Familiarity Is A Good Thing

Familiarity Is A Good Thing 09 09 2013Before publicity shots were digitized, it was common for up and coming actors to mail their headshots to the same talent agents over and over again. Their theory: that eventually they would look familiar and get past the receptionist and into an agent’s office.

It worked.

You can use a modern-day version of this to stay connected to your audience. Witness this very email, with my smiling mug accompanying a weekly brand/business missive.

Familiarity—in the right doses to the right audience, does not breed contempt. It builds trust. It builds relationships. It builds your business.

But since we’re not actors or models, it’s not as simple as tossing a headshot into the mail. It’s about content. Compelling and engaging content—that reflects your brand, your business model and your strategy.

A few have raised it to an art form.

Susan Cain created an introvert universe and speaks confidently on their behalf. Gretchen Rubin built a happiness community that also serves to test new theories on improving happiness. Brené Brown morphed academic study of vulnerability and shame into a dazzling TEDx talk and a New York Times bestseller.

Despite their different careers, personalities and business models, they all are “familiar”.

Their consistency—not repetition, but consistent reliability—is comforting. Wherever they appear—email blasts, on-screen interviews, social media posts, on the dais—they are poised, deeply knowledgeable and articulate. We want to read their work, we want to hire them, we want to know them.

Familiarity is good.

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6 Responses to Familiarity Is A Good Thing

  1. Ed Rosenbaum says:

    How true this is Rochelle. I recall joining a trade association twelve years ago thinking I would be liked , and business would flow my way immediately. How naïve was I? A friend and mentor at the time told me to be patient, be visible and volunteer to serve. I did all three, started to get recognition and business as well as elected to the Board of Directors. It proved to me recognition and confidence is important. Nothing comes from nothing. You have to be recognized as an authority and trustworthy.

  2. Rochelle says:

    I totally get it Ed. Which is why sometimes I just shake my head when people send a few tweets or emails and expect the work to just flow in. “Nothing comes from nothing”–ain’t that the truth!

  3. dogear6 says:

    That’s why I use the beagle as my icon in the virtual world. My head shot is fine (and I use it professionally of course), but in the social world, everyone remembers the beagle and the fact that I’m responsive and that there’s been good interaction with me.

    Nancy

  4. And I love the beagle Nancy. It is, shall we say, unforgettable 🙂

  5. Corey Bearak says:

    I really agree with this premise.
    I joined a networking group a few years back — in fact I blogged recently on what connected me to its founder (though that was incidental to the story). Within two years, “they” selected me as “Networker of the Year” and it surprised me — a lot. I was told my frequent comments to the daily blogs, and posts to our listserve (called “Fredslist” after founder Fred Klein) of information about jobs, other information of interest and response to requests for help, connections and the like called attention to me. I attended a variety of meetings of groups besides my home (LI Legal) group in the network; did not think I got around any more than a number of others. What I found, however, people knew about me (as I did not know of them) from my varied forms of “participation” in the group.
    Before we had social media of all forms, I wrote a column on public policy for the first two years after I left government; called it <a href="http://coreybearak.com/columns/2004-03-11_Boro_residents_need_easy_access_to_government_info.pdf&quot;.The Public Ought to Know and I would email to the reporters I dealt with, most NYS and NYC electeds officials, some staffers, others of influence and colleagues. (These days, many of us use social media to keep in touch.). I found over time that staffers I did not know (or did not believe I know), knew me through the column.
    I generally take to sharing information that I think different groups of people might find of interest and maintain groups for that purpose. I have not “graduated” that effort (at least yet) to social media.

  6. Corey Bearak says:

    I really agree with this premise.
    I joined a networking group a few years back — in fact I blogged recently on what connected me to its founder (though that was incidental to the story). Within two years, “they” selected me as “Networker of the Year” and it surprised me — a lot. I was told my frequent comments to the daily blogs, and posts to our listserve (called “Fredslist” after founder Fred Klein) of information about jobs, other information of interest and response to requests for help, connections and the like called attention to me. I attended a variety of meetings of groups besides my home (LI Legal) group in the network; did not think I got around any more than a number of others. What I found, however, people knew about me (as I did not know of them) from my varied forms of “participation” in the group.
    Before we had social media of all forms, I wrote a column on public policy for the first two years after I left government; called it The Public Ought to Know and I would email to the reporters I dealt with, most NYS and NYC electeds officials, some staffers, others of influence and colleagues. (These days, many of us use social media to keep in touch.). I found over time that staffers I did not know (or did not believe I know), knew me through the column.
    I generally take to sharing information that I think different groups of people might find of interest and maintain groups for that purpose. I have not “graduated” that effort (at least yet) to social media.

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