A thought hit me today so powerful and so meaningful that I just had to share it.
What is the one need that we authors, entrepreneurs, entertainers/artists, and small business owners have in common?
Answer: we all want to grow our brands. Publicity. As an established and credible brand, we have people who are in the business of PR. We have people on our team whose sole purpose is our success through publicity.
Publicity is a pay-to-play business. So what happens if you don’t have the capital resources to hire a publicist? What if we don’t have the contacts to get the PR?
Everything Is Driven By Strategy
Answer: We start with strategy. We start with positioning. We position by using relationship-selling.
Ralph Waldo Emerson told us:
“As to methods there may be a million and some but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods.
Have you mastered the art of people? You’re probably thinking…what? Yes, mastered the art of people. Communication. Body language. Leveraging relationships. Have you mastered that yet?
Not right wrong or indifferent but what I’ve found is when we don’t have the budget to invest, we are best served to invest our time in building up a massive network.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “your network is your networth” right? That couldn’t be more true!
I’ve found that by serving others and creating value we serve ourselves. We create momentum. We create opportunities. Energy is cyclic. What we put into we get out of it.
So where would we begin if we wanted to master the art of relationship-selling? What would be the first action step?
I’d start by analyzing my ability for public speaking. Even if I didn’t identify as a public speaker this is a great way to start. Additionally, gaining confidence by being in front of a room to deliver a speech.
Majority of people fear speaking. According to Statistic Brain, roughly 75% of men and women suffer from speech anxiety and have the fear of getting in front of a room to deliver a speech. So what does that tell us?
First and foremost, anyone who masters that craft and skill is going to be 75% ahead of the field. Secondly, while you’re building your speaking skills this is an amazing opportunity to sell your book after the speech. Not to mention this creates content that you can use to take pictures and video tape. Repurposing this content to create even more buzz. Talk about a win-win-win!
The next action step would be to begin to study and master sales strategy. When it comes to selling ourselves some of us feel icky, gross, or think that sales is manipulative.
Fact: Sales is influence. Sales is persuasion. And there’s a big difference between persuading, influencing and manipulating. I recommend we stay far away from doing the latter.
One of the best books I ever read on sales was when I worked for Virginia College. As an enrollment advisor, you’re not even deemed or identified as a sales person. Although that’s the goal, enroll students into courses.
Furthermore, the proper strategy and implementation is never icky or gross. You never felt dirty because you are mentoring and helping people get their education. What we begin to realize is sales is nothing more, nothing less than going through an extensive discovery phase, learning how to provide value, and offering the opportunity to solve the problem. Create the solution.
If we don’t do this correctly and we don’t have the proper training then yes, we could be misleading. We could forget to focus on prospective client or partner opportunity because we’re too busy thinking about our own needs and desires. And this would be manipulation.
But when we are 100% engaged to the prospect and we’re asking leading questions in the discovery phase and we offer to fix the problem, we should be creating a win-win opportunity.
Mastering the art of people will include speaking and relationship-selling. There’s one final step to start building your publicity. Last action step would be start networking and building lasting relationships.
Now you get the opportunity to practice your newfound skills. The opportunities that you need are right at your fingertips. These opportunities are managed by people. So now we want to figure out how do we find and connect with the right people.
For example, my next goal is to deliver a TedTalks speech. I don’t know anyone as of today that does the booking for Ted. So what is my first step in the networking process?
I have to find who the influencers are. Who are the movers and the shakers? Next, I would like to find some people who have actually performed on the Ted stage.
This way I can go to my new friends for advice on how they booked Ted. And second, I can figure out that process so that when I reach out to the movers and the shakers I’m prepared.
You’ll be able to identify easily by joining Facebook groups, going to networking events, trade shows, etc. The beauty is that every industry works the same way so this strategy can be applied to almost anything.
Finally, we get started. I wouldn’t recommend that you just go in and start asking for favors. Nor do I recommend you go in telling them what you want to do.
The strategy is to go in and figure out how you can serve. How can you provide value? Offer them some value and BOOM, the door is open.
Now I couldn’t complete this article without giving you some homework. Here’s some of the best books that I’ve read to launch you on your journey.
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The New Conceptual Selling… by Robert B. Miller
Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff