Imagine that you woke up one morning and discovered you were completely invisible. And nobody could hear you either. If you sent an email, nobody would even see it.
Not such a great circumstance if you wanted to attract clients to your business!
But as absurd as this situation might seem, it’s pretty close to reality for many independent professionals. They are rarely seen or noticed by their prospective clients.
If your business is not growing and you need to attract more clients, the very first thing you need to do is gain more visibility.
In my business, my efforts to become visible followed this progression: networking – speaking – keep-in-touch marketing – publishing.
I joined my local Chamber of Commerce, professional groups, and networking clubs and I started to meet a lot of new people, including many prospective clients.
Then I contacted organizations and started to give talks on marketing for professionals. I met even more people and added them to my mailing list.
I then mailed a newsletter every other month to those on this list, and I sent postcard mailings inviting people to various introductory marketing events.
The hard truth you have to face is that very few people wake up in the morning with your name on their lips. You cannot remain relatively invisible and expect your business to grow magically.
You need to remedy this with a “Visibility Plan.” Here are nine ways to do it:
1. Start slow, with patience. You can’t get in front of 50,000 people overnight. Get clear on who your ideal clients are and where you can connect with them.
2. Focus on as many in-person meetings as possible through professional organizations. Really get to know people and their needs.
3. Reach out to make connections with those you’ve met who could be possible clients or refer you to clients. Real connections are more powerful than virtual connections.
4. With permission, add people to your e-list and send some valuable information at least monthly. This kind of keep-in-touch marketing is essential to stay visible.
5. Set up your website to get opt-ins in return for a report or article. Make it a practice to give away lots of value and demonstrate your expertise.
6. Establish a presence on social media such as Facebook and Linked In. But don’t make this your primary visibility method, as it can be hard to stand out in this crowded arena.
7. Submit articles to online publications that your ideal clients visit and read. This is a great way to build credibility to a very targeted audience.
8. Seek out opportunities to give presentations – everything from speaking at professional groups to giving a TED talk. Nothing is more powerful than highlighting your expertise on stage.