Question: I am interested in being better known among many others and even the wider public, in view of my personal aspiration within the next 30 months. What should I do to market myself in order to achieve this? – Anthony E.
It is well known that certain facets of life constitute criteria for personal recognition or elevation of an individual in the society. One’s educational attainment, income, athletic or sporting ability, political prowess, thriving contributions to a group; even sense of humour (as is the case with standup comedians); among others, surely make for public recognition. These no doubt provide platforms for projecting someone to gain public acclaim. As there is no hint to what has stimulated your interest towards personal or self marketing, I strongly perceive your aspiration, as a Nigerian, must be hinged on working in own private practice (or for a corporate entity) and desirous of elevation; itching for a career boost of a sort; seeking business elevation; societal recognition, or political aspiration. Maybe the present trend in the country, about conferment of all sorts of awards, is creating “long-throat” in you.
Strategy for marketing self varies in accordance with the goals and objectives of the beneficiary. There is no “one cure” application here, since I don’t know your desired area of aspiration. However, this piece will guide you through some vital aspects of what you should know, generally, in any attempt at “self marketing”.
Going by one of the several definitions of marketing, “The process by which a product or service originates and priced, promoted and distributed to consumers”, see yourself (the individual) as the product/service to be distributed (that is, making what you possess available) and promoted (creating awareness about benefits derivable from what you offer) to consumers (the particular public you intend to impress). To succeed in this effort, you should consider these:-
How to make people take you seriously
- Evolve honest presentation of those positive features you have, which are sufficiently valuable in the relationship you intend to foster with your ‘consumers’ (e.g. honesty, good education, public interest, benevolence, etc).
- Adopt mode of communication which listeners find interesting. This has bearing on the way you speak, your appearance, your actions (as part of your marketing message); reflection of how capable and trustworthy you are towards improving or resolving societal issues.
- Highlight the benefits, to the public, about your intension. You tend to become more valuable to yourself when others are convinced about how you can help them, as you easily secure the co-operation of others as a result.
Likely achievements from self marketing
- As you make your expertise available to others, people are likely to realize the benefits that lie in what you offer, and will likely be inclined towards being predisposed to your desires.
- Efforts in this area make for your increased visibility. This will be more enhanced with the adoption of some tools of awareness creation (e.g. writing of articles, participation in radio or TV programmes, presence online through having a web site).
Factors essential in promoting self
- - You have to be confident and inspired solely by your own dream (e.g. the need to campaign against social ills; suitability for a top level management position).
- - Endeavour to stand for something, backed by a clear vision about your intension, while you brand yourself and idea as unique.
- - Always emphasize the benefits which those you intend to impress will derive from your efforts; then play up also on those identifiable features that make you stand above whoever your competitor(s) may be. The same holds for how you fit into what your target audience requires, hinged on a favourable reputation which you must have cultivated (e.g. being the best representative of the people at a Constitutional Conference).
Plan for self promotion
Apply these steps as processes of related plan, which are typical of most marketing situations:
- - Define your mission and benefits being offered. Consider your level of knowledge about related issues; determine if your natural talent fits into this; define what you can really offer; your values, interests and personality which could be applicable (e.g. to serve the purpose in a desire to seek political office in order to better the lot of one’s rural community).
- - Set market objectives (i.e. what exactly do you want to achieve). Remember to be specific about this; make it realistic and measurable; attach a timeline to it. Then put in place indicators to show your accomplishments in your set goals.
- - Identify your personal strengths and weaknesses; note how you stand before any form of competition; the same applies to external opportunities and threats which may affect you and your aspiration.
- - Ascertain your target market (that is, those who need to know you and what you stand for, such as people in your organisation; those of your community; membership of your professional bodies, etc). This should be complimented by the development of a marketing strategy and related activities directed at the same target market (like, volunteering in political activities; taking up leadership role in groups or committee; being relevant at conferences; establishing presence in prominent publications; featuring in media activities, etc).
Tools of self promotion
In summary, try to apply these as tools of creating public awareness about yourself, in relation to your goal:
- - Participate in speaking opportunities (such as in professional fora or meetings; speakers’ events, conferences). In these instances, you try to make yourself quite noticeable by making significant positive contributions at such gatherings.
- - Participate in related radio and television programmes.
- - Write articles, reflective of your aspiration in renowned publications, and if possible, write a book (Which you can make available at affordable price during public speeches or gatherings).
- - Establish presence online. This requires having your own web site. Then capitalize on available resources on the internet (e.g. ezine, online communities to share ideas; provision of contacts to enhance interaction and invitation through this medium).
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