In a previous post I wrote about senior execs blogging for a number of reasons one of which was personal branding. As part of my career transition I decided to establish a personal brand as way to better explain myself to hiring managers and to differentiate myself from other candidates. The goal was to become known for more than just what was on my resume. I wanted to highlight my "value proposition" in a way that would help make me an attractive candidate.
There are a number of ways of doing this. A website, writing articles, making professional presentations and blogging were all possible ways of doing this. I chose to author a blog on IT and Business strategy as a way of demonstrating my ability to highlight my expertise in both areas and to be able to act as a bridge between both worlds in a way many other CIOs do not.
So why did I choose to write a blog?
In looking at blogging I've come up with 10 reasons to use a blog to establish your personal brand.
- It is yet another form of networking - Through blogging and linking and contacting other people you have the opportunity to expand your network in way you could not have done otherwise. I have established at least a dozen excellent networking contacts through blogging than I would not have been able to do otherwise.
- It helps to keep your name "fresh" with your network - One of the rules of networking is to keep your name in front of your contacts so they don't forget about you. RSS feeds and email subscriptions make this easier and can give your contacts useful information without the overt pressure of you asking for a job lead.
- It is a great form of viral advertising - Blogs can help to give you a web presence and get your name out to the whole world. Many prospective employers will Google you before the interview (as you should Google them). Blogging will build your search engine presence. One master of blogging says that "blog" stands for "Better Listings On Google." In my experience, that is certainly true. In addition one of my subscribers by email mentioned that she often sends my emailed posting to her friends which further gets my message out.
- It is a great form of "pull" marketing - It is a promotional strategy to create a demand complementing the "push" marketing of your advertising i.e. resume. As a result of blogging I've been asked to speak about personal branding and a trade journal will be featuring my blog in an upcoming edition. What a great way to establish my expertise.
- It keeps you in the game - When we start a job search we leave our professional world behind and concentrate on networking, resumes, networking, interviews and networking. In today's world, a few months away from a subject is an eternity. By writing about current topics in your field you "stay in the game".
- It demonstrates comfort with and a mastery of current technology - It shows that you "get" current technology which is especially important for more senior job seekers. Blogs can help counter the perception older folks don't understand the use of technology.
- It shows a maturity and depth of experience - Blogs give you the opportunity to showcase your expertise and thinking in more detail than a resume. This can be especially useful for younger job seekers by countering the perception they lack "depth".
- It helps to answer the third question - Hiring manager basically have 3 questions: (1) Can this person do the job? (2) Will this person do the job? and (3) Will this person "fit" with our culture? A resume goes a long way toward answering the first 2 questions but provides no insight to the all important third question, a blog does.
- Blogging builds writing muscle - Writing well is tough, and the discipline of saying something meaningful in 500 or so words is even tougher especially when you have a deadline based upon your regular posting schedule (Thanks to Kent Blumberg for pointing this one out.)
- Its fun - Blogs offer the opportunity to discuss issues with others and what can be more fun than a good healthy debate?
In my earlier post I mentioned that blogging is not for everyone. However, if you are willing to make the commitment it can be an excellent way of establishing your personal brand.
What are your reasons for blogging?
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