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I recently conducted an informal survey on the collaboration habits of women business owners. You can read the report here and find the infographic here.

I believe the results of this small sample reveal a much larger trend taking place in the marketplace.

When survey participants were asked their industry, nearly 35 percent of respondents classified themselves as consultants or coaches.

The next industry represented was advertising/marketing/PR at 13.58 percent.

I thought about this. I thought about the 10,000 baby boomers who retire daily and those that forgo retirement and start businesses instead.

I also thought about the aftermath of the Great Recession.

How millions of people became chronically unemployed, fell off unemployment rolls and my best guess is became solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners. The U.S. State Department has no record or stats for these people.

I even asked Kristi Jackson of the Women CEO Project her thoughts on this phenomenon during our podcast interview. Kristi had some insightful things to say about this. You can listen to the podcast here.

So with so many people now throwing their hat in the small business ring, how do you begin to stand out in a very crowded or saturated marketplace?

Business Owners Got the Message

Small business owners understand the importance of social media and content marketing and we’re blogging and tweeting and posting content. So much so, the Internet has become this very noisy place and getting your message heard requires lots of effort to those not currently on your email list. We have all created posts that ask questions (Want more followers?) or offer tips (Move Up In SEO Rank in 3 Steps). There’s no shortage of content, good or bad on the world wide web. So then it becomes a matter of how do you get seen? How do you get your work to rise to the top of the pile?

Create Good Content and Start Pitching

One of the things Kristi said in our interview was that even though your industry may be saturated, not everyone is producing good work. They’re what we called surface entrepreneurs; those hoping for fast money and quick notoriety. I believe good work will eventually rise to the top, just like cream. But producing good work alone won’t get you seen in and of itself. You’re going to need some help from influential people. Angela Simmons, business owner and daughter of hip-hop legend Rev. Run of Run DMC understands this and is committed to helping startups get in front of the right people on her site. You’ll need to learn how to pitch your work to the media and to experts in your industry to help amplify your message. Selena Soo and Susan Harrow are just a few of the experts in this area who can help you with your pitch.

Syndication Helps You Amplify Your Message

Another way to help amplify your message is through syndicated sites like Business 2 Community and Social Media Examiner. Work I’ve submitted to such sites has landed on Yahoo! Small Business Advisor and Microsoft.

Follow Through

According to Hendrik de Vries article, “Avoid the “Just Following Up” Email, the magic happens somewhere between the fifth and twelfth contact. Unfortunately only 10 percent will contact a prospect more than three times. [tweet_box]There’s no such thing as three strikes and you’re out when it comes to following up with prospects.[/tweet_box] If you want to stand out, you’ll commit to the follow through.

So yes, the marketplace may be saturated and the Internet noisy. However, the number of those producing good content, making pitches and following through is relatively low.

Do these things consistently and you’ll happen upon that clearing in the forest in no time.

Before you pitch your next potential client or investor, download 5 Things You Need to Know Before Pitching Investors and Potential Clients.

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