Big news, our first #SheHiveLondon event took place over the weekend. As with all our #SheHive sessions across the world, we were joined by inspiring speakers who are making waves in their industry. One of those speakers was Imad Mesdoua, a political risk analyst, senior manager at Africa Matters, TEDx speaker and the list goes on.
He’s spoken on major channels like the BBC and rubbed shoulders with some of Africa’s most influential policy makers. Safe to say, he’s mastered the art of building his profile and becoming a known name in politics. If you missed Imad’s session in the flesh, we’ve summarised his top tips on how to make your public profile stand out like his. You’re welcome.
1. Twitter and LinkedIn are your friends
Social media is one of the most powerful tools of recent generations. The question is, are you using them well? For Imad, engaging in social media opened up opportunities to speak to politicians, journalists and other influencers who may have been difficult to contact in the past. It even landed him a mentor -all he did was reach out and express his desire to make an impact in his field.
Imad reminded us to never underestimate the power of Twitter. Instead, follow the movers and shakers in your industry and share your opinions on trending topics. Embrace popular hashtags, be fun and relevant but remember to keep it professional.
Stay away from Kanye-style rants and you’ll be fine. Remember, at the end of the day it is all about trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for making those all-important professional connections. It gives you the chance to showcase your education, your work achievements and your interests all on one page. It’s the perfect way to make a strong first impression online, so make sure it’s up to date and includes enough detail to keep people interested.
2. Be a social butterfly and become a familiar face at events
This one isn’t just for the extroverts of the world. Even if you’re a little more introverted, heading to events specific to your sector or industry can do wonders for your public profile.
Getting out there to events like #SheHive and others is the best way to learn from industry leaders, gain knowledge and establish lasting relationships. If you go to enough events, you’ll start to see familiar faces and become known as someone who knows what they’re talking about.
For every person you meet, think of how you’ll describe yourself in 20 seconds and how you can add value to your new found contact’s life. We know, we know, networking can be scary, so here’s how you can make the most of it.
3. Be a student of life and escape the comfort zone
Never rest on your laurels. One thing Imad noticed is that sometimes we establish our skills and talents and then get too comfortable. We stop learning and adding to our experiences, which can be a disadvantage in the competitive world of business.
One way to overcome this is to dive out of your comfort zone. For Imad, this meant getting a job outside of the Africa-focused political industry. While doing something different might feel strange, it makes us ready to take on new challenges.
Let’s admit it, looking for a new opportunities is never easy and sometimes you have to think out of the box. While looking for his ideal job, Imad himself got creative and took on speech writing and consulting roles which helped him meet his long-term career goals.
4. The one thing you can’t forget…
You can be a social media pro who is at every event and who always builds on her skills, but without this one thing it all falls apart. That one thing is professionalism.
Professionalism ties all your efforts together. Professionalism means being consistent and going the extra mile to hone your craft and personal brand. In Imad’s case, that meant ‘overdress, overspeak and oversabi’. Remember to have fun with it though, find what drives you, pursue it and be open to making changes along the way.