I know a lawyer who told me that his firm was "the best kept secret in the legal industry!". He was proud of the fact that most people in his city did not know his name or that of his firm. He thought that by marketing and advertising he would "cheapen" his professional standing. The reality is that he was leaving money on the table.
There is nothing wrong with "blowing your own horn", in fact, if you don't do it....NOBODY will. I do not mean that you should be braggadocious, but you have to take responsibility for letting others know who you are and what you do. People do business with people they know and like. If they do not know you, they will take their dollars to your competition.
By having name recognition in your business community means that others will help you reach your goals. They can become your best assets by singing your praises to others, in effect becoming your virtual sales team.
There are many ways to achieve name recognition, but a combination of the following can be very effective: write articles, give speeches, volunteer your time for charity, author a book, be interviewed by the press, advertising, networking, attending industry trade shows, and creating a newsletter or blog.
Name recognition does not happen by accident. It takes effort. And once you achieve a level of fame, there will be those who talk negatively about you. But if you have good character and treat people fairly, the naysayers will be few and far between (some people are always negative, you cannot avoid professional critics!!!).
Opportunities always find their way to those who are known. There are always people who others say "WOW, Mark is so lucky to have gotten that job" or "Sally is an overnight success!".... It is not luck or overnight..... it is that these people have built a solid reputation.
How about you? Are you a known quality brand in your business or are you "the best kept secret"??? Can others benefit you and your business? If yes, then you owe it to them to let them know you exist.
It takes years to create the type of name recognition that leads to better opportunities. Starting today will get you there much faster than waiting until 2009 to begin.
Have A Great Day.