In this age of increasingly mobile ways of working, it’s becoming highly important to have a distinct personal brand. The reason for this is simple, being away from the team workplace means you are less visible, especially if this is your main mode of working. Less visible means being less in the mind of others, the boss, the organisation. As remote working becomes more common, people are realising that it’s suddenly more difficult to get noticed, to build a reputation and ultimately, even to get promoted.
What you need is to have a presence, even when you are not physically present. So yes, on top of everything else, you need to factor into your daily role ways to promote you!
Now, I’m not suggesting that you have to blow your trumpet at every single opportunity. No one likes the person who’s always ‘shouting off’ about how brilliant they are. This requires something much more intelligent than that. This requires a marketing strategy, similar in many ways to how unknown manufacturers need to create a market presence for their products. Here are a couple of key ways you can think about this:
Leave a trail!
We all know when a snail has visited our garden chair, even though they are nowhere to be seen. So think about how you leave a (less sticky) trail so that anyone can see what you’ve been up to. Technology can be useful to us in this regard. Many systems now leave an activity trail, logging what you and others have been up too. We use Basecamp, but there are lots of databases and crm tools that do the same thing. Don’t miss the opportunity to log where you have been and what you have been doing. If you have a social tool within the business, a Slack or Yammer type facility, don’t be shy about communicating with your team about what’s been happening.
Work on your personal identity.
It’s an obvious thing to say, but it’s important to recognise that when you do meet physically with colleagues it’s a much bigger deal, especially when you normally work separated from them. We would do well to go along to get along. Using physical meetings as more than a way to get the work done, but also as a way to secure our personal brands in the minds of the others is crucial. That means you need to sort out what your brand is! It’s not hard, just think about how you want others to perceive you, even before you’ve opened your mouth, through to the moment you walk away from them. Write down a few descriptors. List ideas about the impact you want to leave with others, then use that to inform everything from the way you dress to the way you interact while with them.
There are many advantages to working in a remote environment, but it’s important to recognise that there are some disadvantages too. Work out how you can inject back in some of those things that are lost as a result of working in a dispersed team. There are lots of ways to do that, the hurdle is recognising the need in the first place. Start to develop your own strategies for being ‘present’ even when apart, it’s a long game of influence, but like any good brand you have to invest in taking it to market.