If you want to raise your profile in any area, an effective way to do that is to assume a position of leadership. People will naturally assume you’re “somebody” in that area because you’re in a leadership position. I’ll describe two ways I know of to do this.
Method 1: Volunteering in an Organization
For a year, I served as President of Michigan’s oldest continuously-chartered Toastmasters club. People seem to be impressed by this credential when I share it with them, but it doesn’t represent a hard-won achievement. There was only one person running against me, and her “campaign speech” was “I don’t want to be President. Vote for Jason instead!”
I recently volunteered to serve on my local Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador Committee. I’ve only been an active Committee member for about two weeks, but I’m already experiencing access to high-quality business connections I would not have had otherwise. Becoming an Ambassador wasn’t hard. All I did was ask.
In organizations run by volunteers, leadership positions are yours for the asking. Most people don’t want the responsibility. In my experience, just about any position can be yours if you just express interest.
Method 2: Teaching
I’ve been blogging about technical topics for years. When I find the solution to some tricky problem and I’m in the mood to write about it, maybe I’ll put up a blog post. Occasionally other people find certain posts helpful.
In 2014 I created AngularOnRails.com with the intention of becoming the internet’s best resource for issue at the intersection of Ruby on Rails and AngularJS. Whether or not I meet this objective, I can always say I’m the author of AngularOnRails.com, which without my having to say anything else indicates to people that I know my way around those two technologies.
By the way, here’s how I came up with the content for AngularOnRails.com: I solved problems as I encountered them, and then I blogged about how I did it. You don’t need years of experience in order to teach something genuinely useful!
You Can Do It
The barrier to entry for teaching is pretty low. But even if you can’t think of something to teach yet, I’d say the barrier to entry for volunteering is even lower. So if you want to raise your profile, there’s a fairly clear and easy path for you to follow.