I’ve met with some great people recently all with differing levels of success in attracting new clients. They all tell me they are great at what they do. However, they most also complain that their competitors, often priced higher or less even skilled than them, seem to attract more customers. This is such a common story in business; talented service providers struggle for clients, however, better win attract much more work.
Like most, I love to listen to and watch public speaking, regularly watch TED talks, read LinkedIn posts and blogs several times a day. Those I follow are often regarded as experts in their field, are in a position of authority, gain extra credibility over the competition and are “known for ….”. What is abundantly apparent is that no matter how good you are at what you do, those who talk publicly earn more attention and win more customers. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?
So why do so many talented people in business refuse to talk in public, shout about, post or broadcast their work? Why do so many business owners put their own growth, especially marketing, behind that of their clients? Surely the most important business you work on is your own?
“I didn’t go into business to become a marketing and PR agency” I hear people say, I’m sure that’s the case (unless of course they do have a marketing and PR agency). Well listen up; You need to take your marketing and reputation seriously and definitely consider speaking at events in front of a new audience who do not know you. The make sure you put your marketing first,either by doing it yourself or outsourcing it, it’s that simple.
“If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR!” – Bill Gates
If your competition wins more business by attending events, being nominated for awards, invest time in marketing, PR or even take time public speaking and you spend all your time working for clients, who do you think will win?
In the excellent “Crush It!” Gary Vaynerchuk talks about Personal Branding, how important it is to be authentic and to be known for that. There’s the point. Talking about the work you do isn’t ego or boastful, it can be authentic and incredibly effective.
Storytelling is a fantastic way to communicate in a sincere non egoic manner. Some approach public speaking as a marketing exercise. And it should be part of the marking plan. However, sharing your wisdom and experience in front of an audience positions you as a credible and real person with specific skills. Remember “People buy people first”! So do it and see the results. I’ve been approached and offered work regularly since I started speaking publicly.
“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” – Richard Branson
My personal branding is key, I speak about what I believe in; supporting and mentoring others. Mental health and how to avoid burnout from personal experiences. I write about what I’ve learned from my, and others, past experiences. I continue to read about success, watch TED talks, meet experienced business people and support those who ask for help. I will never stop learning and sharing. The more I talk the more referrals I receive.
My advice, for what it’s worth; If you are in business, invest in building a personal reputation as an expert and believe in yourself. If someone asks you to speak at event DO IT!