Marketing is about developing a strategy to interest customers in the products or services you offer, and then implementing it. Marketing is a plan for how to communicate benefits. Marketing yourself works the same way as marketing for profit or non-profit organizations.
Begin with determining your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Use the formula from Duct Tape Marketing by John Jansch: Action Verb (What you actually do) + Noun (target market you do it for) + Benefit (the result of what you do.)
Once you know your USP, think about your brand. With a brand, you plan the entire customer experience by packaging an image that reveals identity. An effective brand, appeals to emotional needs, and includes things like:
- business cards
Find ways to sell benefits rather than features. Benefits are the results that you can achieve if you use the features. An effective brand appeals to emotional needs. After you’ve done all the homework, you still have to fish for the hook.
As an individual, your products or services include your strengths, skills and talents. List these, then next to each one list features and benefits, your target market, and media that are most likely to reach it. Media can range from print materials to videos on a website, and can vary greatly in cost. Get creative to achieve wow factor without spending a lot. To get ideas, brainstorm with others and ask for feedback.
Additional tools in your marketing toolkit:
Be ready with a clear, concise, creative, compelling answer to the question “what do you do?”
- A verbal business card communicates value, going beyond a simple statement of occupation to describe the results that you achieve.
- An elevator speech is a micro sales presentation of self, pitching the high points of an idea.
- A mission statement describes who you are and what you stand for, including the values you hold most important.
- Create a personal mission statement with Stephen R Covey’s mission builder.
- A vision statement describes what you see happening in the future.
See Also: Copyblogger on Unique Selling Proposition.