Here’s a question to ponder: What’s one way of marketing yourself that none of your friends or colleagues are doing?
In order to succeed in today’s ultra-competitive environment, you need to stand out in a positive way. People need to know about you. When an opportunity arises, you want your name and face pop into the decision-maker’s head.
Regardless of your occupation, you are fighting two major battles: the aforementioned competition and “commoditization.” You may be the best at what you do, but there are so many competitors in your marketplace. In an era of commoditization, consumers have more choices than they know what to do with. Clients often assume all providers are competent, so they end up making their choices based on a professional’s personal brand.
The same thing applies when you’re looking to make a career change. A job search is simply another type of marketing campaign. Hiring managers often have multiple candidates from which to choose.
There’s no doubt that you need to stand out in today’s loud and crowded marketplace, but in some ways, that’s getting harder and harder to do. In a social media-driven world, it seems like everyone is talking and nobody is listening. If that’s the case, how can you get the right people to listen to YOU?
Tactically, the methods of carrying out a self-marketing message typically consist of networking, getting involved in your industry or community, social media, writing blog articles, recording podcasts, getting interviewed by the media, writing reviews on websites such as Amazon.com, donating time or money to causes, building a group of respected people to recommend/refer you, and making sure you have a strong presence in Google search results.
You can do all of these things or some of these things. But doing these things simply isn’t enough. It’s awfully difficult to find a self-marketing tactic that nobody else has discovered.
The message you convey is more important than the methods you use to market yourself.
In other words, you can differentiate yourself based on what you have to say. If you want a way to market yourself that none of your friends or colleagues is using, find what’s unique about you and determine how you will convey it.
I call it your “area of self-marketing expertise.” It’s something about you and your profession that is fascinating to someone who does not do what you do.
In other words, it’s something related to who you are professionally but is intriguing to someone who otherwise wouldn’t really care about your profession. Everyone is hopefully an expert in his or her profession, but an area of self-marketing expertise is quite different. It consists of the most fascinating aspects of your job, company or industry.
So what’s your area of self-marketing expertise?
If you’re not sure, sit down with a few friends and explain what you do. Ask them what they find most interesting. Take notes.
Once you have decided on your area of self-marketing expertise, think about how you will communicate it in an intriguing way. When that’s mastered, it’s time to put your area of self-marketing expertise to work for you. Use it at networking events, in newsletter articles, in public speaking, when dealing with the press and in your social media postings.
Professionals who have well defined and carefully crafted areas of self-marketing expertise will ultimately be more successful, because they never run out of interesting things to talk about. An area of self-marketing expertise becomes a magnet, attracting people to you.
When people are dazzled by what you have to say, they’ll be more than happy to hire you, recommend you and bring you opportunities.
The key to marketing yourself in a way nobody else is doing is to differentiate your message. With a little introspection, you ought to be able to come up with something, but there only on you.
Once you figure out your unique self-marketing position, announce it to the world. Have confidence in your message. Don’t let other people or any haunting feelings of self doubt stand in your way. Self-marketers have to stick their necks out and take risks. Not only is it worth the risk, but establishing a well-known personal brand is essential in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.
By the way, promoting yourself is never about ego; it’s just marketing. In our super-charged world, hard work and talent are no longer enough. You need to make sure key audiences know about your abilities and accomplishments.
By Jeff Beals. Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps companies increase their profits and associations achieve their missions through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques.