Before you read on, you should know that this article is part of a series on developing a visibility strategy. This is chapter 6 in that series.
Once you have a platform of your own, you’ll want to bring as many of your ideal clients and customers to that platform as possible.
To do that you can show up on other people’s platform, offer information that’s valuable to their community, and, as part of that process, share information about where people can find you if they want to dive more deeply into your work.
For that approach to work best, it’s beneficial to have a free offering you can direct people to if they want to know more about your work. The more closely aligned the free offering is to the topic you’ve been discussing, the higher the probability of converting people from interested to learn more, to members of your community.
Other people’s platforms
Other people’s platforms include;
- podcast shows
- You Tube shows
- television, radio, magazines and other traditional media channels
- conferences, and
Any of these platforms will work for you if you’re discerning about the people you’re going to pitch to. It’s better to pitch to one You Tuber whose community is completely aligned to yours for example, than it is to pitch yourself to 100 You Tubers who have communities that are only tangentially connected to the type of people you’re trying to reach.
The strategy of showing up on other people’s platforms is also going to work well for you if you take the time to understand that person’s audience and their needs.
When I used to host a podcast show, I’d receive the most random interview pitches from people whose businesses literally had nothing to do with my show. The format of the show was, for a long time, just me. No interviews. But that didn’t still stop people pitching me. Even when I did conduct interviews, people who had no interest or background in anything connected to business and personal development (the topic of the podcast) would still pitch me. Such people were obviously taking a very broad scatter gun approach to getting interviewed and wasting both my time and theirs.
Better to choose a much smaller number of people to pitch to and be sure you’re really clear about how you can add value to their platform and serve their community.
To do this well, you also need to be very very clear about who you’re here to serve. If you don’t yet know that, there’s no point in reaching out to other people. You’ll just get very busy with very little to show for it.
Are some platforms better than others?
That depends on the platform you’re building. If you’re building a You Tube channel then you’ll want to pitch to other You Tubers. If you’re building a podcast show, you’ll want to pitch to podcasters, and if you’re building a blog, you’ll ideally look for guest blogging opportunities.
That’s not a completely hard and fast rule – as a blogger you can obviously appear as a guest on other people’s You Tube channels and podcast shows – but in the interests of bringing people into your community, it’s easier to bring an established podcast listener over to your podcast show than it is to convince them to develop a new habit of also watching You Tube videos each week, and vice versa.
If traditional media is where you’d like to focus your attention, there are two key things to remember there; traditional media have long lead times so you need to plan in advance, and in what seems like a contradictory statement, journalists work to tight timeframes, so you need to be able to respond very quickly to their requests and be prepared to be interviewed very shortly after they contact you.
With regard to conferences and summits, the big thing to remember is you’re part of a collective offering. This isn’t just about you and the host as it is with podcast or You Tube interviews. Conference and summit organisers are pulling together a complementary set of speakers. So understanding their theme and offering a few ways you could present the topic, depending on the other presenters in the room, can be useful.
Finally, everyone wants a new angle on what they’ve presented before. So understanding what each host has offered their audience in the past and considering what might be unique or different or interesting to them is not only thoughtful, it’s imperative to the success of your efforts.
The key to success with this approach is to be as targeted as possible and to understand the environment (the way of operating, the values, the types of things people consider in making a decision about their guests) that you’re trying to break into.
Social media channels
The other big platforms that are ‘other people’s’ are the social media channels. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
Most people are familiar with social media channels and really the big issue isn’t understanding them, it’s choosing where to focus your attention to get the biggest return on your investment of time or money.
Here are some questions to consider;
- Where are your people?
- How do you like to engage with them? In 280 characters or less? Using imagery? In longer form conversational style?
- Which platform suits your visibility personality or the visibility personality of your business?
- Do I want to do traditional style posts on the platform or use their live streaming facilities or both?
- How does each platform fit within your broader visibility strategy? If for example, running Facebook ads is part of your visibility strategy, then it makes sense to build a strong presence on Facebook. If you’re building a You Tube channel then Google ads are a good complementary fit.
The final thing to remember about social media is that there are a lot of people with a meaningless number of followers on their accounts. Engagement on your social accounts is what makes for a valuable account. The point of spending time on socials is to grow your connection with your audience. If that isn’t happening, it doesn’t matter how large your follower list is, it’s useless.
And finally on the topic of spreading the word, keep in mind that while raising your profile in your industry is one thing, entering into a longer, more sustained relationship with your community is the thing that ultimately leads to sales and a profitable business.
That means you want to be strategic about creating a line of sight from:
- your visibility intention, to
- your visibility platform, to
- the way you show up on other people’s platforms, to
- your freebie offer to move people from browsers to engaged community members.
There are so many different types of freebies you can offer your community from checklists to free audio training or a video series or an e-book or a free shipping or a cheat sheet. The options are virtually endless. This really is one of the places you can let your creativity run wild and have fun with creating an amazing offering your people will love.
So they’re the basics on spreading the word. Next time: Blue Ocean Visibility. Stay tuned!