Does the thought of self-promotion and personal marketing feel just so pushy and boastful to you? Uggh! You might think. My work will speak for itself. If I work away long enough and hard enough, people will notice and that is all I need to do.
You do know the reality is different.
If you are not communicating with people, letting them know who you are and what you’re good at, how will they know to give you the job, work with you or hire your services?
After all any brand, personal or business needs to be seen, but more importantly connect with its customers. Unless you are “out there”, talking and listening to customers, clients and prospects how will you understand their wants and desires and the types of products or services they like? And more importantly how will they know how you can help them?
As an example, a yoga teacher I know is very passionate about her particular style of yoga, has a lovely studio and is a fantastic teacher. Yet there are at least two other yoga studios in the same street, let alone the same suburb. And her philosophy is, people will just turn up. Perhaps you think all yoga studios are the same, I’ll just go to the nearest one.
However, if this teacher thought of marketing as a way of helping people and educating them about her style of yoga and aimed that to the type of audience who is in tune with her style of yoga, then she might find it more comfortable to self-promote.
Social media, advertising and the like will certainly help build your brand profile but the crux of it is unless you are picking up the phone, talking and meeting people in person you are only communicating one way – your way and you may never really learn what your customers want.
Often it is a confidence issue. But to be successful in business or grow your personal brand you may need to uplevel your thinking and learn new skills to promote yourself.
Why not think of it as personal public relations, which is really about having successful “relationships” with your “public”. It is communicating who you are, what you do, how you are different and make a difference to your clients. Only by listening to your clients and prospects, understanding what they want, and being clear on what you offer are you really going to help or impact them in some way.
One way I grow my online community and client prospects is through my speaking presentations and training. People see me on the platform, connect with my message and perhaps then connect via social media or in person. This is what is called self-promotion.
Although speaking in front of groups for me is enjoyable (let me tell you – it hasn’t always been that way!), I know for many people the thought of public speaking is terrifying. Yet it is a great way to showcase your expertise, personal brand and self-promote. You also do often get the opportunity to talk to audience members.
Public speaking for you could be free speeches to clubs or networking groups. It is a good way of letting people know about you and your area of expertise and a way to communicate with others.
Networking is another way to get “out there” and communicate. Join organisations of likeminded people such as business networks or your local Chamber of Commerce. Build rapport and relationships to help spread the word about who you are and what you do.
Special events such as a trade show or entering business awards can help boost your profile and help you get face-to-face with people. Why not hold a launch or an open day or even a cocktail party to thank your clients or customers?
Don’t forget your friend the phone. This is the one marketing tactic many of us avoid as it feels so much like self-promotion. But remember, without promotion what happens? Nothing.
And finally, do it with style. Look the part of a successful businessperson and elevate your presence and personal brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is passionate about helping business executives and entrepreneurial professionals elevate their personal brand, image and professional presence. Sue’s suite of image management services delivered through workshops, consulting, coaching and keynote presentations provides a multi-faceted approach to gain high transformation for her clients.
Learn more about image and brand in the free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.