Entrepreneurship is not for the timid or fainthearted. Owners of the millions of businesses that have failed in the last 20 years alone understand this fact. So, to make a business thrive, entrepreneurs struggle to create the best products and find a way to get these products in the hands of final consumers. For Sean Lourdes, entrepreneur and founder of The Lourdes Foundation, one of the goals of the entrepreneur should be to “breach the gap between solutions and the people who need them”
The question is: how does a businessperson eliminate the gap between an impressive product and the people who seek them? Creating an effective means of distribution for these products isn’t the answer. But it helps. Offering the lowest prices in the industry won’t still do the trick. But it helps too. Training staff so they can give their very best isn’t the answer too. Yet again, it helps. Being visible is what counts, and sadly, this is not easy to do.
Your Product or Service is Useless if People Cannot Find it Useful
“People cannot buy what they have not seen. Tenants cannot live in homes they don’t know about. Movies without trailer may not break Box Office records.” argues Sean. “By all means” he continued “entrepreneurs who hope to see their businesses thrive must do everything reasonable to put the spotlight on themselves and their businesses.”
Think about it. Many entrepreneurs know this and that is why they have long waged and still wage the war for the human eyeballs. Every billboard mounted by the street, every flier handed to a passerby, every cold call that hits a user’s phone, and indeed every poster placed on strategic surfaces on the street; is an attempt to capture people’s attention. The big question is: how does your business fare in the battle of eyeballs?
“Do you spend strategically on Facebook ads as you compete for this publicity? Have you considered Google adwords at all? Do your employees and colleagues talk about your business and in a good way? All of these help a lot” Says the avid traveler “But then, do you promote yourself, and well enough?”
Kylie Jenner stunned the world when she became the youngest billionaire a couple months ago. She achieved this feat selling beauty products. But then, Kylie is not the only seller of beauty products in the United States let alone the world. There are several bigger, better brands out there. Nonetheless, Kylie seems to understand the same message Sean Lourdes shares in this article – the principle of shameless self-promotion.
Promote Yourself or Get Lost in the Market
In many ways, entrepreneurship of the 21st century thrives in extroversion. The founder or the business itself has to have a decent share of people’s eyeballs online or offline. With over 124,000 followers on Instagram, Sean Lourdes pretty much practices what he preaches. And this hack has helped him win severally in business as he revealed in this interview on TheFrisky.
It is already an established fact that most people make purchases because of emotions and justify the purchase with some logic. This means buyers are more likely to stick to a familiar face in the market than with a newcomer. And if there is just one face these potential customers should associate with your brand, which would you rather have out there? Your secretary’s face or yours? Now if you are not Coca Cola, Pepsi, MacDonald’s and businesses of that tier, you may not be able to afford a David Beckham or Dwayne Johnson to be the face of your company; it’s got to be your face.
Still on winning the battle of eyeballs, Sean’s partner, Megan Thomas, shares insights on how models help companies win the battle of consumer eyeballs. “The fashion models you typically see in magazines like Elle and Vogue; the runway models who catwalk graciously; and the commercial models you see in ads” Says Megan; a model and mother of one “are basically doing the same thing for the brands they work for” The UCLA graduate went on to reveal that getting viewers hooked to the products or services of their sponsors is one of the major duties of these models. In her words “Models look and do their best to capture people’s attention for their brands. Of course this promotion is aimed at driving more sales and increasing revenue”
Gucci, Armani, Prada; they all battle for the spotlight every day that comes and goes. The CEOs and/or founders of these brands often promote their brands heavily by themselves and even recruit more popular people to win this battle of consumer eyeballs. Apparently, there may be no hope for the small or medium scale entrepreneurs who are ashamed of self-promotion.
The Way Forward
Preach the gospel of your products and services shamelessly. It’s that simple yet nobody is saying it’s going to be easy. Now this is different from ads. Self-promotion is what you do for your brand’s publicity when your ads are not running or where they cannot work. For instance, in a meeting of CEOs, you can find a way to promote yourself a little if called to make a speech. Some other ways of achieving this include:
- Answering related questions on Quora
- Contributing on big forums such as Reddit
- Sharing relevant content on social media periodically
- Launching and teaching good stuff from your own podcast
- Landing speaking engagements and promote yourself on stage
- Attending events and to talk about your business at some point
- Actively mentioning your brand in real life conversations etc
Let your family and friends know what you do or sell, and let the friends of your friends know too. Promote yourself first if you want other people to promote you. When done well, your brand will enjoy some spotlight. That is where most eyeballs look and that is where the biggest sales are made.