Do-it-yourself publicity maven Nancy Juetten was the guest speaker at a free “brown bag lunch” seminar Jan. 6 at downtown Redmond’s Thinkspace.
The monthly educational events are “among the measures we have been taking to help out small businesses and startups in the area during this rough economic time,” said Alyssa Magnotti, community manager for Thinkspace.
Thinkspace is a LEED-certified, “green” building at 8201 164th Ave. NE, offering full-time or part-time physical and virtual office space for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to avoid high overhead costs but have a professional setting to meet with clients — an alternative to working at home or a coffee shop.
“In an economy with such a high unemployment rate, more and more people are taking the initiative to create their own job for themselves by creating their own business,” Magnotti remarked.
Juetten’s presentation for Thinkspace clients and guests, “How to Be Known as an Expert in Your Field,” was appropriately geared to individuals who need to establish a polished profile.
It all starts with “Googling” your own name or that of your business — and seeing what sort of first impression a search engine user will get when he or she decides to check you out, Juetten stated.
“Are you sizzlin’ or fizzlin’?,” she asked. If your name isn’t out there, your bio is boring or the info about you is obsolete, no prospective client or media outlet is going to be bowled over by your brilliance, she warned.
What’s an online wallflower to do?
One of Juetten’s top tips is to craft a fabulous bio. It’s not shameful to promote yourself, she noted, as long as what you say is factual and you can back it up with glowing testimonials.
“Visit your own bio and see what it says about you,” Juetten suggested. What you want to convey to the reader is that you “deliver stunning results, you’re an electrifying speaker. … If someone says you’re a rock star, other people will believe it, too,” she explained.
Be sure to include “succinct stories that make it clear why you are the rock star — and sassy sound bites,” said Juetten. “The stories you tell in your bio should be personal and engaging.”
But at the same time, “keep your professional and personal facts succinct, not a manifesto,” she emphasized.
Getting public speaking engagements can be a great way to raise awareness of your business. If that’s your goal, “create a speaker page with a photo of you looking your best. Post snippets of a video or radio interview where you are seen as bright and witty,” said Juetten.
Also, “request at least five amazing testimonials,” she said. “Aim high — but keep it credible. The content should tell, not sell.”
Pitching stories to the media is another fine skill unto itself, Juetten told the Thinkspace audience.
“Promote your expertise and a summary of tips that you’d like to write about. E-mail first and follow up by phone later, because the editor is getting 800 pitches. Offer useful content and tips,” said Juetten.
And if the editor agrees to let you write a story, “follow through, make good on your commitment,” said Juetten. “Keep it timely, newsworthy, relevant and local.”
Amen to that!
Guests at the Juetten presentation left with handouts outlining “Main Street Media Savvy” tips to “get seen, heard and celebrated in your own backyard … and beyond!” For more information about Nancy Juetten, visit www.publici-tea.com.
Magnotti said the brown bag lunch presentations and evening social events for Thinkspace clients and guests have been well-received because so many people want to launch new products or network with other professionals. Tours of Thinkspace are available by appointment and include a rundown of support services that Thinkspace can provide, such as answering your phones, collecting your mail, designing your Web site or doing your bookkeeping.
To learn more about Thinkspace, visit http://thinkspace.com or (425) 629-6200.