A while back, I worked at a company and I was, essentially, doing a sh*t job. The job itself wasn't sh*t. The job itself was sales. A standard sales role. Get some customers. Make them buy stuff. Cool. But I was sh*t. I wasn't hitting my sales target. I wasn't talking to enough people. The majority of our leads came through Microsoft and I wasn't well known enough within their business to make sure I had a steady stream of leads coming in.
My channel sales game was sh*t. My direct sales game was even worse. I'd sold f*ck all for nine months. Not a penny. Nada. Zero. At the point I thought I was literally going to be fired, my friend, Kate (the one with the hokey cokey mindset) invited me to a conference. A women in tech conference, Reframe. It's a northern meet up aimed at women who maybe don't always have the opportunity to get to conferences down south. You know that single motherhood, divorce, becoming a widow can happen to literally ANYONE, this conference took that into account.
When the hell was the last time you went to a conference and they had FREE CHILDCARE?! I am in no way associated with Reframe, but hot damn,.. ladies if you get a chance to go... DO IT!
I figured if I was going to do naff all sales anyway, I might as well have a nice day out and try and meet some people who might buy some stuff off me. As it happened, I met zero clients that day, but I did go to a talk by Penny Haslam. You know, the one off the tele. She did the business news on BBC Breakfast. And it changed my entire outlook on work. Lightbulb moment.
If you've ever met me before, you'll know I'm not really much of a wallflower. Never one to shy away from the limelight, or keep quiet. But believe it or not, I never really used to shout about what I did at work. I'd tell my boss how fantastic I was when it came to appraisal time but I didn't really use social media to let people know what I did.
In her motivational keynote Make Yourself a Little Bit Famous, Penny Haslam will show you how to power up your profile and get known for what you do. It can also be delivered online, as a workshop or lunch and learn. Read Penny Haslam's rave reviews.
Penny's talk explained why talking about what you do, and making yourself a little bit famous, would help you to take your career to the next level. I now recommend her book to everyone I mentor, actively encouraging people to put themselves out there and share their passion and knowledge with the world.
And you can see from my social media presence that I definitely do not shy away from telling people about what I do for a living now...
Without giving away too much of what the book says, one of the bits that really stuck out for me was the concept of PIE. No, not that kind of pie... Penny talks about work being made up of three areas: Performance, Image and Exposure.
Performance is your actual ability. It's about having the right skills to do your role. Image is how others see you and how you see yourself.
Exposure is the important one. It's about getting your name out there. Getting the recognition for your fantastic abilities and showing off your amazing image. This is the area we should be concentrating on if we want to move up the career ladder.
Listening to the talk and then reading the book afterwards made me realise that people aren't going to know how great I am unless I tell them about myself.
And spending all your time working on your skills and perfecting your image is pointless if you never actually get yourself out there. The first thing I did when I left that conference was take Penny's advice and posted a video on LinkedIn. Prior to that day, I would never in a million years have had the confidence to do that. I'd have sat perfecting what I wanted to say, writing a script, doing my hair over and over again, criticising myself, and putting it off until it never happened. I learnt that just getting on and doing something is a much better strategy.
The video I posted was cr*p. I know it was cr*p. I say 'erm' about 100 times in 2 minutes. I forget my point half way through. It is absolutely rubbish. But you know what? I posted it. People watched it. And I didn't die. In fact it kicked off conversations with people about having the confidence to post a video. It got me chatting to people I wouldn't ordinarily have spoken to. It started me on a journey of putting my thoughts and ideas out into the world, to make myself a little bit 'famous'.
Have you got the book?
Make Yourself a Little Bit Famous - by Penny Haslam
In today's noisy market place, it's crucial you find ways to get noticed. This book is jam-packed with stories, advice, case studies and encouragement. Penny shares her pro-tips on: