The word “visibility” has gotten a bit of a bad rap inside organizations. I’ve seen it associated with concepts of playing politics, whitewashing, and generally creating a false image.
If your great work speaks for itself, why worry about making yourself visible?
This has been a tough question for me personally, because I’ve fallen for the notion that my work should speak for itself. And generally it has, so I haven’t worried much about promoting it.
But the point is that my work can only impact the people who know about it. If I want to deliver more value to my employer and my customers, they have to know what I can do and why they might care.
That’s not playing politics. That’s helping me to help others.
It turns negative when you don’t focus on delivering useful and tangible things to others. If I promote myself to people who have no reason to care, I annoy them. If I don’t explain how I can help them, they won’t get it.
Here’s how to get the best results from self-promotion:
- What exactly is the value that you provide? How does your work help people to solve problems? How does your presence help to make their lives easier?
- Who is it that is having those problems today, or will in the future? Are they aware of those problems?
- How might you articulate how their life would be better if they knew about you? What would change FOR THEM if you could help?
- What are the ways that they would like to find out about you? Do they have connections with other people you know? Do they access certain resources in search of a fix to their problems?
- How can you do this in a way which is authentic for you and the image you’d like to build? Even if you want your image to be that “my work speaks for itself,” you can help your work to do that.
The value of investing in this kind of visibility is that it will likely give you more job security. When you become more valuable to your employer, they’re less inclined to let you go. Or at least, they’ll work harder to find another job where your skills can be used.
But they’ll only do that if they know why you deliver value.
by Carl Dierschow