The energy industry will bounce back. Before it does, it is important to understand that the uncertainty in the industry is not just about the oil price. It’s about the future of careers. As you plan for your future, consider that there are opportunities to shine. For those looking for a change (either voluntarily or not) and for those interested in establishing themselves as experts in order to secure their future, this might just be your lucky break. Now is the time to think about your personal brand.
Personal brand is most visible in your online interactions. It is about how you present yourself, what people say about you and whether it is easy to recognise your work. Think about Apple and how easy it is to recognise an Apple product before you notice the Apple logo on it.
With social media, you can be a thought leader in the presence of an audience of millions. Rather than just one-to-one, social media provides you a room packed full.
This is not about a million followers on Twitter or fan clubs. This is about owning what you know, and getting what you want with the knowledge you have. You can do it comfortably by making these four considerations.
It is crucial that you understand who you are before anyone else can. What do you want to be known for? Just as important is your purpose. Why do you want to you share knowledge and interact with an audience?
The answers to these questions are personal. It could be that you want to be known as an expert in reservoir management to support your future ambitions. It could be that you want to attract new customers in a particular industry or that you want to run for a leadership role in your professional society.
The possibilities are endless. Whatever your goal, this should guide your online interactions such that you are consistent like a brand. Don’t say one thing today then contradict yourself tomorrow. If Apple suddenly started knocking out cheap "uncool" phones, we would be very confused. Focus your brand.
There are so many possible platforms you could sign up on and at one point I was signed up for almost all of them!
The secret is to do research on where your target audience are hanging out. If they are not on Twitter, then you don’t need to be on Twitter. For the energy industry, LinkedIn is the main platform where professionals in that industry engage, particularly through the LinkedIn Groups. There is also value in doing some research on how to engage on each platform you join.
Provide opportunities to get more information about you (or your business) by following up connections with a web link, an invitation to follow or via email. Engage your audience.
Let’s say you know your objective for being online and where your target audience hang out. Now what? Well, you need to actually participate to make progress with your personal brand. Setting up is the beginning but getting it going takes a bit more effort.
The beauty of interacting with the right audience is that you can easily get noticed. Only 10% of social media users interact! I know, shocking. The other 90% just watch, read or skim content. They don’t like, share or comment on content. What is even more valuable is if you are the 1% that actually create content.
Creating content is the most valuable way to engage online. It doesn't need to be long. You could write very short pieces focused on one idea, one theme. I could have broken this article into four separate pieces for instance, tackling each one of the personal branding considerations in different blogs. Seth Godin, renowned marketing guru, is known for his ultra brief posts. Check out one of his posts. If writing is not your thing, try videos or pictures with clear messages. These are shareable across multiple platforms and your audience will love you for it. Say something meaningful.
Honestly, there are few things worse than an abandoned personal brand. Think empty suit… And it’s commonplace for people to try things for a while, get discouraged and stop. I understand that. But what I’ve found after over seven years of personal blogging and publishing online content is that it takes time to build traction.
Online relationships, to be valuable, are very similar to real life relationships. People want to see that you’re genuine, consistent and in it for the long haul. To win their trust, you need to keep at it. Don’t be discouraged. It is this trust that leads to opportunities for collaborations, partnerships and whatever you are aiming for in profile.
Have the courage to change your approach as needed.In 2009, I deleted my first blog because it wasn’t working. My current blog has been up for five years with over 1,000 followers. I’ve made many changes but my personal brand is the same. My goal? To be inspired and to inspire the people to be great. Don't give up!
All the best with your personal brand, Pink Petro friends! I hope you shine.
This is a modified version of an article initially published on http://www.lr-senergy.com/blog/ on 03 February 2016