There’s more to visibility than self-promotion

self-promotionIn this article Kate Griffiths continues with the theme of visibility that she started in last week’s post and shares ideas on how to get noticed in a good way.  Business owners, particularly those starting out are keen to get clients and be noticed so they focus on being visible but often in a way that is counter productive.  

If you look up the dictionary definition of visibility it states that it is the ability to be seen or the extent to which something attracts attention and gains prominence.  Small businesses rely on recommendations and referrals as a key way to growing their business.  Marketeers often teach clients that any publicity is good publicity because people will be talking about you.  This is a myth, let me explain why using an example of my own.  I had a hideous experience about five years ago when I was very new to the world of small business where I agreed to write an article about social media for Mums.  The editor felt that I needed to write stronger statements in my article so I did what I was asked and wrote something quite controversial.  It provoked a fierce reaction and the organisation got what it was hoping to achieve which was high engagement on its site however it did not do a lot for my reputation because readers, understandably, assumed that the views expressed were what I believed.  Furthermore when I needed it, I did not get the support from the editorial team.  To be fair to them, I had not questioned their motives sufficiently nor had we communicated how we would behave if the article went viral.

It was a great lesson for me in that my desire to be noticed overrode my sense of who I was becoming at that time.  Rather than writing my truth, I adapted my views to fit in with what someone else wanted.  I am not like the great chess players who think many moves ahead as they contemplate their next step, I tend to live in the moment.  I did not stand back and reflect on the potential impact of what I was writing and I paid the price.  It had many ramifications for me, few of them positive at that time.  It was probably about the last time however that I was caught out in that way and as the adage says you only learn when you find yourself in a place of discomfort.

In my experience what clients are looking for is a sense of innate confidence in what you are offering and a constancy in how you show up.  They want to get to know you to decide, especially as a coach or someone who works in the leadership development field, whether they wish to work with you.  They cannot achieve this if you don’t spend at least some time engaging on social media platforms.  Think about it how can they get a sense of who you are and what you stand for, if you rarely participate in conversations online except to post your latest offering.  That is not showing up.

And yes it is difficult to straddle all the platforms effectively.  At some point you need to make a choice about where you are going to focus your energy.  Will it be Facebook, Google plus or Twitter?  You can have a presence on all three and yet you still need to decide how you will engage in each medium, for how long each week and the extent to which you will automate that engagement.  This post is not going to go into the merits of the different platforms as Chris Ogle has written a very useful article on that so click here if you are interested in reading more on that.

For me what is important is that everything you do is aligned to your values.  Your focus needs to be on who you are becoming and to find inspirational places where you can be that and start to build your community in that way.  Yes it takes time and there is not necessarily instant gratification or sales.  That said it is a lot more sustainable in the long run because you start to build a following and people look out for your comments and posts.  It is why I set up my facebook group Sacred Soul Space because I wanted to create a place of inspiration for business owners where they could grow and be seen and supported by others.  Some amazing connections have already happened in particular someone drove from Watford to Oxford to meet another of our members; there are two based in the San Francisco Bay area who are planning to meet up; and others have got together through Link4Growth in the North and regularly get together.

In the new paradigm, doing business or your levels of visibility equate to the extent to which you give to others.  Generosity of spirit is a key value now and pays dividends although often unexpectedly in terms of how business comes to you.  In short just posting your own links in a forum or group and yet being notable by your absence 95% of the time, will not build your business.  We all buy from those we know, like and trust.  Being present in a mindful way is one of the fastest ways to grow your business in the long term.  I know this from personal experience.

I hope this article has caused to reflect on your own practices as a business owner and you get a real sense that visibility in business comes when you know who you are becoming.  It is all linked to who you are being.  I am available for a free 30 minute consultation if you wish to discuss any of this further and currently have one or two openings for new coaching clients.  I would love to hear your take on visibility in the comments below.

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Kate Griffiths works  with individuals and business owners to create more ease and flow in their lives.  Clients include conscious business owners and leaders who recognise that the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and want support in determining  what the new ways of doing business look like.  She is passionate about creating conversations that lead to change and has developed her own process to do that called connection through conversation.  If you want to get free tips then ask to go on her monthly newsletter and join Sacred Space for the Soul

 

 

So why should you care about being a conscious business?

conscious bizIn this article Kate Griffiths explores further what it means to be a new paradigm/ conscious business owner today.  She is passionate about this as she senses this is what the world is desperate for and she sees it as the way ahead for people who want more.  It is about creating a win for everybody.

It sounds like the latest jargon doesn’t it but it is not.  What I can promise you is that it is often counter-intuitive and goes against the grain because it is upsetting the current prevailing paradigm.  If you have a strong rebel archetype in you then you will love this; if not then you may find it unsettling.

I like to speak in examples as that makes it more real for people.  I run a private group on FB for people that have attended one or more of my Connection through Conversation events.  Interestingly two of the founding members posted something recently about courses they are selling.  No one apart from me liked their posts let alone engaged with them.  Why?  It wasn’t because the content was dubious in fact the opposite was true both courses were really fascinating areas to explore.  However the people that use the group regularly and comment on posts had never heard from these two individuals.  It is an example of the scattergun approach to marketing: post something into an FB group that you are a member of and hope for the best.  Actually spending a bit of time getting to know people, sharing content that they might find inspiring before you start inviting them to your events, will lead to a much greater take up when you are selling stuff.  People will know you and if they like and trust you then they are more likely to say yes and perhaps even invite others.  Otherwise you are in danger of being considered a spammer.

Each of us is part of something much bigger than ourselves and our own lives, dreams and hopes.  Quite often however the focus is on how do I make the next £100 or £1000 to the extent that the mantra when asked to be part of something is what’s in it for me?  Actually being in service of others is what leads to growth in your own business.  You may do a double take, scratch your head and think that’s bonkers but let me explain what I mean.  I am part of an amazing new paradigm concept – link4growthChris Ogle, the founder, has an inspiring vision.  His aim is to build up local communities so we know who the go to person for various things is in any particular area.  I am not just talking about business; it is really about anything to do with that area.  I am building the #l4gHitchin community on Google plus – still considered by many to be a new platform.  So my starting point has been twitter.  In less than a day I have nearly 300 on my list and it is strictly Hitchin & surrounding villages only.  More than that I have had more interaction with folks in my twitter network today than any day for a while and I already have a klout score of 60 so social media engagement is something that I do well.  So what is it all about?

People are inspired when you do something with no obvious personal gain.  If it is helping them to reach a wider audience with their products and services they are grateful.  It is like magic and is so sparkly that it attracts more and more people until suddenly it rubs off on you.  Be warned this domino effect only happens and remains sustainable if your intention is pure that is you are genuinely doing it for the benefit of others.

If you want to find out more about this approach to business and how you can create more impact yourself, then do sign up for http://bit.ly/1a5ANay a taster session that will explore how business is changing in 21st century and it only costs £18 a real bargain for a morning’s worth of content.  I would love to hear your experiences of conscious business below and am happy to answer any questions you have.

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Kate Griffiths has worked as a change consultant and coach in a range of organisations for over twenty years.  She now works primarily with conscious business owners and leaders that recognise the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and are trying to work out what the new ways of doing business look like.  She is passionate about creating conversations that lead to change and has developed her own process to do that called connection through conversation.  She also leads mindfulness workshops and leadership programmes for soulpreneurs.  If you want to get a flavour of her work then do sign up for the morning taster session she is running on 8 November – http://bit.ly/1a5ANay