IT’S NOT WHO YOU KNOW
As small business owners we have heard this many times: “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.” While I believe that this is a true statement, there is another that goes along with it: “What counts is who knows you and how favorably they perceive you.”
As a small business owner, creating a positive public image is one of the first requirements for a successful growth process. Your public image will be enhanced or diminished by everything you do in public. That includes not only your image within your chosen profession but among your friends and your community.
In my opinion, the creation of a positive public image is one of the most important marketing tasks facing all small business owners. The key word for this process is “involvement.” I am sure we all have met the person who pushes his or her way into everything that is happening and becomes more of a “pain” than a productive participant. By no means am I recommending that you become involved in your church or a charity solely because of your business interests. The rules for involvement are simple:
- Select a position or situation that you find gratifying. It has to be something you enjoy doing and believe in its purpose.
- Be prepared to be active and participate.
- Select a “fertile” activity. By this I mean that the other members of the group may someday be able to use your services or products and refer others to you.
Your involvement and willingness to pitch in and help, brings out your leadership qualities. Others will be impressed by your efforts, even if they don’t know you well.
Community involvement is a long term process. You don’t join a civic organization or a charity with the expectation of getting an immediate monetary return; it requires an ongoing commitment to the organization. Along the way you will be asked to share your story, your WHY, why you selected a particular organization and WHY you do what you do in your line of business.
This is all part of building not only your public image but also establishing meaningful relationships.
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