As a marketer, you know that visibility is important. You likely spend a lot of time thinking about visibility of banner ads, or how to make packaging that pops off the shelf, or where to showcase your company brand so it reaches the ideal demographic.
But how much time do you spend each day increasing your own visibility?
Being visible and available is critical to building your brand. It's something you must do every day so you can attract ideal opportunities and advance your career.
I have been exploring the importance of continuous career management for the past few years. Along this journey, I've sought to determine how much time you really need to spend building your brand so you can maintain forward momentum and reach your goals.
The answer, I found, sits at the intersection of how much time you can focus on one topic and how much time you can realistically devote to things other than your huge volume of email, meetings, and teleconferences.
Educators and psychologists remind us that focusing one's attention on a single task is crucial for achieving goals. And many agree that 10 minutes is about the amount of time you can focus before your mind starts to wander.
But today, for the post-MTV generation, even 10 minutes seems like a lot of time. So I did research and became convinced that nine minutes is the ideal amount of time to devote to your brand every day. (You can learn about the number nine, and how I arrived at nine minutes a day, in this this brief video.)
The Importance of Continuous Career Management
The pace of change is accelerating. Accordingly, continuous career management is more important than ever. Decreased job tenure, increased fluidity in the job market, and drastically altered jobs and ways of working are the new norm.
Regardless of your level or your situation, actively building your brand will help you stay ahead of the competition.
Nine minutes is a short window of time that can easily be slotted into your busy day. Making your nine minutes a habit and part of your daily routine—like brushing your teeth—will add neither pressure to your schedule onr extensive additions to your "Do List." Nine minutes gives you complete focus—a time away from the daily grind to concentrate on the brand called you.
Nine Nine-Minute Activities
Here are nine activities you can easily slot into your nine minutes to help you stand out, get noticed, and achieve your goals:
- Build your network. Building and maintaining relationships is essential for a successful career. Identify one person in your professional LinkedIn groups and reach out to that person.
- Bolster relationships. Recommend and congratulate others in their careers; everyone enjoys being recognized, after all. Go through your network connections and identify someone you want to acknowledge. Nine minutes is all it takes to write a great recommendation, endorse that person, or send a congratulatory email.
- Get a seal of approval. Request recommendations from your network members for credibility. Go back to former colleagues and coworkers and send them a request for a recommendation, testimonial, or endorsement. If you're a marketing consultant, do this after every project.
- Record it. To stay current and relevant, document achievements and wins. Once a week, spend nine minutes documenting the previous week's major accomplishments. Then, when you have your annual review, you'll have a comprehensive list of all the great things you did.
- Be current. Update your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter status every day and make sure your profile and photos are current. People won't want to get to know you if you don't have a picture or if your profile looks out of date.
- Expand on your thought leadership. Lead a forum or group; publish an article (write it in nine-minute increments); write a blog or comment on one.
- Be real in the virtual world. Use the power of video: Create a video bio of yourself and publish it to YouTube. This is one week's worth of nine-minute activities. Day 1: Write a draft of what you want to say. Day 2: Get feedback, refine, and finalize. Day 3: Rehearse. Day 4: Record your three-minute video bio. Day 5: upload it to YouTube and promote it.
- Build a home on the Web. Link the different places you reside on the Web into one place, with sites like about.me, flavors.me, or vizify.com. Using these tools, you can actually set a site up in nine minutes! Then you can use your subsequent days' nine minutes refining and enhancing it.
- Research. Make an effort to get to know more about your clients or partners, colleagues, and competitors. LinkedIn is a great place to do some sleuthing. And Google Alerts (alerts.google.com) can help you stay on top of what key network members are doing.
Bonus Activity: Join the LinkedIn "9-Minutes a Day" group to get and share ideas for the most powerful brand-building tasks you can complete in nine or fewer minutes a day.
And remember to introduce yourself—it's good for increasing your visibility!
In Part Two of this article, I will share with you ways to make the most of your nine minutes of personal branding.
William Arruda, dubbed "the personal branding guru" by Entrepreneur, is founder of Reach Personal Branding, author of Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executives, and curator at Personal Branding TV. Reach him at www.williamarruda.com.