10 Sure-Fire Strategies to Boost Your Reputation and Become an Expert

This is a guest post from Ben Fanning, author of The Quit Alternative.

Maybe you’ve fantasized about quitting, but you’re not ready to give up your steady paycheck, 401k, or insurance?

There is a quit alternative.  Transform your current job into a job you love by engaging with it’s full potential, marshaling the resources around you, and seizing the opportunities that are there for the taking.

Ten Strategies to Boost Your Reputation and Become an Expert

A great way to start transforming your current job is to boost your reputation and become an expert at work that inspires you, as discussed in The Quit Alternative:  The Blueprint for Creating the Job You Love…Without Quitting. This provides job security and even leverage to negotiate on your own behalf to create the job you love.

Here are ten strategies for becoming an expert at work that inspires and motivates you. Some of these strategies might seem over the top for someone working within an organization, but the good news is that you don’t have to do them all to establish yourself as an expert. Taking on one or two will set you apart.

  1. Do the motivating work exceptionally well. When you perform very well, you become known as the person to turn to for similar assignments in the future.
  2. Talk up your motivated work wins. Share your excitement over wins doing work you love in meetings, conference calls, lunches, and happy hours.
  3. Write and present on your motivating work wins. Volunteer to write a case study for your company’s website or newsletter.
  4. Quantify, quantify, quantify. Numbers often speak louder than words inside an organization. Measure and calculate the impact of the work. These become great points to emphasize in your annual review, resume, and LinkedIn profile. Even if you’re not a huge Excel fan (like me), it’s time to dust off your skills and get to quantifying. You can quantify and call out impact in any of these areas to make a powerful statement:
  • Revenue: How does your motivating work increase revenue for the company?
  • Cost savings: How does your motivating work save the company money versus what was spent in the past?
  • Cost avoidance: How does it avoid cost increases that you anticipate in the future?
  • Pay terms: How will it help your company get paid more easily or more quickly?
  • Customer satisfaction: How does it help retain customers or encourage them to buy more?
  • Employee retention: How does it reduce employee turnover or increase their engagement? How does it increase their productivity?
  • Idea generation: How does it increase creativity, ideas for new products, or potential solutions?
  • Cycle time: How does it affect the speed to market of new products or processing of new orders?
  • Quality: How does it get better products out more consistently?
  1. Share how it helps your boss, department, and coworkers. In addition to quantifying the impact, it’s important to underscore the benefits to the people you work alongside. When they benefit from you doing motivating work, they’ll be more likely to support you going forward.
  • Visibility: Does it promote other accomplishments of the group?
  • Ease: Does it ease the work day for those around you?
  • Bigger and Better: Will it lead to even bigger results for the team?
  1. Speak at town hall meetings. Offer to share a case study (code for the story of a win in your motivating work area) at a town hall meeting in front of the organization.
  2. Contribute to company forums. Share helpful news and tips about your specialty area on the company’s forums, including the intra-web and company LinkedIn group. (Consider starting one if the company doesn’t have one.) The beautiful part is that you can just share industry news or articles in the area you want to move into, and this will boost your expert status.
  3. Build your network in an area outside the organization. Look up LinkedIn groups in your interest area and mix it up online. Seek out related conferences so you can build relationships with experts outside of your company.
  4. Get interviewed in the media. Sometimes you have to run this by your company first, but doing interviews in your area of expertise builds your reputation internally, too.
  5. Speak at conferences. Public speaking in general boosts your reputation as an expert, but speaking on a larger platform helps it grow more quickly—especially when you speak with other experts at a conference or on a panel.

For instance, Annie’s most motivating work occurred when she worked directly with external vendors and customers to solve problems. The challenge was that most of her job was sitting behind her desk on the computer. She was an introvert and had a reputation as someone content to stay in her office all day, but this just wasn’t the case. Her campaign for getting more of the work she loved started when she volunteered to speak on an industry panel at a conference. Then she forwarded the conference link around her organization. Her colleagues began to perceive her as an expert, and she started to receive invitations to participate in more external meetings, which she loved. She began to find her work day far more motivating.

