Building up your personal brand is vital to supporting the growth of your business. Sharing your knowledge, raising your visibility, and being seen as an expert in your field all help you stand out with your target market.
But developing your brand into a platform that supports others can be even more valuable to your business in the long-term. Just think, if you help at least one person in your network each week by showcasing them in some way, in a year you’ll have 52 stronger relationships.
More people ready, willing and able to help you means more potential opportunities you’ll hear about and be able to create. And this expands your platform even more. It’s a virtuous cycle.
Here are 4 ways to use your personal brand to shine the spotlight on others, and in turn, shine more brightly yourself:
1) Share their content
Social media makes it easy to share a helpful or interesting post from someone you know (or would like to know) with those who know you. Their message gets distributed to a wider audience, your followers get the benefit of that knowledge, and your reputation rises because everyone see that you’re actively helping others, not just thinking of yourself. This is one of the easiest and high-value ways to use your personal brand.
When I was in Atlanta last year facilitating a social media discussion at an executive forum, I invited my friend Walter Akana, to meet up with me and shoot a quick YouTube video on how to craft your brand story. Not only was the video a lot of fun to make, it led to an introduction to Peter and an opportunity to write this guest post!
2) Sing their praises
A step up from simply sharing others’ content is to proactively include them in the content that you produce. Write about them in your articles and blog posts. When I wrote Smart Networking, for example, I knew I wanted to include success stories and examples from people in my network. If you run a podcast or radio show, invite them to share their knowledge in an interview. Use them as examples in your presentations. In other words, don’t hide your network from others; talk them up! This is name-dropping in a good way.
3) Spread the word
Whether it’s launching a new product, releasing a new book, or expanding into a new market, your contacts can always use more help with marketing and promotion. If you like what they’re offering and it’s in line with your values, do what you can to help out. For example, my friend Bob Burg, co-author of The Go Giver, recently released his latest book Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion. I’m such a big fan of his work, I was happy to share links with my social media friends and newsletter subscribers to download a free chapter.
4) Support their goals
Making a recommendation or referral is the most powerful way to use of your personal brand. A few years ago, a colleague sent around a job posting that I saw immediately was a perfect fit for another colleague who was looking to leave her current job. From the few minutes it took me to connect the two of them, I’ve gotten a tremendous return, not just in goodwill (which is always wonderful), but in tangible, bottom line results too.
There will always be times when contacts ask for help that you’re just not able to provide. That’s why whenever you can help – by using the strategies I outlined above — take the opportunity to create that win-win-win. Not only will you boost their brand, you’ll enhance yours as well.