I’m a good person to know.
Or so I’ve been told a bunch of times. And every time I hear it I’m in awe. Every time someone connects with me on LinkedIn, shoots me an email for a speaking engagement or asks me to join their team, I’m humbled and a little shocked. Because I remember, just a few years ago, I was struggling through a job search and no one knew who I was.
Building a brand is easy and anyone can do it. In fact, you build a brand whether or not you’re conscious of it. Since it’s going to exist no matter what, why not make it a good one? Here are three simple ways I built my professional brand.
I Found My Passion
A good brand is authentic and true to you. If you don’t brand around authenticity then your brand won’t serve you. Your professional brand is who you are and what you bring to the table. Your brand makes a promise you have to fulfill. If your brand is inauthentic to you, you’ll never be able to meet its expectations.
I got into Customer Success by way of Customer Support and I wasn’t immediately in love with it. Customer Support can be very draining when you don’t know how to take care of yourself and in my early twenties I really didn’t. It wasn’t until I transitioned to recruitment--a sales role--that I realized how much I loved post sales relationship management. I also realized I loved nurturing talent (coaching) more than filling spaces in tech companies. Once I realized this, I never looked back.
I Made Sincere Connections
I love Customer Success, so it wasn’t hard to immerse myself in a pool of other CS professionals. I went to events, set up zoom calls and talked shop with people I could learn from. One morning coffee led me to a woman named Megan, who ran a networking group in Sweden for women in customer success. She asked me to run the NY chapter. Two years later I’d branched off and founded ThriveNetwork. Throwing publicized events open to the tri-state area brought me to the forefront of the community.
I Sought Proper Opportunities
Influencer culture can be intimidating. We don’t all have budget, time and space for high quality videos and sound bites. But it can sometimes feel like that’s the only way to make it. Writing is my passion and, in the spirit of being authentic, I started a blog where I talk about the two things I loved most: working in tech and Customer Success. My first article, So You Want to Be a Customer Success Manager, still brings me LinkedIn connections.
Writing led me to speaking opportunities on panels, roundtables and podcasts. I love public speaking so it felt like a natural next step. Because these things are authentic to me, I also seek out chances to do them. It’s important to seek out opportunities you’re comfortable with. It’s important to be comfortable seeking opportunity in the first place.
As a closing note, remember that brands don’t just get you jobs, they should guide you through your career. They’re a blueprint for the behavior you exhibit and the results you get.
Go build that brand. Be a good person to know.
Cairo Amani is a career coach, tech influencer and customer success leader living in Brooklyn NY. Learn more about her at cairo-amani.com and connect with her on linked in at www.linkedin.com/in/cairoamani