For decades, business professionals have been asking the question, “How do I get more media, more clients and more recognition?”
But the answer to the question of ‘getting off the D-list’ and onto the ‘A-list’ (where things are ten times easier) doesn’t necessarily lie in ‘just’ delivering amazing service.
It is more than that. In fact it requires strategically creating a perception of your ‘self’ and ‘business’ in the marketplace to create intrigue, mystery and credibility, all of which equals respect; respect being at the heart of why someone would refer you new business, put you on television or shout your name from the roof tops.
The best way to get off this list (other than watching Kathy Griffin’s hilarious show ‘My Life on The D-List’, which she has won an Emmy for) is to start by following this four point checklist.
Checkpoint 1: Credibility by Association
We see it every week in the gossip mags: “Up-and-coming wannabe movie star ‘caught’ schmoozing at the hottest party with established (and too often married) star.” None of this is accidental, neither is it accidental when new and typically ‘unknown’ music acts get to headline for international artists on tour. It’s blatant PR.
Go to events and functions where you can network and be seen with industry heavy weights. This can help you skip a few rungs when climbing the professional ladder – plus who wants to schmooze with the plebs anyway?! Cut the chase and go straight to the top in your industry.
Checkpoint 2: Groomed to an Inch within Your Life
Being an A-lister in your industry isn’t for everyone. It takes a well-groomed individual to attract and maintain such acute levels of attention. This doesn’t happen overnight. Key areas to groom your ‘self’ include;
- Managing conversations (how to steer them to best serve your agenda and that of whom you’re networking with; it has to go both ways for it to work);
- Handling the media (what to say, what not to say and when not to say it; what to wear – shapes and colours to avoid etc)
- Signature visual styles (commanding presence; looking like you own your title)
Checkpoint 3: Are You Coke or Pepsi?
It may sound cold and harsh, but have you ever thought of yourself as a ‘physical’ product, as in something that could be put on a shelf and sold? If not, you need to. Here’s why.
Stereotypes are alive and well in our society and they aren’t going anywhere soon.
Stereotypes allow others to place you into a particular area or field of specialty and personality, which also means that they can refer you business a whole lot easier because they understand where you fit in the greater scheme of things. The trick is not to be stereotyped into a category that you don’t want to be in.
What type of brand are you? Are you the cheap, comparable or even expensive version of your brand in your marketplace? Define this and you will instantly make head-way quicker than you can say, ‘Oops, Britney Spears has done it again!’
Checkpoint 4: Signature Brand Values
When getting off the D-list, you need to be clear about which list you are trying to get off of in the first place. Is it your clients, the media or your colleagues? Have you fallen out of favour in particular circles? Are they the circles that matter? If so, you have a whole lot of work to do.
To get focused and get to the top of your game a hell of a lot faster, be very clear on what your top brand values are. What do you want to be known for within your industry sector? List your top 3 and stamp them on your forehead so you never forget them. Getting onto the A-list is as much about knowing what you stand for as it is networking with influential contacts. Don’t be a sell-out, stand for something important professionally and personally.
How far will you go?
I believe in doing ‘whatever’ it takes to get ahead in my career – as long as it is not at the expense of others. This means working my butt off to establish my networks, credibility and industry presence. It also means training in new areas every single year that expose me to greater education in a broad range of industries. Because media is my goal, over the last four years I have added to my education, personal styling, radio presenting, selling from stage and, soon, even stand up comedy.
Why? Because it all adds to a diverse brand that will help me reach my final outcomes a whole lot easier.
What are you proactively doing to get on the A-list?
Laying starfish on the casting couch isn’t going to cut it – you have to at least wriggle around or something!
Ben Angel is the author of the new controversial book, Sleeping Your Way to The Top in Business – The Ultimate Guide to Attracting & Seducing More Customers. Go to www.benangel.com.au to grab your copy today.