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Creative Career Path

Personal Branding Starts with Visibility2009.06.10

    Whether in a career or in business, it has always been a challenge to get noticed. 

    Trying too hard to get noticed is counter-productive. Individuals who engage in shameless self-promotion, hard sell and hype, are just as likely to end up on someone’s avoid list. Companies which engage in blitz campaigns, annoying or invasive advertising, will cause consumers to dart away like a school of fish. 

    Trying to maintain a low profile is self-defeating. While humility is commendable, its close cousin anonymity is not. Invisible entities do not survive in the marketplace. 


    Notoriety is getting noticed for the wrong reasons. You see it among individuals who treat others badly, burn their bridges, and act in a way to discredit themselves. Companies do this when they get caught in irresponsible or illegal behavior, which goes on parade that night on the evening news. 

    Visibility is being recognized, noticed, and standing out from the crowd. It has more staying power because it based on presence, not pretense. Visibility is like reputation. It comes from awareness, acceptance, and approval. 


    With so many things competing for our attention on so many levels, it is getting harder and more expensive to get noticed by traditional means. It doesn’t work to simply turn up the volume, when other people can just as easily change the channel. Getting extra education, doing a good job, and working harder are less likely to get noticed when everyone else is doing it too. 


    If you want to be noticed, recognized, and remembered, you have to have a strategy which is sustainable and supports who you really are. You need to build a persona, a public personality, in a way that also protects your personal and private life. You can see what a challenge this is for celebrities. Stars do fall from the sky. However, for most working professionals the task is easier because you can do well being slightly famous, enjoying the highlights without needing to be in the footlights. 


    The key is to become highly visible in your niche, a celebrity in your field, where it really matters most. According to Steven Van Yoder, author of Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort, it is possible to do this by applying an assortment of strategies which can establish you as a thought leader, get media attention, and build brand loyalty. 


    Is it easier to build visibility online or offline? That is not an easy question. Building offline visibility is definitely more labor intensive. It takes more time, effort and expense to get out and meet people, dress for the occasion, do your presentation. At the same time, it feels more real and it is easier to engage people when you are fully present. 


    Building online visibility is fast and effective if you know how to leverage links. It used to be time consuming, involving arcane Internet marketing skills like e-mail list building, search engine optimization, and writing promotional squeeze pages. However, Social Media has changed all of the rules! It is now easier than ever to gain visibility online by blogging in your niche, engaging people’s interest with stories, photos, and video, and leveraging other people’s networks at lightning speed. If you build a following and engage people with the right topics, the surge of enthusiasm and immediacy of response can be exhilarating. 


    On the other hand, if your online efforts are sporadic and disconnected, you may feel that you are shouting into dark cyberspace and wondering if anyone is listening. It is so easy to surf on the Internet that you can easily lose track of time, and it is so addictive that you may neglect important things like relationships and sleep. 


    Whether you engage online or offline may ultimately boil down to a choice of location and preference of style. 


    The better question to ask is do you have a personal branding strategy? Do you have a system for building your presence online? I created a checklist for online branding, which can give you perspective on what your online visibility might or might not be. 


    An exciting part of the evolution of personal branding is that thanks to communication technology, the distinction between online and offline visibility is blurring. Take the time to follow the innovative efforts of pioneers who are mapping the new landscape. You may be surprised to find out what you can learn from someone who is proactively gaining massive visibility online as a part of their daily routine. 


    Join us to learn more about Online Visibility Secrets! I will be interviewing Denise Wakeman, one of the world’s leading experts on Business Blogging and Online Visibility through Social Media, for a teleseminar which will be conducted live on June 24 at 8:00am. Not to worry if you cannot attend the live event. The call will be recorded, and all who register for the free call will get a free audio replay. To learn more about the call and register visit:

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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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