Your presence is your footprint in your industry. When other’s peruse the forest of your niche, do they see many little footprints in the dirt? Or is there one big pattern of footprints they see? You want to be that big animal romping around in your forest. If you want to be a consultant or contractor, you want to be the biggest name in your niche. That way, whenever anyone needs anything accomplished, they come directly to you.
Perfecting Your Networking Skills
Networking is a massive part of being a contractor or consultant. Your ability to expand your income is directly correlated to your ability to expand your network.
James Clear of PassivePanda has a pretty comprehensive list of ways to hone your networking abilities. In fact, much of Passive Panda’s written content is geared toward networking and brand expansion. Check out a full list of the articles here.
James Clear is the #1 search result for networking tips. Think about that. If you’re turning to the vast human network of the internet, Google will show you James Clear before anyone else. He has one focus: helping you do what you want to do. Freelance? He’ll help. Progress in your job? He’ll help. Starting a business? He’ll help. That’s because the #1 irrevocable law of networking is selflessness: seeking to help helps other help you.
Get Your Content Out
You absolutely, positively have to have your ideas reaching a market. Yes, that does mean putting ideas out for free. However, by applying Pareto’s Principle – the 80/20 rule – you can entice potential clients or contracts with that initial and basic 80% of your ideas while charging for that 20% where the real strength is.
Start a blog, a vlog, or create a tumblr. Whatever you need to do to put your niche-related thoughts on to the web, you will immediately increase your presence.
Ashley Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project is one of the paragons of this ideal. She – unapologetic and abrasive in execution – discusses her life as a freelancer and entrepreneur with anecdotes, strategies, and industry reviews. Oh, and some firey writing – exactly the kind of writing her niche and clientele want to see. I don’t guarantee you’ll like her blog. I do guarantee she is dominating the section of her industry more efficiently than you are at this moment.
Use Your Voice
Get speaking gigs. Yes, you. You should be up in front of an audience discussing your ideas. “But I’m not the expert, I’m still learning.” Yes. We’re all learning though, no one is truly the superlative expert, everyone is in a constant flux of information. Find a free community space – or utilize the internet with tools like Google+’s Hangout (By the way, are you on Google+? You should be. It’s population is streamlined for decision makers at the moment). When you offer to personally impart information, you’re stepping into bigger shoes automatically.
Gary Vaynerchuk is undoubtedly the champion of two things: Hustle and stepping in to the spotlight.
Gary noticed a gap in the market of videos covering wine tasting and recommendations. So he filled it. Sure, his parents owned a liquor store, but he had no formal training in wine tasting beyond that experience. What he did have? supreme confidence. Soon, his wine reviews were doing very well and he started giving speeches on entrepreneurship and hustle. With almost off-putting energy Gary has created a small empire for himself.
Your presence is your life in the world of any business. Utilize these tips – bring them all together – and you will see yourself rise in ability and in reward.