4 Great Ways to Market Yourself

The great advertising executive David Ogilvy had plenty to say about advertising, but some of his most insightful advice was on building a brand and marketing yourself. Ogilvy’s advice on this topic was simple – “First, make yourself a reputation for being a creative genius. Second, surround yourself with partners who are better than you are. Third, leave them to go get on with it.”

In order to market yourself, you must always position yourself to be a person of authority – the one people continually turn to for advice in your niche. But, as you will find, relying on the support and advice of others is vastly important in self marketing. Surrounding yourself with intelligent people familiar with your product is the first step to any successful marketing campaign. But there are other ways to market yourself effectively in an increasingly fast-paced business world.

Connect With Your Industry

The most important way you can market yourself is by connecting yourself with your industry, convincing clients that you have so much experience in the industry, that you have become its major brand (think of how far John Chow has come to be the literal face of the “Dot Com lifestyle”).

But this doesn’t mean that you have to set out to build a multi-million dollar brand, becoming to your industry as McDonalds is to fast food. You simply need to show your clients your connection with your niche, and the little things make all the difference.

For example, you operate a company that manufactures metal tools and scaffolding for construction projects, and need business cards to properly market your services. Think of how much more interesting your marketing approach could be with something like metal cards, rather than the plain old paper business cards that everyone expects. You might have to spend more money, but those metal cards truly reflect your connection to your product, and help you stand out from your competition.

Force Exposure

How do people become experts in a field? Most of the time, luck plays an important role in putting experts’ ideas in front of the right people at the right time. But if you don’t market yourself as an expert, luck never has a chance to come into play.

Start marketing yourself as an expert now, even if you are still new to your field. For example, you might prepare a speech or presentation, then volunteer to give it at some local nonprofit organizations or business clubs. These communities are always looking for speakers to share their ideas. Although you might not get the immediate buzz you’re looking for, you will begin brand recognition with a small audience, which could bleed into larger exposure.

You could also force this in an online environment, using referral exchanges with other experts (an agreement where both participants advertise each other’s services). If you also use blog comments to advertise your services or authority, remember that you don’t need a link to your website in every comment you write. Only add the link when it makes sense, when it adds to the conversation taking place.

Treat Your Employees Well

One of the biggest contributors to the success of the Starbucks brand is their reputation for being one of the best companies to work for. So good, in fact, that unions have consistently struggled to sign Starbucks employees, while companies like Walmart spend millions of dollars actively preventing their employees from organizing. While both companies are successful, Starbucks enjoys brand loyalty difficult to match, and it’s tough to find a bad comment about the company from an employee’s perspective.

When marketing yourself, don’t put anyone in a position to criticize you, especially those that work for you. A disgruntled employee can still push a button that slams out thousands of identical products. In the service industry, a disgruntled employee can single handedly destroy a product. Clients understand this too, and will respect a personal brand far more if they know that the workers that have built that brand are treated well.

Worry About What Your Audience Wants, Not What You Want

I was once told by a friend that works as a programmer at a large video game company that the reason so many first person shooter driving levels turn out poorly, is because they’re more fun for the programmer to design than the gamer to play. And this translates a great deal to the online services world. As a writer, I often have to ask myself if I’m choosing a topic because it would be fun for me to write, or if it would be fun for my audience to read. Far too often, it turns out that some changes need to be made to make my product more interesting.

When marketing yourself, always remember that you still have to address your audience’s expectations directly, at least until you’ve built a powerful enough brand where your audience knows what to expect. This means that you might have to tweak your services to cater to some clients, and should be willing to compromise when necessary. You might even need to change some things about your brand to cater to your audience. David Ogilvy once again had some advice for a group of people that hold a special place in my heart, writers obsessed with proper grammar. “I don’t know the rules of grammar… If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.”

57 thoughts on “4 Great Ways to Market Yourself”

  1. Treb says:

    Great tips… Thanks for sharing… Your post is very informative and it could really help me a lot and im very sure it will also help a lot of people…

    1. Free Forms says:

      Yeah it’s a nice piece of information & i appreciate his hard work and this very informative post.

      1. I can’t say I agree with the last part. If you develop something YOU would use, then it’s a quality program. If you develop it only to satisfy others, you may actually make a bad product.

        1. Whitney says:

          It’s actually better to deliver what your audience wants!

          1. Usually you can’t satisfy them all..

      2. Erwin Miradi says:

        Yes it’s a nice post. I can tell from words count that this one isn’t written within an hour.

        1. Gift Ideas says:

          market always face up and down. your strategy is very nice to get profit market position.

    2. PPC Ian says:

      I agree, great guest post. It’s all about marketing and branding yourself these days. These are some solid tips. Another one: Get out there and do some public speaking. Speaking at the right venue can really help you market yourself.

  2. Patrick says:

    I like the Force Exposure tip. 😉

    1. Whitney says:

      Me too 😉 that was my favorite part!

  3. David Walker says:

    Hi John,

    You make a great point about “marketing yourself as an expert now” in the Forcing Exposure section. In a lot of newbies blogs, they act just like… well, clueless newbies when they should be laying foundations of expertise from the beginning. If they don’t, how is anybody going to take them seriously in what is an unforgiving and cut-throat industry?


      1. Whitney says:

        Nice of you to help him out!

    1. Erwin Miradi says:

      Yeah I like that idea too. Start acting like an expert even though you’re new at the field.

      1. Wrong approach, pretend never as an expert if you are new at the field, there are always those who will smack your on fingers and you lose trust.

  4. rakesh kumar says:

    Try to connect with your industry well will give you proper exposure. This is the best tip according to me otherwise you will be forced to quit the profession.

