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Raising the Profile of Local Individuals Involved in Business

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 24 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Local Business Profile Entrepreneur

One great way to attract publicity to your business is to raise your own profile as a local entrepreneur. It's often easier to interest the press and the public in individuals than in business matters directly, especially if you have an exciting success story or an inspiring tale of triumph over the odds to tell. By making yourself a visible participant in community events you can establish yourself as a trustworthy public figure and forge a personal connection with your customers. You can emphasise that your business is about people, and you can give it a face.

Attend Local Events

The best way to get your local community to take an interest in you is to demonstrate that you're taking an interest in it. This means getting out and about and making sure you're noticed at community events. You can start by finding out if there are any local social or hobby groups you can join which correspond with your own interests. These could give you the chance to get to know people and pick up useful local information. You can also look out for groups that might appeal to your customers, especially if you're a niche business, and find ways to get involved with those, perhaps by turning up at special events to hand out prizes.

There are all sorts of events going on within local communities, so it's up to you to prioritise your time appropriately, making sure you're seen at those which the public consider most important. Charity events and schools events can be great publicity and you can get on stage and in photographs there relatively easily, by making small donations or simply by offering to volunteer. You can also look for populist events like protests against service closures and talk to local people there to let them know that you're on their side. The more visible you are within your local community on a day to day basis, the more inclined customers will be to think of you as someone they know, which will in turn improve your customer loyalty.

Get in the Press

The notion of appearing in the press is sufficiently exciting to most people that they don't realise how easy it is. In fact newspapers, magazines, radio and television programmes are continually on the lookout for interview subjects. As an entrepreneur there's lots you can talk about, from your own life story or the nature of your business to the state of the local economy or what sort of prospects local children can look forward to upon leaving school. Try to be adaptable and adjust your subject to suit the publication or programme involved. Remember that you don't have to limit yourself to talking in the context of your business, either. For instance, if you have a hobby which is important to you and which is topical at a particular time, arrange to be interviewed about that and mention your business in passing. Interviews like these can be ideal because they don't make you seem pushy and they present you first and foremost as a person.

You can also raise your profile by becoming a commentator and making sure you always have something to say in the press on topics of local interest, always aiming to keep your tone positive and upbeat. Write letters to local newspapers and post to local internet forums. Create a personal website which mentions your business, and invite people reading it to email you with any questions they may have. Try not to get dragged into lengthy correspondences but aim to respond in a timely manner, providing links to further resources (which might include your business) whenever possible.

Finally, remember that there's also room for you in your own publicity. Sometimes an appearance by a business owner can help to persuade potential customers to take an interest in that business. Restaurants and specialist shops often use this technique.

Adjust your Image

When you present yourself to the public, either directly or through the media, it's important to be conscious of how you're doing so. Your personal image should reflect the way you want your business to be perceived. Perhaps professionalism is of paramount importance to you, or perhaps you're more likely to prosper if you're seen as friendly and approachable. Perhaps you could benefit from looking mature and responsible, or perhaps your customers are more likely to be attracted to a youthful, dynamic image.

Whatever you do to raise your own profile, bear in mind that you can use the same techniques for your colleagues and staff members - with their permission - making your business seem ever more prominent.

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