One of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is learning how to market yourself. Even though you are confident about your business, it’s not always easy to present your expertise and create interest about you and your personal brand.
In order to stand out from the competition–or just do a better job of networking–use some of the best tools to market yourself:
- Develop your “elevator speech.” Whether you’re at a conference or a neighbor’s cookout, it’s important to be able to describe yourself in an interesting way. And do it in thirty seconds. It’s a sound bite that tells people who you are, what you do, and why you do it or what your goal is. Most people never bother to create a really good summary of themselves. Get ahead of the game by taking time to write out your story, and then practice it. Include something that invites a question or comment, to get a conversation started. It will reward you again and again.
- Get some remarkable business cards. You business card represents YOU, and people will remember YOU long after you’ve handed it to them. Make your cards memorable, and folks will hang on to them. A clever design will elicit comments. A dual purpose, such as a business card that’s also a bookmark or magnet, will make it useful. If humor is appropriate, consider a fun fact about your business.
- Be the original ______ (Fill in the blank). What is unique about you? What have you done differently from others? How will your widgets make the world a better place? People always remember a great story. Find yours and tell it with enthusiasm. Think of Steve Jobs. He didn’t sell computers, he sold “tools to unleash your creativity.”
- Spend time on LinkedIn. Of course you’re deep into social networking. LinkedIn can help you become an “influencer” when you spend time reading and sharing articles; following people and commenting on their posts; joining and participating in groups. Viveka von Rosen, a LinkedIn expert, advises, “LinkedIn is about building relationships, and one of the best ways of building relationships is to show your top prospects that you were listening to them.” Keep your profile current, and add your link to your business cards.
Marketing yourself–building your personal brand–doesn’t need to be expensive. It does take time, as well as consistent effort. By planning now, you’ll be ahead of the competition and on your way to success.
Ready for more business success ideas? Just contact us and we’ll help you develop a great plan!
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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