I’ve never been any good at blowing my own trumpet. But, someone told me a long time ago, it’s essential to survival. If you don’t market yourself, someone else will and he may not get it right.
I’m not a shy person but, I’m also not the kind of person who can boast about my accomplishments. I do say things here and there but, I try to watch myself to never seem arrogant. For me, the things I’ve achieved are more fun stories to tell, rather than a marketing technique.
This is not good and honestly, I feel I’ve lagged behind in my career because of this.
How Loud is Your Work?
I always lived by the notion that my work will speak for me. If you’re good, why shouldn’t it? Eventually, all the good work you’ve done will show and people will magically take notice and propel you to higher highs.
It doesn’t work that way at all!
That’s not entirely true. It works but only to a certain extent. You’ll probably get the raise or bonus but, come promotion time… it’s not going to be you.
This is an extremely painful lesson to learn. If you realize it too late, you’re probably going to be working for someone with inferior work ethic and intellect. Because you didn’t shout loud enough. You never told your manager what you’d accomplished so, he never knew.
It’s not always someone’s job to seek you out and learn about what you’ve done. In fact, it’s your job to actually make sure that people know what you’re achieving, not just your managers but your peers too.
Letting Someone Else Speak for You
They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. But, sometimes there is.
Ever so often you might find a kind soul in your corner. He will not only support your work but, also make sure people get to know about it. He’ll be your spokesperson, your champion.
And while this person may have the best of intentions, it’s not always what you want. Why? Because they may end up saying the wrong things about you, even if they don’t mean to.
When I started consulting, a few of my friends were kind enough to do some word of mouth marketing for me. I was thrilled and grateful. That is until the referrals started coming in. I realized that the people who were being referred to me were coming to me for things that I did not want to pursue. Yet here I was taking meeting after meeting, with people who were absolutely clueless about what I did because my friends gave them the wrong idea of my qualifications.
I know they meant well but, I should have been more clear about what I did instead relying on them to figure out what I did and market my services.
The bottom line…. Don’t assume that people know what you do. Make it clear to them and relate your achievements.
Choose an Avenue
Coming back to my first point of marketing yourself everyday, you need to find an avenue that suits you. We can’t do all of the things all of the time. While you may think that the more you spread your marketing tactics, you have a higher chance of getting noticed. It may actually be counterproductive.
Again, when I started my practice, I created a website, an Instagram account, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest and even Facebook. I soon realized that there was no way I could do the work and keep up regular posting on all these platforms. I know you get automated apps that can help you with that but, it’s still a lot of work honestly. I admire the people who can do it all; I couldn’t.
So I gave up on all of them. Eventually I changed my strategic direction and I took a break from all kinds of social media.
Over the past couple of months though, I got back into using Twitter. I realized Twitter was the only platform that I always enjoyed using but stopped using because my circle were people with whom I had nothing in common. So I cleaned out my account and now I’m happier than ever.
I know some people are shy and I know it doesn’t sound like a very humble approach to life.
But, over the years, you’ve gained experience and learned a great many things in life. Someone can benefit from your wisdom. And if that’s the case, you need to tell the world. You need to speak for yourself so you make sure they get the right message. And you need to find one place where you can do this everyday.