Meritocracy in Publicity

Meritocracy in Publicity


As a ten-plus-year entrepreneur, I’m very jaded. When I went to a website, and it said as seen on CNN, and Forbes, in the New York Times, I used to think that they must be great. And then, when I hired my first PR firm for my company and paid them $10,000 a month, they got me an Ink Magazine. It doesn’t diminish the accomplishment, but it’s certainly not the meritocracy that I imagined it to be. So my assumption on everything is that the company paid for it if there is any publicity. It wasn’t that they’re a genius; it’s that they have deep pockets, and they can afford the representation required to get that visibility. 

We are fortunately living in a better era where there is some meritocracy. So I invest pretty heavily personally on LinkedIn. For the most part, if I write a well-thought-out post, it will get a lot of visibility. Now there’s still the seedy underbelly. And there are things called pods. And there are lots of ways where you can get visibility because you pay for it; there’s still that. But compared to a decade ago, where the major outlets were TV, news, magazines, and newspapers, social media feels like a more level playing field. 

The number one thing that I would recommend to entrepreneurs is consistency, making a difference on social media. I’m committing right now to post every day to LinkedIn. My company, Captivate, posts daily to LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Over time, that gets me more and more visibility. It’s not overnight. It’s not the same as appearing on the front page of the New York Times. But when it comes to a time and effort standpoint, it’s achievable for any entrepreneur to raise your thought leadership profile by speaking about things that you know consistently where your customers are, which for most of us is LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and places like that.

Like anyone else, I have compulsively checked LinkedIn and see how many people viewed this post. However, I want to remind myself that numbers matter, but relevance matters more. And I’d rather have 1,000 people on LinkedIn, who are my ideal audience paying attention, than 10,000 people who are not going to be a customer or a colleague, or they’re less relevant. 

One trick that I’ve used with LinkedIn and that is helpful that I borrowed from someone else is this 10-3-1 mentality. Every day I tried to make ten connection requests. Usually, I’ll look at who has liked my posts or looked at my profile, as that’s an easy way to add people to my network. Or if I have a sales call, I’ll add them. Also, I wrote three meaningful comments a day. If you like a post, people don’t notice. But if you comment, they do. That’s a good way for me to get visibility. There’s also some reciprocity there. And then, I published one post a day; I tried to do one quality post today. So 10-3-1 is the formula that I’m following right now.

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