In 2015, I wrote a blog on ideas to help you build your professional brand. I’ve done some speaking and teaching on this topic recently and as many of our clients are headed toward spring busy season, I thought it might be a great time to focus on some “easy” ways to keep your personal and firm brand top of mind during one of the busiest times of the year. As a result, I’ve updated that post to reflect the current time of year.
Your personal brand is your “professional reputation.” It’s affected by the way that you present yourself – your skills, knowledge and technical expertise – and how others (colleagues, clients, prospects and even personal connections) perceive you in return.
I’m going to touch on three ideas that you can set goals around so that you can continue providing value as a resource and thought leader to existing clients, prospects and your professional network during busy season.
- Retain a Specific Networking Goal
In my original post, I explored the importance of setting a strategic networking goal to encourage results out of your networking efforts. With the impending busy season, I want to now encourage you to set a networking goal that’s attainable even when you’re at your busiest. If you were attending two networking events a month previously, could you manage one networking event a month between February and April? Or one event every six weeks? Are there networking opportunities that would allow you to combine family time with your networking efforts (community events or social gatherings that allow guests)?
I encourage you to assess the networking organizations you’re part of and whether they still add value or if they’ve gone stale. A busy season networking goal could be to identify one or two new networking opportunities to try out during busy season so that post-busy season, you can jump right in and make new connections and get involved.
- Increase your social media presence
One simple way to stay active in your networking and thought leadership efforts (and that doesn’t require your physical presence somewhere!) is to increase your social media presence. Set a goal for yourself to post three times a week to your LinkedIn platform and whatever other places you’re active professionally. If you’re unsure what to post, look for articles that would be valuable to your social media audience (i.e. your clients, your referral network and your colleagues).
We’re regularly sharing articles and resources related to leadership, communication, practice management, business development and much more. Feel free to visit our social media pages, (Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+) and share some of the content we’re posting! You can also search our blog for posts that would be of interest to your audience. Your clients lead businesses, too, and will also find value in how to be better leaders, communicators and strategists.
- Plan to ask for feedback from your clients once you complete their work
In my original post, I explored the idea of holding out-of-cycle meetings with clients to learn more about their businesses and where you might be able to add additional value. For busy season, ask your clients how you can make a bigger difference for them in 2017. You probably already hold end-of-engagement meetings with your clients to discuss the deliverables and their financial situations. If so, you can garner this feedback as part of those meetings. Assuming your clients are satisfied with the work that you’ve done, you can let them know that you’re always seeking more ideal clients like them – and the greatest compliment they can provide is a referral to other organizations who could use your firm’s services. It should be a natural progression of the conversation when it’s approached like this.
These are just a few ways that you can maintain your personal marketing momentum when your workload gets heavier. Once you return to a better balance, I encourage you to choose some ideas from my original post to embark on this summer!
What other suggestions do you have to avoid “hiding out” from your business development and personal marketing activities during busier times? What tools do you use to make it easier to pursue your rainmaker efforts? We’d love to hear from you!