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Advocates Can Help Your Career

Categories: Professional Development

One of my past coaching clients recently reached out to me to reconnect. He was proud of his latest accomplishment -- moving from a sales role to a marketing position within the same organization.

Greg felt he would have a better opportunity for advancement and less travel in the new marketing position, and he was indeed thriving.

He shared how he accomplished this move successfully with the use of internal advocates. Greg first identified the type of advocates he needed; people in the marketing department.

Greg then narrowed his focus on two people that could influence the hiring decision. He LinkedIn with them, and let them know when he would be at headquarters, and asked for informational interviews.

At these meetings, Greg gave them insights from the field that could help with their next marketing campaign. He also let them know he was interested in joining their department.

Over the next six months, Greg sent these colleagues articles of interest relevant to their job duties and hobbies (he listened during his in-person meetings), touched base by e-mail, and left periodic phone messages – all with the aim of developing them as advocates.

When an opening in the marketing department occurred, who do you think was top of mind? You’re right – Greg got the job, without even interviewing!

Here’s Greg did right to build & maximize his advocates:

1) He had a specific strategy behind who he wanted to target as advocates. He planned and targeted specific people in decision-making roles that could help.

2) He leveraged his LinkedIn profile to connect with potential advocates. Greg recognized the value this professional social media application had for networking -- and keeping his name and face top of mind.

3) Greg remembered that’s it’s not all about what advocates can do for you. He listened to his advocates when they spoke, and gained an understanding of their priorities, so he could help them -- by sending articles of interest.

What techniques have you used to build internal or external advocates? What’s been the result? Share your story of building advocates, and I’ll send the first three people who share digital copies of my Ignite Your Personal Brand “mini” book.

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