The Visibility Hierarchy
What do you think of when you hear the term ‘PR’?
Perhaps it conjures imagery of lunching with journalists, firing out press releases, and dashing about the place with a clipboard in hand.
And PR does involve those things. Sure, it’s not quite as glam as Ab Fab would have you believe, but traditional media relations are still key to any effective PR strategy.
However, in our contemporary digital age, PR goes far beyond words in a newspaper or magazine. It’s all about visibility and we have the power to become visible in an instant. Whether it’s starting an Instagram account or uploading a blog, our PR journey starts in the palm of our hands.
It’s what I like to call the Visibility Hierarchy. My philosophy is that great PR can be achieved by everyone. We’re all capable of showing up and sprinkling our star quality all over the place.
And the beauty of it? We can become visible regardless of what stage we’re at in our business journey. Let’s explore...
Stage 1 - Showing your face on your Instagram feed
Time and time again, I meet clients who hide behind a curated Insta feed of pretty graphics. I get it: showing your face feels vulnerable at first. It’s easier to remain vaguely anonymous and let the captions do the talking.
But here’s the thing: as a freelancer or entrepreneur, you are your main selling point. Your unique approach is what differentiates you from your competitors. Don’t be a faceless biz - show up on your grid, be unapologetically you, and attract those dreamy clients who are right up your street.
Stage 2 - Showing your face on Instagram Stories
Once you’ve shared your gorgeous visage with the world, it’s time to take it one step further. Instagram Stories is a powerful visibility tool that allows us to speak directly to our audience via video. Whether you have an exciting announcement or some FAQs to answer, Stories are perfect for short, ‘in the moment’ content.
If you’re nervous about recording, give yourself time to practice and write a mini script of what you want to say. Remember, you’re in control: you only have to hit publish once you’re happy with the recording. The more you do it, the more natural it’ll feel. What’s more, Stories only last for 24 hours so if you feel icky about uploading, they’ll be gone soon enough!
Stage 3 - Film a Reel
It’s no secret that Reels are engagement gold. They’re a fantastic way to show our personality, get creative, and have a bit of fun! Whether you’ve got a time-saving hack or a relatable piece of advice, why not turn a long caption into a 15 or 30-second Reel? Remember, authenticity is key - we’re far more likely to work with someone approachable, engaging, and friendly. Reels are a super-easy way to enhance that all-important ‘know, like, trust’ factor.
Stage 4 - Talk to the camera on IGTV
IGTV takes video on Instagram to the next level. With the option to create long-form content up to 1 hour long, IGTV is a surefire way to boost your visibility and engagement. Much like Youtube, you can use IGTV to discuss topics in more depth, share value, and build your authority. What are trending topics in your industry? What’s a common issue that your clients or customers face? IGTV is the perfect way to get right to the heart of a subject and even build a series. Again, you can prepare and edit as much as you like before you hit upload.
Stage 5 - Go live on Facebook or Instagram
As we climb up the visibility hierarchy, we start to lose an element of control. So many people shy away from going live because it means a certain degree of spontaneity. Interacting with a live audience sounds like an intimidating prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. Rule number 1 is to be as authentic as possible. People don’t want to hear a perfected sales spiel; they want to hear from a genuine human. Rather than stress about sounding polished and professional, imagine that you’re explaining a topic to a friend over the phone. You’re analysing how you come across way more than your audience is, I promise.
Stage 6 - Pitch to press
I’ve spoken before about how pitching to the press is the ultimate test of confidence for a business owner. We can carefully curate our online presence, but when it comes to landing press coverage, that control is taken out of our hands. Whether it’s a ‘thanks but no thanks’ email from a journalist or visibility on a mass scale, traditional PR requires an unwavering, wholehearted belief in yourself and your business. It’s why I believe mindset work goes hand in hand with an effective PR strategy. Once you truly believe that you deserve a place in the spotlight, pitching is a doddle.
Stage 7 - Go live on TV or radio
You’d be forgiven for finding this one scary even if you’ve mastered the other six stages. With TV or radio, we can reach thousands if not millions of people. On one hand, it’s the PR jackpot. On the other hand, it can be nightmare fuel! The key thing to remember is that you don’t have to conduct yourself any differently than you would do for an IGTV or Live. You have the added benefit of being interviewed by a professional whose job is to steer the conversation and make you feel at ease. Make sure you’re well prepared, well presented, and know what to expect. There’s no need to overthink it - most segments are only a few minutes long and the time flies.
Now, over to you: which stage of the visibility hierarchy are you at?
Do you fear being judged?
Are you reluctant to show up online?
Do you know how to use your voice to define your niche and help others?
Do you know how to get more eyes on your biz in a way that suits you?
Want to know more?
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I can’t wait to see you on the inside, just call me your personal pocket Fairy Godmother ✨