We have all read articles written by people who may not be the most qualified experts, and we certainly have all seen speakers who would be better off taking copious notes from the audience rather than dispensing advice from the podium. There are even some business book authors out there who have one or more books out that really offer little value, yet they seem to find an audience.
How did they get the speaking gig, article assignment or book deal, and how do they develop an audience?
Each of them has defined a niche and studied it at least enough to get the attention of a trade magazine or book editor or a conference director. Then they have designed a way to get on the radar, to generate some attention.
Becoming visible to your business community, your niche, is not an easy or quick process. It can be simple, but it is not easy, but we all need the attention only our niche can provide if we are to survive and thrive in these tough times. It does not matter if you have a small, medium or large company (although some will argue it is easier for large companies to get PR), or even if you are a solo-preneur like me - each of us needs enough attention to generate new business, to find the right job, to get the book deal or to move to the next level.
There are many tools available, and more becoming available every day, but the process of selecting and deploying the right tools for your niche. There are hundreds of web 2.0 tools out there, but let's just look at one for right now: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has well over 100 million register business professionals, 990,634 groups (as of 11:22 AM EST, 7/19/ 11), many useful apps to use with your profile, and a ton of ways to help you stand out in a crowd and connect with key epople throughout your market.
But how many people on LinkedIn are really using it to stand out in their respective niches? My estimate is less than 2%. But key decision makers are using LinkedIn to identify the "experts" in various fields, and these include people who hire speakers, give writing assignments, and offer book deals.
So what does it take to truly stand out?
Knowing your subject well is always job #1.
Defining your area of expertise in terms that will resonate with your niche is job #2.
Getting the word out is job #3.
I use LinkedIn as the "hub" for my web activity. When I write an article, I post the link for it in pertienet groups on LinkedIn. The result this week is one of the most read and most emailed articles at www.WashingtonTechnology.com . It makes the editor happy to have fresh traffic coming into the site, it keeps my name active in the market niche, and it could generate some business. I write an article for Washington Technology's web site once a month, and each time my promotional activity helps make it a well-read article. And it doesn't take me long to do this.
I will also "tweet' the article link, which will put it on all the social networks I use and maybe generate some re-tweets as well.
How are you leveraging the available tools to generate some targeted viisibility in your niche for you and your company?
If you need some fresh ideas on how to stand out in a crowded market, drop me a line - email@example.com
Best of luck with your efforts!