3 Ways To Market
I’m very up front about the idea that I feel like I am in the marketing business, even though I ultimately deliver a business service. What is amazing to me is that too many of my colleagues don’t agree with me and I feel like they are missing a tremendous opportunity by not thinking of themselves as marketers first.
The simple truth is that no matter how great our service or product is, until we have the ability to draw customers and clients to us with an aggressive and targeted effort, we are just going to be service providers and we are going to be at the whims of someone that can generate business.
So here are 3 keys to embracing your marketing role and to use it to your advantage.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Have An Opinion: I know at a certain point I started hearing the terms “content marketing” and “thought leadership” and I started to cringe. But while the terms may be bordering on meaningless because of improper use, the ideas behind them are valid and to be a great marketer, you need to embrace them. To do so doesn’t mean you need to be a blowhard, but it does mean that you need to take your best ideas and thinking and solidify them by writing about them, speaking about them, and sharing them widely. The only way to stand out is to have a position and to share it widely. Just make sure it is good and original.
2. Become A Connector: I have a bit of contempt for networking in the way that a lot of people practice it. I am not a fan of the people that go to any event they can find and start plastering the place with their business cards, like by some miracle, they are going to be great networkers and interesting people by doling out boxes of business cards. To do networking properly, you have to look to add value and make real connections with your network. This is hard work, but totally worth. The best way you can start is by connecting people in your network to people, places, things, and ideas that will be helpful to them. When you are someone that adds value, your network becomes stronger and you won’t go through a ton of business cards either.
3. The Ultimate Point Is Do Whatever You Can To Add Value: Ultimately, all of your marketing needs to be focused on how you add value, why someone should look to you, and how they can get involved in the value you have. It sounds simple because at the core, it is, but ultimately to be an effective marketer, you are going to have to provide and communicate value. In a world where word-of-mouth is king and advertisements are crowded out due to the sheer volume of communications, it is important that you activate some of your most powerful marketing actions like networking, referrals, sharing your expertise in areas that your target market will see you, and that you do so in a focused and aggressive manner.
If you believe, like I do, that your professional product and service business is a marketing business at its core, I know that you also understand that there are so many ways to get involved in marketing your company. These 3 are just a primer.
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About Dave Wakeman
Dave Wakeman is a writer, speaker, and consultant. He currently is the principal of the Wakeman Consulting Group…a boutique consulting firm that focuses on working with organizations to achieve greater value from their investments of time and money. Dave is a featured writer for the Project Management Institute and appears monthly on their Voices blog.…