I love it when people tell me that they think my website is impressive, because that means my site has achieved its primary goal. By employing a streamlined and professional design and including my expertise in a flattering way, the site makes me look like a bigger deal than I am.
Now since I have a job as a public expert, a website that showcases my clients, media appearances, etc. is important. My online presence is many people’s first introduction to me, and I earn a living based on whether or not it inspires loads of confidence. This may or may not be the case for you, but fortunately, there are several other ways you can position yourself as a big deal right there in your home office. Among them:
If you haven’t been asked for your biography to include in a company publication or initiative yet, it’s coming. Most people make the mistake of dashing off - in about thirty seconds -a one-paragraph bio rambling off the years they worked at this company and that company. Don’t do this. Instead, carefully study the bios of the people in your industry who make a lot of money and garner a lot of accolades, and model yours after theirs. Remember to include things that are important to your audience (for example, my readers really respect a publication like the New York Times so the fact that I am a writer there is a big deal). When a strong bio serves as a first introduction, you are ahead of the game before you even open your mouth or shake hands.
Join professional associations, attend conferences, or do volunteer work that has you rubbing elbows with senior people in your field. Over time, develop personal, one-on-one relationships with these folks, and then introduce them to their senior counterparts at your organization. If you can be the source of a fruitful new partnership that helps everyone be more profitable, you will look like a big deal.
We’ve talked about the importance of appearance on The Fast Track before. If you want people to think you are a big deal, you have to take your effort up a notch. This means investing in professionally-tailored, high quality suits, shoes, and jewelry. If you work in an office where that would just look odd, try dressing one level above your colleagues. While on a recent flight, I read about Trunk Club, a Chicago-based service that picks out and ships custom outfits to regular guys who want to look like their CEOs. And, always make sure you are impeccably groomed.
Talk to the person in charge and get a slot to showcase your terrific results and how they’ve positively impacted the organization. Use the opportunity to demonstrate that you’re also a gifted public speaker who is going places and should serve as the face of the company more often. If necessary, take a course like Dale Carnegie to learn how the right words and the right flair can lift your reputation to dizzying heights.