Sufi Stories

Celebrating innovation, creation and entrepreneurship

Catapult Your Personal Brand with ONE Killer Strategy

In a recent job interview, when Ingrid was asked about her areas of expertise, she brought up her blog on her laptop and walked the interviewer through the posts she had created on AI.

Ingrid had written a post comparing AI on various platforms and also detailed some case studies using AI on Amazon platform. In other posts, she had written about her experiences as a team leader with tips for aspiring managers.

personal branding strategyIngrid’s posts established her as a thought leader who had deep knowledge related to her job. When Ingrid was hired, her manager sent out an email introducing her as a “passionate blogger” and a great addition to the team.

In reality, Ingrid didn’t have more knowledge than the other job aspirants. However, her blog posts containing accomplishment stories, case studies and personal perspectives, catapulted her ahead of every other candidate in the room.

Writing a blog is not only the best way to establish credibility and build personal brand, it is also one of the most under-utilized by professionals.

How can a blog win you attention from future employers and also your current management?

Your Blog Gives You Authority

Why do blogger-employees enjoy so much clout in the job market?

Anyone can sign-up on LinkedIn and use the templates to create a killer profile. You can even check out the profiles of other professionals and steal some of their content and keywords. But these creative resume formats are no longer fashionable or effective. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is nowadays creating a spectacular resume. Employers are getting jaded with jazzy resumes filled with hyperbole.

What about a blog? You cannot simply generate a blog from a template. It does require some thought and a bit of work.

I mentor college graduates and corporate professionals, and I tell them, that a blog is the new resume.

What is a signal of knowledge and experience which is reliable and rare? Writing a blog!

Your blog shows that you have done things that require expertise, and that you can commit to something and follow through. You are passionate enough about your work to want to share it with others.

There are many instances when complete strangers, have reached out to Ingrid for her perspectives on the topics that she writes about. Her blog has raised her profile – and her own management is not unaware of it. Her manager often brings up her blog an example of creativity and knowledge sharing.

Is it surprising that the simple act of writing a blog establishes Ingrid as an authority in her field?

Let’s consider what happens in the rest of the world. When a journalist wants a comment on a topic where does he go? The expert, right? And how does he know that someone is an authority on that topic? Because they have published papers, written a book or a blog. Experts write out their case studies on blogs and share it with the world.

Having your own blog would win you credibility, and give a huge boost to your career.

Your Blog Demonstrates Your Courage

When you write a blog post, you put it out on the internet for everyone to see and judge. That requires pluck.

Your blog puts you in a place that most other candidates are unwilling to go – being judged – and it usually involves a good amount of work. Most of your competitors in the job market are not willing to take that risk, set themselves up to be judged, and show the entire world what they know or don’t know.

Your Blog Gets You Found

With time things get old, and new ideas are needed to capture attention.

When I was searching for a job 20 years back, I rooted out prospective employers in Yellow Pages, and snail-mailed them my “biodata”.

LinkedIn changed job hunting forever. Instead of the candidate chasing jobs, it’s now the recruiters who pursue job aspirants.

How does LinkedIn work? The jobseeker creates a profile on LinkedIn which functions as his resume. The recommendations and connections a person has on LinkedIn, raises his or her credibility in the eyes of a recruiter. The recruiter reaches out to the job aspirant through an “InMail” with an invitation to an interview.

But now, everyone has mastered LinkedIn. Everybody has thousands of connections, recommendations and stellar profiles.

You need something to distinguish yourself from the horde of candidates. Your blog gives you the pedestal to establish yourself as a true thought leader.

You can even put in a link to your blog in LinkedIn.

Blog posts in which you explain the case studies in detail, act as proof that you have “been there and done that”.

Your blog will act as a honeypot, bringing employers to you. It’s the best personal branding tool you could ever use not just to market yourself but to actually win in interviews.

Your Blog Gets You Promoted

Your blog posts on a particular topic establishes you as the go-to-person for that topic. Your management would recognize you as a great team player who loves to share knowledge, for the good of the company. Every company loves corporate citizens who show initiative and go beyond their job description.

