Building your personal brand is the long-term strategy for Scrum Masters that will pay big dividends
You’ve got your Scrum Master certification, you’ve beefed up your LinkedIn profile, and yet no one is beating down your door to hire you. That’s probably because you don’t stand out from the hundreds of other worthy candidates competing for jobs in the Scrum space. While most recruiters will have cast a quick glance at your CV to determine if you meet the basic criteria, they’re going to be looking for that extra ingredient that motivates them to look you up.
Which brings us back to your LinkedIn profile. You’ve probably made sure that all your certifications and job history are listed. Perhaps you even have endorsements. However, the last thing you posted was photos from the company’s Halloween party and “Bring your dog to work” day.
So, they know you like superheroes in capes and your dog is cute. That’s all they know. Otherwise, you’re pretty much invisible. You’re not liking, sharing, or commenting on relevant posts in your space. You’re also not adding any value by sharing useful information or starting conversations about hot topics.
You’ve bought the entrance ticket. Now get a front row seat.
By obtaining a Scrum Master certification, you’ve bought your entrance ticket to this job sector. How do you get a front row seat and be considered? What is your X factor? You need to tell a consistent story about yourself and who you are over time. You need to build your personal brand.
This is not only going to be useful to you today, but it’s also going to help you build credibility and stronger relationships because you are constantly delivering value. You will be putting your knowledge and expertise out into the world, freely and generously.
When there are lots of people competing for the same job, the person who has consistently provided value, made someone think, laugh or look at something differently, or maybe helped them in their work today is the person who is going to have the competitive edge.
To stand out, have your say
Whether you’re a scrum master, project manager, or in another field entirely, the one thing you can do right now to advance yourself is create and publish content. Your profile gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise through the content that you share. It could be a blog, video, Slideshare, or something else — the mode doesn’t really matter. Is your content insightful? Represent a unique point of view? Provide value to your peers?
This is your opportunity to develop your own unique voice. You’re positioning yourself, making connections, and developing relationships. If you’re fortunate enough to create something that goes viral, you’re bringing value to a large number of people, which looks great and let’s be honest, it feels great too.
Once you’ve developed a great piece of content, don’t just post it on LinkedIn. Share it on other channels such as Medium or Reddit. Take time out from a Netflix binge and get savvy on social media.
Lost for words? Start by curating content
If you found a piece of content valuable, others might too. If you’ve just read a great article, take the time to summarize it and what you liked about it. If you’re already devouring hours of YouTube content on scrum, pick the top five every month, review and share them. Perhaps you enjoy trying new tools. Take note of what you liked (and what you didn’t) and share your list of pros and cons. These are three easy ways to get started with content creation. There are many more.
Content is evergreen & it builds your personal brand
What you post on your profile gives your connections clues as to who you are. By consuming your content, people get to know you, how you communicate,and your breadth of expertise. Hopefully, they start looking forward to hearing your take on things.
Over time, you develop your voice, personality, and opinions. People develop a sense of familiarity and may trust you to the point where they invite you to be a speaker and invite you to join professional panels. You’re able to widen your professional circle and broaden the range of things that you’re doing.
The content you invest time and energy in developing can, and does, positively influence people’s perceptions. They may even quote you, share your post, or remember your name.
Warning: AI doesn’t make you look more intelligent
Before you rush off and start pumping out content from ChatGPT, take a deep breath. Yes, it’s an easy way to quickly generate content. However, it’s not necessarily good content and it’s probably not original or authentic. That means it’s not going to differentiate you. While it’s great for generating ideas, it’s your opinion, your unique take on things, that’s going to set you apart.
As AI becomes more ubiquitous and built into many of the tools we’re using today, so too will be the tools that instantly identify AI content. Your AI-generated email is going to be flagged immediately, and leave the recipient wondering why their request or issue didn’t merit a personal response. People want to feel heard and be treated with respect.
That’s not to say that AI isn’t a useful tool and you shouldn’t use it. It’s when and how you use it that’s important. In a space where bots are mimicking human conversation, honest and authentic opinions are valuable. This is a good place to say that the content you’re reading on this page was 100% human generated.
Why investing in content pays off
Investing in quality content serves you today and tomorrow. If you are looking for a new role, what you’ve posted on your profile is very helpful to the recruiter considering interviewing you for a position. Recruiters are fairly risk averse – they want to be sure that you’re not only a good fit for the job, but the team too. They’ll be looking for your take on things that may be relevant to the team they’ll be working in.
Even your hobbies can be telling. One person may have mastered piano at 30 which demonstrates their ability to learn new skills, while another’s passion for model building shows exceptional attention to detail. The books you read, the events you take part in, and the certifications you add to your belt are all part of your story. Whether you like the speed of the 100 meters sprint or enjoy the challenge of a marathon also speaks to the pace you’re likely to enjoy in the workplace.
If you’re not currently a job seeker, maintaining a strong presence on LinkedIn pays off. You may not be looking for a job now, but somebody may be looking for you. You could be headhunted for a position and singled out because of your valuable content and contributions to the LinkedIn community. Note the emphasis on “valuable.”
Developing content is like working out. The more you put into it, the stronger, fitter, and more competent you get.
Content is the core competency of the future
Today, everyone expects a basic level of competency in tools such as Office. In the future, content generation is going to be one of the core competencies that organizations will be looking for. Being able to supply it is going to make you a more valuable player. It’s a differentiator, a way for you to demonstrate and bring more value to anyone you’re working for or working with. The investment you make today will pay dividends tomorrow.
P.S. I practice what I preach
I’m not a published author, I don’t have a Ph.D., and I’m not famous. What I do have is 12K followers on LinkedIn, 1,44K followers on YouTube, and 100,000+ followers on TikTok. That’s because I’ve made a point of creating valuable content that can be repurposed and shared on multiple channels. Today, more than 50% of people showing up to one of my classes have consumed a piece of my content before they walk into the class.
What are you waiting for? Start right now! Let me know what you think.