Five ways to leverage your value for a better 2017

We hosted our November Twitter chat, featuring some of our favorite influencers, Necole Kane, Melissa Kimble, and Mattie James and it was all about leverage. As creative smart girls, how can we leverage what we have for 2017? To leverage, means to use something to your advantage; to take your strengths and determine how you can benefit from them and win. As 2016 comes to an end, it’s important more than ever to understand what we bring to the table and the value we add. Below are just a few the gems and key points that were dropped during our chat.

So you want to have a better year in 2017 than you did in 2016, but aren’t sure where to start. The first step is to do audit of your strengths and figure out how you can potentially help someone. While listening to a Joblogues podcast recently, I heard one of the hosts talking about getting advice on documenting her wins. She called it a “brag list”, where you just keep track of all the times you’ve accomplished something or helped someone. From year to year, it can be hard to remember all the times when we’ve done something right.

Photo: #WOCintech chat 

Photo: #WOCintech chat 

So what can you leverage to create more opportunities for yourself next year?

  1. Job accomplishments: This is probably the most popular way people have leveraged their strengths to get ahead, and how many of us are most comfortable doing so. Nonetheless, the things we write on our resumes and cover letters are perfect examples of how you can promote yourself into a better position. If you’ve increased traffic on a company website, boosted productivity in a plant, or doubled engagement on social platforms for a brand – these are all examples of ways to give yourself more clout for the job search.

  2. Social Media Followers: As many of us launch our own businesses, one of the goals we have is to work with brands to bring in more income. So many people, whether they have businesses or not, are getting money making opportunities due to the fact that they have large followings. If you want to work with brands, and have a lot of social media followers ( and engaging followers), shoot an email and show your proof as to why people follow you. And even if you aren’t at the point where you can start creating these partnerships, it’s never too early to plant the seeds. Get consistent and intentional about your social channels so you can be ready in 2017.

  3. Communication skills: Sometimes, your strengths aren’t necessarily something that can be read or inferred from social media, sometimes it’s just who you are. If you are a great speaker, and have expertise in an area, you can pitch yourself for speaking engagements. Being a featured speaker at events, can be great for building your brand and credibility and is another source of income too. Learn to leverage the fact that you can engage a crowd of people and communicate well to your advantage.

  4. Writing skills: Even if writing isn’t something you see yourself doing as a full time job, freelancing is a good example of how to use the skills you already have for additional income and connections. You never know who you will meet when pitching stories or the new paths it can take you down. If you know you write well, use that skill to get to the next level in your career.

  5. What makes you stand out: If there is something that you are good at or known for, it can bring new opportunities your way as well. For example, you might be a gym rat and extremely fit, which can get you brand partnerships, modeling jobs, etc. It doesn’t matter if you are intentionally trying to be known for this particular trait, people will take notice and new opportunities will find their way to you. Take the time to figure out what makes you you, what people admire you for and evaluate how you can use those things to win in 2017.

What advice would you give a Creative Smart Girl at the beginning of her journey on building leverage for 2017?