By Betty vonLiebermann
It has always been important for business owners, large and small, to get the word out about their business. The importance of visibility is crucial for the success of any profit or non-profit organization.
One of my mentors once said to me, “You can provide the most wonderful service and you can do great things, but if nobody knows about it, it’s a moot point.” Those words have stayed with me over the years, and those very words were my introduction to “The Importance of Visibility.”
More and more business owners are realizing the importance to networking. Affiliations with professional organizations are always helpful and open a whole realm of possibilities. Appearances at meetings of professional organizations can open the door for speaking engagements, invitations to exhibit and other avenues, which can turn out to be quite profitable in the long run.
I am a member of the Connecticut Federation of Business and Professional Women, Inc. I became a member in the 1990’s and the opportunities I have had due to my affiliation with this organization have been amazing.
The Women’s Business Development Center in Stamford also has been a great help to me. Once people know who you are, and once you set yourself up as an “expert in the field,” the opportunities are endless.
I have more than 15 years experience in the communications field, and one thing I have learned is that exposure makes a difference.
It is important that the media knows about your business. A press release to a local newspaper can result in a full-page article with a color photo that will not only enhance your credibility as a business owner, but can also help you to get more clients.
A free listing in the community calendar in your local paper also can give you great results. When an article appears about your business, make sure to make copies of it and save the original for future use.
These copies will come in handy for years to come, particularly when exhibiting at a trade show or expo. Be sure to call the newspapers and gain permission from the editor to distribute the copies at the event – this creates a win-win situation – publicity for your business and publicity for the newspaper.
Never underestimate the power of the business card and a handshake. Some may think this is old fashioned, but it still works. Each time you leave your home or office, make sure you have plenty of business cards with you. One of my best networking experiences took place while standing in line at my local grocery store.
Last but not least, ask for referrals and always thank those who refer others to you. You can thank them in writing or you can simply pick up the phone, but always thank the person for the referral. This will help your business grow
Betty vonLiebermann is a member of the Public Relations Society of American and serves as the public relations chairwoman for the Connecticut Federation of Business and Professional Women.