It’s the age-old marketing conundrum, where people confuse Visibility Vs Perception. What does this mean? It means a wealth of different things for my clients, depending on what is going on in their organisations. However, it boils down to their perception is not always that of others, nomatter how visible they are in their workplace. Actually, it’s a coaching basic, and one that a lot of us work with clients to address, every day.
Although I am familiar with this in my work, the tricky bit is that this is currently an issue WITH my work. Recently, I have been focusing on relaunching a part of my business put on hold by Covid. This was the Future Leaders Breakfast® (FLB®s) networking events. Starting these up safely, and at breakfast-time, has been a challenge. It’s been tough enticing people out to networking events for 08:00 in the morning. Nevertheless, I am lucky to have fantastic collaboration partners who have helped me find ideal venues. They also support the FLB idea of providing networking that combines building contacts AND leadership skills for entrepreneurs and young professionals. It’s unique, and it works. Despite this, getting it going again, in new areas, where people are still cautious about coming out to in-person events, is proving HARD.
This is where the Visibility bit comes in.
I have been plastering adverts for the new events, in Portsmouth and the New Forest on the South Coast of the UK, all over business social media. I have promoted them at networking events and online calls. One particular low was during a Spring rainstorm, when I dashed up and down New Forest high streets, for a leaflet drop to local firms promote these events. It is starting to work, with small but varied and interesting groups of leaders coming together monthly to discuss topics that work for them in their workplace.
Actually, my plastering has been so effective that people have approached me on the basis of FLBs. On the one hand, they check that I am still running my coaching and change consultancy. On the other, they want general training as they assume that the FLBs are all I do. So, there is most definitely a Perception issue here.
Perception Vs Reality
In fact, my company still provides the following:
- Executive coaching (1:1 and Board level teams)
- Team turnaround consultancy
- Leadership mentoring
- Business consultancy (the “people bit” of running your own show)
- Presentations and workshops
- Facilitation of meetings and events
- Maverick leadership blogs for The Maverick Paradox online magazine
By comparison, however, I simply haven’t been shouting about all of this very much. As a result, because I have been shouting about FLBs a lot, they have come to be my visibility focus AND my perceived career change!
Visibility Vs Perception – the self-coaching approach
So, using a bit of “physician heal thyself”, what would I say to a client in this pickle?
Well, first I would ask them what they WANT to be known for.
My answer? “All of it, of course!”
In that case, is that what is happening right now?
This time, I would have to answer, “No”. I am clouding my message because I am focussing too much on only one bit of my offering.
Next, I would ask a client “What does that tell you, about what you need to do next?”
And I would have to answer “It tells me I need to do smarter marketing that explains what I do WHILE publicising FLBs”
Evidently, I need to take some action. So, here it is! A blog which explains what I do AND mentions FLBs. It may not set the literary world on fire, but at least it lets you know that I am focusing on getting FLBs launched. And the reason? Because I believe in them. I believe that new leaders need and deserve to have the best ethical grounding for their careers, so they can build futures which serve them as well as their employers. I believe that making strong business connections based on shared experiences makes for a stronger local economy. And I also believe that sharing learning experiences, even while networking over a bacon bap, can create bonds that form the basis of lasting business relationships of quality.
Of course, I also believe in supporting leaders to find the leader within themselves that their teams deserve. In addition, I believe firmly that helping teams manage themselves and aim for high performance is something every organisation needs. Add to this my love of profiling and enabling people to work better together, and you have a strong portfolio of services. I just need to shout about them all a bit more and explain the links between them!
Accordingly, if you would like to know more about any of the topics I have listed here, please get in touch and I would be delighted to explain precisely how and what I do.