During the bad pandemic period, as layoffs were happening all around, I noticed something interesting.
Many project managers that were active online were able to get placed quickly.
Some of them even built their own freelancing consultancy quite effortlessly.
Because they had their own following. Built over the years.
They’d built their online authority.
Some call this personal brand, some influencer profile. But I call it for what it is: online authority in your field.
Before we jump in, take a moment to share this in your network and help someone that may need it.
By the end of this article, you will have the step-by-step blueprint to start building your online authority.
This is the easiest way to stand out from the crowd.
What crowd, did you say?
There are over a million PMP-certified project managers worldwide. And that’s just a small percentage of overall project managers. Look around you.
How many project managers are there in your company, and how many among there are PMP certified? This sample size should get you an idea about the size of the ‘crowd’.
Considering that the org structure is of pyramid type, there is less space at the top, and more contenders to fill that space.
By simply standing out, you can attract those opportunities without any specific effort at all.
As a manager, you manage one or more of these:
People. Resources. Schedule. Risks. Vendors. Outcome.
A simple way to grow faster than ever is:
👉To build authority in your field.
Here are 3 ways of doing it:
— Shiv Shenoy, PMP (@shivshenoy) September 9, 2022
What do I get by building online authority?
The world has, and our worlds have, been shaken in the past 2 years due to the pandemic.
Layoffs became all the more common, coupled with a bad economy.
Being active on LinkedIn, I noticed a trend.
Those project managers that were known online found it much easier to get another job.
Some even pivoted into creating massive value and building a freelancing business with their authority.
By building your online authority, you can –
- build a community to help & serve
- be on top of the mind of people that can hire you
- be approached by thought-leaders with opportunities
- build a strong professional network that can be leveraged
- create/recommend products and services in your niche
- offer your services to create a secondary income
- future-proof yourself quite easily
Most people, while understanding the power of building online authority, do not know how to proceed.
The fact is that it is much easier to build your authority online.
I built my business from the ground up, solely based on online authority.
I’m going to give you the blueprint to carve your online authority.
Recently, I ran a poll on LinkedIn for project managers.
I asked them a simple question:
Managers, which of these is most important for your career growth?
- Well-crafted resume
- Online authority in your niche
- Other (say in Comments)
Now, take a moment and list these in the order of importance for you.
The result was this –
Figure: Career growth measures.
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The first place goes to: Certification
It wasn’t a surprise, was it?
Getting certified, especially strong ones such as PMP, helps you get ahead in your career.
- Recognition in the industry
- Confirmation of the required knowledge
- ‘Foot in the door’ at companies that use it as filtering criteria
- Additional overall compensation (25% for PMPs over non-PMPs)
There are many project management certification options available, such as PMP, PRINCE2, PMI-ACP, and more.
Choose the one depending on,
- the long-term career path
- scope for knowledge implementation
- immediate opportunities at the workplace
If PMP is your choice, start here.
While certification is a great start, it goes only so far in your career growth.
What you really need, from a long-term perspective, is: to build your online authority.
That is, be known for what you do. Be on the top of the minds of people that can provide you with unbelievable opportunities.
For that, you must discover…
The Secret Ingredient to build authority online
You don’t need investment.
You don’t need influential connections.
You don’t need expensive gadgets or technology.
You can simply start from where you are.
You can start today.
In fact, I highly recommend you start today, based on this blueprint.
The basic ingredient to building online authority is WRITING.
- Write often.
- Build a community.
- Get people to follow you.
- Read about you. Read your content.
- Talk about you.
- Look up to you.
- Be your ambassador.
All this is done by simply writing about your work.
Essentially, you would –
- Educate your audience
- Teach them skills
- Share knowledge
- Make them think
- Entertain them, even
If you can write an email—and I’m sure you have written tons of them—you can do this.
What do I write about?
You write about what’s significant in your field.
You could be working as a manager in Information Technology, Biotechnology, Construction, Education, Supply-chain, Manufacturing, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Medical research, or any other field.
