No, I’m not talking about being a crony, or a suck up. But it is a truism that your net ‘work’ is your net ‘worth’. And actually it is also about who knows YOU. So, let’s look first about who you know. People do business with people they know, like and trust. On that basis, all my businesses since I first opened the doors in 2001, have had a big focus on networking – online and offline. I was one of the first 10,000 people on LinkedIn, which I didn’t know until I got a thank you email on the 10th anniversary in 2013.
When people know you, and know you are around for the long term, and are not a one hit wonder, selling them the latest shiny thing that you are into, then they learn to a) associate you with the thing (the thing you want to be known for), and b) they will start to recommend you and/or use you for their needs in that area.
But that’s not the only reason your network is important. How often to you actively use your network to ask for introductions or testimonials? If you have a hit list of clients (and if you don’t – why not?), then you can ask your network for introductions. Think about it. If you got an email/phone call from someone saying that one of your best business contacts has suggested you two should speak – I am betting you will make the time to speak to them. As opposed to receiving a cold call from an unknown.
But also – it is so important to increase the amount of people who know YOU. Because once people know YOU, then it works just as well. If your tribe know and like you, they feel like they know you. Even if you don’t know them. And they are more likely to engage with, start a conversation with or do business with someone who is familiar to them. And there are only so many people you can get to know, but the amount of people that can get to know you is limitless. I will bet Barack Obama or Richard Branson know maybe one millionth of the people who know them. But if you got an email or a Facebook message from them recommending a product or service – you would be confident to try it out (after you had died of shock that they had messaged you in the first place and then checked it wasn’t a scammer).
So how can you get known?
It is about being out there. Everywhere, and anywhere that your potential tribe might be. The reason I write this blog every week, is not just because I love writing. It is because I want to keep in touch with you, without being in your face selling all the time. I want to offer my knowledge and insights to you, so that you feel you are getting value out of our time together. It is important to me that – if you have time sometimes to read some of these blogs, that they are worth your time. And I get lots of nice feedback, so I believe I am hitting that marker. SO – consider creating a weekly or even monthly blog that goes on your website, on your LI profile, on Facebook and Twitter, and YouTube – if it is a VLOG, and definitely goes to your email list of clients, suppliers and business contacts.
Social Media is of course another big avenue for getting known. If you do a weekly Facebook live, or you post daily onto several channels, then people will see you. It is important that this is regular and consistent – not done for a few weeks and then left for a few because you are too busy (I get it, really – I am too busy a lot of the time – but you can’t be inconsistent on social media if you want results). A great way to get in front of the correct audience for you is advertising on social media and especially Facebook and Twitter. We recently generated 180,000 hits to a clients website after one campaign and for a brand new Facebook presence – advertising is essential for 2 reasons. Growing stuff organically is possible but it is slow. And some people are influenced by follower numbers. Now you will hear people say condescending stuff like ‘it’s not important how many followers you have it is the quality of the people’. Well I am guessing they are people with small followings. Yes, of course quality is important. But if you only have 4 ‘quality’ people on your page you don’t really have a business.
Now, 15 years ago if I asked you what your website was and you didn’t have one I would have questioned whether you were, indeed a ‘proper business’. 2 years ago – if I asked you what your Facebook page was and whether you were on LinkedIn and you said no, I would have questioned whether you were a ‘proper’ business or maybe a bit behind the times. Nowadays – social proof is king. People trust their ‘friends’ on social media for recommendations and referrals, in a way that they do not trust overt advertising on Google, or any of the social media channels.
Now, I am not suggesting you ‘buy’ followers (unless you consider advertising as buying followers, which indeed it technically is). But you DO need to get your follower numbers up into the thousands as quickly as possible if you want to be seen to have weight on social media and especially if you want any influencers to follow you. Think about it. Is it likely that someone with 10,000 or 100,000 followers will follow someone with 10 followers or page likes? Nope. It is very Unlikely. But one of the ways to make Twitter work for you for example is to start to engage with influencers. They won’t engage you if you look like you are not social media savvy.
There are strategies we put in place to get our clients into the thousands of followers (real people not bots) within weeks, not years. Talk to us if you want to know more.
Then there are PR, editorials or advertorials in the press, radio speaking opportunities, networking meetings, other speaking opportunities, running your own workshops or training events. There are many opportunities for you to get noticed, and be visible. The easiest and most accessible of which are social media for sure. If you are not using Facebook Live, YouTube Live and video on your website – you are missing out. It is great for people to HEAR from you – but real bonding starts when people can SEE you. Because when people SEE you they think they know you. They recognise you and therefore they categorise you in their brain as a known quantity.
Take this example – the other day I was in the doctors. As I walked out talking to my daughter I noticed the waiting room was empty – which I thought was odd, and I smiled at a familiar gentleman sitting there as the only person waiting to be seen. He smiled back in a rueful manner, clearly not wanting to be there. When I got out of the front door, I realised it was Peter Kay, who I have actually never met. But because I have seen him so often on TV, my phone and social media, my brain acknowledged him as someone I knew. I nearly went back in but then I thought – poor bloke doesn’t need disturbing at the doctors.
Now I am not saying you will get – or need to be – at Peter Kay’s level of recognition. But if you are out there a lot – people will notice and you start to become a known quantity. People do business with people they know, like and trust – so your content and your frequency of being visible needs to be high. I have made it my mission since opening my first business to be visible. I will go to the opening of a door. I am also very very active on various social media accounts. I speak at every opportunity, I do FB Live, I have been on Radio many times. And I was a Director of Greater Manchester Chamber for 13 years, writing for their magazine, hosting their women in business events, attending lots of functions. And just occasionally – someone will have a Peter Key moment with me. People come up and start speaking to me like I know them. And that’s pretty cool. I even got given someone’s business card in Euston station in the first class lounge, when I was on a Skype to a client in California, because they had seen me speak at an event.
The world is changing – it used to be all about who you knew – and that is still important, but it is now also much more about who knows you.
If you feel it might be time to review your social media strategy, your positioning as the go to expert in your field or your businesses ability to flex, change and take advantage of this new media world we live in then I invite you to link with me on LI, Twitter and/or Facebook and book yourself in for a 20 minute discovery call in September where we can look at how we can get you in front of your potential client base. Follow this link to book yourself a convenient slot.