Anything that helps other people talk about you is the best career growth tool possible. A blog facilitates word of mouth better than almost anything else. your blog puts your story into people’s mouths – in your words. A good blog post causes people to repeat ideas contained in it to other people. The best thing that can happen to you in your career is that people in your company start talking about you.

Do Employee Bloggers Get in Trouble?

Some do. And I fully blame them for their juvenile attitude, for they misused their blog posts, to share opinions about their companies that should never have been made public.

Blogs usually have a light, conversational tone which can tempt employees into talking about things they might normally reserve for private conversations. While some bloggers use their blogs to share personal information, others use them as platforms to generate debate about political or social issues. If you want to use your blog as a career booster, I would suggest using your blog as a portfolio of interesting work you are doing, and stay away from provocative topics.

Common sense dictates that as an employee blogger , you should not post anything you would not put in a company email or say in public. Your blog is your personal project – write your blog posts in your own time on your own equipment. And, obviously, you should not post information which is unlawful, harassing, or offensive.

Keep some simple rules in mind – your goal isn’t to debate your company’s policies or use your blog to vent frustration. Your blog is solely designed to be a living portfolio of the work you have done and should reflect positivity and passion.

We all disagree with many things and would like to change the world. But the blog you are writing as an employee blogger has only one purpose – to act as the marketing mouthpiece for your personal brand. Focus on your positivity not on frustrations. If you want to run a blog to discuss personal perspectives then it is best to completely separate it from your career-oriented blog. Think of your blog as an extension of your resume. Would you post a picture of your pooch on your resume? Would you write about your political views and

Considerations for Blog in the Workplace

To start writing a blog as a corporate employee, you need to first check out your company’s social media policy. Most organizations have clearly stated company blogging policies.

Inform your manager that you are planning to start a blog and have his ok in a mail – not just verbally. This way in future if your manager changes, you would have proof that your management had approved your blogging.

Make sure that on your blog you clearly state that all opinions are your own and not of your present or past employers, and that your blog does not represent official company communication.

Here are a few extracts from employee blogging policies of various Fortune 500 companies:

“Don’t reference customers or partners without their approval.”

“Employees are personally responsible for their posts. Be mindful that what you write will be public for a long time.”

“Identify yourself — name and role at the company — when you blog about your company or company-related matters.”

“You must make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of your company.”

“If you publish a blog or post to a blog and it has something to do with
work you do or subjects associated with your company, use a disclaimer such as this: ‘The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent my employers’ positions, strategies or viewpoints.’”

A balanced comparison may be acceptable, but you must always make sure that you do not disparage your companys’ competitors on your blog. The official company spokesperson is there to respond to competitors – your personal blog should should focus on positivity and your personal work.

Every piece of information that you mention on your blog must only be based on facts that your company has made public. Put in be publicly referenceable through active links, so that no one can claim that you are sharing company confidential information on your blog. Take care never to mention customer names or partners.

Your stories must respect the confidentiality of your customers. Generally speaking, you can share case studies but not name the customers – unless you are bound by confidentiality agreements not to share details of your work in any manner.

Say, you are a developer working on a software project. Your company would not like you to share the design details in your blog. In such cases, instead of case studies, your blog posts can contain general technology tips and tutorials for your readers.

The best employee blogs are those which contain industry trends, best practices and expert tips.

Your Next Steps: Jumpstart Your Career in 2019 with a Blog

Unlike freelance independent entrepreneurs, as a company employee you need to be more careful. However, as long as you take care to write your post within the company policies and discuss this in advance with your manager, you should be good.

Don’t be afraid of these considerations for employee bloggers. The very reason an employee blogger is so highly respected within the organization is because blogging as an employee takes a bit more work than blogging as an independent entrepreneur – and that is why there are so few employee bloggers out there.

In we have lots of free resources and books for getting you started. How to Write your First Blog Post with Confidence: Create Mind-Blowing Blogs with Zavesti Blog Template is a great resource for beginner bloggers. If you already have a blog and want to grow it to the next level then the book The Blogger Trailmap: How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level in Easy Steps can make the path easy for you.

Whether you are searching for a new job or looking to grow your career within your current job, your blog would be the secret weapon in your arsenal.

You would be surprised by the huge boost your personal brand would get from your blog.

Wishing you much success!