By Randy Chaffee

Yes, visibility does equal opportunities. A new concept right? No, not really. This has always been a truism. It’s just that in today’s fast-paced and very visual world we are now more aware of this … or should be. The beautiful thing is that is that we have so many opportunities at our disposal to stay out front. 

Bob Burg from his book “Endless Referrals”: “All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to people they know, like, and trust.” 

The more we are seen, the more we expand our opportunities. It really is a Force Multiplier. Think about it. What if we do not have to expend all the effort to market and advertise our products or services? What if by being visible on a very regular basis, opportunities find us? That sure can expand our efforts, right? 

So how do we accomplish this? Easy right? Well, yes and no. All things worthwhile take some effort and commitment. With this said, being visible is not all that hard if we make a conscious effort to be involved in our community, our industry … our world. 

Building Your Brand

In today’s competitive business landscape, building a strong and recognizable brand is essential. The famous American essayist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson coined the phrase “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Very true words decades ago when this was written and I believe still very pertinent today. However I challenge you to consider that today we must still “build the better mousetrap” but … we MUST constantly and consistently communicate this to our potential clients. Every day our competitors are!

In today’s virtual/digital age within which we now live, the ability to talk directly to our audience has never been greater. So many opportunities! It simply is not enough to build a better building, install a better roof, provide a stronger service or manufacture a higher quality or more feature- and benefit-laden product. This remains a MUST, but it is imperative to let our potential clients in on the secret. 

How do we go about this?

Old school meets new school for a more hybrid approach. 

Most frame builders likely make use of the timeless and proven yard signs, vehicle signs, and newspaper advertisements. Others may use some social media to varied degrees. Have an easy-to-use, informative and consistently updated website? Great! 

I suggest that we develop a comprehensive plan to marry the old and new so that we are telling the same story
wherever a potential client may find us.

Our physical and virtual persona must match. We cannot spread one message virtually and present differently in person. This is confusing at minimum and can cause potential clients to question who the real you is. 

Be you. People really want the authentic you. Just present this “real you” at all times and in all places. Be aware of your visibility. There are more people noticing you, what you do, how you act, what you say than you will ever realize. We must be the Brand Ambassador at all times. 

What is a Brand Ambassador?

This is important. Brand Ambassador? What are you talking about, Randy? It’s really simple. You may be a metal roofing contractor. Maybe a post-frame builder. Rollform metal? Are you the owner? Maybe. Are you a crew member? Great! Sales rep? Excellent. Each of these positions is a Brand Ambassador for the company they own or for whom they work. But that’s not all. We must be a “personal brand ambassador” as well. Why? It’s really simple. People buy from people. As Bob Burg refers … customers want to know, like and trust YOU! You personally. This is YOUR brand. Plant it, cultivate it and reap the rewards. Remember … no one, NO one does YOU better.

A little more about Virtual Visibility. This is so wide open today. I find the use of all things virtual to be the ultimate Force Multiplier. Social media. Text and email videos. Blogs. Host a podcast. Guest on podcasts. Combinations of all the above. I am practicing this by writing this column every issue. 

Be Visible! Many think there are two schools of thought here. Physical and Virtual Visibility. One is a start. Both are much better. I however feel we need to be HYBRID with our approach. This is really the simple concept of combining the old school physical visibility with the virtual approach to develop a game-changer. Never will virtual supplant good ole person-to-person. What it can do is augment, in a huge way. Virtual visibility is your 24/7/365 Brand Ambassador friend! It continues to work while you sleep, when on vacation or any other time you are not physically visible. 

Are you being a HYBRID Brand Ambassador? If not, now is a great time to start. Let’s GO!  FBN

Randy Chaffee brings four-plus decades of experience to the post-frame and metal roofing industries. A board member for the Buckeye Frame Builders Association and the National Frame Builders Association, follow his podcast at No web access? Call (814) 906-0001 at 1 p.m. Eastern on Mondays to listen.