I have had numerous conversations lately with people who have told me they don’t understand marketing and don’t know how to market themselves. I find this more frightening than the twin girls from The Shining. Because if you don’t understand basic marketing, you will lose out to someone who does.
It’s important to know that sales don’t go to the best products or services. And opportunities don’t go to the most worthy candidates. They often go to those who market themselves best. Which is the only way to explain the success of Bobcat Goldthwait.
You have to be able to market yourself. Because you are constantly being evaluated as a more or less worthy candidate than another person. The opportunity at stake could be a job, a sale, a spot on a team, or a date. With 8 billion people on the planet, there are always other options to choose from. Which means that people are deciding to swipe right or swipe left on you every day. To be a successful contestant on The Swipe Is Right, here are some marketing basics.
5 things to know about marketing yourself.
- It is not who you know, it is who knows you. It is important that you are both visible and discoverable. The first step to marketing is being findable. So make yourself easy to find. Be on social media. Especially LinkedIn. Show up at events. Join organizations. Participate. Don’t be Boo Radley. Or Sasquatch. Or translucent.
2. Share your successes. One of the best ways to market yourself is to share your successes. Share them as part of your social and professional profiles where appropriate. Make your successes part of your introduction to others, whether in person or via email or classic mail.
When people think of you, you want them to think of your successes. People have to know what you are good at. This makes you memorable for your strengths. Don’t be humble about your successes, or you are likely to lose out on opportunities to someone with lesser success. As Deion Sanders once said, ‘They don’t pay nobody to be humble.’ And Deion is the master of marketing. (He is also the master of having one too many vowels in his name.)
3. Gain Endorsements: Know which of your friends, family, or acquaintances have influence. Spend time with them. Highlight your relationship with them. Be seen with them. When people with influence endorse, support or choose you it carries weight with others. This is why celebrity spokespeople are valuable. They help drive sales of everything from peanut butter to hair replacement. You are known by the company you keep. And cool kids like to spend time with other cool kids. (And all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.)
4. Stand out. Have something in your style, dress, or language that makes you highly identifiable. You have to stand out from the crowd to be remembered. And you have to be remembered to have opportunities find you. The year that I first grew my hair longer, I was amazed at how much more people recognized and remembered me. I attribute much of that to the fact that I simply looked different from many of the people around me. My friend Tony Sharpe always wears black. T-Pain has AutoTune. Aaron Neville, Drew Brees, Post Malone, and Cindy Crawford are all known for things on their faces. Find your signature thang and leverage it.
5. Be the go-to for something. Great brands are synonymous with something specific. Think about what one valuable thing you stand for in the minds of others. It could be creativity or trustworthiness, hard work, problem-solving, willingness, funniness, or intelligence. Really it could be any single strength or positive trait that distinguishes you. Grab it. Own it. And anytime people feel they need that, they come to you. Because you’ve got the Motts.
The world is full of opportunities. To make sure you get your share of them it is important to learn basic marketing skills. Make yourself visible. Tout your wins. Associate with people that others know, like and respect. Develop an identifiable personal trademark. And develop your rare and valuable skills. You’ll be surprised how many good things start coming your way.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.
+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.