As Rise 2021 draws to a close, Kat Savage writes her fourth article for IBC365 and reflects on what being a part of the mentoring programme has meant for her and the progress she has made over the past six months.
In November, we did our final two sessions to cover the second half of Personal Branding and LinkedIn. This was followed up with the ‘wrap up’ party in London where there was a mix of the girls involved in the Rise programme, the organisers, mentors and Adam Tilbury-Eld – who led our LinkedIn session - was able to attend, so nice to finally meet him in person!
At the start of November, we did our final session on Personal Branding with Sallee Poinsette-Nash who went over the key points from her first session. We had to figure out how to make our career brand (who you are professionally) stand out clearly in our minds.
She took us through hints, tips, and tricks to look at the bigger picture and market ourselves well. This approach would allow us to build credibility and evoke emotions and feelings from people with whom we might cross paths in the future.
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Sallee reminded us to give people just enough information to get them interested but wanting to know more. A big part that I took from this is doing anonymous surveys with colleagues, friends, and family allowing you to have a clear picture of how you are truly viewed. Honestly, it’s nerve racking to do this, but it helps you shape yourself for a better you.
The next steps would be thinking about future branding:
- Who I could be (work & life list)
- How it could make me feel (to be, to do, to experience)
- My audience (same as today)
- How I can amplify my brand (who you can collaborate with)
We also looked at the 1cm rule that Sallee highly recommends. It looks at setting yourself achievable goals to move towards a reality that doesn’t just feel great but helps your career. Once you’ve got some goals laid out look at extending this over a 12-month period which Sallee calls the 30cm goal.
Think of it as a long-term career goal and then tie your goals together with a road map for your career. By creating a brand roadmap, it keeps you visible, on track and accountable. Combining all this information whilst being focused and driven can really accelerate your career and meet each and every one of your goals.
For me personally, it has allowed me to see where I’d like my career to go and now, I can plan my roadmap for the coming year and hopefully see the results.
Learning about LinkedIn
The following week we joined Adam for our final session on LinkedIn. He began by observing how far we had all come with our LinkedIn profiles. He followed this up with further tips of more things we could do with our LinkedIn, including the use of Creator Mode which allows you to expand your reach on LinkedIn as well as potentially having more influence. Using Creator Mode makes it easier for anyone looking at your LinkedIn profile to follow your updates, posts, and progress which in turn may mean your content is viewed by a wider audience.
I’ve certainly updated my profile to reflect advice from the first session that Adam did!
Next, we looked at who we should be connected to:
- Mutual connections
- 1st Tier connections improves how far and wide you are seen
- Accept all connection requests
- When adding people limit yourself to 5-50 people a week, remaining open minded
People you should immediately add are:
- Current colleagues
- Former colleagues
- Current clients/partners
- Networks you’re already involved in (in this case, Rise)
Over time you’d then look at adding the following:
- Industry specialists
- Influential people in your business area and region (have a network relevant to your goals)
- Superusers (also known as top networkers)
- Recruiters (well connected)
- Engagers (people who attract positive attention)
The main thing I took from updating my LinkedIn is to be genuine when branding “You”. Adam got us to focus on what we should be posting, how often and what the value of sharing vs commenting would mean. For example, you can always share something someone else has posted. However, it’s the comments that drive LinkedIn and therefore bumping your post back up to the top of people’s feeds allows it to be seen by as many as possible. Going forward with my LinkedIn I intend to keep it up to date and try to post as much as I can, hopefully increasing the traffic on my profile and helping to expand my network.
Over the last 6 months I have learnt so much from the various sessions and my mentor (Take 1 chief operating officer) Stephen Stewart. I feel as though I’ve gained a good deal of confidence and have a much clearer idea of which direction I wish my career to take.
Joining the Rise community has given me the opportunity to meet so many people and it’s given me the chance to get back into networking, something I haven’t done for a very long time. I’ve come to realise my strengths - and learn my weaknesses enabling me to turn them into strengths. I no longer have a fear of speaking out and believe the Rise program has been a big part of me being where I am now!