How to stop being the best kept secret and get the attention you deserve

- February 1, 2024 4 MIN READ


I bet you have heard (or said this yourself) ‘I’m sick of being the best kept secret’, or ‘Why doesn’t anyone know what I do’, or ‘Why does so and so keep winning awards when I know what I do is so much better’.

When I started in business over 10 years ago, I had no idea how to get in front of the people I knew could benefit from what my business offered. Even with my many years in comms and media, I wasn’t sure how to build my reputation and credibility. I fumbled around for a few years until I realised that a strategically mapped-out mix of marketing actions was the key.

Instead of doing what I felt comfortable with – for me that was public relations and writing articles – I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That meant getting more active on social media, posting more, contributing more and being part of different communities.  It meant being seen when I would rather curl up on the couch and read a book. It meant sharing my knowledge to build trust and connection with people I want to work with.

I learnt that repurposing and leveraging my wins was a powerful way to use the content I already had, so I wasn’t always creating new content. This approach made me think of Hansel and Gretel dropping breadcrumbs. Instead of a wicked witch at the end of my breadcrumbs – there was me, waiting with all my skills and talents, ready to help people who wanted to be more visible. This breadcrumb dropping has enabled me to appear like I am everywhere. I often get asked ‘Arne’t you tired, I see you everywhere’. No! Because I have a plan, I know how to repurpose and leverage every win that comes my way.

A powerful marketing action I embraced (and built a business around) was entering business awards. PR is all about third-party credibility. Awards were a fab tool to add to my strategy because what better credibility than writing an entry and having it judged?

Profile building is much more than running ads or posting occasionally on your website. If you want to be seen, you have to get visible. I know that for most of us, especially us introverts, being visible is not our first preference. But in business, you have to be seen. There is no room for modesty. If you do not back what you do, why should a client back you? You’ve got to believe in yourself…even if it’s just for that moment before submitting your award entry, posting your latest offer, or sharing your thought leadership.

What is profile building?

I used to call it PR (public relations), but the media has changed so much over the past 10 years that relying on mainstream media to pick up good stories about people in business was getting harder. I found people thought PR was only for big businesses, not entrepreneurs and small business people. I knew that having a tapestry of visibility actions was a lot more than pitching a story to a paper.

The idea is to make meaningful connections with your audience and stand out as a respected leading brand in an overwhelming world. Everyone deserves to be seen and recognised for their unique journey and accomplishments. There is power in connecting with an audience through authentic, credible and compelling content. Using a strategic approach, you drop breadcrumbs of valuable and insightful content to create a stickier presence.

Three Rs of Profile Building—Reputation, Recognition, and Results

People may not come out to say the three Rs is what swayed them to work with you. As humans, most of us make decisions based on emotions. That powerful limbic brain stores up all the stories, posts, and wins you share in building a connection with you. They want to know you can be trusted, you get results, and others think highly of you.

Reputation: Building a robust reputation involves defining and cultivating the image you want to project. It’s about establishing trust, credibility, and positive perceptions.

Recognition: The acknowledgment and validation of your efforts and achievements – awards are great for this. Winning awards or even being a finalist can significantly enhance your visibility and credibility within your industry.

Results: The tangible outcomes of your efforts—the measurable impact you’ve had on your clients, projects, or industry. Leverage your achievements, whether they are successful projects, client testimonials, or quantifiable metrics, to reinforce your expertise and distinguish yourself from competitors.

The ultimate goal is to become Googlicious, dominating online search within your industry and inspiring others with your stories.

Why build your profile?

Building your profile in business refers to the intentional and strategic effort to shape and enhance your professional image, reputation, and visibility within your industry or target market. It involves creating a distinct and positive identity that sets you apart from others, establishing credibility, and making your expertise or brand known to those who need you but have never heard of you.

What profile building strategically gets you

  • Visibility: Actively positioning yourself or your brand in places where your target audience is present, whether through networking events, industry conferences, social media, business awards, or other channels. Being seen and remembered is crucial.
  • Reputation Management: A fancy pants way of saying it is important to build a positive and trustworthy image.
  • Personal Branding: Developing a unique and recognisable personal or corporate brand that underpins your values, expertise, and what sets you apart from others.
  • Networking: Building and nurturing relationships with other professionals, clients, and industry. A great way to collaborate and be exposed to new ideas and opportunities.
  • Thought Leadership: We like to call it leaving a legacy. The ultimate goal of our Three R process is to establish yourself or your brand as an authority in your field by sharing valuable insights, expertise, and innovative ideas through business awards, writing articles, speaking at conferences, or participating in relevant discussions.
  • Awards: Industry awards not only validate your efforts but also increase your credibility and visibility.

Delayed gratification

I hate to tell you, but this is not an overnight thing or even a three-month thing.  It can take years to get to the place where you are in demand and wanted.  Like Jeff Olsen explains in The Slight Edge, it’s about doing those little things consistently every day. Building your profile is an ongoing process that requires strategic planning, consistent effort, and genuine commitment. If you want to create a lasting impression, embrace marketing and profile building as a must-do, instead of ‘do I have to?’.  Marketing is fuel for your business. You have to keep feeding the machine to keep moving forward.

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Now read this

The mighty power of stories: Why sharing your journey matters