By John Tabita

Get Recognized!

By John Tabita

Last week, I talked about how to network your way to business person status. To recap, a business person is someone …

… who can transcend the product or service to reach a higher ground—the ability to understand, articulate, and drive the contribution their business can make to the client’s business.

Most of us started off with expertise in a single area—that of web designer and/or developer. That’s a good thing; your client should be convinced that you understand web technologies. But there are two other areas of expertise to which you can aspire.

Marketing Expert
For many of us, it’s not a stretch to become knowledgeable in this area—even if SEO isn’t your specialty. Personally, I couldn’t optimize my way out of a paper bag. But I can talk about the subject with a level of expertise that will demonstrate to a client that I have a grasp on web marketing.

Business Expert
My company is in the process of putting together a team to evaluate how to integrate social into our marketing strategy. But management has made it clear that our endeavors must eventually result in achieving tangible business goals like building brand awareness, attracting new customers, and—ultimately—increasing revenue.

Likewise, your client must be assured that everything you do will contribute to his bottom line.

Becoming a Recognized Business and Community Leader

The difference between being a business expert and a business leader is recognition. Having the best website or blog in your niche that no one can find will hinder your success. So will lack of recognition.

Getting recognized doesn’t require that you be an extrovert. Ivan Misner, public speaker and founder of the world’s largest networking organization, is a self-professed introvert. But introvert or not, you do need good communication skills.

Nor is recognition merely popularity. While the cult of personality can and does surround many leaders, business and otherwise, lasting recognition comes from an entirely different path. Commenting on last week’s article, Sam Brody of Insurance Beanstalk, had this to say:

I moved to a new town, when I moved I decided it was time to get my son involved in volunteering (I had as of yet to volunteer a day in my life), so we started, there wasn’t anywhere for him to volunteer to we started community revolution to inspire the town, I then started volunteering for every organization I could find, I loved it, I became obsessed with helping. Before I knew it people were calling me a community leader, I was approached by the local republican party to run for mayor, I was in the newspaper at least twice a month (normally on the front page) and my insurance sales shot through the roof.

It turns around to the fact that the best leaders are the best servants, people follow and partner with the best leaders … serve others and people will follow.

So with all this networking and community involvement, when do you have time to actually develop websites? That’s the freelancer’s conundrum—finding time to both market and run your business. Hey, I never said it would be easy. If you think it’s too much work, you can always cold-call instead.

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  • mike

    how can i get in touch with john tabita or someone else who can help me out on a great opportunity to publish a news letter for a forprofit business, just need to know what to charge….

    thanks, mike

  • Jim

    “It turns around to the fact that the best leaders are the best servants, people follow and partner with the best leaders … serve others and people will follow.”
    This is so true. So much revolves around just showing up and being willing to help. I started out several years ago as a city boy who moved to a tiny rural town, not knowing anybody. Outsiders here are viewed with a lot of skepticism. I began helping organize the parade in the annual town festival, then worked into heading that up. I designed and maintain the event website and the chamber of commerce site for free. Now I chair the entire festival (the biggest event in the county), I just got elected Chamber of Commerce president, and I take part in search and rescue. I know most local movers and shakers, and I am viewed fairly favorably even by those who disagree with me politically. I was also recently approached about serving on the city council (thankfully I can’t do it even if I had time, since I live outside of town), and asked to be a board member in a political group. Now my biggest challenge is to be selective in what I agree to do, because people keep asking me to lead groups and events.
    My (long-winded) point here is that I started doing things because I care deeply about my community, and I give my best effort to whatever I do. I didn’t start out trying to be a “community leader” (and I certainly don’t see myself as charismatic), but it happened anyway when people saw my hard work. Now, the city council just decided to spend hotel/motel taxes to build a new website. Guess who the mayor chose to talk to?
    It took a few years of hard work, and a lot of unintentional networking, but I am starting to see financial rewards to go along with all the praise and personal satisfaction. In hindsight, if I had actually intended to get where I am now, I would have done things mostly like I did. It’s not a path to instant success, and much of it isn’t very glamorous, but actively serving is a great (and satisfying) long-term strategy.

  • John, am profoundly grateful for all your articles, they are actually precious, I’ve learnt alot from you only that I’ve not gotten the opportunity to start implementing them. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to meet you one on one in the near future and possibly would be in position to invite you to NIgeria….thanks alot

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