As a young entrepreneur often times the biggest challenge is starting from scratch. We polled over a hundred successful business people and asked them:
How Do I Get Known? In my industry, in the blogosphere, regionally or globally? How do I build my personal brand so more people, and the right people, know about me?
Below are the best responses!
1. Get your face and opinion out there — online and in print every chance you get. Get known as an expert on something. Blog, blog and blog some more. It’s up to you to toot your own horn and let the world know why you are the expert you are.
2. I think one of the best ways to get “known” as a young entrepreneur is to subscribe to HARO! Seriously, if you fit the bill for any request, respond to it. You’ll get small response rate but because of HARO Ive been quoted in TIME Magazine, ABC News, a bunch of smaller/niche websites and will be featured in Real Simple magazine next month. Its an amazing service and no matter what your business you can find someone looking for something related to what you do. Its a great stepping stone for someone who wants to get known and cant afford a PR budget (yet)!
3. In my experience I would recommend two sources. The first is www.sendoutcards.com. It’s a way for you to send out cards to people you want to know, you know, clients, prospects etc. It’s inexpensive and makes a huge impression on people. The other is www.constantcontact.com. This is a newsletter site that enables you to build newsletters that keep your name in front of people as often as you wish.
4. I’ve built my popularity by giving. I openly and freely share my knowledge and experience of 25 years in my field. This unselfish “giving” has enabled me to build a large group/list who trusts me and what I offer. Having people who trust you is a very high honor.
5. Know who your customer is, then go hang out where they hang out and physically network with them. In the age of social networking it’s basically the same thing. What websites do you think your customer is viewing then go and advertise on those websites. It’s all about know WHO your customer is and WHERE they hang out. Then you just market to them.
6. Promote cause while you promote your business.
7. I went from being virtually unknown in my industry to becoming an acknowledged expert over the span of about two years. This was done by publishing my own monthly newsletters, web site, publishing articles in trade magazines, authoring a book, and speaking at industry events. I am still expanding my reach using social networking, videos, audio, etc. The financial investment has been minimal, the benefits substantial.
8. First, decide what it is you’d like to be known *for* and by *who.* Then make sure that you’ve aligned everything about you, your product/service and your communications to support your desired reputation (“brand”).
9. Stay true to who you are and be yourself. Bring your personality to your business and brand through your blogs, social media, interviews etc. People want to see real people and know who the real person is behind the company/business. Connect with others that have the same passion as you and build off of that.
10. Get on local TV. Build a relationship with local reporters/anchors as an expert in your field. They will call on you to quote/comment on stories. This is the foundation to gaining national exposure.
11. Most people underestimate the amount of free press they can get. As an owner I spend several hours a day contacting at least 30 individual reporters about whats new with my company and why they should write about us. So far it’s worked well.
12. Make a commitment to be the best you can be at your profession. Join professional associations that serve the industry you work in and get actively involved in them. This long-time standard is one of the best ways to increase your visibility in your industry, and be seen and known as someone who is a good person to know and work with.
13. Having a solid PR representative to garner the relationships for you with the media is a must. The media should have quick access to you through your pr pro. The process of performing an interview should be an easy one where the reporter/producer can gain access to you quickly and make their deadlines.
14. Here’s the only answer for this: Do the work. The under 30 set are so concerned with recognition, attention, building their “personal brand,” fame, notoriety but if you don’t do the work, it doesn’t last. The greatest people in business didn’t have to work at making a “personal brand” — they did good work, put the time in, and that — not flying around to every networking event, etc. — got them “known”.
15. Create the most helpful and simplest products and services that work – think “Google & Apple”.
16. Learn what others are doing, how do you want to emulate them, how can you help them do what they’re doing better – once you find that niche, it’s much easier to get noticed and be known. As a communicator this is especially true; however, it applies to any and all industries.
17. You are your best marketing tool. Get out in front of people and talk. Volunteer to present to professional groups or on panels. Always leave a form of contact so that new people you connect with can keep in touch, learn more about you and help you get known by even more people.
18. My focus has always been on bringing value to the marketplace and being really good at my key results areas. I feel that “getting known” takes care of itself.
19. The most important thing about building your brand is establishing a strong web presence. You can’t market yourself without a website, so get buy your name or lock in something else that identifies who you are and what you stand for. Once your website is up, you market it to bloggers. The more sites that link to your site, the better your ranking will appear with all of the search engines. You also need to establish your credibility in the online world. Write about what you know and identify your strengths, then leverage them through online marketing.
20. Quit selling and start helping. See yourself as chief educator in your field and forget about selling your product or service. People will trust you when they don’t feel like they are dealing with a salesman. Viral marketing begins and as you become labeled as an expert in your field, you can leverage that to gain TV, radio and other social media exposure.
21. I find blogging is the easiest, most cost effective way to brand yourself. Daily blogging gets your name out in the internet community, and as long as you’re blogging about what you know then you are marketing yourself.
22. Write. Articles, books, blog postings, shopping lists, whatever. Write and continue to write, getting your name out there every chance you get. If you have something worth saying, people will pick up on it and want to find out more.
23. Make a practice of regularly commenting on other people’s blog posts – of course, I mean blogs, sites or stories that are relevant to one’s area of expertise; I am also assuming that the comments will be intelligent, spellchecked and to the point. Make sure in the comment that there is a way to have a reader either be linked back to one’s blog/site or at least get your full name in the signature so that you can be searched on google.
24. Work with a mentor at least 10 years your senior in a successful business where his or her contacts would be valuable for your business. The purpose of that mentorship is three-fold: 1. Your mentor will introduce you to people or businesses that can be customers or provide you with valuable services that will forward your business. 2. Your mentor will be capable of providing coaching or insight on issues, challenges or problems you are facing. 3. Your mentor will be willing to serve as a business reference.
25. Be crystal clear about who you are, what makes you unique and why the media should care. Assure you have a consistent message by having all your press materials ready before the press calls in an online press kit.
26. The fastest way to ‘get known’ in your field is to volunteer to give a speech at a professional conference. Trying to get media attention can take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. Professional organizations usually don’t pay for speeches, but you can gain a lot of visibility through volunteering to deliver a talk.
27. Beyond creating valuable and unique content or offerings relevant to your industry, the best way to build your personal brand so that the right people know about you is to initiate efforts that bring the industry thought leaders together. This can be done by featuring them in lists of the industry’s top experts, highlighting and referencing their insights/ideas in your content or creating an event or project and inviting them to become involved. By consistently creating value and acting as a leader in the industry through entrepreneurial, collaborative and value-driven efforts, you will increase your brand awareness and will likely be perceived as a leader by those you are targeting. - under30ceo