Visibility + Credibility = Profitability

Build Relationships with Networking

Works both Offline and Online

For many thinking of starting their own businesses, the fear of finding clients can paralyze them enough to sabotage their efforts. Cold calling prospects can make some of us break out in a cold sweat. One of the things that I learned early on in my business start-up days is that there are other ways to find clients.

When you have worked in corporate America for your entire career, one of the skills you didn’t learn was how to network. As a business owner, networking is one of the best ways to get clients and today, adding social networking to the mix makes your ability to find business that much easier.

One of the first things I did when I launched the business was to join BNI (Business Network International). Some people feel that it doesn’t work, but when you are starting a business, being busy meeting new people, gaining a support organization and having a place to test your marketing message is really a valuable exercise.

The next thing I did was to take a course on networking. The course taught me the basic principle of growing your business, called the VCP model – Visibility + Credibility = Profitability. Dr. Ivan Misner developed this three phase relationship development model: Visibility–Credibility–Profitability or VCP, to help business owners understand how to generate profitable relationships.

  • Visibility – Be seen otherwise out of sight, out of mind.
  • Credibility – Develop the relationship so that people understand your value and how to refer business to you.
  • Profitability – Cultivating relationship with the right referral sources will result in profitable business relationships.

The principles of networking transcend to social networking. How does the VCP model work in social networking?

Building visibility and credibility using social media takes time but is worth it as it provides the venue from which you can create visibility and demonstrate your expertise. In many ways, it’s easier to develop this reputation online since the tools enable you to build your reputation on a daily basis. In person networking events happen frequently, but not 24×7.

Where to begin?

      • Create a blog and write relevant posts;
      • Create profiles on social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MyBlogLog and other social networks that relate to your area of expertise;
      • Link your blog to your profiles and look for other opportunities to get link love;
      • Comment intelligently on other blogs;
      • Submit your blog to Technorati and Blogged.com;
      • Answer questions on LinkedIn;
      • Share presentations on SlideShare with linked audio if you have it;
      • Create videos and upload to YouTube.

You get the picture!

So why do we do it?

Because according to John Jantsch, “Tis better to be found than to find“.

1) It’s just a whole lot more fun to pick up the phone and have someone on the other end go on about all the great things they have read, seen and heard about your products and services.

2) (And I think this is a really big point) Prospects that come to you by way of your information machine, that have logically progressed down a path of education, are probably ten times more likely to be ideal and equally more likely to close than those that you go out and try to convince to buy from you. In fact, your marketing system can be one of the greatest ways to qualify leads – if a lead won’t go down your education path, that might be a red flag that they won’t be an ideal customer either.

What other ways do you recommend people get visibility and credibility using social media?

7 thoughts on “Visibility + Credibility = Profitability”

  1. Wonderful reading material for Services Marketing Spectrum! Thanks Debra!! This is very useful in understanding and building the business/customer base.

  2. Thanks Debra, I’m a fellow BNI member from London and was looking for a suitable education slot for our visitors day next week. The V+C=P formula is the perfect way to explain the value behind a BNI membership. Great stuff.

    • Thanks Wayne,

      Visitors and new members in BNI need to remember that your marketing takes time – VCP model helps them better understand why. Glad I helped you get an educational moment idea!

      Debra

  3. Hi Debra
    I really enjoyed reading your post. I too am a member of BNI and understand the concept of V+C=P and how it can be translated to the online community. But what really stood out for me in your post was the quote from John Jantsch, ”Tis better to be found than to find“. I think instinctively we all believe this but when you aren’t attracting enough clients yourself it’s easy to fall into the advertising mentality. Which then leads to time consuming tasks which take you away from your attraction model of updating social media, connecting with people and writing blog posts etc. I guess your post was a friendly reminder to keep doing what I am doing and just have faith in the process.
    Looking forward to reading more of them.
    Thanks
    Natalie

    • Thanks Natalie – absolutely keep doing those things that are getting you visibility. It takes time but will pay off. I keep an eye on my search engine results for keywords and with each new post, many of them move up a notch. Once you start the movement, you will be seen and be found by those who want to get to know more about what you have to offer. Yes, keep the faith as online and social media marketing does work.

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