February 17, 2014
In today’s competitive world, standing out can be a challenge if you don’t know how to market yourself properly. Whether it’s during an interview, dealing with clients or even with your relationships, you need to know how to market yourself to others in order to succeed.
Perhaps the most important thing is to care about what you do and exude self-worth. You need to know what you’re marketing, your value and how people will benefit from you so that when you speak, you sound genuine and passionate. The next most important thing is to find your strengths and develop your own personal marketing plan.
The first step is learning about yourself, and there are three different ways to do that. The first way is asking your trusted peers what they think are your strengths and weaknesses. They are the ones who know you the best and who will be honest with their perception of your character. Next is to find people who you aren’t as close to, but who have interacted with you enough to share some valuable insight into how you come across. This insight is especially important because this type of point of view is probably how others perceive you, and you want to make sure it’s how you want to be perceived.
The third way is to do a self-evaluation. You already found out what other people think about you, now it’s time to understand how you think about yourself. This will also help you gain self-confidence, which is essential to self-marketing. Think of how you were five years ago, how you are now, and how you expect to be five years from now and determine how you have progressed, and how you hope to progress. Credit your benchmarks and accomplishments, and acknowledge what you have done to succeed thus far and what qualities you posses that drove that success.
Once you have learned about your self-worth, strengths and weaknesses, you can use them to enhance the practical tactics to market yourself to other people. Some common tips to doing so include making sure to give more than is requested or expected. If a client is expecting you to simply sell them a piece of furniture and be done with you, try going above and beyond to really make an impact on that person so that they remember you, and tell other’s about your great service. Word-of-mouth is one of the best marketing techniques there are, and you can get that by marketing yourself and making a lasting impression. Be careful that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Don’t sell them the furniture and offer to come help them decorate their whole house when you know you won’t be able to; you never want to get stuck underperforming.
Another tip for marketing yourself to others is identifying what that person needs and wants. This can be true for both business and relationships, as every person has needs and wants, and when they are fulfilled, especially unexpectedly, it can create a lasting impression. Once you’ve identified what it is they are looking for and determined how you can help, be sure to be congenial and passionate and really show that you enjoy what you’re doing. When people can tell that you love what you’re doing, they are usually reassured the outcome will be great.
There are of course, some challenges to self-marketing. You may think that you’re being passionate in a job interview or when selling a product, but it’s very easy to come off as insincere. Don’t be over zealous; it comes off as looking desperate. While compliments can be nice, don’t overdo it as you may risk the chance of rubbing someone the wrong way. Another big challenge is making sure to listen. Sure you want to market yourself and make sure that person knows every great thing about you, but you need to stop and understand that people like to talk about themselves. Stop talking about you and what you have to offer, and ask about the other person.
Finally, always, always, always, no matter what, have faith in yourself. Confidence is key, and being comfortable in your own skin will show other’s that you are a genuine person who is capable of succeeding. Never sell yourself short; the only things that you can’t do are the things that you don’t try hard enough to do, and marketing yourself to others is no exception.