Breaking down visibility into simple, bold moves.
Visibility is a BIG buzzword right now. But I don’t mind, because it resonates with me.
Most online owners want to attract clients that way but first we need to get engagement with prospects. And to get engagement they have to see us first. That comes down to where we show up, how often and what we say.
Without a clear vision of what you want to eventually sell, a narrow focus on what you want to teach and a strong message, most marketing tactics aren’t going to get you far. It can feel like shouting into the void.
Now don’t get me wrong. Everything is worth dabbling in just to get a feel for it and get started.
BUT unclear messaging and offers won’t convert. Get clear on what you’re doing and why so you can set realistic expectations and stay committed for the long term.
I love the word visibility because it stands for getting seen and heard. Not just showing up everywhere but showing up and getting properly noticed by the right people. Visibility allows for more creativity and choice in what we want to be known for saying and doing.
And it works without having to be everywhere all the time.
Visibility increases by saying less, with more meaning – messages that reflect your true brand.
That’s one of the hardest lessons to learn in marketing. It’s better to say less with more truth and focus than more of a lot of fluff that won’t land on your kind of client.
Being bold is one important way to gain traction without feeling insignificant or fake.
Principle 1: Boldness is more valuable than frequency
If you struggle with visibility and find yourself hiding out, you’re totally normal. Most service-preneurs aren’t comfortable in the spotlight. You might be feeling this especially because you have to put yourself in your brand and that’s not what you signed up for initially. Helping others doesn’t always equate to the desire to share everything about yourself.
It puts us in a holding pattern of not knowing what to say.
For people like you (and there are many of them, including me) there are so many ways you can show up boldly in your business that will ease you into standing firmly in your value, for the long-term.
1) A singular, brave message
Being willing to speak truthfully, say what you stand for and say what you stand against is a huge part of your value proposition. When you’re trying to sell your service, a program or training all lead by you, you have to be REALLY YOU. Since clients have to know, like and trust you in order to buy from you, you’ve got to share the substance. The real opinions you have going on inside.
Showing up consistently with a strong core message isn’t going to feel repetitive when you love what you have to say.
I learned this through podcasting. As I record more and more interviews, I realize I’m going to repeat myself often when I summarize a point from my guest or land on something I care about. And that’s okay because most of our ideal clients and followers are grappling with similar core challenges.
It takes a long time for them to learn how to apply it or say it or get up the nerve to take the leap. It’s human nature. That’s why ideas from person to person aren’t brand new and need to be repeated despite that fact.
Our messages simply need to be vocalized over and over again so they sink in.
That’s your job as a service business owner. Knowing yourself, unearthing your core stories and messages and experimenting with how you communicate them. If you focus on what you care deeply about, it shouldn’t feel repetitive. If it does, go deeper because you haven’t landed on something meaningful enough yet, to you.
2) Strong connections
Getting visible to the right people requires strong intention. And strong action. If you are at a phase in your business where you have clients but they’re not the ones taking you to the next level, you can go out and find them.
If you feel isolated and not connected to the peers who can validate your message and your worth, then go find them. And if you’re just starting out, connecting with people personally is your best revenue generating strategy.
Reaching out to those who inspire you and who you admire for a conversation can be a game-changer. It’s actually quite magical. When I decided that while I had clients I loved, they weren’t ready to take advantage of what I knew and grow leaps and bounds while creating more simplicity in their business, I knew I had to reach new people.
I wasn’t going to be asked to work for people who hadn’t heard of me and I knew I wasn’t going to begin going out every week or month to an event to meet new people. Nor was I going to take on a massive marketing campaign to get in front of influencers or pay someone to do it, because that would have cost me more than I would’ve gained.
So I set out on a campaign to reach out to all of the people who I wanted to hire me.
Business owners with brands that I could truly help. It was a lot of work but it paid off. I landed one of those outreach clients in a few months. They are, by far, the most ambitious and successful of my clients to date. I’m delivering so much value to them because they’re 100% in. Going to them before they were looking was how I created my own “lucky break”.
In my outreach, I also connected to people I admired for no other reason than a networking meeting. The connection I experienced on those calls gave me so much confidence in my message and brand. I hadn’t received that to date and that gave me the validation that I was previously missing to step up my visibility. Because I finally knew that the people who’s value I admired also admired me. I share all of this in a podcast episode. Click here to listen.
A number of those are my early podcast guests – they said yes immediately. There’s nothing better than starting off a major initiative like that with confidence in the quality and message of my guests.
3) Bold leaps
There are so many ways to take leaps in your business growth. There are two that I think are the most important right now.
One is getting help to build up your confidence, brand and simplify your marketing. When I receive hands on coaching and support, everything I do is easier and stronger. Whether that means hiring a coach, joining a mastermind or even getting a rockstar assistant, investing is important. Staying stuck for too long will decrease momentum.
So finding the people who can consistently move your through decisions, blocks and steps will speed up traction and up-level your fulfillment.
The number two leap worth considering, perhaps even before you are ready, is ditching time-consuming offers that are less profitable. This one actually makes my skin tingle because it’s usually quite clear what offer doesn’t make our hearts sing, let alone our bank account.
And while it seems counter-intuitive to say no to work when you want to increase your revenue, it frees up your time to earn it in a better way. Every single service entrepreneur has had to take those leaps. The ones that do it with greater commitment usually get to the exponential part of their business faster.
At some point, everyone who wants to build a million dollar brand, must take these leaps.
Principle 2: Don’t niche, narrow
Getting known is easier when you produce repeatable results and this happens by narrowing the scope of work you do for people.
While there’s nothing wrong with consulting work, building an online brand requires attracting clients who might not need to “meet you” first in order to buy from you. So the better you get at describing the outcomes they get, the more they can evaluate if your service is right for them.
It makes it both easier for people to share your goodness and for people to decide to take that next micro step towards hiring you.
When I do this work with clients I ask them to look at the transformation they’ve produced for their top few clients. The A starting point when they first made contact to the B ending point when their client has reached their goals.
Here are three questions to help you get clear on your signature system.
- What were their biggest pain points when they came to you?
- What results did they experience once they were done?
- Map out the big steps or milestones they achieved from start to finish.
Voila! Your signature system that you can use to more clearly communicate and demonstrate your value. This is where you begin attracting more of the right people to your work.
Principle 3: Show up consistently
1) Create strong content weekly
Ooh. I know this one hurts. If you haven’t been producing content regularly, or even emailing your list (no matter how tiny) I want you to start. You probably have a lot more to pull-on than you think …
… in addition to your bold message, dive deep into your stories, your big why, your unique process (signature system) and communicate all of that.
It doesn’t matter which channel you choose to do it on. Just do it there consistently (Every. Damn. Week.) and you’ll begin to attract true fans and get the engagement almost all business owners crave.
As Srinivas Rao says so well, your job is to be unmistakeable so put effort into showing up like no other. That’s your most lasting pathway to building visibility naturally.
2) Pick a place to show up and demonstrate your value
Many entrepreneurs start with tactics without making a commitment to showing up in at least one place regularly.
Depending on whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, video or producing a podcast, you might show up almost daily. I believe in having one major source of tribe building and doing it superbly. Add value and grow your tribe, one by one. As a very small business with maybe some support, if you try to be in too many places you’ll water down the impact.
According to Seth Godin, a business doesn’t need more than 1000 true fans. But I think it’s even smaller than that. You can have a very viable business with 250 superfans. So building that up in one place might feel like a more doable and more rewarding goal than trying to nurture connections on every platform.
If you want help reviewing what it takes to build your brave brand, go grab a copy of my Noticeable Brand Guidebook.