How To Get Legit When Forbes Isn't Answering Your Pitches
One thing I’ve realized as I started growing my own brand is the importance of not only being seen, but of being taken seriously. I applied for a speaking slot once upon a time, and they gently sent me feedback that my bio wasn’t professional enough. (Doesn’t everyone discuss their love of cheeseburgers when pitching themselves for speaking engagements?!)
Truth be told, I was frustrated. I wanted to be relatable, not have a laundry list of authority sites that my name has appeared on; however, that’s what everyone else wanted to see.
Was I unworthy or unqualified because I haven’t been featured on Forbes yet? Nope. So I set out to show that my value isn’t tied to a fancy byline.
Prove your worth
When you’re first getting started, you want to do anything you can to prove that you know what you’re doing. Case studies, testimonials, along with hours and hours spent on landing page copy—you name it and we’ve both done it to try and showcase how awesome we are.
These pieces of social proof are great, but they simply can’t beat old school social proof: good ol’ word of mouth.
When you create an epic experience for a client or a customer, don’t be afraid to ask them to show a little love in return whether it be a quick chat with a potential client or by referring you to their friends.
Start networking like it’s your job
You know why you need to start networking like it’s your job? Because it is. It is your job! Once you start out on your own, you can’t rely on the leads to just start coming in—you’ve got to go out and find them.
For people like me who are making the transition from employee to entrepreneur, this is extremely difficult—but who you know makes all the difference in growing a business. A lot of the people who I talk to aren’t the right fit for my services… but more often than not, they know someone who is.
Networking can be tough, but it’s essential to getting your name out there. Whether or not your conversations are happening with a potential lead, they create more opportunities for exposure and mutually beneficial opportunities.
Go for the little wins
When you’re really serious about your business and you want everyone to know it, it’s not hard to get caught up in going straight for all the big players. (You know how amazing you are, why can’t they see it too?)
The hard truth is that every business owner feels the same way, and unless your pitch is incredibly innovative, it’s going to get lost in a sea of pitches that these editors must swim through on a daily basis.
But just because Forbes isn’t answering your calls doesn’t mean that no one will.
Start local by looking for small, niche groups that could benefit from your knowledge and expertise. Offer these organizations a free workshop to get your name out there.
Start by finding Facebook groups catering to your niche. Prepare a pitch on a topic you haven’t seen the admin cover and offer a free digital workshop to the group.
Build your social proof from the ground up
Let me be clear: your influence in your industry and otherwise isn’t intrinsically tied to your social media following. You can be influential in your local community, supporting other women online, or in the life of a child. (Just to name a few.) There’s no wrong way to have a positive effect on the character and behavior of others! That being said, we live in a digital world, and it’s always a good idea to think of your social presence.
Building a following takes time, but you can create social proof without a huge amount of followers. Know what it takes? Value, consistency, and engagement.
Always provide value. Be consistent about it. Create content that gets people talking. (And spend some time talking on the work of others as well!)
Influence is built slowly
When you look at the big players in your industry (for me it would be women like Amy Porterfield, Natalie MacNeil, and Marie Forleo) it’s easy to be blinded by their current level of success and notoriety—and it sometimes makes us feel like our goals are just too big to conquer.
But the truth is, they’ve been working in and on their businesses for years. Like 10 years or more. That’s a long time.
Influence is like most important things in life—it takes time to develop. And there’s no one “right” way to build it. So while we all want more influence, we’ve got understand it takes time and ingenuity to get it.
So take your time, be open to opportunities, and when you don’t see any in front of you, create them for yourself.
Meet the Author: Shauna Armitage
Shauna is a Marketing Director or Fractional CMO helping early-stage startups scale with effective strategies, creative solutions, and unparalleled integrity by making the most of small budgets for maximum impact.
As a vocal advocate for women in business, Shauna is on a mission to redefine what it looks like to be a working woman and to support other women doing the same. She spends her free time traveling with her husband and four kids while drinking Coca-Colas. Connect with her on Instagram at @shauna.armitage.