We all know if we want a building to stay up for a long time, the foundations have to be sturdy and solid. When you are building a business, the same concept applies. When you want to build a profile, the be recognised as an expert and authority in your field, there are four things you should focus on before hanging out your shingle.
I remember starting out in my business just over three years ago. After 30 plus years as an employee, I had no idea on how to run a business, yet alone start one. I think the first year was spent falling forward, occasionally grazing my knee, trying to work out what to do. I did workshops, online courses, weekend boot camps but did not find the magic pill to give me the one size fits all answer.
Along the way, after talking to many others in the same position as me, here are the four foundations every budding expert needs:
Your bio – the story of you
What do you do and who are you? These are not a philosophical question, more questions of what have you done, why should people use your service, what is your expertise and what is your purpose.
Your bio is one of the first things a person sees about you … and the first place you need to update your bio is your LinkedIn profile. Google yourself (go on … do it now because your prospective client already has). What came up first? Your LinkedIn profile. Once you have written your bio you can use it on your website, to secure speaking gigs, for guest posts – on all your platforms
Tips for writing a bio:
- Do not write your bio like a resume – you want it to be more than a list of jobs you have done and dot points of skills your possess.
- This is your chance to tell your story – write your bio in active voice not passive
- Focus on what you do not who you are and what you want
- Be specific about the problems you solve and how
- Keep the language simple
- Remember, we all want to know WIIFM (what’s in it for me).
Messages that standout
It is tempting to be everything to everybody but trying to achieve this will lead to burn out. To cut through the clutter, you need to hone in one your key message/s – what do you stand for, who is your audience (so you know how to ‘speak to them’), how are you different, what is your style, what are you an expert on.
Getting this nailed will help you with your marketing and with the media, when you have all your foundation in place.
Key messages are bite-sized claims about your organisation based on facts and examples. To create a stick key message, you need to:
- Establish your point of difference
- How you help
- Backed up with examples.
A picture speaks a 1000 words
A great profile picture has the power to do many things without you even opening your mouth – instil trust, create connections, show people who you are,
It is tempting when we first start out to just use a snap of our smartphones, but the power of first perception is not to be toyed with. After someone has Googled you and checked out your content, they are going to want to eyeball you. So you do not want to have fuzzy or dodgy or outdated photo of you.
YOU are your most valuable marketing tool. Invest in a professional photographer who specialise in profile pics, you want them to capture the real you. They have the skills to help you feel comfortable in front of the camera so when they say ‘cheese’, your personality is shining through.
Platforms – where will you be seen
It is also tempting to share your message far and wide. There are so many choices – Facebook, Facebook groups, Twitter, Blab, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogging, guest blogging, YouTube, podcasting, your own website … If you try to be all over the many options, you will crash and burn.
The best way to select the right platform for you is to know your target audience.
– What platforms are they on
– What do they like to read/listen to/watch
– Who are the people/sites that influence them
– When are they online
When you know this, you can pick one to three platforms to share your key messages, your helpful content and to build relationships that ultimately end in doing business.
The upside of building these foundations will help you develop your marketing plan … the next important step in building your business from the ground up.
Need a hand with your profile … go to www.publicitygenie.com and organise a time to have a chat with me 🙂
If you are in Brisbane, I am running a Primp Your Profile workshop 5 May 9.30 start – more info here