Boss Lady

Take off your invisibility cloak: the art of self-promotion


Remember Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak? It was a magical garment that rendered whatever it covered invisible. Well I reckon all women are born with one, and our job is to get out from under it.

Building your profile – in the media and elsewhere – is an essential leadership skill. We cannot become leaders if no-one is aware of our abilities and experience. We need to be comfortable with self-promotion.

But our society and organisations have a tendency to overlook women’s achievements, our insights, our contributions and our history.

Here’s a quiz to test my theory: Think of the names of five famous women scientists. Now think of the name of five famous men of science. How did you go?

Building visibility

Fortunately today, women have the tools to build their visibility – in a cool way — and to leave our own indelible mark on history.

I wrote recently that there are three keys to building your credibility with the media, and thereby taking control of your profile. These are:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Courage
  3. Exposure (visibility)

There are five essentials of building your visibility. Here they are:

  • Create your own blogs, videos, podcasts, e-newsletters

What do you think are the fundamentals of leadership, the burning issues of our day, and the opportunities for the future?

Write about them, makes videos and podcasts and then build a database and send out your content via e-newsletter. Make the content valuable to your reader. You don’t need to tell anyone how good you are; you will show it with everything you create.

The web is a golden opportunity to show what you know.

  • Comment on other people’s content

If you want people to be interested in you, be interested in other people. Provide really valuable commentary on other people’s content.

I know! We are awash with followers and following and comments and discussion groups.

If you find this idea overwhelming, try applying this really great idea I heard Matt Church and Peter Cook who run the Thought Leaders Business School: focus on 15 key people in your industry. Follow closely what they say and add value to their posts. To be visible, be part of the conversation.

  • Be on the experts lists

Have you heard of Women for Media? It’s an expert source list for journalists looking for commentators. When journalists are stuck for “talent”, they turn to lists. There are other ones:  SourceBottle, Media Connect, Expert Guide, Newsmodo. Register with some lists and link them back to your website.

  • Take the top position in an industry association

There is an industry association for everything, and journalists know that. These are go-to places for specialist, but non-commercial comment. Typically, it’s the chairperson who provides media comment. Spend a year in that role.

  • Use professional social media tools

Social media is the tool that brings all your profile-building efforts together. Use it to amplify your achievements in each of the other visibility essentials. Each of those elements is like a string on a guitar – when you unify them on social media, it’s like playing a chord – it sounds richer, more substantial and just makes more noise!


I’d love a world where the achievements of women are both visible and ‘on the record’. I’d love a world where more women are leaders, bringing a broader range of attributes and perspectives to every level of leadership. Help me out here. Throw of the invisibility cloak.

About Kath Walters

Trainer. Mentor. Speaker. Kath Walters is a former Fairfax business journalist turned expert in media relations and content marketing. Kath trains and mentors businesses that want to use media and content to build their profile and profits -- and change the world for the better -- sharing everything she has learned over 16 years of writing and editing for top quality print and digital media mastheads. Kath has written an estimated 1.3 million compelling, informative and carefully researched words. The mastheads that have published them include: LeadingCompany, BRW, Australian Financial Review, SmartCompany, Business Spectator, Crikey, Women’s Agenda, Property Observer.

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