Diplomatic Security Service Ambassador Kelly Craft makes remarks to reporters after the United Nations General Assembly votes on a resolution to end the embargo against Cuba. (U.S. Department of State photo)

One of the biggest challenges for a lot of people in Close Protection (CP) is getting the exposure that leads to results. The results might be more opportunities for contracts or permanent employment. They might be side gigs or promotions. Whatever your desired results are, getting exposure can help immensely. But only if done properly.

In our last article, we talked about the power of networking and how to use it to leverage your CP career growth potential. In this article, we’re going to build on that and focus more on getting exposure to your current network, while expanding it and therefor magnifying the potential for better outcomes. 

The Right Type of Exposure

The first thing to focus on is getting the right type of exposure. In my experience, there are 2 things that get positive results in Protection. Doing one or both at a time is a great strategy.

  1. Positivity 
  2. Professional Sharing

Positivity 

It doesn’t take much to see there is a ton of negativity in the world these days. And that includes the protection industry. It’s also well known that negativity can get a lot of exposure. But in my experience, negative exposure leads to negative results. Whereas positive exposure leads to positive results. 

Whether you are engaging with people online or offline, keep it positive and you will attract the right attention. 

Professional Sharing 

Another great way to get results from exposure is to focus on sharing professional knowledge and industry news. This article series is a part of that. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I don’t want that knowledge and experience to go to waste when I leave this world. I use what I know with the tools I have available, to share with other professionals at all stages of their careers. 

I’m not elite or gifted, I’m just someone that has learned along the way and then share it with others. When I share professional content in a positive manner it has demonstrated to have a direct correlation to successful results. You cannot underestimate the power of taking a few minutes, to use what you know to help others.

Motivation 

Motivation is another element of this discussion. I used to be motivated by wanting my own success and to be honest, a little bit of greed. Not in a bad way, but simply to be able to provide more for my family, maybe have some more items, but essentially to be more balanced in life. It took me a while to realize, despite having good intentions and a lot to offer, this motivation was having a negative impact on my business (and my mental health).

After deep reflection and growth, I realized my motivation needed to change. If I truly wanted to help people I needed to think about what they needed first. So I realigned my priorities and decided, it didn’t matter how much money I made or how successful I was, I was going to help people. I was going to put out valuable content and do projects that helped people. 

Now I’m not naive either. I have bills and I have aspersions. My projects all cost money, as does my corporate infrastructure, marketing, research and development. I am very much a capitalist as I see the great benefits of a free market. None of that is the point here. 

The point is along the way I made the choice to switch my mindset from being focused on success to focusing on helping others. Instead, I now use my subjective assessment of my success and monetary returns as a gauge for the impact my projects are having on others. This is not only much more fulfilling, it is way more motivating. I take great pride when people like, comment and share my content. When people send me emails or messages asking me questions it’s even more rewarding, as it tells me people value my opinion. And I do my very best to respond to each and everyone in as timely a manner as possible. (If you have a burning question, please reach out on my contact form)

And this is where I believe many people could experience exponential growth, even if they made just a moderate mindset adjustment. Switch the focus from an inward outcome to and outward one and your potential for gains will be larger. 

Where to Get the Best Exposure

Finding the right platform to be positive and share professional content is probably the largest challenge you will face. Here are some options you might want to consider, but I suggest reading until the end to get a heads up about something coming that will limit your time and expense.

  • Start a Blog – There are many free and low-cost options out there to allow you to start blogging pretty quickly. The problem is if you do not have an audience lined up already it is going to take a lof time and a fair bit of money to begin to see even moderate results. You will likely have to share your content on all the major social media platforms to truly get any kind of exposure. And since most of these platforms have trending content based algorithms, if your content doesn’t go viral it will just disappear into the internet abyss.
  • Close Protection & Executive Protection Groups – Many platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have dedicated groups for discussions and sharing content on specific topics. As this is generally a focused audience, it is assumed that these are good places to get exposure. However, due to the volume of content and discussions (as well as previously mentioned tech challenges), it rarely produces significant results. I have been in many of these groups for a while. I have seen some truly amazing content posted there, only for it to get bypassed for the latest discussion on the new firearm or perceived inappropriate action/attire of some poor Close Protection agent that is currently being ripped apart by the internet without context. The point is there are ways to get exposure in these groups but it isn’t always going to be what gets you professional results.
  • Start a Podcast – This one will take you a lot of work, will have a few more expenses but most importantly take you a lot of time. It will take time to develop an audience but more importantly, it will take time to produce content. In essence, it is very much like starting a blog but with greater investment and requiring way more work. But if you have a lot of content and a decent audience size, with the ability to stay consistent, it is a worthwhile investment. We are actually looking at starting a podcast, but we do not quite meet all the required criteria, so it is a project in progress.
  • Get Offline and In front of People – We’ve talked mostly about online exposure here as the power of technology to reach your target audience is huge. However, in order to be successful, you also have to take your exposure efforts online. In our previous article on networking in this series, we talked about some ways to do that. Running training courses, attending conferences and going to local meetups are necessary to get some offline validation and real connections. Combine your exposure efforts both online and offline if you want to achieve the greatest results.

Go Where Your Audience Is

The answer to getting results from exposure comes from putting out the right content and getting it in front of the right people. The challenge is, finding where your audience is and what it is they truly need. When you do this you will start to get exposure and if you keep with it, you will start to see results.

I have personally tried just about every platform and audience location out there. It took me a long time (and a lot of work/money) to realize what worked and what didn’t. What I noticed was that there needed to be a better way. Although positivity is easy if you’re looking for professional exposure you need a place to share your content and have it get traction in order to achieve results.

As I’m not the type of person to see a problem without finding a solution, I set forth on a mission to fix the exposure problem of the internet. My team and I have spent the last 3 years researching and developing a platform that will maximize your ability to get exposure through professional sharing. Not just immediate exposure, but perpetual exposure as we have created a method of organizing your great content. This way it gets seen immediately to the right audience. But also when someone is looking for an answer you’ve provided, they can find it without having to spend hours searching in the vortex that is the internet (yes even in focused groups the content is a nightmare to retrieve after a few hours or a day).

Conclusion

At the end of the day, there are lots of ways to get exposure. However, when it comes to Close Protection or VIP Operations there are many nuances that need to be factored in. As an initial step, if you focus on positivity, professional sharing and do it to the right audience, your efforts will likely be less and the results potential greater. The internet is pretty amazing, but it’s grown so large, as has the social media platforms that were previously great mediums for gaining positive outcomes. But if you are looking for something more or something designed to give you better results, then please stay tuned.

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