6 Tips on Enhancing Your Visibility

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written by Ellen Freudenheim, MPH

“If you build it, they will come,” they say.

A logical networking corollary might be: If you’re visible, you will be seen.
Typically, people who are in a career or job shift are encouraged to network. But why not direct your networking traffic so it flows in both directions, increasing the likelihood that the very people you want to meet will start seeking you out, too?

Here are some tips for enhancing your own public profile as a networking strategy.

TIP #1: Start a personal website and blog. Sure, everyone’s doing it. But if you want to establish your credibility, air your views, and establish yourself as someone who’s hip to the communications revolution, having a personal website and writing your own blog is a logical (some might say necessary) step. Let people know it exists; use this as a marketing tool.

TIP #2: Take a leadership position in an organization or community you already belong to. There couldn’t be a more traditional, time-tested way to showcase yourself than by taking on high visibility volunteer work, such committee chairperson for a major event in your community. Still, it works. Warning: these volunteer positions can sponge up all your spare time—almost as much as a blog does.

TIP #3: Host a political fundraiser. For better or worse, election season is upon us– and will be until November, 2008. Virtually every candidate running for federal and state office is looking for new people to host a fundraiser or so-called meet-and-greet for even as few as a dozen people in a home setting. Often the campaign will supply names of potential guests as well as provide organizational backup, a speaker and informational material—and help you clean up afterwards. If politics, social change, or public policy issues are part of your personal portfolio, this one-shot investment of your time may prove a good way to meet new people and hob nob with some connected individuals.

TIP #4: Make yourself visible on social networking sites online, for instance, www.boomster.com. On our site, you can find other baby boomers like you who are looking for people they can work or partner with and share experiences and advice.

TIP #5: If you’re transitioning to a new line of work, attend professional meetings in whatever field you’re thinking of switching to. For example, if you’re interested in starting an art gallery, attend every opening you can, and contact the National Association of Art Gallery Owners.

TIP #6: Get published. It doesn’t have to be The New York Times. If you have a passion or point of view, especially if it relates to a field of work you are exploring, then write about it. Having a letter to the editor, opinion piece, or essay printed in your local paper, a professional newsletter or church or synagogue bulletin is a good way to get your name in circulation. And if it doesn’t get into print, then post it on that new blog.