Unless you're in business for yourself or looking for a job, the idea of marketing yourself may not sound like anything that concerns you. But it's a skill everyone should master. Whether it be for business or social. You don’t need a complicated marketing plan, but you do need to understand the basics.
So become a marketing warrior with these proven strategies, tips and tricks on how to market yourself without actually marketing yourself, successfully and effectively...
Identify Your Niche And Plan
Look at what worked (and what didn't) previously - check out your analytics to learn where your leads and customers actually came from. Think about what you really want next moving forward and set yourself some objectives and clear goals.
Identifying your niche means focusing on the uncommon things you have to offer. Your work is your greatest marketing tool. People may ignore what you say, but they’ll pay attention to what you do. The more you make, the higher its quality, and the more willing you are to share it with the world, the more people will discover and spread the word about you. People love to identify with a particular ethos or product, so the more relatable and unique you can be, the easier it will be to gain custom and interest.
If you are offering a product or service in a saturated market, consider thinking outside the box, donate a percentage of sales to a relatable Charity, become sustainable, work with another brand to offer a contra discounts, in order to port your contacts. There are many ways to create a niche, even when you may not have one that screams out at first, put your thinking cap on!
Show Off Your Expertise And Share Your Wisdom
Your knowledge is an asset that becomes infinitely more valuable when you learn and share it. Teach what you know to people hungry to know it. Teaching not only attracts an appreciative crowd and creates opportunities, but it also unlocks a deeper understanding of your subject matter for you in the process. For example, after writing this article, we know a lot more about how to market ourselves without marketing ourselves.
Showcase what you know by building a knowledge base. Grow your reputation and promote your informed opinions. The hallmark of expertise is figuring out what information is relevant. Write prolifically about what you know to get your name in front of people as an expert.
Contribute articles and blog posts any time you have an opportunity. Make sure it's informative, well written, timely, and valuable to readers. That thing you learned today? There are millions of people who haven’t learned it yet, but would love too. When you share your journey, it makes people want to come along for the ride. Develop relationships with thought leaders and media representatives in your field and your community, get infant of them, in person or virtually and start growing your business!
Overdeliver And Be Of Service To Others
An adequate job doesn’t get spoken about. Nobody tells anybody else about the person who did a “good enough” job. To get noticed, you must exceed expectations, not simply live up to them.
Become a trusted advisor and do what you can to help as many people as you can. How can you use what you do to be of service? Maybe you can offer your talents to a local nonprofit or set up an internship or mentoring opportunity to help someone starting out. Human capital, especially now, is precious and valuable, the world requires friendly, capable people to help. Plus, don't forget, everyone you come into contact with talks, ask them to spread to word about your product or service, share of social platforms etc, karma will pay off!
Affordable or free workshops, webinars and seminars are also ways to create a database or attract local press attention. Do it online, find a space, use where you live, or partner up with another business to use their facilities.
Super Social Savvy
We have it easy really nowadays, well compared to the more traditional means of advertising that is. The social media and content marketing tools we have at the click of a button, or touch of a screen, to market and promote ourselves and businesses is unreal, plus the fact they are either free or won’t bust your budget, hey, you can even make money from marketing your own business!
Spend focused time on social media tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and electronic groups in your industry. Share some of your expertise for free, and you can begin building a base of fans who trust you and look to you for expert advice.
People are hungry for great content and information, so hone in on the industries, trends, research, best practices and top influencers that represent the best of the best and share their content and include it in yours. This can lead to quality relationships and sales possibilities.
Having so many choices available to you to create an integrated marketing and social media formula, that you use to educate, engage, interact and serve is vital, don’t get overwhelmed, use the ones that are best for you, so here is our Low down on the top 4 individual platforms...
If you haven’t already signed on to or gotten serious about a social platform, Facebook may be one of the best places to start. Facebook is the benign monster of our social media world and has developed amazing tools for small businesses. Make a commitment to grow your activity on Facebook and check out and use their Notes longer form post feature.
This micro-blogging platform has proven to be a real time, immediate, powerful, go to and fun news and information source in short form messages. Study and follow people in your industry or expertise, know some dos and don’ts and see how to best use Twitter. News no longer breaks, it Tweet!
By far this is the fastest growing most influential professional platform and now content hub to meet, engage and connect other professionals about work, jobs, careers, branding. A branded LinkedIn professional profile is a must have hub online for any professional in business today.
Video is still king when it comes to media and self-marketing. It is the preferred way to get more personal, tell a story and showcase your personality and style. You can be as casual or formal as you need to be, just make it a memorable video.
However, don't forget to network in person, because ultimately nothing beats or is more important than meeting people in person. Email and online communication is not a substitute for meeting in person, it’s purely a bridge. Use the email and online tools to make connections and grow connections but take the initiative to pick up the phone or get together. Nothing accelerates a relationship more.
Finding reasons to bring people together in person can have immediate and unexpected benefits and outcomes. If you want to get to know certain people better, hosting them at your place of business is a great way to explore commonality in business and personal aspects. Make it business casual and invite a qualified list of people who matter to you and could matter to each other, that don’t know each other but have you in common. They may come from different areas of your life, but having you in common makes them have potential for connections and referrals.
