Marketing always seems to be one of the more difficult tasks for my coaching clients, and marketing ones self, for many, often becomes insurmountable. This does not have to be true for you!
Learning to market yourself comfortably will go a long way in your life whether you are marketing yourself for a new career, a promotion in your current place of business or to sell your business services.
The 4 keys to successful self-marketing are:
I. Learn to overcome rejection.
II. Move past the concept of “it is not polite to toot your own horn”.
III. Learn to highlight your desires, talents, skills, and abilities.
IV. Discover what pain the other party has that your skills and abilities can cure or minimize and make it easy for the company to see that.
I. Overcoming rejection, the ages old concept of rejection and how to overcome that down in the belly negative feeling that comes when you put your talents on the line and they are rejected.
What is actually being rejected? Try this vision: What is real...At this moment I am OK. I have certain talents and abilities, hopes and dreams, needs and values. I have family and friends that care about me. I have accomplished many things in my life; be it my schooling at what ever level, my employment history and my ability to be a team player and many other learned talents along the way. The concrete evidence of my existence thus far proves I am capable of tackling the world and what it has handed me. I am O.K.!
You take one small action of going to the mail box and you get a letter saying you did not get into the school of your dreams or you were not selected for the job you applied for, you did not get that promotion or your business proposal was rejected. What happens? The air is knocked out of you, you get that lead feeling in your gut, suddenly the act of reading one letter has changed I am OK into I am not good enough!
Look back a moment...has anything actually changed from the information above? NO, you are still all of those very capable things. What has changed is your attitude. You have allowed yourself to take the rejection personally. All of a sudden it is about you not being good enough, when moments before you were just fine. You have given your power away because of someone else’s action. In reality what happened is another person had a stronger set of tools for this particular situation, or perhaps there was a personal contact that was selected or the person making the decision had a bad day the day of your interview, we will never know.
Getting Over it! We meet rejection every day, whether it is of our dreams, of a new job or a promotion or a sale we have endeavored to close. There are 3 important rules to dealing with rejection successfully: a. Don’t take it personally. b. Use it as a learning tool. c. Quickly take appropriate actions to move on to the next challenge.
Don’t take it personally! It is rarely about us, even though our egos seem to try to tell us it is. Our minds are very creative and energetic and if left alone, are masters at the negative. I call it my “Itty Bitty Pity Committee”. Replace your old committee with a sensible group of voices: which include your intuition, your heart, your intelligence, your curiosity, your passion, your spirit and your experience.
Use it as a Learning tool.Your new “Success Committee”, will help you deal with rejection as a learning tool. Ask questions when you receive a no. What did not meet your needs? What was missing so I might improve? Rarely is a person reluctant to help another improve. Then set up an appropriate action plan to carry out what you have discovered. Choose to learn from the rejection and move on to the next with a greater arsenal of tools for your future success.
Quickly take appropriate actions to move on to the next challenge. Take the learning and grow your knowledge base and tool kit. Create a plan of action to move past the rejection and on to the next challenge. Think of rejection as a tool for learning and improvement and you will soon move beyond it to the realm of success.
II. Move past the concept of “it isn’t polite to toot your own horn”. This is one of those things we are taught in our domestication in our society that does not serve us. I believe Nelson Mandela said it best in his inaugural address when he quoted Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you." It is your responsibility to be the best you can be and share it with the world. If you don’t tell anybody they can’t utilize your great value.
III. Learn to highlight your desires, talents, skills, and abilities. There are ways to say who we are, what we want and what we bring to the table to share that are very appropriate. Our job is to know them all clearly and learn to state them matter of factly. Getting clear on what you want is a process of discovery and focus. Taking the time to truly learn about what it is that you are passionate about, what you love to do, how you love to help people, what makes you feel abundant? Take stock of who you are and what makes you happy in relationships, work and play and you will discover your desires and probably many of your talents as well. Create an inventory of your experience and skills and begin to see how they can interact with many different kinds of work. Ask others around you what they see as your strengths, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Once you have gained clarity around your strengths then it is time to tell people about them. The best way is always relate them matter of factly and in a manner that is understandable to that person. A clear and concise resume that is targeted to a particular company and or position is a great start. If you are already in a position and are looking to rise in the company, it is important to tell the right people that you are interested. There are NO mind readers. Never expect that they will offer you something unless you have asked. Don’t ask...don’t get. So start letting people know what you want and why you believe you can handle that and what skills you bring to the table so you can at least be in the game. Like they say about the lottery, ”you have to be in it to win it!”
IV. Discover what pain the other party has that your skills and abilities can cure or minimize. The process of discovery is one of the most important keys to marketing yourself. A job seekers most important task is to help the company understand your strengths and talents quickly and in relationship to the company’s needs. (This is true for a person approaching a company to offer a service or product as well.) What is the pain they are trying to eliminate by hiring this position/buying this service or product? How can your talents, product/service solve that pain for them? How can you discover the answers to these questions? You can ask during the interview process. You can research on the Internet to discover what their needs are. You can talk to people that do similar work and begin to learn the challenges they encounter and what skills they use to solve them. Once you have discovered some of the pains of the company you are approaching, position your abilities, skills and strengths to minimize or solve those pains. Put that important information up front in your cover letter and your resume. Let them know how you can help them solve this problem. Make them easily aware of what you bring to the table to share in experience, education, and skills that can be the answer to their needs.
My challenge to you: Evaluate where you stand with each of the 4 keys to self-marketing success. Then select the strongest area and buff it up to really shine. Then move on to the weakest and begin to create a strategy to strengthen that key until it too shines and on to each of the 4 keys until they all have a solid place in your personal marketing strategy.
To Your Ongoing Success!