With all the buzz about self-branding, viral marketing and social networking, it can seem like being highly visible is the way to go, no matter what you may prefer. That’s where a hard look at your core competence and goals will help you decide if you want to follow the pack or keep a low profile in the IM marketplace. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, depending on your personal style and preferred method of working.
Folks who are solitary by nature, don’t need a great deal of social interaction and prefer staying out of the limelight can use “low visibility” to their advantage. By being hard to get and booked in advance, you will create a perception of your value that will keep you in as much work as you desire. Getting started may take time and effort beyond that of someone else who has a much higher profile. As long as the quality and value of your work is high, you’ll get more loyal customers that won’t stray. You’ll be the big fish in a small pond. Making the move into other areas of the IM marketplace can be easier if you are not highly identified with one, particular niche, too.
Social butterflies, who thrive on interacting with others, will get more out of being “high profile” businesses. Aside from the emotional satisfaction of connecting with a large body of customers and contacts, the potential for large returns is often easier to achieve with broad exposure. Becoming widely known and highly visible will help jumpstart a new business into profitability much sooner than the quiet approach. The problem with such a method of marketing is becoming “typecast” or pigeonholed into a particular niche that may become less profitable in time.
The decision to go with either approach begins with a serious look at yourself. In some cases, it will be easy to see which type you are by nature. For many, it will take some reflection and a willingness to ask for help. Self-knowledge can be the toughest knowledge to acquire. If you’re stuck, ask friends or acquaintances to volunteer their opinion about you. Don’t be put off if what they tell you doesn’t fit in with your expectations. Planning to be high profile, when you’re really better suited to flying under the radar, will lead to long term dissatisfaction and stress. Trying to be a “best kept secret”, when you are a social animal, will stifle your growth and starve you, emotionally.
A very few people are destined to be very high profile: the biggest fish in the biggest pond. They have a constellation of personal characteristics that make them ideally suited to being leaders. Generally, they know it, too. These natural born leaders balance the need to build a successful business with being a part of the larger, social environment of their marketplace. These so-called “gurus” don’t just make a name for themselves. They have a vision or dream that they build every day, in a way that is meant to turn a profit and make the world a better place.
No matter what your calling in life may be, make sure you remain true to who you are, inside. Take the time to find out what your real needs are and make your business an extension of your inner self. There’s nothing tougher than playing a role you don’t believe in. There’s nothing better than creating a business model that lets you be the best you can be. Make sure your choice in marketing and “branding” is the best fit for your future.
Jo Han Mok is the author of the #1 international business bestseller, The E-Code.
He shares his amazing blueprint for creating million dollar internet businesses
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