7 Steps to Becoming a Thought Leader, Part 1, September 26, 2017 or visit our website at TactfulSelfPromotion.com). She worked her way to being a thought leader and found how ‘do-able’ it is.
Natasha eventually got her international assignment and when she returned, she felt she was ready for a bigger job, or maybe to go out on her own as a consultant. Here are the next 4 steps she took to achieve her career goals.
- Go national
Natasha pitched a national association newsletter – they were interested in an article on a current trend. She again interviewed leaders – both inside and outside her organization – and built relationships with hiring managers. After publication, she added it to her “Publications” on LinkedIn
- Create your own website
Natasha created her own website with a blog, and posted her newest article on her own blog on the website. She used her website to promote herself as a leader in her field.
- Leverage executive contacts to present nationally
Through her work on only a few articles, Natasha now had quite a respectable list of high level contacts in her field. She approached several of them and asked whether, if she did all the work, would they be on a panel about the marketing trend she had written about. So now, as facilitator (and a contributor) she was front and center at a national conference with experts in the field. She became associated with leaders in her field, while deepening those relationships.
She posted updates (“come see us speak”) and followed up (“look, here we are together in New York”). Her network of influence expanded!
- Continue to follow-up and become a resource
Once you’ve established a presence and a reputation as an ‘expert,’ continue to stay abreast of the latest trends, post blogs and communicate with your network, so people begin looking to you as a resource.
Sound daunting? If you look at the whole long project that took 3-4 years, it might be. If you did everything that Natasha did, it might be. However, all you need to do is start thinking about a trend or topic that is timely, and find an outlet that will take your first ‘article.’ It could be your organization’s inhouse newsletter; it could be a publication that your local professional, industry or trade association; it could be a PTA or community newsletter. It doesn’t have to be long. You just need a start.
It’s very do-able, and you’re off on your journey to become a thought leader!