It’s time for you to get famous. Take action and shift the conversation. Take control of who you know and who knows you.
In 2009, the economy was in a nasty tailspin. It was a dark time for consultants and W-2 employees alike. This refreshed article is my response to the doom and gloom atmosphere we seem to be in again. Keep reading to see how you can get famous.
Why do people know you?
When you get yourself well known in the market area you want to own, something remarkable will happen. All kinds of fantastic opportunities will present themselves. Clients will come to you.
Why is it important to get famous?
Is there one thing you are known for in your community? What or why do people come to you? Tell me more.
Your personal brand can help your business. When you are easily recognized and associated with your business, this will grow awareness in the minds of your prospects and customers.
Now is the time to look for opportunities to get famous. While other companies disappear, reduce or eliminate their visibility by shutting off their marketing and advertising, hunkering down, hiding out, hoping and praying, they are setting up a perfect stage for their competition to rise above and stay in front of their customers. When people know you and remember you, they can do business with you.
Businesses that are tightening up fail to realize, as the playing field becomes less crowded, it is easier for those remaining to be seen and heard. Now is the perfect time to make you more visible. Take a stand, show up, stay in the game, and become a leader in your market segment.
Becoming visible doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money. There are inexpensive or even no cost opportunities and ways that you can keep your name out in front of the minds of your prospects and customers.
Three ways you can stay in touch and top of mind
- A phone call. Call to say hello. Share a tidbit of information. Pass along a recipe. Make a recommendation for a service you have enjoyed. Endorse a book or movie. Share an inspiring or amusing quotation. Stay in touch with a phone call, even if you get voicemail, it is better than disappearing or fading from memory, and it is likely to produce results down the road. It is not a “sales” call disguised as something else. It is a staying in touch call.
- Send a card or short letter just to remain in touch. The content could be the same as what you would put in a phone call. There’s been a significant drop in the volume of postal mail something to the tune of 9.5 billion pounds less in fact in the last year. A piece that you mail has a much better chance of being read today because millennials and boomers have digital fatigue. They welcome personal correspondence. You might also include a call to action in your note. Perhaps you have a new book, service, workshop that you’d like to share, promote, or otherwise bring to the attention of your recipient. Even when your recipient is an able to take advantage of your offer, you have reinforced your presence and connection with them. And if the offer is compelling, it is likely that they will contact you. Buyers cannot buy it from you if they don’t know you have something they need or want.
- Send a short e-mail just to say hello, not to sell. For example, today I read an article about David ARORA. He is an author’s and specialist in mushroom identification. I recently became acquainted with a man, and it turned out he is interested in building a small mushroom growing facility where he lives. As we talked, we realized that we both know Patrick Hamilton who is a chef, owner of a construction company, and he too is famous as a mycologist. Small world. I sent in a link to David auroras website and to the article I just read to this gentleman with a short note.
None of these actions take more than a few minutes. If every day you made a point to reach out to four or five people you know in one of these ways, I believe you will find that people remember you more easily and when it comes time to do business, they will think of doing business with you.
I highly recommend that you have a mix of ways to stay in touch, make it personal, and when appropriate, include a call to action. In all your communications include how to be in touch with you and a short, clear, concise statement about who you work with, their problems or challenges, and the results they can expect from working with you.
If you follow these simple rules, you will see results. Business will come to you. So I challenge you, for the next 30 days every day be in touch with 4-5 people in your contact database. I recommend you create a simple spreadsheet to track whom you contact, how you reach them, the date and any other relevant information.
At the end of 30 days, identify whom you would like to reach in the next month. The most compelling campaigns include the element of repetition. Re-contact the people you contacted in the first month and add 4-5 more people to your list each day. You may decide to vary how you stay in touch.
Go narrow. Go deep. Many people make the mistake of going for quantity versus quality. Focus on a small segment of your contacts for this activity. Keep your numbers small and doable. Get to know these connections as intimately as you can. It will take some time and commitment. Most marketing campaigns take about six weeks to six months of consistent activity to yield meaningful results.
