ScrumMaster’s go-to guide for Personal Branding

September 26, 2017
iZenBridge
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  • Scrum
  • Tips & Tactics
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If you have recently completed Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) training, you must be thinking of putting the newly acquired skills to an effective use. Roughly, 50% of the ScrumMasters would immediately look out for new opportunities after completing their certificate. Irrespective of your level of experience, a strong personal brand is always desirable, it helps you in building your profile as you go up in the ladder.

Why is Personal branding important?

It earns you respect in the community –
A strong personal brand earns you respect from the community; people appreciate your views and knowledge, they look up to you for opinions and thoughts. ScrumMasters is a closed niche community, by being a go-to person, you open a lot of new opportunities for yourself and your organization.

People start following you –
When you generously and transparently share your learning with others, it creates an aura of influence which inspires others to follow you.It’s your first step in being a scrum leader; you will start getting recognition in the community, opportunities to speak at conferences, and the local scrum user groups will start flowing in.

It’s a recruiter magnet –
If you have a strong social presence and people know about you, organizations would be willing to hire you and even ready to pay a premium for your knowledge and services.

It helps you reach to the next level in Scrum –
If you have just completed your CSM, regular contribution in the community helps you reach the next level in your scrum journey; you can volunteer for the scrum gatherings and local User Groups.

By actively contributing as a volunteer, speaker or writer, you can earn Scrum Education Units which will be required to complete Certified Scrum Professional (CSP). If you are active and known in the community, it becomes easier for you to get co-train opportunities in case you aspire to become a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST).

Steps to create a personal brand

Start writing –
In a digital world, it’s easy to reach out to a significant audience with a  well-written blog, this carefully crafted digital asset will stay there for lifetime attracting a new audience, and people would keep knowing and appreciating your thoughts. The blogs which share actionable insights with the readers are most often instant hits.

What should you Write About –The best stories are personal; people would love to hear your experience of applying Scrum. What different did you do in your last scrum project? Did you pitch scrum in your organization, if yes, what was the response? Your success and failure, your learning and unlearning, your knowledge and action, all go well with the audience; the scrum community is eager to learn.

Great bloggers and honest, transparent and generous in sharing best practices, learning, and failures and are often open to scrutiny.

Just ensure, you are not putting any sensitive organization data in public domain.

Where to write – You have plenty of opportunities to share your learning; start by contributing an article to Scrum Alliance community. You can also post an article on your LinkedIn profile, many scrum user groups like Discuss Agile have their community websites. Even we at izenbridge welcome new thoughtful articles on our blog. Many organizations have their interanet and internal learning portals and encourage people to share their learning. As you improve your writing skills, you can start your own blog, 1000s of other web portals would also be happily willing to publish good content.

Participate in scrum gatherings, community events –
The most important step to personal branding is being approachable within the community. A ScrumMaster should never miss an opportunity to interact with other scrum professionals within the community. Apart from expanding your network, you would broaden your understanding of scrum and its implementation. Scrum is a minimal framework which does not address lots of organization structure, people and leadership related issues, understanding the best practices the from the community will be helpful for you.

Actively seek opportunities to contribute as a volunteer, speaker or participant in regional and international scrum gatherings and local scrum user group events. In fact, you can start your own local scrum user group, which will be your own local community of scrum professionals.

Don’t miss an opportunity to speak –
90% of your success as ScrumMaster would depend on your facilitation skills, your ability to speak in front of people with confidence contributes a lot to your scrum career. Public speaking is second biggest fear, but like every other fear, you can conquer it by giving yourself a chance to face the audience. If you are active in the community, lots of opportunities will emerge to share your thoughts

Create a strong Social presence
3.1 – Twitter
Twitter a community where influencers often hangout. A powerful presence on Twitter will help you connect to all big names in the world of Scrum; you can follow the contributors, participate in the discussion and offer your inputs.

Here are some steps to build an awesome twitter presence –

Be yourself
Twitter is about the conversation. Voicing out your opinion and participating in a meaningful discussion is the first step to build a strong presence. Share your ideas and be open to feedback.

Create a professional Twitter profile
Start with putting a bold header image, a clear profile picture, a link to your personal website or blog to start with.

Connect with your tribe –
You need to find, follow and connect people from scrum community to build a strong niche inside the clutter. Its not a one-time job, stay on top of it, keep following and interacting with new people who join the community on a daily basis.

Use the same profile and header images on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks, it creates a uniformity and people are easily able to connect and follow you across social channels.

3.2 Linkedin

Complete your profile –

Start by putting a face to your LinkedIn profile, add your education and experience details. Aim to build an all Star profile, in order to do so, you need to add your education, experience, personal details and get a minimum of 3 recommendations from your network.

Connect with relevant people – LinkedIn is a professional community where everyone hangs out, including your boss, CEO, your competitor, your peers and other members of scrum community. to build your presence, you need to reach out to people actively. Connecting with the relevant people in your industry is your first step to build a strong presence online.

Participate in the discussion – actively check what others are posting, look for opportunities for a meaningful contribution to the discussion. Listen to what others are saying, share your learnings and guide others if you can.

Follow others – Follow the influential people and organizations in your industry, listen to what they are saying. It will help you gauge the industry trend. Here is a list of great scrum influencers whom you can start following –

Join Linkedin Groups –
There are some well-moderated scrum user groups which are great for discussion and community engagement. Actively look for such groups and be part of the community to start interacting.

1.3 Scrum Alliance community website –
Scrum Alliance community website is another great place to stay active as a scrum professional. Just ensure that you have completed your scrum bio, your scrum experience is added and visible, and you are approachable within the community. Start by participating in the discussion and joining your local scrum user groups.

Hope you found this guide useful. What are you doing to create your personal brand? Do you have any questions or suggestions for the author? Share your thoughts in comments below or connect with the writer on twitter @girsaran.

Has this guide helped you? How about sharing with your social network?