The biggest challenge business owners and career professionals face today is increasing visibility so they can stand out as a leader in their industry. Personal branding is more than having a logo and brand colors, it’s your presence, your reputation and how you’re positioned. One of the easiest ways someone can build brand authority through visibility is by getting published. A few others are through speaking engagements, podcast interviews, guest blog posts and YouTube or Instagram videos.

Do what feels most comfortable for you. If you’re a writer, focus on writing. If you love being in front of a camera, stick to making videos. You don’t have to be everywhere at once. Not only is it exhausting but in today’s virtual world, there’s no single best option.

For me, I love both video and written content, but I lean more towards writing. Since starting my business, I focused on honing that craft which led to me being published in over 20 of the largest publications and becoming a paid contributor for Forbes. You can read and subscribe to my column here.

The question I’m asked most often is “how can I get published?” I wanted to share some tips that have helped me as well as my clients and I know they’ll be valuable for you, too.

I understand how frustrating it can be to gain and increase visibility, especially if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or struggling to take your business to the next level. I’ve witnessed many entrepreneurs in the online space struggle to grow their business because they didn’t know how to gain visibility. This is why I wanted to create a blog post to prevent you from experiencing that same struggle.

Here are some tips to help you get published and increase your visibility whether it’s to grow your business or advance your career.

Get specific about what your niche is

This might sound obvious to many but the reality is, many people struggle to understand what their beat is. In writing, a beat is a specific topic you write about. For me, I write about building businesses, hiring teams and growing brand awareness. My situation is a bit different as I cover three topics, but they all come together in my writing. For example, in one of my Forbes articles, I talked about how human resources can increase brand awareness to attract the best talent so they can grow their business. I’m able to tie these topics together in all of my articles.

Maybe your beat or niche is different. Maybe you’re passionate about helping people achieve financial wellness or you’re the go-to person at your job for all things UX design. The more targeted you are, similar to your ideal client niche, the easier it’ll be to apply the future steps in this article to increase your visibility. Remember, it’s better to be seen as an expert for one thing than a jack-of-all-trades and master of none.

Create A Personal Portfolio

What is the first thing you typically do when you want to find something about a product, service or brand? You Google it. People, publications, employers and clients all do their research before investing. Publications especially. Forbes has built such a prestigious reputation, they wouldn’t throw that away by bringing on anyone without doing their research. 

Your online portfolio demonstrates your writing style, your beat and your experience. Most people overlook having a personal blog or a blog on their website and end up hurting their chances of becoming more visible. Your blog is a great starting point to build up your writing portfolio. It also helps put you in search engines. Guest blog posts are another way to get your content on the internet while leveraging other people’s audiences. Most guest blog posts allow a link back to the author’s own website. Interested readers will want to learn more about the author and see what else they’ve written. Make sure to be consistent in putting out content to keep readers engaged and build loyalty. This will serve you well when you start getting published as they’ll be the ones sharing your work.

Build Your Portfolio With Publications That Make Sense

Many people are desperate to get published but end up writing for publications that don’t align with their brand. Research which publications are in your industry. You can do this by conducting a Google search “human resources + publications” and looking through the results to find the ones that make sense for your brand. If you write about vegan food, it wouldn’t make sense writing for hunting publications. That was a bit extreme, but you get my point.

When people Google you, you want to make sure it’s clear about what you do. The more scattered you are the more confused people will be. For me, I’ve been featured in various HR specific and business publications such as BambooHR, CareerBuilder, Entrepreneur and various others. I consistently reach out to my audience to ask them what they think I do so we’re both on the same page. I recommend you to do the same. If people think you’re a sales coach when you’re really a marketing coach, it’s your job to take that feedback and figure out how to create more clarity around what you do.

Going From Facebook To Forbes Overnight Is Not Reality

So many people want to go from creating Facebook content to being in Forbes overnight and get discouraged when that doesn’t happen. Unless you’re paying Forbes to get into Coaches Council so you can write for them, you’ve got to do the work. That’s like going from cashier to CEO for a Fortune 500 overnight. You have to be realistic. With effort, you can absolutely work your way up.

Publications such as Entrepreneur, Forbes and Inc. want to see your portfolio so they can see if your writing aligns with what they’re looking for because, at the end of the day, it’s their reputation that will be hurt. Start small by identifying smaller publications you can pitch and write for and build your portfolio up from there. 

Use Rejection To Improve

Too many entrepreneurs take rejection as a full stop. They give up entirely and never try to go after it again. My advice to you is to shift your thinking and find the learning lesson in rejection. Use that feedback to improve so you can pitch that publication again. If I let the brutal rejection from one of the editors at Entrepreneur stop me, I wouldn’t be a paid Forbes contributor (not to be confused with coaches council. Forbes pays me for my articles.) and I wouldn’t be where I’m at today in my business. 

Tell me, where do you struggle when it comes to increasing visibility and getting published? Comment below and let’s get you unstuck.