In “Don’t Self-Promote…Do This Instead!” I wrote about the joys of letting other people spread the word about your business or work.
And believe me, if you’re an introvert or a shy person who doesn’t particularly like talking about yourself, it really is a joy when other people step up to do it for you.
But what if you either:
- like marketing yourself, or
- want to meet the challenge of getting better at it?
In that case, here are four skills that are easy to develop, and will help you market your work, products, or services more effectively.
Marketing Skill #1: Learn to Introduce Yourself
Many people have trouble forcing a simple one-sentence description of what they do out of their mouths in social situations.
If this is you, write the one sentence down and practice saying it out loud—preferably in front of a mirror—until you’re comfortable and can say it with a smile. Pretend you’re talking about somebody else, if necessary.
And remember: Keep your self-introduction short and sweet.
A one-sentence description (“I’m a public speaking coach and a speech writer.”) could whet your listener’s appetite and lead to follow-up questions, whereas an “elevator speech“ is more likely to overwhelm or bore them.
Marketing Skill #2: Get Good at Networking
Whether you network in person or virtually (the best thing is to do both), your best bet is to find an approach that works for your style and your personality.
My approach is to arrive late, leave early, and try to talk to three people before going home to hurl myself on the couch with a romance novel. (No, I’m not exaggerating!)
I’ve met some wonderful colleagues using this method, and I swear that it’s as effective, for me, as talking to all 50 people in the room would be for someone else— presumably, an extrovert. 🙂
Marketing Skill #3: Tell Success Stories
- If you’re comfortable with self-promotion, success stories are a great way to dramatize your accomplishments.
- Stories are easier for most people to remember than facts, which is why brands and other marketing experts use them all the time.
- And if you would prefer to have other people talk about you, you can prime them with a story about how you saved an account, reached a milestone, or had a breakthrough that will give them something to talk about.
And last but not least,
Marketing Skill #4: Use the Channel You’ll Be Able to Keep Using
Over the years, I’ve tried to post regularly on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (now known as X), and LinkedIn.
To be frank, I didn’t love any of them; and I’m way past being interested in learning TikTok! 🙂
There is, however, a medium that I am able to persuade myself to use regularly. It’s called “writing.”
All my life, I’ve loved to write; so—although it’s often a struggle—I’m able to write a newsletter every two weeks and a new blog post to accompany it more than half the time.
This means that more than 6,000 people see my name in their email inbox twice a month, and more than a third of them open what I’ve sent and maybe read it.
- Does this compare with, let’s say, Kim Kardashian’s 359 million Instagram followers? Hell, no!
- But do I want Kim Kardashian’s 359 million Instagram followers? Hell, no!
What I want is exactly what those newsletters deliver: Emails from people who just remembered that they need speaker coaching, or want to revive our previous coaching relationship, or heard about me from a friend, or want to refer me to a friend.
In other words, newsletters and blog posts are my perfect marketing channels!
Is One Approach to Marketing Enough?
But it’s important to build your marketing around an effort that you’re willing to repeat, and then add other bells and whistles on top of it.
For example—as Marketing Mentor Founder Ilise Benun, my first marketing/business coach and a certified badass, recommends—if you’re not into regularly posting on social media, how about making regular comments on other people’s social media posts? This helps them draw more attention, and puts your name in front of your (and their) business contacts.
Or, if you’re not wild about networking events, how about going to a seminar or business lecture and making an interesting comment that you preface by saying who you are and what you do? This often leads to other people coming up to introduce themselves to you—and presto, you’re networking!
There are many, many ways to promote or market yourself and your business.
And whether you’re your own Chief Marketing Officer, or outsource that task to a teammate or friends, remember that the #1 rule of successful self-promotion is to do something.
Just pick something and do it.
And then, do it again!