None of us likes to feel as if they are “being sold.” We appreciate being heard, respected, and helped. If you keep these principles in mind, your communication will improve. As you develop your campaign, remember all of us want to know what is in it for me? Respect your prospects. Speak honestly with the intent of sharing information and resources that can benefit your audience.
Measure Your Results
Review the data you collect using your spreadsheet. When you are ready to take it up a notch, there are database services that combine the ease of tracking your contacts and documenting your interactions all in one place. Make adjustments based on feedback. You may find that a few minor changes to your message, timing, or medium can have a dramatic impact on your effectiveness in building relationships and ultimately, attracting business to you.
I attended a presentation hosted by the Bay Area Consultants Network. Our speaker, Dennis Erokan, the founder of BAM Magazine and the Bay area music awards, better known as the Bammies, told us how he became famous. The story was quite charming and applicable to anyone who is self-employed or who has a business and would like to have business come to them. Dennis interviewed Bill Graham, a famous concert promoter in the Bay Area. Dennis asked how Bill became famous. While still in school studying accounting, Bill was a waiter in the Catskill Mountains. The owner of the restaurant told him, “Bill, get famous.” He said that was the way get opportunities to come to you. When Bill became a rock promoter, he would go on stage and announce the upcoming acts. He was the owner of the promotion company, but he made sure people knew his name and face. His personal brand became tied to this business brand. As a result, when the Rolling Stones decided to tour the United States, they asked Bill Graham to handle the tour — not just in the Bay Area, they wanted him to manage the tour for the whole country. He did such an outstanding job; they hired him again for their European Tour.
Get Famous — a Smart Strategy
For many years, Dennis didn’t think this being famous applied to him. Then he realized it did.
When he started Bam magazine, his main competitor was Rolling Stone magazine. Then Rolling Stone moved its operations out of the area. When that happened then is realized he had an opportunity to own his segment of the market here in the Bay Area. One of the things he did was to create a fund-raising event that benefited a nonprofit. The Bammies became a hot ticket and had the support of well-known bay area musicians and corporate sponsors.
When Dennis moved on to start the magazine, Microtimes, doors open for him because of his fame and reputation from BAM and the Bammies. Diablo Magazine ran a picture of Dennis in 13 consecutive issues. Because of this exposure, he landed on the front page of Contra Costa Times more than once. He is known to reporters in the area as an on a list of experts in several areas: the music industry, publishing, computing, and more recently, as a branding expert. He is the one they call for a quote or comment.
What are some of the ways you can become famous?
- Share your expertise, and by helping others, people get to know you
- Partner with someone who has a business with a similar or complementary audience
- Write an article (or a series) in your area of expertise.
- Host an event
- Write a book
- Interview someone famous
- Get interviewed
- Answer questions or make comments on blogs
- Start a podcast
- Send out a press release
- Use your website
- Ask for links to your site or other related sites
- Give something away
- Piggyback on the event related to your industry and expertise
- To stay in touch on a regular basis with the segment of your market you want to own
- Sign up for online for HARO, help a reporter out
Share Your Story
He made sure everyone in town knew his name recognized him and because of that opportunities came to him. He volunteered, he showed up he participated in the life of the community and the community repaid him by filling his business, inviting.
Evaluate the results once you have about six months of information. Then decide if adding this activity made a difference in your visibility, productivity, and possibly your pocketbook. Oh, I strongly recommend that once you have completed the first 30 days that you commit to continuing this practice for another 30 days until you have done this for six months total. Now you have a baseline to measure and examine to see if this activity has had the desired impact on your clients your prospects and your business.
And here’s a bonus idea. Instead of just sharing information by phone, by mail, or via e-mail, invite some or all of the people you are contacting for a short meeting, coffee or tea, a brisk walk, or to an event you feel would be of benefit to them. If you are diligent and follow through with these actions, you will see a difference in and health of your business.
Your only costs for these actions are a small amount of your time and creativity. By building a habit of staying in touch consistently, you can build your business without breaking your budget. Go out and get famous.