Note that although I list strategies to build your reputation both inside and outside the company, organizations often place greater value on building your expert status outside the company. The takeaway is to work through both channels.

Now, select one of the strategies above and notice the difference it makes.

Get Your FREE Digital Copy of The Quit Alternative!

This article is an excerpt adapted by Ben Fanning from his forthcoming book, The Quit Alternative: The Blueprint for Creating the Job You Love….Without Quitting. Ben will be giving away a limited number of digital copies at launch time. To get notified when they’re available, sign up at

Heroes at Work: The Hero’s Journey as a Career Parable for Life Hacking (Video Interview Panel)

Three smartie-pants (Michael Margolis, Kathy Klotz-Guest and Brian Carter) discuss:

  • How can you get further in your career?
  • Do you have a mentor? Also, if you’re a consultants and coaches, how you can mentors heroes.
  • Why might you not be able to reach people with the magical elixir you’ve discovered during your career adventure? Who should you take your elixir to?
  • Critics as threshold guardians
  • Despite your expertise, how do you communicate better in the mainstream?

Warning: a little bit of language in case you are sensitive to that!

The Velveeta Commercial Michael mentioned: “You’re not ready for that fish”

20 Free Cowbell Principle Excerpts!

final front cover ony outlineThe Cowbell Principle went to #1 bestseller in three categories and #1,209 overall on Kindle! Buy it today for just $2.99 on Kindle. Anyone can read a Kindle on most major smartphones, tablets and computers with their free apps- click to get yours.

We’ve partnered to get 20 key excerpts out there for you to read for free. Take a look and read one!

We’re super grateful to know so many amazing authors, speakers, entrepreneurs and bloggers… those below are both amazing people and generous, too.

10 Critical Rules for Brainstorming – posted on’s blog by Lynette Young
Analytics And The Limits Of Knowledge – on Scott Monty’s blog
How Emergencies & Tragedies Create Innovation – on Adele Cehr’s Epic PR blog
How Playing Your Cowbell Will Make Billions of People Want You – on Joel Comm’s blog
How To Be Uniquely Valuable – on the Internet Marketing Ninjas blog- thanks to Jim Boykin and Ann Smarty!
How To Get More Results Out Of Yourself! – on Alex Harris’s blog
How to Get So Much Career Momentum You’ll Always Have Work – on The Huffington Post
How To Keep Fear From Ruining Your Career – on Maddie Grant’s SocialFish
How To Succeed By Defying Mediocrity – on Thom Singer’s blog
How To Supercharge Your Career & Marketing With The Innovation Mindset – on Garrison Wynn’s website
Is Your Talent A Cowbell or a Bagpipe? – on Christina Dave’s PR For Anyone
The Perfect Team Is Not Perfect – on Social Media Explorer, thanks Jay Kelly and Heather Dopson!
What Google Trends Can Do For Your Career – on Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert, thanks also to Jess Ostroff!
When The Dumbest Idea Is The Best One – on SEOchat, thanks Ann Smarty!
The Secret of How Geniuses Innovate – on Bryan Kramer’s Blog
Why Irrational Optimism Makes So Much Sense – on PrideStaff’s Blog
Why Success Requires Sacrifice – also on PrideStaff’s Blog
Why We Undervalue Our Biggest Talents – on Charlie Poznek’s The Boomer Business Owner
Why You Need To Know “The Why” Of Your Business Or Career – on Kerri Konik’s Brandscape Atelier
Even The Super-Loner Batman Had a Mentor… Why Don’t You? – on Raven Tools’ blog, thanks Jon Henshaw and Nicolette Beard!
Why We Should Thank All The Haters – on Kim Garst’s blog



QUIZ: Which More Cowbell Character Are You?

In preparation for my forthcoming book, The Cowbell Principle, this is a fun quiz- we’ll get serious later!