From the March 2009 issue of Entrepreneur

Grabbing the spotlight doesn't come naturally for everyone, but as an entrepreneur, you can't afford to waste any opportunity that comes your way--whether it's an ad, a TV interview or a public speaking engagement. We asked Tsufit, author of Step Into the Spotlight! 'Cause All Business Is Show Business!, for some tips on how to make a memorable impression.

"Be your own casting director and decide what role you want to play in the marketplace."

--Tsufit

Entrepreneur: Why is it important to step into the spotlight?
Tsufit: Because otherwise nobody will know you exist. If you're at a [conference] and 17 advisors get up and say the same things and look similar to each other, they can go [to events] for five years and nobody's going to know that they're there.

How do you stand out from the crowd?
Tsufit: Approach it from a show-business point of view. Be your own casting director and decide what role you want to play in the marketplace. Which audience do you want to attract? A good example of this is the Mac vs. PC [commercials]. They're so entertaining because Mac has made a decision about who they're going for: young, hip [customers]. [Ask yourself,] what does your character look like, sound like? Decide what you want to be known for. It's important for entrepreneurs to find their story, tell their story and make it colorful and authentic.

How can you balance being entertaining while still conveying a solid business reputation?
Tsufit: If you find your humor and tell your story but don't connect it to what you're selling, [people might think], "You're entertaining, but I don't want to buy my air conditioner from a comedian." At the same time, people are way too afraid of standing out. An entrepreneur is often somebody who's left a corporate job. And what's the first thing they do? Get an office, wear a suit--all the things they hated. I would say this is the time to have fun. This is the time to play a little bit.

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