Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Are you building your personal profile?

One of the greatest ways to build your personal profile is to run seminars. In-house seminars if you work for an organisation, or public seminars if you run your own business.

Internal: For the employee, it’s the key to career advancement and becoming the subject matter expert within the business. For example... imagine you are the IT expert in the business... you run a monthly 'Get the Most Out of Your Computer' workshop, FOC for any staff. You can be sure that one month a member of the Senior Leadership Team will attend your 'Techniques for Emptying Your Inbox' session. I am certain that down the track if you then applied to be the IT guru transferred to Dubai (if that’s what you want to do?) you would get some preferential treatment.

External: For the business owner, it’s the same gig. You may be one of 25 real estate agents in downtown Manly. If you’re the one running the free quarterly property update on Residex prices, what is selling and why - people will come to know you. The quality of prospect you create is amazing and the standing you get in the community is huge.

Here are some tips for making this work:

1: Don’t be too smart for your own good.
Choose topics that make sense. E.g. How to reduce your inbox to zero / How to speak in public / How to sell your house for the most money in a tough market. Don’t be too creative.

2: Grow your network.
You need a list of people to invite. For the internal employee this is often easy. The 500 staff working in the Melbourne office are a perfect list. Simply go through HR or L&D to gain permission and the correct approach.

For externals, it’s a little bit harder. One way is to create a 7-page word document that you can send as a fact sheet/special report or e book. You might then place an add in the local paper, but primarily promote the special report as the reason for contacting you. Then, from the list of people who request the special report - you have your invite list for the event.

If no one requests the free report then at least you know your topic is a fizzer and you have saved yourself the embarrassment of running an event no one turns up to.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Who are the Thought Leaders in your organisation?

I've recently spent some time mentoring amazing thought leaders (subject matter experts) within large organisations. I call these thought leaders 'intrapreneurs'.

They often say to me.. 'I'm not a thought leader, I'm just doing my job'… Seriously though, they are.

Sure, they may not sell their expertise as a well known author or conference speaker, but they often speak at conferences. They may not get paid to coach individuals, but they are doing it all the time in their day-to-day jobs.

In my mind, the 'intrapreneurial' thought leaders who may be the head of Learning & Development within an organisation, or the Project Manager on a major project, are just as much a thought leader as the well-known author speaking at their annual conference.

Your senior partner could and should have a book published. They all share the same fundamental issues. It’s only the commercialisation of their ideas that differ.

It seems to me there are 9 fundamental questions you need to be able to answer well in order to establish yourself as a thought leader (subject matter expert) in any field...

  1. How is it relevant?
  2. Do you know how others think?
  3. How can you be persuasive?
  4. What do you know?
  5. How do you communicate?
  6. How do you sell what you know?
  7. Who are you?
  8. What do you do?
  9. Who needs that?
Each of these questions, as simple as it sounds, has a whole amount of learning and depth attached to it.