You’re amazing at what you do. You know it, but how do you let others know it? Maybe you’re skilled at identifying learning gaps. Maybe you’re creative in coming up with activities that make learning “stick.” Maybe you have the ability to design impactful assessment questions that go beyond the typical multiple-choice options. Whatever your super power, it’s not really super unless others know about it. You want that raise? You want those new clients? Toot your horn, honey. Here’s how you communicate your value:
Know your value
Before you can communicate your value, you have to know why you’re valuable. What makes you special? When considering your value, think about these three things:
What problem do you solve? Maybe you have a great voice. The kind of voice clients want for voiceovers, training narration, or even commercials. Your incredible voice can transform a boring online course into a dynamic event.
What is your competitive advantage?Not only do you have great narrator skills. Maybe you’re bilingual. You can fluently narrate in multiple languages. Or perhaps you have your own narration software and you can work interchangeably with Audacity, Adobe Audition, and Camtasia. Even better, you have a flexible schedule so you’re available to record amazing audio for clients on short notice.
How do you stack up against everyone else? Honestly assess your talents and gauge them against peers and industry leaders. Research and listen to other voiceover artists. How do they sound? Are they one-stop-shops? Meaning, do they have their own narrating equipment? A sound-proof room or closet at home? Are they voice actors and not just narrators? Think about your own skills. In addition to recording your audio, do you know how to edit it? Do you know how to insert it into eLearning and add closed captioning? All of these things add value and increase your negotiating power.
Show your value
Now that you know what makes you valuable, it’s time to let others know. This involves showing your value to the right folks. So who are they?
Clients/Companies/Stakeholders. Use you website or portfolio to showcase your skills. In addition to including samples of your work or projects, make sure to point to your numbers. Your numbers include things like: number of projects you’ve led/worked on, number of customers you served each day/month/year, amount of money your project saved, and testimonials and letters of recommendation.
Recruiters and Hiring Managers. Always incorporate your value into your resume. Use power verbs, highlight data (e.g., designed eLearning for 500 sales reps), and focus on projects with measurable outcomes. Tout your accomplishments in the interview. The recruiter can’t remember everything on every resume. It’s up to you to point out your value.
SMEs and Stakeholders. Once Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Stakeholders know your value, they’ll be some of the first ones to spread the word. You can show your value by showing how you impact the team. Start off by being a partner, not an order-taker. Understand their business. Speak their language (e.g., if you’re working with IT, know the difference between DevOps and Engineers). If your stakeholders are concerned about sustainability over costs, focus on that. Know the KPIs and challenges they face. If you’re not sure, ask.
Peers. Your mantra should be HELP, DON’T HOARD. You’re not gaining all of this knowledge to keep it to yourself. Life is so much sweeter when we share, collaborate, and contribute to each other. That’s the best way to learn and add value.
This last step is often the scariest. It means putting yourself out there. But without risk, there can be no reward. It’ time to let your light shine. Some of the best ways to be visible are as follows:
Social Media. Join online communities or group discussions. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are just a few places to network and connect with like-minded professionals. Find the forum that’s right for you.
Build a platform. If there is no platform that works for you, build your own. Showcase your talent in articles, blog posts, and through other projects.
Volunteer. Find your passion in areas that focus on your strengths. For example, I volunteered to create a flyer for an non-profit that offered a math camp to underrepresented youth. This fed my altruistic side while helping me hone my graphic skills.
Market yourself. Some people use the phase, “sell yourself.” This sounds outdated and self-promotional to me. The end result is the same. Emphasize your strengths. Showcase your talent. Take credit for your work. Don’t downplay your accomplishments. You worked hard to get to this point. Revel in it.
I hope this has helped you learn how to communicate your value. You are valuable. You are worthy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.