This is a guest blog by Nick Heim, P.E.
Civil engineers bring a diverse set of viewpoints, skills, and knowledge to the table.
Because of the impact our work has on society, there are many benefits to sharing our expertise outside of our day-to-day work – for our professional colleagues, our clients, and the general public.
Today, I would like to give some tips on how you can build your personal brand as a civil engineer using social media.
1. Establish a Niche
Social media is a tool that, to this point, has not been utilized very heavily by engineering professionals. I have heard and seen several reasons for this.
One way I have gotten past my personal reservations about the use of social media is by talking about topics that I feel that I can speak confidently about, or have something to share that others would find valuable.
Some niches that I have seen executed successfully by Civil Engineering professionals:
- Applications of technology to civil engineering
- Civil engineering mentorship and career coaching
- Technical expertise in a subset of civil engineering (e.g., structural, geotechnical)
This is also referred to as “niching down”. When you niche down, you are making it easier to attract an audience of like-minded people, whom we will talk about next.
2. Decide Who Your Audience Will Be
Now that you have selected a niche in something that you are already very knowledgeable about, next comes deciding what type of audience you would like to attract.
Think about the purpose of your personal brand. Some examples could include:
- Developing business for your firm
- Establishing yourself as a subject-matter expert
- Networking with other professionals in your niche
Once you understand your “why”, your “who” will follow naturally — the audience you will be creating content for.
3. Consistently Create Content for Your Audience
The way to give yourself the best chance of success of building a personal brand on social media is to show up consistently.
To become recognized as an expert in whatever you decide to do, being on the forefront of the mind of your audience is paramount. When your audience thinks of your niche, they want to think of you as the go-to person.
Some would argue, particularly when starting out, that their content is not “good enough” … but that is the secret!
What you produce will get better over time, and consistent content creation is the best way to get in the “reps” that are required to improve.
Some tips on consistent content creation include:
- Repurposing content across platforms (e.g., utilizing Twitter posts as photos on LinkedIn, and vice versa)
- Batching content on a platform that can automate posts, such as Buffer
Collaborating with other creators (e.g., newsletters, podcasts) and re-purposing the content for your own audience (with the original creator’s permission, of course)
About the Author Nick Heim, P.E.
Nick is a field, sales, and VDC engineer at StructureCare, owner of Green House Property Management, and the Civil Engineering Collective Coordinator. Nick’s interests lie at the intersection between the built world and technology, and he can be found looking for the ever-changing answer to the question, “How can we do this better?” He can be found on LinkedIn, producing content about use of technologies in his civil engineering career and small business.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share about how you leverage social media to boost your personal engineering brand.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success