By Amanda Berlin
It is necessary to keep yourself and your business visible right now. Here are three ways to do it
To say we’re in unprecedented times would be an understatement. But as business owners, we have a few options: retreat, put business on hold or rise. Rise as leaders who can provide a much-needed respite for our clients. Rise as leaders who still have something important, of value, to say. Rise as leaders who will be part of the new world order when we’re in the “after” of all this.
Overstatement? I don’t think so. There is no doubt the world will be a different place when we emerge from the veil of this physical distancing. And the way to weather the unfathomable impact of this economic shutdown is to keep showing up.
Your people need you. They need the solutions you can provide. And they still want to believe in the vision they had for their own businesses and spaces. It is not only appropriate but necessary that you stay in the game during these times.
With that in mind, here are three ways to build your visibility and influence, even now. These ideas are based on the three-part Visibility Framework I teach my clients and walk through with them in our program, Pitch to Prominence.
Reach out to your fellow business owners—even those you’ve deemed “out of reach” or a few steps further down the road than you—and suggest a collaboration. The best way to start this conversation is to simply reach out with a word of admiration or respect for the work they are doing out there in the world. Here is a sample script:
Hope you’re doing well given the state of the world! I just wanted to say I love your work. Keep going! Your recent [work] really resonated with me because of [ABC]. I really appreciate what you’re putting out there. Thanks! And stay well!
Keep it short. Make it genuine. Release your expectations. Hit send. From there, you can continue the conversation with a request for a conversation (yes, an actual conversation) where you can chat about how you can support each other.
As a result of this somewhat risk-free bold act, you’ll make a new connection. And as a result of your eventual collaboration, you’ll get new eyes on your business.
When you find the right collaborators, your message reaches other people who are interested in your area of expertise but who didn’t know of you before. Your influence widens. And the audience feels they’ve learned of you by the all-powerful medium of word of mouth.
Host an Event
Yes, I know, we’re not allowed to get together in person right now. Consider hosting an online event. This dovetails nicely with the quest to connect with collaborators. Putting yourself in the middle of an online roundtable or your version of a virtual summit can position you as a leader, connect you to new allies and introduce your work to new eyes.
The first thing to do is determine what kind of event you want to host. Here are some ideas:
- Host a panel discussion
- Design your own version of a virtual summit
- Launch an interview series (you can record ahead of time)
- Do a Facebook Live series
- Launch a promo posse with like-minded friends
When you venture to create an event, you’re putting yourself at the center of a happening. You become a connector. You become known as someone who curates good information. A great experience, for both the consumers of your event and the people with whom you collaborate, brings the event to life.
Pitch the Media
The media is consumed with the news of the day, yes. But there is space for you to contribute if you’re willing to pivot your message, just a little, for these times.
When you become a contributor now, when journalists’ jobs are harder than ever, you can become a friend for life. The fact is journalists, decision-makers, podcasters and producers are always looking for great ideas and reliable contributors. When you create this bond by fulfilling that role, you forge a relationship you can capitalize on over time.
Look for media that is relevant to your audience. Ask your people what they are paying attention to right now. Make a connection with the decision-maker.
Next, think of your story angle. Ask yourself how your work is relevant to the media outlet, their audience and what’s happening in the world right now (this is true for whenever you’re pitching).
Pick which of these visibility tactics you’re going to start with and jump in. The only downside to these tactics is not doing them. You can stay small and remain where you are in your work. Or you can be bold and brave right now. You can enjoy a deeper connection with your audience. You can recruit new fans because you’ve put yourself and your expertise out there in new ways. This is what these times demand of us.
Amanda Berlin is a visibility and business consultant for entrepreneurs. She works with clients on holistic visibility to help them grow their businesses and impact based on tactics employed during her 12 years in the corporate PR world, guiding strategy for major brands. She’s the host of “The Empowered Publicity Podcast” and loves arming soul-powered business owners with the ideas and skill sets they need to go from hidden industry gem to recognizable trusted expert.