How To Market Yourself

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.


What is Friendship?

From an early age, people have a natural tendency to develop friendships with other people. These friendships continue to form, grow, strengthen, lessen and end all throughout our lives. But why is that? Why do we have some friends that we are closer to than others, and how do we know which friends are good for us and which ones are not?


For starters, we need to assess what a friendship actually is. You may think it’s someone to talk to when you’re down or go to the movies with, and you’re right, but what makes you want to do those things with that person in the first place? A friend is someone who you have a connection with. It’s someone who shares similar interests, but not necessarily all of the same ones.


Most importantly, friends are people who you have an openhearted connection with, and whom you can trust and be honest with no matter what. There are also different levels of friendship; not everyone can be your best friend! The depth of a friendship is determined by the level of trust you have in them. Close friends may be people who you would tell your deepest, darkest secret to, while others may be people you want to go to a baseball game with but wouldn’t necessarily talk about family issues. That’s the social aspect versus the soul aspect of friendship.


So why do we want friends? It’s more so that we need friends. We as humans need relationships with other people, we need social interaction, we need other people to help us identify ourselves and determine right from wrong. Friends balance us and provide support and stability in our lives. They can bring us happiness, excitement and comfort, and inspire us to achieve our goals.


There has to be a balance in a friendship, a balance between giving and taking. You can’t just always talk about your problems and never ask about your friend’s, or always let your friend pay the bill and never offer to pick up the tab for lunch. There has to be a balance between giving and taking. The same thing goes for the way your friends act too. You need to be able to assess what friends you have balance with and what friends are just takers.


To assess your friendships, take inventory of your friends and ask yourself, “What does this person bring to the table in my life? What is their purpose in my life?” This goes back to the social versus soul aspect of friends, but also, introduces a new category: friendships that just aren’t working out.


Maybe you argue a lot with this friend, or feel like you can’t trust them or like they use you; this is when you have to evaluate that friendship and how it affects your life. If that friend is bringing nothing to the table, making you feel bad or wasting your time, you need to ask yourself, “Is it me, or them?” You shouldn’t just go and cut them off cold turkey; just because you don’t share the same characteristics or values today, it doesn’t mean later down the road you won’t. But if they are putting a damper on your life and causing you to be unhappy, you may want to consider distancing yourself from them. But try to faze them out as opposed to completely eliminating them.


Friendships typically happen naturally, but what if you want to find new, good friends? First of all, you have to know yourself, and know what you’re looking for in a friend. What many people don’t understand is that you don’t need more people to feel friendship, you need more purpose in those people. You can have all the friends in the world, but without those special connections with certain people, your need for human relationships and interaction will never be fulfilled.


It’s best to go with your gut and your heart at first when you meet someone new. Do you feel like that person will be someone you can trust and enjoy being around? Do you share similar characteristics, beliefs and ideas? What do you want from this person and what do they want from you? These are all questions you should ask yourself, and be able to answer in order to find and determine good friends.


Overall, you should appreciate and respect the friends you have, because without them, life would be a very confusing and isolated place. Your friends are a special kind of family so cherish and think of them every day.