You Can’t Win by Sitting in the Crowd

I was watching a concert for the band Journey with their new singer (okay, he’s been there for two years now) and it got me thinking about how he wound up in that role. Arnel Pineda played in various bands in the Philippines for about 25 years when one of the members of Journey saw his videos on Youtube. At the time, Journey was looking for a new singer and they flew Arnel out to San Francisco to audition.

Arnel’s story sounds like a once in million deal, but it’s happened before. In 1996, the band Judas Priest replaced their lead singer with a singer from a cover band and that inspired the 2001 film Rockstar which has a similar premise. The first lesson in all of this is that everyone can be replaced no matter how good they are or how irreplaceable they think they are – if you’re part of a good team, there’s always someone out there that’s willing to work as hard as it takes for your spot.

But the bigger lesson is that you need to be out there where people can find you for good things to happen to you. In the case of singing, if all you do is sing karaoke at a local bar or a friend’s place, you won’t get discovered. Even Susan Boyle who has been singing at her church for decades had to physically go to the auditions for Britain’s Got Talent.

You can increase your odds by filming your performance and posting it to Youtube and/or the social media sites. But these days, everyone is doing that and unless you catch the eye of the right person (who can spread the word about it) you’ll find yourself competing with the masses for everyone’s attention.

The same holds true for businesses, especially small ones. You need to get out there to promote your business so people know about you. Also, if you’re looking for work you can’t expect employers in this job market to come out and seek you. People are being extra cautious with their spending money in for both personal and businesses uses so it’s tougher to get it.

This doesn’t mean that you have to go out there and attend every business networking event in a 50 mile radius. But you need to get the word out to your target customers that you exist and that you can help them. And yes, you can do that from the comfort of your own home by blogging, using social media and posting videos on Youtube. But the key in both in person and online promotion is standing out from the pack. And only you can figure out how to do that with your situation – no $49.99 e-book will provide the secret no matter what they promise.

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