I hear laments like these often: "How come I'm not the one getting called to participate in expert panels? How is it that they're able to keep closing deals? My experience is so much stronger than theirs--why do I have to fight so hard to win every client, when they have people banging down their door?"
Those complaints come from talented business owners who have a lot to offer their ideal customers in terms of their expertise. But even though they're masters of their craft, they still toil away in obscurity, struggling to get the customers who value their unique skills.
Businesses of all sizes are in a war these days, vying for the attention of their customers. The brands that are making the most gains are the ones who've found a way to cut through the noise, by strategically getting their name and expertise in front of the customers they want to serve.
The strategy that's helped them get the much-needed attention, is embracing their role as a media company. They proactively work to create the conditions that attracts the people they want to serve to them.
You can do the same. And there are a number of ways you can work to get the attention you crave, in a manner that works well for your personality, your resources, and ultimately your business.
Here are five ways to get started:
1. Curate industry news on social media.
Use your profiles as a way to showcase you've got your finger on the pulse of what's going on in your industry.
Post relevant articles about your area of expertise, and provide your own commentary. This will highlight that you are well read, up to date on industry trends, and that you have a point of view.
As you become a trusted source for valuable information, others in your field will start to turn to you proactively to get insights on the latest happenings.
2. Publish your ideas.
Demonstrate your expertise by creating original content. Teach what you know, explain your philosophy, and cover relevant topics in your field from your vantage point.
Over time you'll start to be seen as an expert as people glean new insights on the topics you address.
You can create a blog, podcast, or a YouTube channel, and work to build up a following. Or you could publish your thoughts on LinkedIn Pulse or Medium, and connect with the built-in audiences there.
3. Build an enviable network
New opportunities arise often based upon who you know. This can include referrals to new clients, mentions in popular publications, or email introductions to producers on television shows. People do business with and promote others who they know, like, and trust. They go out of their way to help those they have a relationship with.
The more robust your network is, the better positioned you are to have new opportunities come your way. And the best time to build a powerful network is when you don't need it. Start reaching out to leaders and others in your field. As you meet customers, vendors, and experts stay in touch.
Bonus points if you decide to leverage that network to help you create content that further demonstrates your expertise.
4. Foster a community
Create and lead a community that is "the place" for those who are interested in your area of expertise. Provide a space for others to let their voices be heard, and to connect with like-minded people.
You could host live meet-ups, create a virtual space, such as a Facebook group, for others to discuss their ideas on the latest news, and even provide professional development opportunities that grow the skills of everyone in the group.
5. Pitch yourself as a guest on podcasts
As podcasting continues to grow as a medium, there's a boatload of shows and hosts that are constantly on the hunt for relevant guests to add value to their audiences on a particular topic.
You can reach out to these hosts, and pitch them on why you'd be a great fit to be on their show. I'm pitched frequently by authors, entrepreneurs, and company executives who want to be a guest on my show, so they can get introduced to a new audience and share their story.
You can cultivate the conditions that produce new opportunities for your business, including capturing the attention of the people you are best suited to serve.
But to do it, you've got to step into the forefront and start building your platform through the smart use of media. It is a long-term strategy that can reap many dividends for you. But you've got to take the time to execute on it. Today is a perfect day to start.