Market Yourself, Starting Now!
Have you ever considered how you market yourself? In business, you are your own product. You have capabilities and benefits to offer clients and employers, just as your organization has products and services for external customers. Market yourself for the win, and create a career path for success.
Does the thought of marketing yourself feel uncomfortable? It shouldn’t. Just as there are examples of positive marketing and misleading marketing in business, personal marketing can be a win-win, or a disastrous ego trip. It all depends on the details.
The Four P’s and You
The gold standard “Four P’s” of marketing are Place, Product, Price and Promotion. Each of these is applicable to you and your career, and each, when applied effectively, creates a win-win for you, your peers, subordinates, supervisors and the organization.
Place: Place is where you fit in the organization. What is your place? What can you contribute? How does your place interact with others, internally and externally? How can you maximize the impact of your position, to best serve your organization’s goals?
Product: You are your own product. Know yourself, and be honest. What are your strengths, and what are your weaknesses? How can you maximize your strengths and effectively address your weaknesses? In business your product has to be the best. You must be able to deliver on your promises. What are you doing to make yourself the best possible product for the market?
Price: Yes, your price is set by the organization. But what return do you deliver on their investment? What are you creating that is worth two, three, or more times what they are paying you? What are you doing to increase the ROI for your company’s investment?
Promotion: Promotion doesn’t mean shamelessly bragging about your personal greatness. As in business, promotion is informing others of what you can offer that can deliver value. Effective promotion is honest and supportive.
Putting it Together
Apply marketing basics and propel your career for the win.
- Know yourself. What is your product? Who are you? What makes you unique? Why should someone hire or promote you and not someone else? If you don’t know the answer, neither will your current or future employer.
- Have impeccable integrity. Your word and your reputation are golden. Once tarnished, they might never be redeemed. Don’t degrade or compromise your product, ever.
- Seek the right fit. Find the market which fits your product. You wouldn’t try to sell steak to vegetarians, so consider the positions and organizations which fit you best. A regimented space might not fit a free spirit, and an unstructured job might be a disaster for all, if you lack the discipline to produce results.
- Promote yourself the right way. Self-promotion has a bad reputation. It’s associated with big egos, a “me, first” attitude, and stepping on as many bodies as it takes to claw to the top of the heap. Effective promotion is just the opposite. Consider how you can help others, and how you can work together for the benefit of all. Build a positive reputation and create win-win for all.
- Employ marketing channels. Consider participation in trade organizations and charitable causes. Build face-to-face connections. Be visible and active on social media. Seek to give and not receive, and you will create a solid market presence.
The Bottom Line:
Seriously consider your career, and your potential contribution to the business community. Know yourself, maintain integrity and work for the common good. Create a solid basis for win-win, and promote both business and your career.