One of the primary reasons people come to us for public relations is to grow their businesses. They want PR to bolster visibility which translates into business development. PR has to impact the bottom line (directly or indirectly) or why do it?
Prospects usually ask things like: Do we have the right messaging for branding? How can we get our company/people in the news? Should we do social media (blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)? How can we get speaking engagements to help us?
All of these strategies and tactics work to bolster business development: an attorney client received numerous calls following a substantial article in The Wall Street Journal; a wealth advisor secured a client selling her business following a radio interview. There are countless examples of PR securing new business.
Moreover, I would like to take business development a step further and suggest a personal marketing plan for individuals. Of course most successful companies/organizations have a marketing plan, but what about a personal marketing plan to build your brand and cultivate business?
Do you think of yourself as a small business owner? Probably not if you’re not literally the owner. In many professional services firms, individuals strive to become partners or shareholders; others participate in profit sharing and stock programs. In essence they are “small business owners.” This concept can apply to anyone who’s serious about their career with some entrepreneurial spirit: “the company of me” and I’m the owner.
Once you are a small business owner, suddenly your mindset and effectiveness magically change. I’ve seen this consistently when collaborating with clients to develop personal marketing plans. “Small business owners” take business development more seriously and personally. It’s no longer the job of the “other guys who know more people” to bring in the business.
Since many organizations get much of their business from personal referrals, the foundation of a personal marketing plan is about increasing your network, developing relationships and building your circle of influence. When people know you, they are more likely to remember you when they – or others in their sphere of influence – need your services.
We’ve helped individuals develop their “brand” with a customized mission statement and blueprint. We then help research, facilitate and make things happen. Sample elements include:
- Become a professor of Lunch 101, 201, building to 301: Strategically reconnect with people and meet new desirable “leaders”
- Be a connoisseur of meetings: Go to those in town – and out of town – that your “dream clients” attend
- Join a community/civic organization – something you are passionate about, or you won’t do it.
- Seek out your most prestigious organizations/trade groups; be a speaker at their next conference
- Find the “best” program/event for your company to sponsor and make it happen.
“Small business owners” are very resourceful. They make things happen. They seek out experts to help them achieve their goals. Why not become a small business owner today?