Helping others – the underrated strategy to build your personal brand as an employee

b2b creator help others

I’m bullish on B2B creators – both for founders/entrepreneurs and employees.

But mostly, I see a huge interest in hiring or cultivating in-house creators; 7 out of 10 companies plan to invest more in their in-house creator programs this year, according to a benchmark I’ve conducted in partnership with Databox.

Apollo.io, Lavender, Gong, HockeyStack, Sparktoro, and ConvertKit are only a few companies that are seeing massive organic social media engagement and a boost in brand awareness these days. Why? 

Not because they are pouring millions of dollars into advertising, not because they are working with creative agencies, or because they are publishing content day by day on social media.

It’s because their employees understood the power of having a strong personal brand, and they are building up their own personal brand to connect their audiences with their companies.

Chris Cunningham is one of the founders of ClickUp, a $6B valued company that is now everywhere on social media and it’s growing like crazy. Chris is the head of social media at ClickUp, but he is also building up his personal brand while connecting with his own audience. How is he doing it?

It’s about having his own thoughts about what they are doing in the company, creating the content, and publishing it on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, or YouTube. And every time he is publishing one piece of content, his social media engagement is getting higher and higher. Why? Because he is not just copy/pasting the content from ClickUp and publishing it on his own platforms but because you can see his own thoughts, ideas, and perspective on what’s around the ClickUp world.

In-house creators are the new marketing for B2B companies. It’s a long-term strategy and it must be aligned with the management vision but also with the employee’s desire and career path.

Many employees are still struggling to know what will be the first steps to start doing while becoming a prolific in-house creator for the company.

It’s a simple strategy that is divided into 5 small tactics.

I call it – Show the work (thanks, Kleon, for the inspo)

But to be smart about this, we will reverse engineer these tactics.

We are not starting with you, but we will start with the work, and when I say “work,” I mean the professional environment.

Step 1: Show your company work

Every time your company or your own department is launching a new feature, is publishing a live piece of content/project, you will show it to the world.

Let’s take, for example, a martech company that is delivering almost every month a new feature into their product. You are the UI designer who worked on a specific task about this product, but you were in every meeting, deployment sessions, and you know the launch strategy. You have your small piece of contribution, but you are aware of the entire impact of this new feature.

So what should you do? After the company communicates the new feature to their audience, to their community, and to their customers, you should simply create a piece of content with your own experience (a visual graphic, a video, a text) about the impact this new feature will have and your experience while working on your small corner.

But before you will publish it, make sure you discuss with your team leader and ask them if it’s ok to publish your own experience on your social media profiles. Show them your final content you want to publish and tell them why do you want to do this.

2. Show your colleagues’ work

Your colleagues are working hard to deliver the best results in their work.

But you have 2 types of colleagues in your company: the one that knows how to show their work on social media and the ones that want to show the work but don’t know how.

So why now should you be the type of team player that is helping your colleagues to show their own work? You could discuss with them, maybe help them create a piece of content and show them how to publish it on social media.

Then you go into the comment section and get some engagement juice around the piece of content. Why not, even creating your own thoughts about the impact their work can have on the company and in the industry. By doing this, you can be the kind of team player that everybody wants to sit next to because you help them acknowledge their own work and show it to the world.

3. Show your thoughts about the industry

If you already have 1 year of experience working for a company, it means that you have around 1440 hours (with holidays and vacations). This means that you have around 1440 hours of experience and knowledge about the industry you are working in.

This means that you get some insights about your competition, the trends, the extra and interesting stuff many people outside the industry don’t know about them. So now you can start talking about your own thoughts and sharing your own ideas about the industry.

Why not, maybe have a weekly or every other week a gathering with your own colleagues and discuss the industry trends and insights, get the idea, create a piece of content, and publish it on your social media profiles.

Think about the fact that not many people understand the real behind-the-scenes facts about your industry, and you can start building this bridge while also growing your own audience.

4. Show the industry work

Content curation is maybe one of the most underrated content strategies many creators don’t understand.

Because there is an overwhelming amount of content in the industry, and the majority of people just don’t know what they should consume. So why not find the best blog posts, books, essays, podcast episodes, or webinars and summarize them, analyze them, and share why they are worthy to be consumed.

Doing this will start positioning you as an expert but also as a smart creator who knows what’s happening in the industry. Your colleagues will want to work with you about these new ideas you find but also you will start to grow a smart audience.

Being an in-house creator first starts with the fact that you want to help your colleagues and your company grow, and you don’t need to be in the marketing or sales team to do that. You can be an engineer, a designer, or a customer support person who can use their own platform to develop a new distribution channel for the company.

And while you are helping others to thrive, you will also get so much recognition in the world and people would love to have your thoughts in their feed or in their inbox.

That’s how you build your own audience, build your personal brand, and become well known in your industry and company – by helping others.