Publicity is a changing game. There was a time when getting a write-up in the newspaper (local or otherwise) was similar to hitting the ball out of the park in the big game. In days of old, newspapers owned the local and national markets. That time has come and gone.
The same was true of TV or radio. With just a limited amount (as compared to today) of stations in existence, getting a radio or TV interview used to be a really a big deal. Today, with the exception of friends and family watching, being on either may not even register a blip on the local radar.
Today, being seen means little. Getting noticed in the sea of “being seen” is the name of the game in 2011 and beyond. Mistake the two as being synonymous and you may be out of business before long. No, in today’s world, masses of products, services, and events fly by like a slideshow on fast-forward. They’re seen and unfortunately, forgotten.
In the past, I’d jump at the chance to do interviews. At first, it seemed like a big deal appearing in a national or international journal or magazine in my particular niche (Internet Publishing/Marketing). It didn’t take long to become known in my own niche. The problem was, I was becoming known to those who owned businesses similar to my own – and not the end-user/client.
If you’re a photographer, artist, chef, etc., it’s great to be known or even a leader among your peers. The problem is, your peers aren’t necessarily your clients. In most cases, they aren’t – they’re just your peers. They’re not consumers of your product or service. Being popular among your peers – or even envied by them won’t secure you much more than bragging rights at the end of the day.
If you’re visible in your particular business, more people probably know who you are than you realize – especially if your business has been around for a while. This is what “being seen” is all about. The problem occurs when the people you’re most visible to haven’t bought a thing from you and in many cases… never will because (simply put), they’re not your clientele.
In my own case, several of my peers became my clients because I had established myself in my niche with higher-profile clients. Some of my peers became clients. That was temporary. Did I make enough money with them to build a solid business? No. They only needed about 20% of the products and services I offered.
“Getting Noticed” on the other hand is an entirely different matter. Getting noticed means you stand out in a crowd – once you’ve been seen. I’m talking about standing out for all the right reasons. This can include but isn’t limited to having a product or service that is –
- Better designed
- Does more things for the same price
- Solves more problems than the competitor’s product or service
- Makes a difficult job easier
- Is easier to use
- Tastes better
- Looks better
- Provides a pleasant escape from boredom, stress, etc.
You get the idea. That’s just a quick list.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing – you have competition. People have a limited amount of time, money and attention. You want a percentage of all three to be focused upon you. Just being seen isn’t good enough.
The easiest way to get noticed in 2011 is by having a “marketing message” that really resonates in your niche. The definition I’m using for the word “resonate” is [to evoke or suggest images, memories or emotion]. This is why music is so powerful. It does all three – sometimes subtly… sometimes not so subtly.
Words, images and the images words create are used to create successful campaigns for every type of product and service you can think of. Words can intrigue, or they can bore.
In the most recent taste tests, Pepsi beats Coke continually. And yet, Coke continues to outsell Pepsi. Why? Obviously, there is another type of connection with the product besides taste that’s responsible for the sale.
Whether your business is local, national, or international, getting noticed ultimately means people are responding to your message with their checkbooks. All this happens when people remember YOU before the others out there who are selling or promoting the same or similar things.
This may mean you’re going to have to adjust your business and update your strategies to reflect what’s happening in the present. Today’s battles can seldom be won using yesterday’s strategies. Too much has changed for this approach to be successful.
So let’s get right to the heart of the matter. If you’re business is failing, what are the options?
1. Change your message to meet today’s needs. Your current one may be falling upon deaf ears.
2. Combine other products or services with your current ones to increase your overall “perceived value.”
3. Change your pricing structure to enable your business to keep moving. If there is no longer “money to be made” where you are, you must determine if it’s worthwhile holding your current position.
4. Reinvent yourself and reintroduce yourself to your existing client/customer base in a way they’re not used to seeing you.
More on these four methods in upcoming articles. What? You can’t wait and need answers today? Click here
(Artwork – “Mid-tech Motherboard” available at Frary Gallery)