So - you've got a headful of ideas, and you want to share them with the world. Where do you begin? Sometimes the best way to get started is to look closely at the behaviour of people you admire. You are likely to admire them because they have similar values to you. If they have similar values, they will probably be promoting themselves using techniques and channels that you feel aligned with. First thing to do? Check out in detail what those people are doing already.
Think carefully about someone you admire, and who you regard as being an expert in your niche. How do they behave – what are they doing in order to be seen and taken seriously?
Here are a few prompts:
- Do they write a lot or keep a blog?
- Do they get featured on websites and in magazines?
- Do they run classes?
- Do they appear at public events to talk and share skills?
- Do they have a YouTube channel?
- Do they host get-togethers to share ideas?
- Do they regularly collaborate with others?
List what they do – this is called ‘modelling’. The idea is you find someone who behaves in the way that you would like to, and gets results from doing so. Then you can model your behaviour on theirs.
Get a large sheet of paper and mind-map all the profile raising opportunities you can think of – see the ‘starter’ example above. You'll want your own unique version of this. For example – a lot of people are terrified of speaking in public – so at first you may wish to avoid that and focus on other techniques – but don’t write anything off completely – we tend to get better at these things by practising them in small ways over a longer period of time. Similarly, Facebook might not be your social media of choice, so you need to substitute your own preference.
- In person (Talks, Masterclasses, skills sharing workshops)
- In person (Networking. ‘Showing Up’ – or your equivalent of it)
- In print (Books, ebooks, magazine features, ‘How To’ manuals, customer information guides)
- Online (Blogs, Articles, Guest blogs, interviews, podcasts)
- Online (Video – you speaking, you working, you showing how)
- Online (social media presence, links, gifts, giveaways)
- Online (via a regular newsletter)
Once you have made your initial list, think about what appeals to you most. Where might you really enjoy investing some time to begin with? If you choose something that you think you'll enjoy, you are more likely to shine - your enjoyment will show and people will enjoy your contribution. Choose something that doesn't appeal or that you feel obliged to do, and you won't shine as brightly. People notice the difference. Invest in platforms that suit you, your values and your preferences. It's no accident that visual people like Instagram, writers and bloggers like Twitter, and people that like writing about business topics might choose Linked In. What online and offline spaces feel 'just right' for you?
Choose one or two to start, and test a few articles and posts to gauge the feedback. Do more of the things that get results and less of the things that don't seem to get any traction. By using this process of trial and error you'll find exactly the right places to get your message across. You'll know it's working when people start sharing the things you post or start talking to each other about what you do out there in the real world.
Over time, you will find yourself adding to this map – this is just a starting point. Jot down what you aspire to do – don’t worry if you don’t yet know how you will make it happen. There's lots of help out there when you need it.
I specialise in helping people find the confidence to connect more effectively in life, at work and in business. Please do get in touch via my profile if you need a hand!
My book, The Art of Shouting Quietly, is also a great starting point.
Cheers - Pete