Start close to home for example, do you know who your neighbours are? Well you should! Community and being neighbourly can have very unexpected results. This is an underused way to make friends, connections and get referrals. Ultimately, you will be asked: “what do you do?” so take business cards anywhere you go. You never know who you will bump into.
It' worth mentioning that one of the best kept secrets and accessible business solutions out there today is Google Business Solutions. Whether you want to reach new customers, enhance your website, or increase your productivity it has amazing, mostly free tools for you to appeal locally or worldwide.
Meetup.com is one of the largest network of local groups, another way to make it easy for anyone to organise a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. With around 7.2 million members, 250,000 monthly groups, 46,000 topics and 79,000 cities, it’s a turn key networking powerhouse.
Press Releases, Podcasting And Blogging
Don’t underestimate what makes something newsworthy. Grand openings, new certifications, community events, new clients, awards, new hires and new services all count. Get a local media list together and start sending them out monthly. News sources are always looking for potential news content and information.
Internet radio networks are quickly becoming one of the most effective ways for sharing content and honing your interviewing skills. Internet radio and podcasting has grown dramatically to give people who have a flair for interviewing or radio hosting a chance to have their own radio show, feature others or share their expertise and personality.
If you don’t have your own blog, consider writing one, or identify leading industry blogs you enjoy following and submit yourself as a guest contributor. If you have your own blog, identify some bloggers you admire and suggest guest blogging on each other’s blogs. It’s a smart way to build credibility and key relationships. Start by following certain bloggers, commenting and getting into their conversations on social media.
Did you know that anyone can be an author! Be it business, candle making, art, cooking, travel, wine or just about anything else you can imagine, you can create a short or long read eBook simply and for free. Create a book outline with chapters in a word document, add some images and links, review, spell check, edit and covert it into a PDF, there you have it, an eBook. Post it on your website, blog and offer it free in exchange for growing your mailing list.
You don’t have to have an answer to every question you get asked, likewise you don’t have to agree to every request you receive. But you do to have to respond to them.
Be known for being generous, (within reason), not only is it the right thing to do, but it will get you noticed by the people you help and the people they know.
It’s amazing how many people and companies want to better market themselves while they simultaneously ignore their existing audience. Everyone is worth your time when trying to grow your audience.
Every word you say, everything that you communicate and do, is a message to the world. Just as a good company protects its brand, protect your reputation by being intentional about the words you speak and the actions you perform.
Permission Based Email Marketing
Email marketing through professional services is a very low cost, or free, high return marketing tool. Communicate with contacts directly and more regularly. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build trust, just don't forget not breaking the trust by emailing people without their consent!
Build A Brand And Community
A clearly defined brand that makes you visually stand out, tells people what you do and what you stand for is one of the more important aspects when launching a service or product. For example, you would not approach a boring looking bowl of uncooked pasta, but would be interested by the Pasta Pomodoro and garlic bread next to it!
An engaging website, blog, or branded social media pages that showcases your mission, vision, value, products, services, deliver your promise and spirit are smart, purposeful ways to market yourself authentically, building awareness and credibility.
Create a network of like-minded people in your field and work on connecting deeply and really getting to know one another. Authentic expertise is always drawn to other experts, open up a whole world of new possibilities.
Prepare to take yourself much further than you may have dreamed! We used Orlagh at Simon Lilly for some of YK Daily's branding. From start to finish the customer service and attention to detail was spot on. Orlagh has shared below her tips on branding, have a read and get in touch with her for any branding requirements!
My name is Orlagh, I run a bespoke brand design business called Simon Lily Design for small businesses and start-ups, that puts collaboration at the heart. Starting your own business and running it can be daunting, and knowing how to market your business through branding is another mind boggle on its own. This is where I help.
My branding services are based on market leading research that encourages growth for your business and encumbers your business values. So your branding attracts your ideal customer and still keeps your business values at its heart. I ensure to capture your business values through the visuals of the brand via a three-tiered system. This three-tiered system allows us to create branding that you are wholly satisfied with, is competitive with your competitors and creates a brand experience that makes your customers want more.
I have a client-lead structured approach towards my branding through a three-tiered system:
Brand strategy is the key focus of this stage. We will define your business values together and what experience you want to provide your customer through a design questionnaire and consultation. The information gained from these X will influence a design mood board that details the colour scheme, typography and iconography of your brand. Having a mood board ensures your business values will be undeniably translated within the branding. When you are happy with how the design mood board looks, we will move onto our creating stage.
On a co-creation basis, we develop your branding together. I like to have an open dialogue with my clients, so we can achieve your vision for your business together. Every design we create is unique because of the thought put into the designs, this system will help you to stand out from your competitors.
The last stage is releasing your branding out into the world. I think it is really important to celebrate the new face of your business through a big online reveal. I prepare you for your online release by providing a booklet that explains the different files I have given you and how to use them. This is so you feel fully in control of your branding and it makes it easier for you to use. But remember I am only a message away for further support if it is needed!
My design inspirations stem from bohemian styles with a modern twist. Pinterest tends to be my design bible, but taking breaks and being out in the open definitely helps too. I’m lucky to live by the coast because it definitely influences my style.
I get asked what drives me to run this business and it is because of the satisfaction knowing I have helped a small business to become a strong competitor in their field through their brand identity.
P.S. Don't forget to rest! Rest is work in itself, and it's really important.