15. Focus on content
O’Connor says whatever your message, the content you’re putting out there has to be relevant to the audience. “You need to focus on the benefits of your products or services and what’s going to matter to clients or consumers, not the technical aspects that people won’t care about,” she says.
16. Champion a cause
IT services specialist Connect has helped grow awareness of the company by undertaking initiatives to boost the number of women in IT. For example, Connect has formed a group for women IT specialists, worked with schools to promote the IT sector to female students and taken part in industry-wide groups investigating the issue.
CEO Mark MacGregor says: “It helps us stand out from the crowd because it’s not just about us launching a new product.”
17. Be an expert
Writing opinion pieces, joining the speakers’ circuit or running an event that shows your expertise is a good way to get yourself known, according to Judith Germain, founder of Dynamic Transitions.
She says: “I’ve published a lot of articles on the web. I’ve also written a lead article for Talent Management Review, as well as running online and offline business communities.”
18. Be accessible to journalists
If you’re positioning yourself as an industry commentator in the media, Houlding recommends: “Be readily available and give an interesting and different point of view.” He warns against becoming a “rent-a-quote”, saying it’s easier to build an image in one specialist area.
19. Befriend the right writers
Emma Willis says dealing with the press is “absolutely critical” to building up your profile. “I’ve worked hard – on my own and with PR agencies – to be written about in quality publications my customers read, such as the Financial Times and Vogue,” she says. “I will personally go and meet the relevant journalists, even those in the US. I give them a good idea about what I do.”
20. Join a business organisation
“I’m involved in quite a lot of other business activities,” says Preston. “I’m an international board director of the Young Presidents’ Organisation. We have a relatively low public profile, but it’s all about business leaders networking together, sharing experiences, ideas and education.”
21. Be charitable
Helping a charity to raise money not only means using your skills to help others – it may also put you in touch with potential partners. Taylor works with the Prince’s Trust Fundraising Committee.
She advises: “You’ve got to be a little bit canny and make it work commercially for you. Find out who supports the charity, who’s involved, where they come from and what they’re trying to achieve.”
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