This week I am presenting at a conference where I am speaking about self-marketing. Uggh! You might think. Self-promotion and marketing is just so pushy and boastful. 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.
Well we 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?
Why not re-frame it and think of it as personal public relations. 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?
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.
Two-way communication is the foundation of public relations and my mantra is that public relations is 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 engage in two-way communication. 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?
And finally, remember 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.
I cover a lot more about self-promotion in my latest book, IMPRESSario – Present and Promote the Star Within You. You can find out more or purchase here.
Want a sneak peek first? Learn more about building your personal brand by with my free video series: NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her professional development and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.