- Share what you know.
- Share what you wanted to know 3 years ago.
- Share what will help people in your field get ahead.
Now time to scale the approach.
You can write in 3 ways, basically.
- Write short blurbs (5-10 sentences)
- Write long articles (600-900 words)
- Write an authoritative book (80-120 pages)
Now, where do you write each?
Find a platform where people are already hanging about, and reach a wider audience.
- Write short blurbs on LinkedIn.
- Write long articles on Quora, Medium, Reddit, or industry forums.
- Write an authoritative book and publish it on Amazon – world’s largest platform.
This article falls into #2 above. About 1500+ words, teaching a specific skill (authority building) to a specific audience (managers).
The long-term game
Let us say, you want to hire a team member.
You go over hundreds of resumes and finalize 2 candidates to talk to. Both resumes look very similar, in terms of projects, technology, experience, and expertise.
You decide to look them up on LinkedIn.
Candidate A has a LinkedIn profile that tells you exactly what she has done in previous projects, strengths, accomplishments, and skills. She has her own technology blog, and she has written a book!
Candidate B’s LinkedIn profile looks abandoned. There’s not much information there.
Next, you google both of these names.
The search result brings up Candidate A’s technology blog, testimonials, articles from various forums, and an Amazon book link.
Candidate B’s search results show just the LinkedIn profile and Facebook profile with vacation photos.
Who has impressed you so far?
Who would you like to talk to first?
In fact, you probably should call Candidate A to the office, finish the interview in a hurry and make the offer. Lest another hiring manager would take her away.
That’s the power of online authority.
And online authority is useful to all managers – project manager, program manager, QA manager, Support manager, Technology leader, Senior managers, and everyone that wants to attract next-level opportunities.
- attract job offers
- get JV opportunities
- get called on podcasts
- get interviewed on blogs
- get freelancing offers
- coaching offers
- ..and more.
How do I start?
Start writing on LinkedIn.
Start sharing your posts once per week.
In a few weeks, increase to sharing alternate weekdays.
Go all the way up to sharing every single weekday, or all 7 days a week.
Here are a few ideas for you to create content –
- Write about things that a newbie in your field should know
- Write about the toughest part of your job & solutions
- Write about lessons you have learned in your career
- Write about what you should have known 5 yrs ago
- Write tons of content about your subject matter
- Write about upcoming industry trends
- Write your prediction in 5-10 years
- Write about your achievement
- Write about your failures
- Write about technology
If you could write, on average, 3 posts for each, you have 30 posts. And that would make for 15 weeks’ worth of content if you were to share 2 posts per week.
Not all that hard, right?
The step-by-step approach to start building your online authority
This is the best part.
- Step 1: Make a note of top influencers from your industry that are active on LinkedIn. These are people with 5K to 20K followers.
- Step 2: Every single day, visit their profiles and read their posts.
- Step 3: Some of these posts will resonate with you. Write a meaningful comment. Not just ‘nice’ or ‘100%’. Write a few sentences of thoughtful comments.
- Step 4: Some of these posts will trigger content ideas in you. Especially for the topics that you have experience in.
- Step 5: Maintain your own ‘idea file’—make note of all the content topics you can write about.
- Step 6: Keep 2 hours of time every weekend to expand on those content ideas.
Do this, and you will NEVER run out of content ideas!
Building your presence online, whether you call it influencer profile, personal brand, or online authority—is the best thing you can do for growing your career.
This is an ongoing process and the returns can be unimaginable.
In this article, I have given you the blueprint to get started on this process.
Once you establish your presence this way, the next step is to own your own domain and write blog posts. Then write and publish your first book.
Publishing your book gives you undeniable authority, with only upsides.
I should know. Because I have built my online companies from the ground up, only by building online authority.
If you need help with any of these—to get started writing on LinkedIn, writing an authority blog, or writing your first book—I am happy to help. Reach me on LinkedIn and send me a DM.
While on my profile, click the Bell icon to get my daily posts about building authority for managers.
All the best!