You have to market yourself if you want to make a single sale. So many writers and entrepreneurs shy away from that, like it’s somehow dirty or beneath them. Please, please understand this: selling is not what we have been taught that it is. It’s not Scummy Used Auto Sales, Inc., where transmissions are full of sand. It’s not lying, manipulating, or twisting people’s arms. First, a little about sales, then we’ll talk about what marketing is.
Here’s what sales is: transferring your enthusiasm about something (anything) to another person. That is it. You share your excitement about something and get another person excited about it, too. Why, there’s nothing smarmy about that! In fact, if you believe in something… if it’s wonderful… you would be doing the world a disservice by NOT telling them about it. At the end of this post, I’ll tell you about some things I think are wonderful.
So you have something to share with people. You believe it’s good. You know the right thing to do is to let them know about it. How do you do that? It depends on what kind of business you have. If you have a brick-and-mortar, traditional business, you might use some or all of these:
- exterior signage
- ad on a bench in a public place
- ad in the newspaper
- ad on the radio
- door-to-door flyer delivery
Define “marketing yourself”
Marketing can be defined as “the sum of all of the interactions a customer or potential customer has with you and your business.” Marketing yourself includes your ads, logo, signage, sure—but it also includes every phone call, website visit, and in-person interaction. That changes things, doesn’t it?
Most people think marketing is advertising. Advertising is part of your marketing efforts, yes, but there’s so much more. It includes your business card and how you present it. It includes any mentions of you in the local media, and sightings of you at events, or even in the grocery store. It includes every client/customer interaction. It’s important to do all you can to make sure they’re all good, that you keep your game face on even when you’re picking out tomatoes. Tall order? You bet!
How will this change what you do?