How valuable are you as a professional? When creating a marketing plan, one of the first steps is to clearly define our value proposition. In a few short sentences, we need to share what makes our business the right choice for our clients. Shift this thinking over to your own professional persona and ask yourself this question.
What am I worth as a professional?
If you aren't spending time growing your professional net worth, it could be costing you business.
1. Who makes up your contact list?
If you are on LinkedIn, you probably already know the power that comes from building a strategic network. To increase your professional net worth, expand your network to include people who can do what you can't. It's very likely that a prospect may need help with something that isn't in your realm of expertise. If you focus on adding professionals from diverse backgrounds, who also target your audience, you increase your value as a contact for your prospects. (If you're not on LinkedIn, call me.)
2. What unique skills do you offer?
Similar to a company value proposition, there are things unique about you that make you the one people want to do business with. What extra skills do you bring to the table? Is it a background in your industry, but also extensive sales experience? To find your added value, compile a list of skills you have that your competitors don't. Go beyond skills and list the contributions you make to the community. Look at your social channels and find ways to share about these skills and contributions, either through storytelling or other content. (Call me about this too, I've got ideas.)
3. How far-reaching is your social presence?
Have you heard of social currency? It's the sum of your social presence. Many businesses are more interested in what you can do for them online than any other incentive you can offer. A recent NPR discussion shared how the Marc Jacob's company values your social reach much more than cash. Can you share about your clients on leading blogs? How broad and engaging is your Facebook fan base? How many retweets do your tweets receive? How quickly can you fill up tables at a client's event? How many people follow your company blog? All of this contributes to your overall social currency value.
In addition to the scope of your presence, consider what others are saying about you. Nothing is more valuable than word-of-mouth testimony about how fantastic you are, and having a broad social presence gives your fans the opportunity to share about you (think tags, links, and referrals.)
Focus on reach and quality. Reach is important, but misusing social media can also do irreparable damage.
4. What's your plan for ongoing professional development?
Your professional net worth is made up of current skills and also the skills you are working to attain. Want a sure fire way to beat out the competition? Stay on top of industry trends. Become the walking internet for your industry. Nothing screams value more than influence, and if you're the one leading change in your industry or community, you're on the right track.
Growing a professional net worth takes time. It requires that you strategically choose channels, curate and develop valuable content, and engage with your connections. It's not something you need to tackle alone. Our company has created leadership positioning strategies to help set up your presence and build your professional net worth.
Reach out and schedule a free 30-minute consultation.
A version of this post first appeared on www.mymarketingcafe.com.
Jo Lynn Deal is an integrated marketing communications consultant. She helps small and mid-size businesses identify a powerful, unifying strategy and captivating voice for their brand, and roll it into every aspect of the organization—from advertising to sales, to customer service, to every support role and beyond.