Very nice post on the ThinkVitamin blog titled, “Getting Noticed in the Web Industry.” It’s aimed at folks like us who work in the Web industry, but many of the points apply across many, many industries. Link above for the original. Here’s my annotated version.
Use social networking tools – This is where the people are.
The absolute, unavoidable truth of the Web today. I would add that you need to be selective in the networks you devote your energies to. Spend some time to find where your desired audience is spending its time.
Write a (micro) blog – Even if it’s just a scratch pad for your thoughts. This is how mine started.
Great, great advice. If the idea of maintaining a blog is daunting, starting small is a great idea. Just be consistent. Publish regularly, even if you start with very brief entries.
Attend unconferences – Everyone who goes is already a presenter, which makes it easy to begin.
At this point, I’m not sure how well this applies across most industries, but it’s something to keep your eye on, particularly as companies continue to keep their eyes on costs – unconferences are much less costly to send people to, and wreak much less havoc on schedules since travel is eliminated.
Attend and speak at conferences – Even if it means just asking questions. Conferences are where people find you.
Again, nice advice if you’re not comfortable with the idea of presenting. Well-phrased questions get you noticed, and once you’re open to the idea, can lead to speaking engagements …
Partner and build alliances – If you can’t do everything on your own, find someone who completes the set of skills needed.
Finding partners is a great way to add even more value to your client relationships, and to expand your network. Provide great value and support, and you’ll have partners bringing you more work than you can handle.
Comment on other people’s work – People will find you inspiring if you ask the right questions.
As with conferences, asking incisive questions is a great way to get noticed – and to be appreciated. Nobody likes speaking – or blogging – into the void.
Build on other people’s work – Can something do almost exactly what you need but not quite? And it’s open source? Fix it for your specific purposes and release it for others who have the same needs.
Not really applicable in a lot of industries, but if you can find a way to make it work in yours, do it, particularly if you can credit those whose work you’re piggybacking.
Release free code, designs or templates – Nothing gets you noticed more than giving out goodies.
Another item that is less applicable in other industries, but the concept is the basis for one of the great marketing tools available today – content marketing. Giving away your expertise doesn’t just break through the clutter of marketing we all face. It reduced the perceived risk of hiring you and keeps people interested in what you’re saying. “What’s in it for me?” is the question everyone asks as they decide whether to read a Web page or open an email, so it can’t be about you if it’s going to be effective.
Listen and prioritize – We already have information overload on the Web; you can be a curator.
Absolutely great advice in any industry. Help your clients interpret and understand the avalanche of information they face, and they’ll come back to you time and time again for advice, and engagements you can invoice.