How To Make A Name For Yourself In HR in 3 Simple Steps!

By Alan Collins | successinhr.com/make-a-name-for-yourself-in-hr

This week I got two requests to speak at HR conferences.

One I turned down because it didn’t fit my schedule. The other I’ll definitely do because it’s in a fantastic location, even if it does involve boarding a plane, which I absolutely hate. Both came from local SHRM program committee leaders I’d never seen, talked to or met before.

I get these requests often and wind up turning down 95% of them.

Let me be clear: I don’t share any of this to brag. But rather to illustrate the importance of making a name for yourself in HR.

But not the kind of name that first pops into your mind.

Nope, I’m talking about…

A DOMAIN NAME!

More than 5 years ago, I bought a domain name called SuccessInHR.com. It cost me ten bucks at Godaddy.

I then began the journey of figuring out how to create a website. When I first started, I was a complete amateur, operating outside of my comfort zone. And that first website was bare bones, unprofessional and butt ugly.

Eventually, I figured out the right way to create and install a blog. And that changed everything. And my career in HR has never been the same.

What I didn’t know then, that I fully understand now is that a domain name and a blog is…

An ideal vehicle for creating a reputation
and building your name recognition in HR.

One itty-bitty blog post like the one you’re reading right now is nothing on its own. But if you publish tens, or hundreds over a period of years, it turns into your life’s work.

It gives you a unique identity in the HR marketplace. No one else is quite like you.

And it is a great way to position yourself so that terrific opportunities in HR find their way to you. Here are just few other ways you’ll benefit by putting a blog on your domain name:

You’ll stand out from the rest of the pack in HR
You’ll become known as a thought leader in your own area of specialty within HR
You’ll attract opportunities to write, speak, consult and share your opinions – for free and for pay.
You’ll attract more full-time HR job leads and contacts from recruiters about terrific positions.
You’ll build a network of enthusiastic supporters who value your ideas and opinions
You’ll think much more clearly
You’ll generate new ideas and become much more creative.
You’ll enhance your personal brand and online identity within HR.
You’ll create a potential source of extra income in addition to your day job in HR.
If you’re awesome, you can potentially land a book deal and become an author
Even if you’re not approached by a publisher, you can self publish and become an author as you have a ready made audience in place interested in what you have to say
More importantly, you’ll be able to connect with like minded thinkers across the globe in your own niche in HR
You’ll have a lot of fun
You’ll create something meaningful and valuable which (like any kind of art) will outlast and transcend you

This blog has provided all of this for me and more.

It’s been my best business card, sales person and promoter of my career. It is a vehicle through which I’ve met phenomenal people from countries whose names I can’t pronounce who I’ve forged close relationships with.

I can truthfully say that 80% of the great things in HR that have happened to me in the last five years can traced back to the decision to buy this domain name. And because I own this little piece of turf on the Internet.

So, if you get one thing out of this article, make it this…

Go register a domain name and use it to make a name for yourself.

Here’s how:
Step 1: Buy www.[insert your name here].com.

If your name is common, or you don’t like your name, come up with a tagline or brand that represents what you stand for and register that. For me, I did the latter and that wound up being SuccessInHR.com, only because HRSuccess.com was already taken.
Step 2: Buy some web hosting and go build a website.

These things sound complex and technical, but they’re really not — a few Google searches will show you the way. Or you can check out my e-book, Start Your Own Awesome HR Blog described below.

But if you’re a typical overworked HR pro and don’t have the time or inclination to build your own site, there’s a small army of web designers ready to help you at elance.com, fiverr.com or odesk.com. They’ll set you up for less than the cost of a dinner for two.
Step 3: Use it to share your ideas with others.

Your good ideas. Your bad ideas. Your half-baked ideas. But do your best to get your ideas and advice out there for people to consume. This is where the payoff happens.

Work hard to put out stuff you’re proud of and is so good that people can’t ignore it. And if you focus on being really good, you won’t have to work hard to find an audience for your ideas and your expertise. They’ll find you.

However, in order to be found, you have to be findable. That’s what your domain name will do for you — it enables you to be located easily.

Now let me be honest. Everything isn’t wine and roses. Once you’ve set it up, as years go by, you may be tempted to abandon it. Or get bored with it. You’ll think hey, there’s LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I can use them to build relationships and get my message out online. But social networks come and go. (Remember MySpace? Friendster?).

If you’re really interested in sharing your ideas and building your reputation, nothing beats owning your own space online, a place that YOU control, a place that no one can take away from you, a world headquarters where people can always find you.

So, once you get started, don’t neglect it. Think about it long term. Stick with it, maintain it, and let it change with you over time.

When I was just starting out, I got this great advice from a former boss of mine at Quaker Oats…

“Build a good name. Keep your name and reputation clean. Don’t make compromises and shortcuts. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work…and if you can build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency.”

The same is true of your own domain name. You can do whatever you want with it. Your domain name IS your domain. You own it. You don’t have to make compromises. Build a good domain name, keep it clean, use it to get your expertise and your message out there and eventually it’ll be it’s own currency. Whether people show up or they don’t, you’re out there, doing your thing, ready whenever they are.

So carve out a space for yourself online. Use it to express yourself and share your ideas, insights and advice about your work in HR.

It’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your HR career.

And a way of building your (domain) name in HR.

Onward!

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