Are you one of the people/companies standing at the “post-pandemic” starting gate, anxious to gain new or increased business from potential clients? In this crowded field, it’s difficult to become visible and stand out in the crowd. Here are some easy-to-follow rules that will help you succeed.
Two decades ago, when we launched Presentation Excellence to help presenters who were already visible to close more deals, we also launched PortfolioPR, an investor and public relations firm focused on the first problem: gaining visibility so you would be invited to make the presentation. At the time, we created our own rules for doing so:
- Conduct a perception scan – who knows about what you do and what do they really know
- Determine a unique branding proposition to fill the blank
- Present your brand in contexts where you’re different than the others around you
- Reinforce your unique brand as often as necessary until feedback tells you that you’ve succeeded
For instance, a public company with a market capitalization of $500M, wanted to achieve a market capitalization of $1Billion+, so the largest investment banks would make investments. The perception study told us that most potential investors didn’t know the company was even an option; they though other larger companies had acquired them years ago. At the time, the aerospace industry was in a recession and it provided products to the industry. But since it also provide other industry products, we branded the company as an expert in “highly-engineered solutions”. We promoted the company with a focus on the breadth of the product line, through a mix of public and private investor programs – which allowed us to engage in strategic partnerships with colleagues in all the industries. Eighteen months later, we accomplished the goal – and turned over the strategy to a newly created team within the company to continue the process.
Lee W. Frederiksen offers a different framework for professionals who want to increase visibility. In Visible Expert, he identifies four levels of expertise that a person can promote:
- The Resident Expert: Establishing yourself as a thought leader and expert within your firm. Focus on what you know and what people need, and keep developing outstanding content for anyone who reaches out to you.
- The Local Hero: With an eye on future career development, you begin to specialize within your domain of expertise. You rely on referrals, speaking engagements, social media and websites.
- The Rising Star: Using your entrepreneurial energy, you focus on your niche and start promoting yourself more actively to reach larger audiences and become recognized as a market leader. Issuing white papers, publishing a book, participating in podcasts, etc., are strategies you use to create buzz.
- The Industry Rock Star: Visibility as an expert has taken a life of its own and continues to generate new opportunities. You become more selective in your niche expertise and audience, and channel existing buzz into reputation (and income) management.
Now is the time to launch your career or company growth. Harness the strategy that will enable you to achieve your goal of being a recognized expert and leader!