If you’re not using social media to help advance your career – you’re making a huge mistake. I know that it can feel tedious, or the idea of self-promotion can feel icky, but utilizing the power of social media has given me tremendous opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have had.
Social media is a great tool that you can have complete control over to promote yourself and your work. I’m constantly using it, and it doesn’t have to take up all of your time either! With the rise of social media over the past few years, there is no reason you shouldn’t be utilizing all of the advantages it offers for your career.
Social Media Keeps You Visible
Working as a woman in tech means you constantly have to find ways to stay visible. As someone who works in tech myself, I started using hackathons as a great way to build up my network and test out new and valuable skills that I didn’t have the chance to work with at my job. It was great! But I didn’t stop there; when I returned from a hackathon, I’d post about it on social media and internal messaging boards.
I also captured community events, books I read, projects I worked on, and conferences I attended. If it was interesting and related to my career, you bet I was sharing it on social. By showcasing what I was doing online, people at my company knew that I was working on bigger projects and different technologies during my off-hours.
And the more people that knew about the work I was doing, the more people approached me with opportunities to work on their projects!
Make Your “Self-Promotion” Blend in with Normal Posts
Self-promotion can feel icky – I get it! I’m an introvert who does not like to talk about myself, and yet here I am telling you this is an essential asset to getting ahead in your career. I realized early on that there were ways I could promote myself without it feeling like blatant self-promotion.
While at an event, I’d make sure to take a ton of pictures. So, for instance, if I were at a hackathon, I’d take photos of what I wanted for my portfolio as well as whatever I was doing throughout the day. I also made sure to take pictures with other people at the events.
I’d then take to social media and post an image or two. LinkedIn is huge in my field, so I always make sure to keep that updated. I’d also post on my company’s internal social tool – for me right now that is Slack. I’d write something like, “Had a great time at the hackathon building a prototype and connecting with other engineers!”
Now, this sounds like a typical social media post, yet it’s still promoting me because I’m sharing three critical pieces of information in the post.
- I shared a photo of myself so people could see me in action.
- I shared where I was.
- I shared that I was doing something of value.
You can also make a post like this, even if you’re not yet comfortable talking about yourself. And if you can make one post like this, then you can make another. And another.
Success = Habits + Follow Through.
So much of success boils down to habits and follow through. The further I’ve progressed in my career, the clearer this has become. What has really moved me along are those small, consistent actions. A single post is not going to change your career. One post is not enough to make someone sit up and take notice or make you memorable. The magic kicks in when you communicate your value over and over again.
When people see that you are working on something consistently or attending one event and then another event, that is when the magic starts to happen. That is when you begin to build a reputation. That consistency will make you stand out among all of the others who are doing similar work.
And what’s great is that the subtle, authentic, and genuine method of self-promotion was really powerful when I did it consistently. It didn’t take long before I had built a reputation for being involved in hackathons and the tech community and started to become known for being at the top of my field.
Get Started Today! It’s Easier Than You Think
It’s easier to be active on social media than you think; in fact, you are likely already doing it on a personal front. You can build your professional social presence and network the same exact way that I built mine – by taking small actions that people see over and over again. With time and consistency, I promise you will see results. I dedicate an entire chapter to using your social media to get ahead in my best-selling book, The DevelopHer Playbook. Join me and the thousands of other women in tech who are working hard and standing out in their careers by picking up a copy today!