20130717-133949.jpg This from Dorie Clark (@dorieclark), a marketing strategy consultant and frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, in her new book, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future.

Whether you want to advance faster at what you’re doing or build a new career that’s founded upon your unique passions (need not be mutually exclusive), Clark makes a strong case that you need to reinvent yourself professionally. Today that means having a strong online identity, per Clark, who consults with clients the likes of Google, Yale, and the National Park Service.

Creating your identity means not only using short form social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+) but publishing content, ala a blog.

Every art student has a portfolio ready to be shown at a moment’s notice. It’s no difference in the business world; no one will believe you’re serious unless you begin to create content that demonstrates your expertise. That allows potential customers or employers to test-drive your approach before you make a large commitment.

Each professional I look up, whether because I am considering hiring them, seeking to help them, or to partner with them, I look to see what they’ve written. I want to see their expertise, passion, and care on display.

Preferably I want to see them blogging, different than writing content, because that tells me they are following other thought leaders in their space, engaging those thought leaders, and building out a network enabling them to get better at what they do.

A blog is not the starting and ending point when I look at professionals. It’s a factor, but a big one. In Clark’s mind, it’s the starting point to be taken seriously.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Italian Voice.