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6 Strategies to Raise Your Professional Standing Without Stepping on Toes

In a world where personal branding increasingly feels like a winner-take-all contest, it’s tempting to pull out all the stops to stand apart. But that often has unintended — and unwanted — consequences.

Even in the most competitive industries, nice people really do tend to come out ahead.

Where does that leave you, a normal person who wants to boost their professional standing without putting anyone else out?

You’ll need to think more creatively than you’re accustomed to, that’s for sure. Here’s how to get started.

1. Develop and Promote a Personal Website (Even If You Have a Great LinkedIn Already)

LinkedIn is the hub of your professional life, but it’s not the be-all-end-all. A well-rounded professional presence has other important nodes too.

Make your personal website one of those nodes. Your personal website should complement your LinkedIn profile with a robust press mentions section, a longer bio and work history description, clips of relevant recent work, and possibly a blog where you feel comfortable sharing insights about your industry.

2. Be Seen on the Circuit (Virtually or Otherwise)

You have valuable insights to share with your professional community. Why not put yourself out there?

Take a page from former Green Dot CEO and entrepreneur Steve Streit’s playbook and appear at conferences, roundtables, and webinars relevant to your industry.

You don’t have to hire an agent (yet) to manage these appearances, but make it clear to the professional contacts that you’re willing to participate.

3. Publish Original Content on Your LinkedIn Profile

Your personal website’s blog is unlikely to get a lot of traffic, unfortunately. Make sure your insights aren’t going to waste by leveraging a much more popular web property to share them: LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s own guide to publishing on the platform show how easy it is to communicate with your followers here. Its content creation tools continue to be its most undersold feature.

4. Up Your Twitter Game

A riddle for you: how does a professional use Twitter?

Answer: carefully.

Laugh all you want, but do be careful. Pick the wrong argument on Twitter and you’ll do more harm than good to your professional standing. Use the platform to participate in free-flowing but always positive conversations related to your industry.

5. Position Yourself As a Resource for Younger Professionals

You can do this online and in the real world, but don’t do it. Once you reach a certain point in your career or (gulp) age, younger professionals will look to you anyway.

Not sure you can spare the time? Remember that the benefits of mentorship go both ways. When you invest time in supporting and championing rising stars, your own reputation improves, and you might find yourself in line for projects or promotions that once seemed out of reach.

6. Keep Pitching and Don’t Be Disappointed by Rejection

Finally, pitch new projects and ideas until you’re blue in the face. Because you definitely don’t want to be the person who jumps at every top-down project, cutting ahead of more qualified coworkers.

A kinder, gentler approach is to create and sell your own opportunities.

Make Your Presence Felt

You have a lot to offer your industry. You’re more than capable of making your mark on the world. You’re just not sure you have what it takes to stand out when all the benefit seems to accrue to the loudest, most controversial voices.

Good thing you don’t have to match them. As we’ve seen, there’s another way — a way to stand out from the crowd and boost your professional profile without courting controversy or keeping others down.

These seven tactics can help you make your presence felt in your field. And you’ll still be able to sleep at night.


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