With 15,000 new UK businesses registering every month*, you definitely want to stand out and be visible to your target audience.
One thing you do not want is to belong to the “Broke and Best Kept Secret” crowd!
So what’s a savvy woman business owner to do?
I say, take charge of your own visibility. Do not wait to be in the news; create the news, just like celebrities do!
Now, I’m not talking about feats such as Janet Jackson’s wardrobe mishap or Tom Cruise’s sofa jumping! These are the not-so-tasteful variety of visibility.
What you want is to stay top of mind in a positive, inspirational way.
You want to draw your target audience to you and give them hope that their aspirations can come true. And then point them to your solutions for this purpose.
Please note that I do not write here about the Hollywood kind of visibility. So there is no need to envision being hounded by paparazzi and autograph-seeking mobs! Rather, I am highlighting the need to be seen by those who need our services, to stand out from the competition and be memorable, even if this is just in your local community of prospects.
So, if you are looking to ramp up your business visibility, here are 5 sure fire ways to get results:
1. Buzz for your Biz!
Is something newsworthy happening in your business? Don’t keep it to yourself; tell the media!
Things to tell include: winning/being nominated for an award; publishing a book; holding free public workshops; reaching mile stones e.g. 10 years in business, 100th customer, second outlet etc; collaborating with/sharing the stage with/interviewing or being interviewed by a celebrity; being patronized by celebrities; being the first, youngest, newest, smallest etc.
Tie your news to something that is already trending and the public will want to hear it.
For instance, a career coach running a workshop showing how you helped 3 long term unemployed people get a job in a recession. Or chronicling your achievements and mile stones as a woman-owned business around International Women’s Day.
2. Build Your Platform, Then Lift Off!
Do you have a point of view, unique idea, reaction to current event or a proprietary system for solving a common problem? Are you great at spotting trends? Do your predictions come true? Could these intellectual assets add value to the world? Then start to build your platform as a thought leader and get your message out to the world. Not only will you create buzz and enhance your visibility, you will also be rendering a needed service with your contributions. So, do not fear that you are “self-promoting.” You are simply sowing and reaping!
How could you get started building your platform? Develop a signature talk on your area of expertise and offer to speak to any relevant audiences such as your Chamber of Commerce, industry events, in public libraries etc. Do not despise the days of small beginnings and work your way up to bigger audiences. While you are at it, write a report on your area of expertise or better still, a book. Then let your local media know by sending out press releases. This will open up doors to more talks, speeches and appearances and you will steadily gain visibility.
3. Collab with a Celeb!
Collaboration is the new competition. If you are interested in making a difference through the work you do, you will realize that you cannot make your difference single-handedly. It will take the help of other like-passioned people to make a significant impact, whatever this may mean for you. So, get used to collaboration!
Now, with this established, think, who are the A-listers in your industry and community that you could partner with to deliver great value to your common target audience?
Get introduced to them; become acquainted with them; propose collaborations with them; collaborate with them! And by association, you gain credibility and visibility. Just in case your inner critic is starting to call this “self-promotion for selfish gain,” let me remind you that your aims are primarily to add value and to make a difference. And in case you have not noticed, visibility and reward are the natural outcomes of adding great value. You have simply learned to use this to your advantage!
4. Report Real Time Happenings:
Have you heard of the service called Help a Reporter Out or HARO? It is a platform where people who have news make themselves available so that those who create the news i.e. journalists and reporters, can access it through them. There are other similar platforms such as networking groups who provide the media access to their members (with consent) for the sake of garnering news from them. If you can build relationships with journalists who cover your area of expertise, you can become an asset to them by reporting real time happenings in your industry. Which then make their way into the news, with a quote from you or in the form of media interviews!
5. Solve a Pressing Problem:
Look around you and pick a pressing problem that plagues your target audience. Then offer a solution to a small focus group.
If it is feasible, give your solution away for free, such as a public workshop, free demonstration or an advice clinic.
Again, keep the media informed of your activities, with testimonials from those you have helped. This tags you as not just an expert but also one who is relevant and actively contributing to the community, the kind of person that people want to do business with!
You might by now be wondering, is there room for all of us in the news? Yes, if you operate in a sharply defined niche and build your own unique platform. There is enough space for anyone doing something different, unique or interesting. I know this by the number of media requests crossing my desk every week from my various networks. Journalists are always looking to create news and the public is forever ready to consume it. Just make sure that it is YOUR news your audience is reading and you will not need to worry about the ever growing competition!
Oma Edoja is an author, speaker and Women’s Business Growth Mentor who is passionate about empowering women! She is the UK’s go-to-gal for ambitious women entrepreneurs who want to get more clients, make more money and make a bigger impact on the people they serve. Oma is the author of “The Essential Get Clients Guide: 14 Reasons Women Business Owners Struggle to Get Clients and How to Avoid Them.” She invites you to download your FREE copy at www.TheEssentialGetClientsGuide.com