Are you an expert in your field?  A thought leader?  A brilliant visionary?  Well, I’ve got some good news.  There’s never been a time in our history when we’ve had as many different, powerful, and creative ways to spread the word about this fact to potential customers and employers.

This type of activity falls under the umbrella of “personal branding” and can play a major role in helping you gain visibility among the right audiences.  For example, there are many professionals and consultants today who choose to launch a blog where they can share their insights with the world on a regular basis.  If you’ve got some interesting stuff to say, this can be a smart option, since all of your content gets picked up by Google and other search engines.  Alternatively, you could record a few high-impact videos and upload them to YouTube, similar to the one here I recently featured from Debbie Whitlock.  Or you could author some white papers to share with employers.  Or write a column for a newspaper or trade journal.  Or seek out speaking engagements in your local community.  Or record a series of podcasts.  Or, or, or…

The point is, if you’re in a field where being a “recognized expert” is important to your success, and you haven’t done the best job in the past about promoting yourself, publicly, there’s no better time than the present to address this problem.  You just have to think carefully about your various options and then take action to make something happen.

Want a great example of personal branding in action?  Check out the recent article here that featured a good friend of our firm, Anna Prata, who is an interim executive and business turnaround expert.  Anna was recently named one of the “Top 10 Interim Executives in the Country” by InterimCEO.com, an honor that came about in part due to the contributions she had made to a white paper on leadership several months earlier.  By taking the time to put her ideas in print, and have them picked up by the Associated Press, she greatly raised her visibility in the field, leading to recognition from the folks at InterimCEO.com and the subsequent consideration for the site’s “Top 10” distinction.  This branding maneuver has had the happy result of channeling a number of fresh leads and inquiries in her direction, and also gives her a very tangible, compelling document she can send to companies and recruiters who would like to know more about her capabilities.

So again, for those of you out there who fancy yourself to be luminaries in your field, make sure you have a branding and PR strategy that will extend this perception out to the marketplace on a regular basis.  Being a “legend in your own mind” doesn’t tend to get you very far or steer many profitable opportunities your way, after all!