Visibility as a Growth Strategy
People have asked me, “What impact does attending an event have for me or my organization?’ While you may go to some meetings and leave feeling you haven’t met the right people, let me be clear — visibility for you and your organization’s brand makes an impact.
Let’s consider professional services firms – like Halloran Consulting Group, where I work.
Visibility contributes to our growth strategy by:
- Expanding our brand’s name recognition and value
- Improving our brand’s credibility and enhancing its reputation
- Increasing our chances for referrals
Visibility has a direct impact on the bottom line – because of it, an organization can command higher rates, generate more business (i.e., sales and revenue streams), and create more engagement with a greater number of prospective buyers. Visibility allows you and your organization to cultivate meaningful relationships. Research conducted by The Hinge Group validates this theory — the greater the visibility, the greater the willingness of the marketplace to pay for expertise. At the end of the day, don’t we all want to work smarter, not harder?
Buyers look to people and organizations in order to tap their expertise as they solve problems. Pre-COVID, professional services firms began to move away from the model where they rely on just one or two people as the “rain makers” who bring in the majority of the business. Post-COVID, professional services firms have seen the “spread” of responsibility for generating new business accelerate. Now, instead of new business being a job for a select few, it’s a job for many.
The attempt to differentiate your organization from others is key. With the increasing usage of artificial intelligence, an organization’s content can become watered down and homogenized. It is your personal knowledge and experiences that provide the necessary differentiation – the U.S.P. or “unique selling proposition,” in marketing terms — to best demonstrate your organization’s value to a client.
Being a brand ambassador does matter — because visibility matters. For our company’s 25th anniversary, we created “25 Ways to be a Brand Ambassador” and shared it with everyone in our organization. No matter where you are in your career or what your job title is, it is never too early to begin a visibility campaign. As a brand ambassador, you must be ready to share your perspective, and exercise discipline and consistency. You must also know and understand your audience. Start small — there is no need to boil the ocean.
- Speaking engagements – be an active member of a professional association == like PRSA — where others can tap your expertise
- Thought leadership – participate in opportunities to establish yourself as a thought leader
- Social media – read an industry article, repost with your expert opinion, and tag your company (being mindful of your organization’s social media policy)
- Webinars – be a part of live or on-demand webinars
- Attend an event – touchpoints can occur during any stage of the buyer journey: awareness, consideration, and decisionmaking
Sharpen Your Expertise
Only you have the power, determination, and mindset to establish yourself as the expert. You have been hired and asked to be a part of your company because you have expertise. Everyone has the power to sharpen their professional skills by:
- Reading industry literature
- Learning from others and asking questions
- Interacting with peers
- Conducting research
As a 30-year careerist, I encourage you to never lose your thirst for curiosity. A few words to live by:
- Keep a learning mindset and a willingness to embrace change by mastering a new skill and modeling this for others.
- Encourage attentive ownership and flexible confidence – these are characteristics of people who are willing to BE VISIBLE.
- Be a curator of knowledge in addressing industry challenges –people will seek out your expertise because they are unsure themselves. Never discount the value you bring when giving advice based on your reputation as a subject matter expert.
Want to learn more? Reach out to any PRSA Yankee Chapter leader for guidance and offer to get involved. These colleagues are ready and willing to help you launch your visibility campaign!
Gail Winslow, APR, is the Head of Marketing for Halloran Consulting Group, a life science consulting firm, providing strategy, clinical, regulatory, and organizational transformation support to biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies moving their drug or device from concept to market. As an agile marketing, business development, and communications professional she possesses deep experience in building integrated strategies and tactics through cross-functional, collaborative leadership creating powerful experiences, generating data-driven insights, and producing measurable results. Gail is a resident of Jacksonville, Florida. When she is not working, she keeps busy checking off her bucket list .