Michelle B. Griffin aka The Brand Therapist℠ is a strategist, speaker and author who’s devoted her career to connecting people, growing communities, and building brands. With her personal brand consultancy, BRANDthority, she teaches industry experts worldwide to clearly communicate their story, confidently share their message and positively grow their authority and businesses using her BrandGPS™ Roadmap System. Michelle’s debut book, The LinkedIn Branding Book, is available on Amazon.
No matter your industry or position, we’ve all observed from the sidelines as others achieve their goals and secure opportunities that we believe should have been ours.
These “seen and sought-after” professionals seem to rise out of nowhere, accumulating accolades, promotions, industry opportunities, and achievements that we know we deserve.
How do they seem to rise up in their industries? What’s their secret? Are they more talented, better connected, educated, or perhaps more extroverted? These were the questions I faced when I left my executive marketing role to launch my consultancy three years ago.
Until then, like many leaders, I overlooked the importance of brand building while busily managing events, campaigns, and teams for someone else’s brand.
The Secret to Standing Out
To learn what drives these recognized authorities, I spent months on LinkedIn analyzing their profiles, thought leadership content and networking strategies. I found a pattern these executives and experts shared:
- They showed up consistently.
- They were givers, sharing their knowledge, stories, and support.
- They focused on solving problems and serving others.
- They built trust and became sought-after experts.
- They became visible, recognized, and credible.
The research taught me this: there’s no secret or hidden formula; it’s simply the power (and payoff) of putting yourself out there.
The Power of Visibility
“Visibility is not vanity. Viability is being valuable.”
I encourage many of the hidden high achievers I work with on their quest to step out online with this line. That’s because being visible isn’t about standing in the spotlight just for the sake of it. It’s about showcasing your value, sharing your expertise, and making a tangible impact. It’s about building trust, driving change, and facilitating growth.
Visible leaders are not only recognized for their role but also respected for their knowledge and insight. They’re the ones we notice — consistently present, contributing to conversations, offering solutions, and, most importantly, serving others.
Find Courage and Clarity: Three Steps to Preparing for the Leap
Stepping into the spotlight takes courage. Many C-suite executives grapple with fears and uncertainties that can hold them back but these three mindset shifts can help.
First, acknowledging your fears is the first step to overcoming them and an essential part of the journey to visibility. In my recent publication, The LinkedIn Branding Book, we listed nearly 30 fears that keep the best and brightest held back. Among the top stumbling blocks are fear of criticism, fear of oversharing, and fear of not being ‘interesting’ enough.’
Second, you have value someone needs. Your experiences, insights, and expertise are impactful for those behind you in their journey. As an industry leader, your perspective can inspire others, drive change, and stimulate growth. You have a wealth of knowledge to share, and your voice deserves to be heard.
Third, it’s essential to establish clarity before you step into the spotlight. Know your values, your strengths, experience and perspectives only you can give. Clarity and a point of view about your personal brand will guide your journey to visibility, helping you share your story with authenticity and confidence.
“LinkedIn is your launching pad” is the line I use often to demonstrate its newfound benefits for personal branding and thought leadership. No longer solely a resume and CV portal, LinkedIn is where can step out from the shadows and into the conversation. It’s your opportunity to shape your narrative, build credibility, and establish yourself as an industry thought leader.
Higher stakes mean higher visibility — your profile should no longer look and read like a resume. Update and optimize your profile to stand out with a strong “first impression factor” that’s clear, compelling and credible.
With your authority-focused profile, get out there and start conversations — engage with your network, share insights, and spark meaningful discussions.
Commit to the Process and Payoffs
Embracing visibility and building your brand isn’t a one-off. It’s a journey that begins with a single step and compounds daily with the right strategy and outputs.
It’s a stair-step approach, starting with:
- Sharing your knowledge: Got a unique insight or an interesting perspective? Share it on social media or write for industry-specific publications to enhance your online presence and stimulate meaningful dialogues.
- Networking proactively: Networking is not just about attending events. It’s about engaging with others, exploring collaborations, and building relationships (both online and offline)
- Focusing on problem-solving: Use your visibility platform to offer solutions, not just to your organization but to the industry as a whole.
- Consistently growing: Commitment is the key to visibility. Make sure you’re regularly showing up, engaging with your network, and sharing helpful content.
- Engaging in speaking and podcast guesting: These offer a wider stage to showcase your expertise and a chance to connect with a broader audience.
Visibility = Opportunity
There’s no secret to becoming a sought-after leader in your company and industry. It’s about making your presence known, connecting with your audience, and consistently offering your expertise and insights.
Embracing visibility may feel daunting, especially if you’re accustomed to a more behind-the-scenes role. By putting yourself out there, you not only amplify your personal brand, create impact and influence but also inspire others in your industry.
It takes time and commitment but the power and payoff of putting yourself out there are immense and rewarding. Remember, as a leader, visibility is an investment in yourself. Be seen, be valuable, be recognized and enjoy more impact and opportunities to build your career and business.