Your Guide to Personal Marketing
“If you build a better mouse trap – the world will beat a path to your door.”
Do you still believe that old expression?
Let’s try another one. “Go to school; get a good job; and the company will look after you.” The first statement is from Emerson – the second you might have heard from your parents. Both are no longer true. Please don’t blame your parents or Emerson for their dated wisdom. Things change.
Don’t get me wrong. You still have to be good at what you do. But today it is more important “how” you are perceived by others especially your customers, employer, or colleagues. And it is your responsibility to influence how you are perceived. Prospects want to know. Can you be trusted? Are you competent? Are you worth the money? It sounds unfair, but that’s life, get on with it. You have the power to influence how you are perceived.
Guide to Personal Marketing
Marketing is not the same as selling. Marketing is everything else that you do (or don’t do) that helps you sell (or hinders you). You cannot ‘not market’. Marketing is about sending messages and everything you do or don’t do sends a message about you. Don’t answer your phone and that send a message. Put out a sloppy brochure and that sends a message. And marketing doesn’t stop when you get the job. Employers and clients are always watching you.
Systems beat talent
If you are lucky enough to have a talent for marketing – that could be an obstacle. Those who rely solely on their talents get into trouble because talent runs both hot and cold. Sometimes you are good and sometimes you are not. It is far better to follow a system. With a system you will be consistent and you will improve your skills over time. Marketing is a skill set and Secrets of Power Marketing outlines a system that the ‘untalented marketer’ can follow with success.
Harness these five strategies to influence your market.
Be aware of and manage the perceptions others have of you. Create positive first impressions every time – with your smile, handshake, business card and appearance. Listen to your voice mail message with a critical ear and impatient mindset. Then improve it to project a positive experience for your caller. Review periodically. Enhance your credibility as an expert through public speaking and writing.
Deliver value and make clients and prospects aware of all that you give. Emphasizing the perceived value is an effective marketing tool. Remember; Total value = Real value + Perceived value. You must deliver real value to get into the game, but perceived value determine how people buy.
Build and nurture stronger business relationships. Connect with others through common background, likes, hobbies, family activities, culture, etc. Say thank you often. Say it with hand written notes, postcards, email, by phone, with a book, with a gift or with official recognition.
Plant your marketing seeds – then cultivate with care, persistence and patience. It takes time. Networking is like cultivating bamboo. You water and rake for 6 years before it shows any sign of growth and in that 6th year the growth is explosive. Build your networks by helping others. Harness your suppliers and colleagues to spread your message.
Visit your association events. Join your professional association. Get involved with your alumni association as soon as you can. The contacts you build with you class mates and alumni who attended your school in entirely different decades can be lucrative.
Associate with others who improve your credibility – associates, partners, mentors, community leaders and business executives. Remember, we judge you be who you hang around with, so hang with winners.
Work with the Media. Cultivate relationships with your media contacts. Stay in touch. Thank them for any exposure and send them sweets, (yes you read that right). Send news releases regularly. When you work with a club, association or charity be the one who sends information to the media. That will condition the media to seeing you as a source.
Write articles that offer value to the readers and get your name, number and photo printed. Write to the editor, a columnist or reporter. Of all the forms of mass media print is the best because you can photo copy it for those you want to impress.