10 Ways to Be Seen in Business


Peterson’s today posted a short list on how to stand out from the crowd.

Original people get noticed, create more opportunities, and are given more recognition
, they say.

Absolutely true.

These tips are as true for business owners as they are for dating, job interviews, and promotions. It’s about being unique without alienating people. Here are the ten steps they recommend:

1. Create a trend.

Be the kind of creative that people have never seen before. For example, in 1997, SixDegrees.com launched a new kind of website allowing people to create profiles, add friends, and surf friends list. They were the first mover in what eventually became a social networking explosion. Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, and other huge sites have SixDegrees to thank.

2. Don’t talk yourself up–show yourself up.

Make a video or stream a radio program instead of a resume or application. Create a press package with a clever promotional idea. The possibilities are endless.

A good friend of mine does this by creating promo pieces so beautiful that potential clients feel bad about throwing them away. The pieces linger on hiring managers’ desks, and he almost invariably gets gigs out of them.

3. Be daring.

Cheeky can be high risk, but it can also me memorable and break down barriers.

I heard of one college grad who badly wanted a job with Callaway Golf. The problem was that they weren’t hiring. So he showed up every other day with flowers and gift baskets for the people in the department he wanted to work for. After a couple of weeks, he got a job.

4. Talk about things you’re passionate about. This makes you more animated and interesting.

Don’t pretend to know about things you haven’t a clue. What are your areas of expertise? What are your favorite subjects? What are your hobbies and interests? Take the things that come naturally and use them to get what you want.

I’m a private pilot who loves talking about flying. This has nothing to do with my full-time career as a writer, but you’d be amazed at how many potential clients I bonded with just by talking about the random subject of aviation. Talking about your passions really does work, and chances are, someone else in the room shares them.

5. Show your sense of humor.

Don’t be a clown, but do be funny. Humor shows creativity, intelligence and personality. The people who count always give points for wit.

If you feel like you lack the ability to instigate laughs, this AskMen.com article has some dating tips that also work in business situations.

20 Hidden Ways Business Professionals Struggle With Pain

6. Be confident.

There’s a fine line between self assurance and an over-blown ego. Arrogance is offensive, assertiveness is praised.

So how do you know where to draw the line? According to InfoWorld’s Bob Lewis, it’s in the ability to listen.

Confident people figure they’re one of the capable people in the room, says Lewis.Arrogant people each figure he or she is the only capable person in the room.

7. Lead, don’t follow.

Think about how you lead, why you lead, and the traits in you that cause others to want to follow – then use that to your advantage.

Acting confident, being funny, and talking about your passions give you a natural status that makes others see you as a leader. If you’re at a conference or other group event, speak up. If situations arise where decisions need to be made, be the first to speak up, and state your case. People will see you as a decisionmaker and instantly gravitate towards you as a leader.

8. Respect those around you.

Don’t be a suck up, but don’t be disrespectful either. Be careful when and how you let your hair down, and mind your manners.

Being polite, listening to what others have to say, and complimenting them are just a few ways of showing respect. Asking questions about a person’s background or occupation shows interest. Saying “please” and “thank you” garner positive reactions in any scenario.

9. Garner good attention, not bad attention.

Taking your clothes off gets you noticed but also gets you noticed by the police. Rudeness does get attention but it’s not the right kind of attention. Aim for people to remember your positive attributes, helpful and intelligent is better than acting the fool.

Good attention: Jessica Alba, smiling mother of a bouncy baby girl.
Bad attention: Sharon Stone, disser of China and purveyor of Godlike karmic declarations.

10. Be yourself.

What are your best assets? What are your skills? What are the things that make you successful? Find them, channel them and use them. Complete this sentence “Unlike other __________, I am/do/act/provide _________ which is good because _______”.

Example: Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin have always very much been themselves. They’re geeks, and they own the fact. It’s garnered them curiosity and positive attention, which in turn has benefited the company.

These tips work well not only in business, but in many arenas of life.

I look forward to getting better at them.

Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.