CRE­ATE CON­TENT

Finweek English Edition - - MANAGEMENT -

As a knowl­edge worker, it can be hard to demon­strate your ex­per­tise to any­one be­sides your boss. But the ease with which any­one can pub­lish con­tent on the In­ter­net has given us a pro­found op­por­tu­nity. Just as a graphic de­signer has a port­fo­lio to dis­play his best lo­gos and brochures, you should be cre­at­ing in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty (blog posts, podcasts, video­casts – even a savvy and pro­fes­sional Twit­ter feed can count) that demon­strates your ex­per­tise. If you’ve changed ca­reers or you’re try­ing to move up the lad­der at your com­pany, oth­ers may still think of the old you. Cre­at­ing solid con­tent re­minds peo­ple of your new skills and knowl­edge and en­ables peo­ple to judge you based on the qual­ity of the ma­te­rial you pro­duce, not your his­tory or cre­den­tials.

Lever­age so­cial proofPsy­chol­o­gists love to use the term “so­cial proof ”. It means that peo­ple look to oth­ers around them to judge the value of some­thing. (If a book has 1 000 five-star re­views on Ama­zon. com, it must be good.) So how can you lever­age this heuris­tic to help your ca­reer? If you’re go­ing to bother get­ting in­volved with a pro­fes­sional or­gan­i­sa­tion, you should make a point of tak­ing a lead­er­ship role, be­cause the so­cial proof of be­ing seen as a leader will have ex­po­nen­tial ben­e­fits. Alan Weiss, a con­sul­tant who was the pres­i­dent of the New Eng­land chap­ter of the National Speak­ers As­so­ci­a­tion in the mid-Nineties, thought his busi­ness would de­cline dur­ing those years be­cause of the ex­tra time com­mit­ment the po­si­tion re­quired. “But to my sur­prise,” he told me, “I did about $250 000 more busi­ness. The vis­i­bil­ity nat­u­rally ac­crues to you, and even though you don’t seek it out, peo­ple come to you for in­ter­views and ad­vice. Your vis­i­bil­ity grows and your brand grows.”

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