Monday, October 29, 2012

Sustainable Visibility (The Waldo Factor, part 14)

Make no mistake about it: government contracting is a relationship driven market. You have to become visible. You are known by the right people or you are not.

Attaining and maintaining visibility in the market niche you serve should be top of mind. There are several paths you can take, but be certain you take a path that adds value to the community on a regular basis. Do not take a path that is more hype than substance.

You have probably run across the concept of "personal branding" more than a few times over the past few years. Each of us wants to believe that we are important and that we add value. The outward reception of that premise is not a given until the outward perception aligns what we think and how the market perceives us.

Once these are in tandem - and until that alignment takes place, there is no guarantee that others will pay attention to anything we say, regardless of how or where we say it.

Personal branding has been embraced by many looking for short-cuts to fame and fortune, but without adequate substance (an associated product or service), it leads nowhere because there is nothing to "brand".

There are no short-cuts. It takes work and dedication, persistence and perspiration. You need something that resonates with the prospect audience you wish to influence.

Winning business in the government market, any market, is about being visible to the prospects, partners and influencers in the buying process, visible in a positive way on a regular basis. Showing up on the radar on an occasional basis is not good enough.

This does not mean you have to be on the radar of the entire market. In all likelihood your products or services are not needed by everyone. It does mean that you need to define your niche carefully and find multiple ways to become more visible to your niche in a perpetual manner.

The best way to get on and stay on the radar is to add value to your market niche in as many ways as possible. Finding, developing and delivering content is the best way to do this.

There are many venues for developing and delivering content. Among these venues are:

- blogs
- webinars
- video
- white papers
- podcasts
- starting and otherwise participating in discussions on social networks like LinkedIn
- speaking (large group, small group, one on one)

In order to add value, the content must be germane to those you seek to influence.

It is always about relationships: if they know you, they are more likely to buy from you. The more visible you are, the more likely it is they know you. The more good content you develop, find and share, the more your "net worth" rises in your niche.

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