Is your business like Machu Picchu?

Today, the mystical site is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit this archeological wonder each year.

But after the Inca's abandoned it in the late 1500's, very few people knew it existed. That is until it was "discovered" when a local boy and his father led a researcher to it in the early 1900's.

The story of Machu Picchu is the story of far too many entrepreneurs. They have amazing products and services, but unfortunately, they operate in obscurity, waiting to be "discovered" by someone who will let everyone know they should pay attention.

But most successful businesses aren't created that way. Entrepreneurs who thrive take a more proactive approach to spread the word about their expertise, products, and services.

And if you're tired of being the best-kept secret in your field, don't wait for someone to discover you or recognize your value. Follow one of these three proven approaches to finally start getting your business the attention it deserves.

1. Publish your ideas consistently

You can position yourself as the recognized expert in your field. One of the great things about the digital age we live in is that the barrier to entry to share your ideas is extremely low.

The more you share your expertise in a place where your ideal customers are able to see it, the more they start to recognize you as the go-to person on a particular topic.

Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out, advocates this strategy as a means to get your ideal customers to flock to you.

"With hard work and smarts, almost any professional could become a thought leader in his or her company or field. Few ever try - and that's your competitive advantage. If you're willing to take the risk of sharing yourself and your ideas with the world, you're far ahead of the majority, who stay silent."

Thomas Oppong of AllTop Startups takes this approach. Every time I look up, I see an article he's written on entrepreneurship, and personal development, across various publications.

Because I see his work and ideas everywhere, he stands out as someone to pay attention to, and I've started to follow his work.

2. Build powerful relationships

If publishing your ideas frequently makes you anxious, you could take a more timeless approach, by leveraging the power of relationships, particularly with influencers and other recognized experts in your field.

When you create genuine powerful relationships based upon giving first, rather than what you can get, over time you'll start to reap the benefits as your friends turn their spotlight on you and present you with opportunities.

Selena Soo, founder of S2 Groupe is a master at this strategy. She's a super connector and has built a powerhouse network built upon the foundation of giving and helping others succeed.

Whether it's hosting private dinners so those in her circle have the opportunity to strengthen their own networks, or pitching magazines on behalf of people who's work she believes in, her generosity and thoughtfulness make her someone other people take notice of and want to get to know.

3. Be Your Own PR Agent

If relationship building makes you want to curl up under the covers and hide, there is another option. Become your own PR agent.

Reach out to members of the press and pitch stories based on your product or service offerings. When you get featured by others who have an audience that you want to reach, it can instantly help elevate your status, as other people get introduced to you.

The cool thing is there are tools available to help you do that.

Just Reach Out helps you find and pitch members of the press to help you get featured in larger publications. As you highlight why your story is unique, you can give them much need fresh ideas to cover in their work.

And tools like Ninja Outreach help you identify influencers in your niche, such as bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers. Then it gives you their contact information so you can ask to write for their publications, be a guest on their podcast, request links to content on your website, or even have them do a review of your product.

So if you're open to doing more grassroots outreach, you can build connections with others who can help showcase the cool things you are doing.

Like with most things, none of these strategies will make you an overnight success. But with a smart approach to implementing them, time, and consistent effort you will start to see results, and you will finally get your business the attention it desperately needs.

Published on: Mar 2, 2017