Researcher Visibility: First things first
What is your brand and USP? a.k.a "Why you?"
Let's be honest, have you ever thought about what your brand or unique selling point (USP) is? If the answer is no then welcome to the unknown (remember, we grow outside of our comfort zone!).
We here borrow the business terms “brand” and ”USP” to formalize what most of us learn the hard way, i.e. “why me?”.
Brand “feature(s) that identify a company or yourself, including logo, slogan, font, colour etc.”
Unique Selling Point (USP) “the factors that make a company or yourself unique (and better than competitors)”
Even though you might have an aversion thinking about yourself to be branded or having a USP, identifying your brand is crucial to shape your content and layout. For example is it more formal or informal? Does your brand have a certain colour scheme? Is there something that you always want to see associated with your name?
Personal example: Identifying colour scheme and key words
For example, in my PhD I was working on zebrafish vascular development using light sheet fluorescence microscopy. This means two things, firstly my work was heavily based on fluorescence imaging data, which were often best represented on black background to allow increased contrast. Similarly, I displayed most of my fluorescence data using magenta. Thus, text to highlight things equally was represented in magenta. Considering which colours go well with magenta and would fit "my brand", blue was the colour I chose as complementary colour for other highlights (blue is perceived as tranquil, sincere, and calming). Thus, the colour scheme for my presentations is based on black background, white text (sections actively spoken about), grey text (sections already spoken about), magenta (important highlights), and blue (important highlights). Defining my colour scheme ensures consistency in my data representation and is consistent with what I am comfortable with.
Secondly, for my PhD I identified three keypoints which were always associated with my work, which were: zebrafish, vasculature, and light sheet microscopy. As I often presented work at conferences other than my own field, I would be satisfied if people would remember nothing but these words after my conference talk.
How much time do you want to invest?
Another important question is "How much time you want to invest into increasing and/or maintaining your visibility and network?"
Do you want to spend one chunk of time as a one off or do you want to regularly invest time? Similarly, how much time do you want to invest into it, especially if you opt for regularly investing time. The question of time investment heavily depends on your aims as well as the type of dialogue/interaction you have with the audience.
What medium do you feel most comfortable with?
Spending time thinking about what you feel most comfortable with is key when wanting to maintain your efforts in the long-term to increase visibility. For example, do you feel comfortable using text, images, podcasts, or video?
Personally, I am generally most comfortable with images as well as text so I usually stick to these mediums. However, it cannot hurt to try new media outside your comfort zone.
Content type and medium ideas:
Images, Infographics, Memes, Gifs, Videos, Podcasts, Animations, Questions, Polls, Features of Collaborators / Friends, Feedback, Events, Tips and tricks, “How to”, Quotes, Market data, Interviews, Jokes, Trends, Media coverage, Updates, Blog posts, News, Papers, Protocols, Database information, Discussion forums, etc.