So, you want to put yourself out there. You want to be known. The best way to market yourself is to be good at what you do and find the right distribution channel to showcase it. The most important thing I can say is bragging about yourself will do more harm than good for your career. So, don’t aim to brag and impress. Aim to educate. Teach someone something new, then they will be impressed.
1) Publish content
Creating content is an ingenious way to be in the spotlight and showcase your expertise and talent. Giving knowledge is one of the most valuable things you can do and guess what, it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s good to post on a regular basis, but don’t stress yourself about publishing at a specific interval. All content producers struggle with this and most fail. And to be honest, it’s not really that important. As long as you have a notification email going out to your subscribers when you do post new content and do it often enough that they don’t forget about you, that’s what’s important. Here are some options to pick from, starting with the least time commitment to the most.
- Write a blog
- Create a podcast
- Start a YouTube Channel
2) Create a newsletter
Write about some interesting tidbits that you have been involved with in your industry either on a monthly or weekly basis in a newsletter. Post the newsletter online and add a subscribe button. This is a great way to stay visible, educate others on what you are up to and be a go-to source for industry happenings. It also forces you to stay up to date on the industry, which will serve you well. Anyone can post on social media, but not everyone has their own newsletter, so it is a great way to stand out and give the perception to others that you have it going on.
3) Network at conferences
Get to know as many people as well as you can. I do not recommend to chat only 1 minute with every person in the room and hand out business cards. That is not effective. It should be your objective to be the most memorable person at the conference. If you keep this in mind, then that’s how you know when to move on to the next person. Here are some tips to your encounters: Walk up to anyone and start a conversation about the conference, the main thing that you both have in common at the moment. Transition from this into your personal lives. Reveal something personal about yourself that makes you vulnerable, this will get the other person to feel comfortable with you and open up. Try to find a few things in common. Then finish on a call to action, how will the person stay in touch with you or remember you. This can either be a business card exchange, linking to each other’s social media on the spot, offering to send them your newsletter or a blog article you wrote that can further the discussion you just had, an invitation to a group of yours or set a date for a coffee meetup. Then to end an interaction, my favorite move is to introduce them to someone who you talked to earlier. Both parties will be grateful to you so they don’t have to go out awkwardly searching for their next conversation. This move shows that you know people and are connected andcan provide value immediately. It also can give you an easy out to get on your next conversation when your work is done.
4) Be a speaker at a conference
It takes work and time to become a speaker at a conference and you usually have to apply a year in advance. Pick out the conferences that associate best with your brand and what you do. Think about what kind of sage advice you can offer people. You will have to submit an outline of your speech or session. But before you do, take a look at the past few conferences to see what kinds of topics they have covered before, so you know what they tend to choose. Identify who the favorites are that are invited back every year. Don’t try and cover the same topic as a favorite because of course they are going to stick with the favorite. An easier way to get in is to try to expand on a hot topic and give a different angle on it. Perhaps from a different function or even target group.
5) Social media presence
Decide on the top 1 to 3 social media sites that can best boost your brand. Take a look at the profiles of a few of the people you admire and want to be like. Take ideas or word choices from them and combine them into your ideal profile. Most importantly, you should be brief and to the point on who you are and why you are valuable. Rather than brag about yourself, aim to educate others. Be specific in what you are looking for so those reading your profile know exactly what to do for you. People don’t know how to help you if you don’t tell them what you want. And there is nothing wrong with that, because you are not just asking for others to help you, but can tell others what you can offer.
6) Business cards
Just like social media profiles, everyone has got a business card. Therefore, it must stand out. It represents who you are. If someone hands you a business card on cheap flimsy paper, perhaps slightly bent at the corners, what does this say about the quality of your work. Now suppose you receive a business card on a crisp, thick, premium paper stock, that says something intriguing on one side and a non-stock picture on the other. Now who would you rather stay in touch with or hire?
Put some thought into your card, go to the LAUNCH pinboard for some cool ideas, and be sure to buy several business card cases to carry them in several places so you are never out and can keep them clean and crisp.
On a final note, it’s better to be the best version of yourself, than the second version of somebody else. Remember to maintain your identity and brand. It’s tempting to want to be like someone cool you just met, but stick with you so you won’t become the runner up. Branding yourself is a continuous job that doesn’t end when your stack of business cards run out or you published your first blog. It’s something you should be doing every day. It should feel like work until it doesn’t. Once it doesn’t, then you have successfully turned it into a habit.
Every encounter is an opportunity, even if you don’t see it yet. Aim to educate and be memorable, a lesson that doesn’t just do well in real life, but in cover letters and interviews as well. Now go out there and let people know who you are and what you are good at. And be you as loudly and boldly as you can be.