Visibility is an interesting thing. Most of us know that we need it to further our business or career and yet there’s a fine line, a balancing act between being visible and looking desperate.
Yes, we need tools like Facebook to get noticed. However, if we’re on there all the time we risk looking as though we are either a narcissist who can’t get by without their attention supply, or just haven’t got anything better to do. And there are issues of sustainability involved too. If your profile raising plan involves driving around the country to deliver talks to networking groups there may come a point when you burn out out or run out of places to speak!
I’m a big fan of crafting a reputation raising plan that works for you, around your skills, strengths, likes and experience. But there are some Visibility raising mistakes that are so easy to spot and avoid that it would be rude not to alert you to them. So…read on for the profile raising mistakes to avoid…
1 . Following the ego
I’m not saying that having an ego is a bad thing. Ego will help give you the confidence to get out there, the desire to be seen and a belief that you can do it, all of which are pretty vital if you want to stand out. However, there needs to be some thought behind it. If you want to get into Red magazine because you know your friends read it and will see it, or your aim behind a Facebook Ad campaign is to merely get your face recognised, then you may be putting a lot of effort into something that not’s going to serve you long term. Which publications should you be targeting? If your target market is in their twenties or over 55 then Red may be all wrong for you. If you are putting out Facebook ads without thinking it can grow your group, page or even mailing list you are throwing money down the drain and just being led by your ego. Be discriminating about what you are aiming for. How will it serve you?
This will help you target your time, energy and other resources where they really need to be.
I love a good rebrand but if you think it’s something you may be doing at some point in the future, for goodness sake get it sorted before you start your Visibility campaign. What you don’t want are unclear messages getting out there. Clarity is key.
3. Underestimating your Prep Time
It takes time to put good Facebook ads together, to craft a press release, to arrange an event or nuture a Meetup group into life…and that’s all before you actually get to the fun visibility raising bit. Factor in enough prep time to get this sort of work done. You need enough time so that it is unhurried, with a buffer built in for you to double check that it fits in with your brand and where you want it to go.
4. Underestimating How Long It takes
Building a reputation takes time. One article will not send hundreds of people to your website looking to buy your services. One event may bring a client or two, but you will need to run regular events to build a tribe of potential clients and people who sing your praises. Be prepared to do (some) stuff for free, to say yes to things that scare you and to put the hours in meeting people in the way that suits you and your business best, whether that’s at networking events, conferences, or one to ones.
5. Copying Someone Else
It’s great when someone inspires you but what you put out there should really be your own. Coincidences happen: someone launched their retreat the same time as I launched my Verona retreat. That happens. If you are a coach, a consultant or in any way selling you you need to really build your profile all around you. Yes, it’s about what you can do but my guess is that quite a lot of the time someone else can do that too. What they can’t do is be you.
6. Not being Sustainable
I spoke to someone recently who told me they wouldn’t join a new networking group because they had enough contacts and wanted to get to see those properly, building stronger relationships and bonds. I loved that. It’s all about being sustainable, growing what you have. Think about what refreshes and what drains you. You may love speaking to promote your business but actually hate being away from home and the kids. Is there something else you can do to support that speaking campaign that doesn’t involve being away from them and takes the pressure off?
Over the past year I’ve become more in tune with myself. I know that I need peace and quiet to refresh myself. Time on my own. Then I’m good to go again. I’ve learned what foods make me feel sluggish, how eating too much gluten gives me dark circles under my eyes and that really, truly two glasses of wine is enough. If you are building a reputation you need to have the holistic scaffold in place to support it.
7. Staying Stagnant
You may know that I ran Do Your Own PR for over 12 years. After 10 years I was getting bored. If you were in a job for that long people would be asking questions, and I knew something was wrong. But people kept saying “Don’t change, Do Your Own PR is a great concept”. Then, finally, I made to decision to go back to Uni to do an MSc and things just fell into place. I evolved. But it took longer than it should have.
Evolution is good. It is what will keep people interested in you – and you interested in yourself and what you do. The greatest singers and musicians know this – Bowie, Madonna, Kate Bush, Prince – they all evolved. An evolving profile always offers up new surprises; new angles to tweak interest; a new look that stops you becoming dated. What’s more, it’s fun too, and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?
Originally published at www.scarletthinking.com