With new competition appearing every day, especially in the tech space, how do you stand out as an individual and get your story heard?
With popular shows such as Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice portraying a glamourous image of the entrepreneurial life, and more recently a growing number of budding entrepreneurs documenting their varied days on Instagram, more people than ever before are finding the motivation to turn their ideas into legitimate businesses. The 47,830 start-ups which launched in May this year alone is evidence enough of this.
Whether you are looking for an investor or a supplier, building your personal profile as a successful entrepreneur is a great way to boost your business and get noticed.
The UK media is notoriously tricky to navigate, with journalists receiving thousands of uninformed emails every day.
So where do you start? Before you begin trying to contact journalists, you need to pin down your unique story. Every entrepreneur thinks theirs is the best one out there, but you need to take a step back. What problem are you solving? What was your inspiration when starting the business? What evidence do you have of growth? Why are you different to the other company founders out there? And ultimately, would someone want to read about you? A short biography about yourself that best captures everything you have achieved is a good place to start. Keep it succinct – journalists don’t have much time.
Once you have your story mapped out, you can start working on your online presence. Developing a personal, branded website that is separate from your business is a great way of shouting about your personal achievements and ambitions, especially if you have a strong business CV behind you. It will also provide you with an outlet to showcase your personality and interests outside of work. Theo Paphitis’ website is a prime example of an up-to-date, successful website that gets genuine traction, largely because it highlights how he gives back to the business community and his impressive charity ventures. Don’t forget to make it educational, too – people like learning something for free.
Next, communicate directly with your target audience through social media. It’s a powerful tool, and every channel has a different use. Through LinkedIn you can engage with potential customers and prospective investors, whereas through Twitter you can provide real-time snappy commentary on topical news agenda items, while engaging with journalists covering relevant topics. Twitter is also a great channel for running a sponsored follower campaign for a relatively low cost, allowing you to reach new audiences who share the same interests as you and would be interested in your business.
Show people your entrepreneurial world through Instagram stories. Young entrepreneur Samuel Leach has built a strong global following by documenting ‘a day in the life of a successful trader’ to his 17k followers – an open, transparent approach to inviting likeminded people into his world has served him well, and is a good example for other entrepreneurs to follow.
By commenting regularly on the news and posting opinionated by-lined articles, you will start to develop your online presence, placing you in the perfect position to start looking to the press to raise your profile on a greater scale. Whether nationally or confined to the industry, getting some well-placed media coverage can help demonstrate third party advocacy of your personal brand and get deals over the line when you’re in the boardroom. We’ve had clients in the past take a portfolio of coverage to potential investment meetings, as it demonstrates credibility and proves the media and general public have bought into you and your ideas.
Whether you are just starting out, or are a more established entrepreneur, there is always something you can do to further raise your profile and take your personal brand to the next level. A lot of the tips outlined above will help build your profile from scratch, at little or no cost, but as priorities shift and business increases, it is worth looking into hiring an internal marketing manager or an external agency to oversee a strategic PR campaign to ensure media coverage increases over time, your personal brand continues to develop, and that your story is communicated in the best way possible.
To find out more about how a PR campaign can take your profile to the next level, sign up to our free London Tech Week event on Wednesday 13th June: https://londontechweek.com/event/pr-for-tech-entrepreneurs-start-up-and-scale-up
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