5 Ways You Can Achieve Celebrity Status in Your Industry in 12 Months or Less
Are you a celebrity in your business’ industry? Seriously, if I mentioned your name to a guy or gal that is in your same industry 1000 miles away would that person recognize it? Better yet, if a consumer looking to buy a product in your industry was to hear your name, would they have a clue as to who you were?
This is one of those articles that may make me appear, at least at first, to sound vainglorious, but please try to read the following with the purpose for which it was written—To open your mind so that you, your personal brand, and your small business can soon reach consumer awareness heights that you never previously imagined.
The West Coast
Ok, so now for the part that may come across as self-indulgent. Let me tell you about my day yesterday. As most of my readers know, ‘Pool Guy’ is one of my titles. My company installs pools throughout Virginia and Maryland here in the United States. Yesterday morning, I received a call from a pool builder on the West Coast. The purpose of his call was to discuss a potential blog article about how a local builder had sold a used swimming pool to a homeowner and essentially ripped the person off. The story was definitely news worthy and my source even sent me photos showing the unbelievably poor workmanship for the project. The information and photos will soon be posted on my swimming pool blog, and I’m sure it will garner quite a bit of attention.
After the gentleman and I had discussed the blog article, he then informed my how he had sat down with a husband and wife a few days before hand and while he was trying to sell them a pool, they were asking him questions that were coming straight out of my swimming pool eBook. This brought us both a chuckle but as he put it, “It was the first time I’ve ever had a homeowner receive guidance on how to build their pool from another pool guy thousands of miles away.”
The Cayman Islands
Shortly after this conversation, I lead message came through on my Blackberry from a lady in the Cayman Islands that had some fiberglass swimming pool questions. Her message essentially read: ‘Marcus, I know you don’t install pools in the Cayman Islands but I love your website so much and I’ve learned more there than anywhere else on the web, so would you mind answering these questions?…….’ Her message also included questions about my thoughts on fiberglass pool manufacturers, building techniques, as well as photo attachments of her home and where the pool would be going.
I quickly responded to the lady with the answers she was looking for and then forwarded her information to a fiberglass pool manufacturer out of Florida who has a dealer in the Cayman Islands. The lady shortly thereafter responded with much gratitude as did the owner of the fiberglass pool manufacturing company for sending him such a qualified lead.
Literally, within an hour of these conversations, I got a phone call from a gentleman in New Jersey that had been all over our company’s website and was asking if we could come up to his state and be willing to install his swimming pool, as he just didn’t feel comfortable with the installers he had talked to in his area. After discussing his situation for a while, I then sent his information to a pool builder in New Jersey, who was very grateful to receive such a qualified lead.
‘It’s like I’m talking with a celebrity…’
Finally, later on in the evening, I had a sales appointment with a gentleman who had requested I come out and give him a quote for his swimming pool project. As soon as we sat down in his living room, he said (and I’m quoting exact words here) , “Gosh Marcus, I can’t believe you’re sitting here at my kitchen table. It’s like I’m talking with a celebrity or something. You won’t believe how much of your stuff I’ve read. I’ve seen all your videos. What you’ve done is awesome.”
Needless to say, we had a very good appointment, but his statement, although it gave me a laugh, also really got me thinking about just how much my personal and company ‘brand’ have changed over the years. It also led me to write this article, as I feel that such branding is available to any small business owner and entrepreneur, no matter what industry they are in.
I’ve talked about all of these subjects in previous articles, but I want to reemphasize 5 steps here that every entrepreneur and small business owner can take to reach ‘celebrity’ status within their industry.
1. Blog and Produce Video like a mad-man– Nothing has brought my company website, as well as my personal name, more attention than maintaining a regular blog over this past year. While most swimming pool companies (any any other small business for that matter) start and stop blogs faster than people start and stop going to the gym after New Years, my company has produced 2-3 quality blog articles/videos every week for over a year now. This has equated to a mountain of remarkable and relative content that swimming pool shoppers and consumers around the world are just eating up….Hence the call from the Cayman Islands. In fact, our site now averages visits from well over 10 countries a day, which ain’t too bad for a little swimming pool company out of good ‘ol Virginia.
2. Write an eBook– Before I started the blog, what really put me on the map was when I wrote my swimming pool eBook. In this eBook, I was the first person to do a ‘consumer reports’ on the various fiberglass pool companies throughout the country. I also offered consumer consulting from this eBook as a ‘residual sale’ and both have been incredibly successful. Because I’ve had eBook customers throughout the entire United States, I’ve been able to learn the intricacies about fiberglass pool builders and manufacturers everywhere. When it comes down to it, the scope of influence that has come to me by writing this simple eBook has exceeded all my expectations.
3. Be a Thought Leader– Although this very much applies to both blogging and eBooks, it is critical that you not accept the status-quo of everything your industry teaches. My two business partners and I have actively promoted higher levels and standards of fiberglass pool construction over the last few years, which has lead to the industry’s first hands-on training for fiberglass pool builders called PoolSchool for Builders. Also, as people throughout the country have read some of the ‘higher building standards’ we adhere to, they then request such standards from the swimming pool companies they have to choose from in their area, which again draws us more and more attention while at the same time benefiting the fiberglass pool industry in general. (Are you starting to see just how all this comes together and leads to ‘celebrity’ status??)
4. Speak at Seminars– Next week I’ll be traveling to Texas and teaching builders in my industry from all over the country about effective Sales/Marketing/and Web 2.0 practices and strategies, specifically designed for pool builders. A few months after that, I’ll be speaking at the National Pool and Spa convention on Blogging for Pool Builders(read a cool story about how I got that gig here). The more you put yourself in front of an audience and teach them how to get the most from themselves, the more you’ll be respected and appreciated throughout your industry.
5. Don’t be a Truth Hoarder– One of my favorite blog posts I’ve ever written is about this topic, but along with speaking, giving your knowledge and truths to all those that will listen is one of the quickest ways to success in this life. Although most people do not adhere to this idea of sharing knowledge to their industry and competitors, the truly enlightened of us disdain hoarding truths and ideas that could be used for good by others. Such a paradigm is what is referred to by many as an ‘abundance mentality’ and frankly it’s the whole reason I write this blog. You see, this blog talks about every marketing and sales strategy I use in my business and I actually want my competitors to read it, as I know they’ll benefit.
Remember the old quote– There is always room on top for everyone; it’s the bottom that’s way too crowded.
Although there are certainly more methods of achieving celebrity status within your industry, I’ll stop at those 5 for now. And hopefully you understand by reading this article that it is absolutely possible for you to reach bigger and better heights by embracing the power of giving valuable information to the masses that are waiting to listen.
So what would you add to this list? How have you branded yourself or your business? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject and don’t forget about my new Free Website Analysis offer for small businesses.
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