It took a couple of days over the weekend to catch my breath from a fantastic Emerson Exchange conference last week. In a flurry of blog posts, I tried to capture some of the expertise shared by Emerson experts across all the different businesses.
Let me take a brief moment to recap the presentation that Adam Thompson and I gave, Building Your Personal Brand through Digital Transformation. The best way to think about your personal brand is what others would say about you, when you’re not in the room.
This was our abstract:
Digital Transformation is not only changing the way we build and run our plants, but it’s also changing the way we learn, gain experience, and build our personal brands. We have technology that makes promoting ourselves and our brand easier, i.e. LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook, but without the right direction, strategy, and tools, the ability to build your personal brand can be equally as difficult. In this session, we’ll share and workshop specific ways this transformation is occurring every day, as well as, how you can utilize this information to rapidly grow your knowledge, experience and personal brand on any topic.
Our focus was to share a simple three-step process: become an expert, build your expert network, and share your expertise. It’s the second and third parts that really affects how powerfully you build your personal brand. Engineers are naturally good at becoming experts and growing this expertise over time.
What’s less natural is to work at growing your network of experts and sharing the expertise that you’ve acquired and strengthened over time. We looked at traditional ways of becoming an expert and growing this expertise as well as new ways. Some traditional ways like mentoring from central engineering teams are becoming extinct while other ways such as formal classes, books, conferences, and trade & industry magazine articles are still effective. More recent ways are communities like our Emerson Exchange 365 global community, LinkedIn groups, blogs, social media, YouTube & TED Talk videos, etc.
Building your expert network takes proactive measures. When at conferences like the Emerson Exchange, are you getting business cards from all the experts you meet? Better yet, are you sending out LinkedIn connection invitations with a quick note of your face-to-face exchange? We even highlighted a cool feature in the LinkedIn app where you go into “Find Nearby” mode with Bluetooth® wireless technology enabled and you can quickly connect with those around you. A great thing for your project meetings and internal company meetings to connect with your fellow experts.
Using hashtags (think filters around a certain topic) in Twitter & LinkedIn is also a good way to see who the influencers in the topic are, and with whom you might want to connect.
Finally, sharing your expertise may be the part that comes least naturally for you. Start slowly by sharing articles that you find of interest to you, that you think your connections would like. Add a quick point of view or a meaningful quote from the article. You’re acting as the curator for your connections. Your personal brand builds with each post your connections see from you. Build from there to write posts in the Emerson Exchange 365 community or LinkedIn and push yourself to present at a conference or two each year.
The key with sharing is to schedule time to do it—whether 5 minutes a day or 30 minutes in one chunk sometime during the week. This time is an investment in building a powerful personal brand. It’s something we encourage our subject matter experts around Emerson to do.
If you take on the challenge in building a powerful, personal brand, I’m betting you’ll see opportunities open throughout your career. Keep me posted with how it goes for you!