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> Selling Yourself – A guide to personal marketing

Selling Yourself – A guide to personal marketing

Date Posted Apr 30, 2007  Default   Viewed 4058 Times       ID 197
You may be the best designer, engineer or sales rep on the planet, but do you know how to successfully market your unique value and talents effectively, in a way that will cause your company leaders to take notice and action? Obviously you see what you think others should but the fact is they don't. You must showcase yourself in a way that brings out your best. If you are willing to invest some time and energy, we will help you become an effective self-marketer, one who will reap the full rewards that you deserve.

Step 1 Assessment
The first time and often the only time we think about marketing ourselves is when we create a resume. A resume is simply a marketing piece designed to showcase a product "you" to a particular audience. In this case though, take an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses. Categorise your abilities and see if they are in keeping with your career goals. Are you depending on outside influences or even just "luck" to get you where you want? What actually happened in your last job? This is the time to be hard on yourself - no excuses, no blaming others, just brutal honesty. At the same time consider all of your talents -- what are you good at, what do you enjoy? Perhaps change may be what is called for.

Step 2 See yourself as others do
Now, that you have possibly beat yourself up a bit lets try and use that assessment as a mirror. Put yourself in the shoes of a former boss, a co worker, even a client. Try to imagine the real image of how they saw you. This is one of the toughest mental exercises to do, because we are all different. "How can I know what my old supervisor thought -- he was psycho". Trust me accomplishing this will help a lot in overcoming hidden weaknesses.

Step 3 Erase negatives
Ok probably in Step 1 and 2 you realised a few things about yourself that could use some work. Categorize these as;

Character traits - these break down into 2 distinct categories those you can change and those you probably can't. Best advice is to fix what you can and be up front about the others as you market yourself. It may even be possible to put a positive spin on them.

Academics - Do you lack training or education to get you where you want? Decide if it means enough to you to work at acquiring the missing credentials. Thanks to the Internet many schools now offer accredited Distance Learning programs that can fill in those gaps.

Skills - Are you in need of brushing up you professional toolbox. Maybe you wandered into a career without the real experience to carry you long-term. If you need help on this area -- just look for it. Many resources are available simply for the asking. Once you get your skill level current --keep it there. Develop an ongoing plan for staying on top.

Behavior - How are your social skills? Do you get along well with associates? Your behavior is how all of the above points work together in your dealing with others. Developing a higher sensitivity to how you are perceived can help you here greatly. Behavior modification can seem challenging if not completely impossible. If you have serious issues in dealing with others you may want to consider a more technical or mechanical or creative field.

Step 4 Identifying Your Proper Course
Addressing what may be a perceived weakness to others may be a real strength to you. Remember, conformists rarely make the significant advances in history. If striking your own course is right for you then realize the challenges involved. Then develop a plan to help get you there.

Have a plan that identifies where you are going. Set real goals and objectives as well as milestones to let you measure your progress.

Get organized; a very important aspect of your mission is organization. If you don't keep yourself organized you will misplace important information. No matter if it is a contact you need for a job search or the facts to back up your request for a raise. Any good marketing campaign depends on having what you need, when you need it.
Networking - Who do you know, whom can you market to? Develop Quality Relationships that can help get you to your goals.

Step 5 Focus on strengths
Project Confidence, as you market yourself, you must dramatically shift and focus your presentation of yourself into the most compelling argument about your value in the context of "organizational" thinking and needs. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; so is your value. Your skills are the technical specs of your marketing. Your horsepower rating.

Step 6 Be Honest
Marketing and honesty may not seem to go together; we have all succumbed to misleading ads and been sorely disappointed. Recent cases of job seekers misrepresenting there backgrounds have exposed that a half truth is still a lie. Being dishonest to anyone is never going to benefit you in the long term. In the end you have to be able to do what you say you can. Learn where to draw the line between marketing and lying.

Step 7 Let your performance speak for you
One of the greatest failings of seeking success is not focusing on the work. You have got to get the job done, deliver the goods, get back up when you get knocked down. Ok, enough clichés but you get the point, marketing is nothing if the product doesn't work. Use the tips; be patient and determined and expect great things to happen!

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