Are you working as hard as you can in your area of expertise? Are you implementing creative ideas? Are you valuable to your clients? And now the tough question: Does the public know about you? If you're like most business people, you answered "Yes" to the first three questions, and then perhaps hesitated on the last question and may have ultimately answered "No," or sheepishly said "Well, not as much as I'd hoped."
Getting your name "out there" requires getting yourself "out there." This means a very steady diet of first and foremost being visible in the business community, as well as actively "tooting your own horn." Being humble is not a virtue when one is striving to become a household name. So does this happen overnight? Of course not, but that's where repetition comes into play. If your name and your accomplishments are repeatedly positioned in different ways, you become familiar to others and that's when you know you're making inroads.
This begs the question of what's an accomplishment. Again, if you're in the humble category, you may minimize or downplay a project or new development. Rule #1 is that all your endeavors should be viewed as accomplishments. Then it becomes a matter of spreading the news. Let's say for example that you are offering a workshop in your local community and though to you it may be "old hat," it marks an opportunity to let the public know about it. This can range from telling family and friends, posting it on your website, sending postcard announcements to former clients, submitting it to newspapers and trade publications as well as local Chambers of Commerce; in fact, the more the merrier. While we're on the subject of print media, why not take this idea to the next level? You can email or telephone feature reporters in your local newspaper to let them know when and where your class will be conducted and use your skills to entice them as to why this would be a great story, photos and all. It may not be the right time the first time, but if you stay the course and remember your goal (to get your name out there), eventually it will happen.
While print media is phenomenal exposure, you don't want to overlook radio and television. In this instance the approach is to offer to be a guest to either take questions from viewers or to do an interview. The key here is to be prepared with "your hook." In other words, think through why your subject is of interest to the audience, how you can be a resource, the timeliness of your call (e.g. offering your professional opinion about the effectiveness of a politician who's running for office). You may want to approach it like a puzzle and determine where you best fit.
You may be wondering what the payoff is for all your perseverance. Once you do break through and get that well-earned publicity, it catches on like wildfire. Suddenly, you're "out there" like a household word, the world is your oyster?and the phone is ringing off the wall. That means only one thing which is you've got publicity. Now keep going!
Dale Klein, owner of SPEECH MATTERS, is a Corporate Communication & Speech Specialist. Having owned her own practice since 1994, Dale has the expertise you want when it comes to presenting yourself with professionalism. Learn more at http://www.speech-matters.com or call 518-664-6004.