    1. allan stuart says:

      in this IM world, connection play a huge role, and one more think to add is connection with other field / niche .. i find it useful and a huge success too… try it out yourself

      1. Whitney says:

        Especially since the web now revolves around social networking. Everything is about making new connections now!

    2. fazal mayar says:

      you are so right rakesh 🙂

    3. Yes you need to be active in your field … Because these people will give you recognition.

      Once they start talking about you positively, you can understand that time of fame arrived.

      1. Whitney says:

        I agree…you need to TAKE AS MUCH ACTION as you can. You need to actively get out there and market yourself daily. That’s how you get “fame” and the results you want. IE sales. A lot of people forget to actually get out there and market, so they get no sales. Or they get overloaded with info and just never get started. Sad. 🙁

        1. Erwin Miradi says:

          Get overloaded with info and never get started.. Yeah I know a lot of people like that. Pretty sad.

          1. There should be a right combination of info collection and action taken.

            If you have enough info than this is the time to take action.

  5. Whitney says:

    I especially like the force exposure part! This post is nothing short of awesome…very helpful advice on getting your name out there. I find that just getting yourself in people’s heads as much as possible works very well. Thanks for posting guest blogger!

  6. Thanks to your Guest Blogger. Though I have no absolute idea who are you but your tips here certainly make me a better marketing guru 🙂

    1. allan stuart says:

      yeh , i think John forget to mention this person name but i do find David Ogilvy name mention numerous time..maybe this is the writer?

      anyway, i like the advice about writing what your reader want not what you want… and that’s the thing that John always emphasis.

      1. Sadia Komal says:

        Start marketing yourself as an expert now, even if you are still new to your field,

        Nice idea 🙂

        1. Whitney says:

          I agree. I think it’s very important to build up your brand that way. Might as well start at the beginning, why the heck not right?

    2. May be he do not want to market himself / herself.

  7. Matt Banning says:

    John, i have always been a firm believe that customer comes first. Write content for your viewers, not the other way around!

    1. Whitney says:

      I agree. It’s all about the customers/readers/subscribers/prospects. Btw, this is a guest post it wasn’t written by John, just so ya know!

  8. Joshua Lagan says:

    The best part about David’s advice, is that it’s a circular process. If every new person in the field makes themselves recognized as an authority, then their competitors are going to need to be innovative and improve as well. This never ending process is the beauty of the capitalist system we have, and the competition for information. Good post!

  9. Awesome post specially the metal card one.

    Immediately you are keeping yourself separate from other people of your industry. There is no doubt that other people will start copying your ideas.

  10. Free Forms says:

    I like in this post point #3 which you mentioned like that treat your employees well.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      It’s amazing how far this one can get your. Treat your employees well and it really will come back to you. I have learned this first hand. Also, it’s just the right thing to do!

  11. Free Forms says:

    & would like to say as a business owner, when another person performs work for you, you must first correctly classify that person as an independent contractor or employee.

  12. Your employees are the best marketing and PR people you can have, treat them very well and you get it ten times back.

  13. fas says:

    But if your not experts, its wrong to project that way.

  14. Just in case your knowledge is to low to be a authority from the beginning, I suggest to write a kind email to authority people in your profession and ask them to be your mentor. They might teach you knowledge and introduce you to the right people.

  15. Brian says:

    I love the idea of treating your employees well! I think little things like free snacks and fruit is a small weekly expense but brings some moral boost to the people that work with that company.

    1. Whitney says:

      Absolutely. The employees are what make the company run, they should come first!

  16. ChadB says:

    Great info! Thanks for sharing this

  17. Free Forms says:

    Well saying about last part of the post keeping your audience in mind while you write can help you make good decisions about what material to include, how to organize your ideas, and how best to support your argument.

  18. Buy a Blog says:

    I found something to learn from this post. Really great article.
    Thank you

  19. Erwin Miradi says:

    Yeah nice post. I really like the idea and the writer seems to put a lot of effort writing this post. But anyway, who’s the writer? Anyone knows?

  20. Buy a Blog says:

    It helps me a lot, thank you.

  21. GamesDunia says:

    What a Article man, You are really great and why i’m saying that is for sharing here.
    Thank you

  22. I like the idea about metal business cards…What if I sell farm manure, cow paddy business cards?

  23. PPC Ian says:

    All great tips. Also, make sure to leverage LinkedIn to the fullest extent possible. LinkedIn is a great way to brand and market yourself. Of course, also start a blog about your area of expertise.

  24. Audience are to be pleased or they will leave. I always keep that in mind. 🙂

  25. Dan Thorley says:

    I agree, LinkedIn is a fantasic invention for letting people know about you in the 21st century. Can work in a similar way to Facebook, but far more business aimed. probably my favourite social media based website at the moment.

  26. Or does the Apple way, sending the employees on the town with your new secret products and pretend that they have lost or forgotten them somewhere; tomorrow will every blog and newspaper write about your new secret products.

  27. Great Article man Love ur articles. All are so interesting. Makes me keep on reading

  28. Marketing the products its an important thing to have some earning

  29. Gift Ideas says:

    I like the last 2 methods.

  30. Kevinalice says:

    I like this post.Its really very helpful for those who New in marketing field.I really like the concept of this post and I feel that this is a very unique and rare information that you have managed to compile.You have done a great job by sharing this post with us.I like this post.Keep sharing with us in future too.

  31. Zena says:

    Wow thee sales tips are marvelous. Thanks for these tips and I am going to try some of them from the 4 tips that I have read on this site.Guiding me to build my confidence.I was expecting more.

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