Seth Godin. Dorie Clark. Austin Kleon. Gary Vaynerchuk. Do any of these names ring a bell? Depending on your field, these people are Elvis, Madonna, and Taylor Swift rolled into one. But if I mention any of them at Thanksgiving, I can guarantee you my mom will have no idea who I'm talking about.
And that's just the way they like it.
In the twenty-first century, it's not necessary to be world famous to rake in the big bucks. What is necessary, however, is to be famous in your niche. Among your contemporaries, competitors, and, most importantly, your prospective buyers, you need to be immediately recognizable. But with all the noise out there--not to mention everything else you have going on--how are you supposed to get yourself and your business noticed?
Think Like Tom Sawyer
Those of you who paid attention in junior high school English class might recognize the following story from the Mark Twain classic. Tom's aunt told him to paint a fence white, which he really didn't feel like doing. So instead of hunkering down and working hard, ol' Tom started whistling and singing so that everyone could hear him. Soon enough, every kid in the town was whitewashing that fence. Every kid but Tom Sawyer, that is.
Becoming a household name in your niche requires getting in front of people all the time. Sure, the Internet gives you the tools to distribute your message more easily than ever before, but you're still going to have to produce a whole lot of content. However, there's no reason you have to do it all yourself.
Instead of writing a blog, create an online trade magazine to which other smart people in your industry contribute. Rather than create a bunch of one-way YouTube videos, start a podcast that lets you ask insightful questions to innovators in your field. The result will be that people will start to see you as the hub of your community. And you won't even have to do the bulk of the work.
Don't Forget About The Oldest Technology of All
With all the buzz around social media and content marketing, people often overlook the most powerful media platform of all. While the household names mentioned in the first paragraph are often praised for their online savvy, most of them gained the bulk of their fame by publishing a plain old pen-and-ink book.
Nothing says authority like having your name in print. And if you're able to get the name of a fancy publisher on the flap and prominently featured at Barnes & Noble, that's even better. You can write blog posts and broadcast podcast episodes all day long, but it's a regular book that will do more than anything to get people to check you out.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
You're a businessperson, so it's time to start thinking like one. There's no reason you need to hand craft each piece of content like a carmaker in 1901. Be more like Henry Ford.
Transcribe your podcast episodes and repurpose them into the book you've been meaning to write. Get someone to record you speaking and chop it up into those articles you never get around to.
You get the picture.
Figuring out how to get the most exposure in the least amount of time is what will elevate you above everyone else in your crowded space. Household names have been doing it for years. Now it's time for you to join them.