Peter Gene Hernandez was born on October 8, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He grew up in a musical family and performing shows in the city’s hotels, in particular as an Elvis impersonator.
When he finished high school, he decided to move to Los Angeles. Frustrated with not being able to make a break with his singing he turned to songwriting and began writing for some of the biggest names in the industry. His song “Nothing on You” was sung by Atlantic Records rapper B.o.B as a song that Hernandez needed to sing the chorus for, so he did and became the household name that is Bruno Mars. He has always said that fame was never a driver, he just wanted to sing and be a success, “Becoming famous was never what I wanted to do. There’s a lot of things that come with fame – it’s what people in the limelight have to do.”
One of the biggest challenges of growing your practice is becoming known. Thankfully you’re not looking to become famous, but you do want to be known in your industry for your expertise.
It’s great to be able to have an area of expertise but unless you’re known for having that expertise then it’s hard to become known for it. This makes it hard to grow your practice. As Matt Church, the founder of Thought Leaders Business School says “An expert knows something and a thought leader is known for knowing something.”
There are lots of ways to become known, here are a few:
1. Speak – getting in front of a lot of people quickly can make a LOT of difference. Many years ago, I spoke with my first speaking mentor, speaker Neil McCallum and I asked him what was the best way to get more speaking events and become a paid speaker. He told me to speak to 150 audiences and then go back and see him. I worked out that if I delivered one presentation per week that would take 3 years. So, I did. I spoke to kids in schools, the elderly in nursing homes…even to someone’s dog if they let me! Two years later and about 80 presentations in I achieved my first paid presentation and from there my practice grew, I became so busy speaking I was on about 13 flights each week at one point! Remember it’s not forever, it’s just a matter of getting started.
2. Build Your Network – Consider where other experts hang out. Join professional networks such as the Professional Speakers Association. This builds referrals and ensures you’re known for what makes you unique and differentiated against others in your area of expertise. These networks great one of the greatest opportunities for referrals provided you stay visible connect, contribute and reach out.
3. Know what makes you different – Obsessing over how people understand how to buy and what makes you unique can mean the difference in your sales growth as it means you’re more talked about and more referrable. The author of “Known“, Mark Schaeffer says “The key to finding your remarkability is to think about what makes you surprising, interesting or novel“. Otherwise, you’re vanilla and blending into the noise of sameness. Don’t be the same, be different.
4. Be interested – Follow others, comment on their work, review their books and share their content with your own clients. There’s plenty of opportunity for everyone. Play in the mindset of abundance and that there is enough work to go around. What you put out is what you’ll get back.
5. Be current – tap into the zeitgeist and comment on current media issues. Consider what’s in the media each day and make comments. If you’re expertise is on mindset perhaps you can talk about leaders or Olympic athletes in the media. Communication expert Louise Mahler does a great job of this and is in the media regularly for her comments on communication of leaders.
6. Content – Find your voice and publish content relevant to your area of expertise. Write your blogs, publish your newsletter, create your videos and podcasts. Be prolific to amplify your visibility and connect with your audience.
7. Create video from your content – your energy and essence are what sets you apart, matter what industry you specialise in. If you can share your inner humanness, you’ll connect at a level that you wouldn’t expect otherwise. As much it’s uncomfortable find ways that can make it comfortable. Get someone else to film you if you need to. Above all, be light, be fun and be you.
8. PR – engage with a media company to help you get media exposure such as in newspaper, radio, magazines and tv. This can be hard to do on your own but with a bit of guidance and their networks they can help you to ensure you’re relevant with the right audiences.
9. Ask for introductions – look through your connections in LinkedIn as well as clients you’ve worked with. Consider who you might also be able to introduce your clients and connections to, based on their goals. Ask them what they need help with right now. Stay ‘attention out.’
10. Proactively reach out – think about who your dream client would be. Write down their name and be specific. Reach out and introduce yourself, work out what you might be able to do to help them. This doesn’t always mean getting them to spend money, but think about how you can assist them. About 10 years ago I wrote a LinkedIn profile for someone I really admired and sent it to them at no charge. They were so impressed that they not only let me publish to their profile but they referred me to 4 others in their network and resulted on more than 3 months’ worth of work with one of their sales teams.
11. Connect your clients with each other – public events may not be on the cards for you as much right now, but consider how you can create great experiences for your own clients. Can you buy a table and invite a group of clients to a conference? Reach out and invite a group of them to the movies? To the football? Be the person who brings people together for their benefit and to build their networks.
12. Social media followers – This is the currency that meeting planners want to see. They need to know that if they put you on the registration page for a conference that you can fill a room. Social media followers are not about vanity metrics, they’re about social proof helping those who book you to build trust that you can help to fill that room. Your job is to help them get bums on seats, not just to be a Rockstar on stage.
13. Create variety in your visual elements – social media content needs a variety of stimulation and not the same, same all the time. Ensure your photos show different shots of you that reflect parts of your personality and humanness. This means different stages, different outfits and different locations. My good friend 𝐌𝐚𝐳 𝐅𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐲, the world’s leading expert in creating reality television says you need to be interesting to keep people interested. Create as much visual variety as you can to stay fresh.
There are so many ways to become more known in your industry. The key is to find your version of doing it as it’s all just part of the job.
Love to hear your thoughts!