Interim managers must work just as hard as other professionals on selling themselves. They may excel at what they do, but nobody outside their network will necessarily know that. However, with good business development that focuses on branding, sharing, and networking, they can attract new clients from their relevant sector or industry.
Crafting Your Brand
If you’ve worked with a startup before, you probably know the ABCs of building a brand. Applying those basics to yourself is no different. Figure out how you want people to remember you and plan backward from that image. Many successful interim managers with whom Senior Management Worldwide (SMW) has worked know the importance of crafting a brand. They cultivate their strongest qualities–leadership, trust, and competence, for example–and create a brand that is synonymous with their names.
The most effective way to accomplish this is to develop a tagline that sums up what you do. Keep it short, meaningful, and easy to recall. Also, use that tagline on your LinkedIn profile, website, and business cards. Work to reinforce your message at multiple contact points. Most importantly, exude your best business qualities when you meet people. For example, if you want to project your trustworthiness and dependability, develop relationships or highlight projects centered on trust.
Successful Interim Managers Share What They Know
People flock to those who know what they’re doing. The best way to establish yourself as a knowledge leader is to share what you know. You can do this by writing a book or blog, tweeting business tips, or starting a podcast. Contrary to popular opinion, these actions do not mean you are handing out business secrets to your competition. The people most likely reading and listening to your wisdom will be small business owners and first-time executives. These are the people who may even call you for help with their company.
Interim Managers Are Always Fostering Their Networks
Networking is a core aspect of business development, especially for interim managers. Fostering a network ensures that you are never too far from anyone’s mind when they need executive leadership. Making new contacts and staying in touch with old ones keeps you relevant. An easy way to do this is to attend conferences and networking events, always with business cards in hand.
Craft your brand. Share your knowledge. Build your network. These are the building blocks of successful business development.