Whether your talents lie in social media strategy, 10X-ing something, fitness, resilience, communication or helping nonprofits to fundraise, your talents alone won’t build your business. The need remains to build your visibility – online and offline – so people know who you are, what you do, and how you can help.
The word that we don’t often hear when we talk about visibility is the vulnerability that you can feel when you’re becoming more visible in your network – perhaps amongst ex-colleagues, friends and potential partners.
Perhaps you’re afraid of risk to your reputation as you’ve taken a new direction, or the unhelpful thought that by asking people to buy things from you that you’re showing you’re not fully booked, and so have stopped trying to sell your services (a tricky one to unravel, I was only just working on this with a client last week). Perhaps you’re simply not accustomed to transitioning from a “getting to know you chat” to the sales conversation – however, people need to know you exist for these conversations to even begin!
Here are 3 tactics to raise your visibility to create interactions and connections with the right potential clients, and not spend any more time with professional freebie hunters and shiny-object chasers.
Conduct Market Research With Fresh Eyes
When was the last time you asked your audience (even if a small one), what’s going on in their world? What their interests are? What they hope to achieve? Have your services and programs shifted with the needs of your current audience?
Business startup and strategy coach JoJo Husain shares “When you conduct market research you can better serve your clients. It’s kind of like saying you have a best friend and don’t know anything about her. So how can you be a good friend to her? Especially when her birthday comes if you don’t know what she likes? You want to research so you can create better offers, know how to speak your clients' language, create better ads, and connect in a deeper way which makes you stand out”.
Similarly, have you reached out to a new range of ideal clients – either through groups online or your extended network? You can ask your email list if they know anyone that fits a specific profile and offer a real incentive for participating. For example, I’m currently researching for a new program for speakers who want to speak on stage, and I’ve posted on multiple online platforms looking for entrepreneurs and coaches who want:
a) be paid to speak on stage, at in-person events or workshops (as the host or guest speaker)
b) develop the speaking skills, stage presence, style, and confidence to be seen as a leader/expert in their market, and be fully booked!
Their incentive for joining was a discount on the final product.
Psst! A free “discovery” call with you doesn’t always sound like an incentive if they don’t know who you are and what you can do... that’s why it’s important to keep building your visibility and credibility as part of your regular weekly routine.
Online & In-Person Networking
From 15 years in various corporate environments, I’ve learned as an employee you have the opportunity to build a personal brand, and there’s an institutional memory bank that needs to be refreshed and updated from time to time to gain new opportunities – but that’s simply not the case in the entrepreneurial world, as you’re trying to stand out amongst competitors share the value of your service, and become memorable within your network.
Ugh, you were hoping there was some way to avoid talking to people and doing the whole small talk thing? Well, No… If you want to help people, you’re going to have to talk to them. However, the good news is, networking can be done on your terms. There are not many people that enjoy awkward small talk, however, most people will enjoy answering questions that you're genuinely interested in hearing the answer to. Meaning, if you’re interested in what the other person has to say, asking questions and responding genuinely to questions asked of you, you’re just having… a conversation.
If you tend more towards "awkward-preneur" than "flawless communicator", prepare a couple of questions in advance that anyone can answer;
What sort of work do you do? Are you based in (city)? How long have you been doing that for?
When you’ve chatted for a while, you’ll know whether you want to continue to chat (if they sound like your kind of client), or whether you’ll want to move on. If you want to move on, a simple “Great to meet you, hope you enjoy the rest of the event” or “Great to meet you, would you like to stay in touch?” is all that’s needed. If online, you might invite that person to join your online community to stay in touch.
The important element here is that you plan to network every week and actually do it.
Speaking At Events & Creating Video Content
The case for speaking at events and creating video content online is grounded in the same principles: attraction, likability, credibility, positioning, authority and status.
Video is prioritised on all social media platforms and will continue to be. By appearing on your audiences’ feed it allows you to sell without selling and allows people to get to know you (actually repelling those that aren’t a good fit to work 1:1) and cuts the time down to build a connection built through like and trust – you can take a deeper dive into Know, Like & Trust here.
Likewise, standing up in a room and speaking about your area of expertise automatically positions you as a leader and an authority, above those who may have similar credentials however are not willing to stand up.
By building our leadership presence, stepping into our expertise and taking up our little piece of the online or physical space comfortably, we’re inviting more people into our world and helping instead of hiding out.