3 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Stay Visible During the Pandemic
As an entrepreneur, you need to be your own cheerleader. Many entrepreneurs do not have the luxury of hiring marketing or public relations teams. Staying top of mind was easier pre-pandemic when we were able to go to events and conferences and meet with people regularly in person. Even though things have started to open up in limited ways around the country, it will be a long time before they will be back to pre-covid routines. Additionally, people have varying comfort levels with meeting in person now and it is important to be respectful of those levels. However, there are still things that you can do right now to ensure that you stay visible and grow your business. Here are my top 3 tips:
1. Embrace virtual speaking
Put together a wish list of companies or organizations that will reach your target market. Once you have that list, begin to contact them and offer to do a virtual talk, webinar, Q & A, or Facebook Live. If you offer speaking services like I do, make sure you are not simply giving away your services. Be strategic and only offer your services when there is a potential win for you as well. After the event, request a LinkedIn recommendation while your performance is fresh and the recommendation can be detailed and personal. If you have a different type of business, offer a freebie or discount to your target audience or an enticement to join your mailing list.
2. Create your own PR
Spend time pitching yourself to print and television media. Start locally. Do your research to determine who is covering a particular beat or subject so that you can pitch the right person. Look at editorial calendars where available. Additionally, make sure you are thinking about an angle that would be timely to cover. For example, did you have to pivot your business during the pandemic? That is a timely topic right now for a lot of media outlets. Finally, be sure to subscribe to a free service called HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to receive daily inquiries in your inbox from reporters working on stories. You never know where you might be able to get quoted.
3. Be a connector
It is a tough time right now and there is a lot of isolation and loneliness. Be someone that curates bringing others together for a virtual activity or event. A great idea would be virtual networking with the upcoming holiday season. For example, writing holiday cards to the military or adopting a family for gift giving. Continue to make virtual introductions by checking in with your network to discuss their challenges and who they are looking to meet. Recently one of my clients expressed that she is interested in working for a company that I previously worked for. I am in a unique position to make a warm introduction and direct her to the right people there. This "networking karma" you build up will always come back to you. Remember, your reputation is what people say about you when you are not in the room.
Like anything else, visibility is also about consistency. Do at least one small thing each day to move your business forward, even if it is simply a post on social media. The consistency applies to content as well. You do not just want to be visible, you want to be visible in a few niche areas where people consider you an expert or thought leader. And remember, right now growing your brand is in your hands, so you want to create a climate where you stay visible even if you are not leaving your house.