To those in a 9 to 5 office job, this may sound like a foreign concept (or maybe not, who knows), but for most bloggers, choreographers, writers, dancers, artists, yoga teachers, personal trainers, singers, etc., one vital step in gaining experience within your field- and/or earning money doing so -requires you to be able to market yourself.
Marketing or selling yourself requires a certain amount of skill, and some might say it has to come naturally. I’m definitely not one of those people. I am probably one of the shyest people you will ever meet, but after a little bit of time and research, I’ve discovered that self-marketing is something that definitely can be taught. Although I personally have a long way to come in terms of getting my name “out there” and becoming “well-known” for what I do, I believe that the following five tips are the perfect way to begin.
How To Market Yourself
1. Get a Website
As of now, everyone and their mother uses the internet (even my grandparents surf the web nearly every day), and as we all know, people usually use the internet as a reference before they actually try something out in person. It is helpful for your clients, potential students, readers, or whoever to have a visual reference of who you are and what you’re offering.
For instance, when I want to take a yoga class, I usually check out the studio’s website beforehand in order to see the schedule, what the studio looks like, where exactly it is, and who’s classes I might want to take there. I also find that I personally tend to follow through from internet to real-life-interaction when the website is easy to use and visually appealing. If I go on a website, and I’m confused about what I’m looking at, odds are that I probably won’t be taking that person’s class, going to their show, reading their blog, etc..
So, what I’m really getting at here is that having a good website (a.k.a. something visual for people to refer to that gives them more information about you, like mine here) will assist you in showing the world how great you are at what you do.
2. Make Things Happen For Yourself
Nothing is going to happen for you if you don’t start creating your own opportunities. Bottom line. Yes, of course there are those certain exceptions out there, but odds are that those “exceptions” started out by making their own opportunities first anyway.
What I mean by this is that you can’t just make a website and then sit and do nothing expecting people to find you via a google search. You have to let people know that you’re out there and then get to work!
If you’re a singer, but you’re not getting any paid gigs, create one yourself! Rent out a space for one evening, tell all your friends about it and get them to tell their friends about it too. Before you know it, you’ll have a fairly full room of people that you can sing to, and a performance that you can record and put on your website.
The more opportunities that you make for yourself, the more people will notice you, and the better it will be for your career!
3. Have a Great Resume/CV
Its necessary for everyone to have a resume or CV, and even if you don’t have a ton of experience, you can still create something worth sharing. The key is in the wording, and its important to cater your resume towards the career you want.
If I wanted to be a yoga teacher, and I was marketing myself towards that career, I wouldn’t construct myself a resume stating all of the office work that I’ve done. What I would do is list all of the skills that I feel pertain to teaching and yoga, and then I would say where I obtained and applied all of these stills. This way, if someone needs to hire a yoga teacher for their studio and I gave her/him my resume, she/he would be able to clearly see how I am qualified for the position even if I’ve never taught yoga before.
4. Get Out There (ie. Networking)
The internet is a wonderful thing (are you sensing a theme to this post yet?). There are message boards, social media platforms, and search engines where if you put yourself there, people will find you. No man (or woman) is an island! In order to become more well-known for doing what you do, you need other people to help you out. Try going to a networking party organized for your particular field or even creating one yourself! Make connections online via email, or comment on someone’s blog post, retweet their tweet or comment on it. Meet people who can help you out and who you can help out in return. There’s only so much a website can tell you about someone, and although it is vital for the “self-marketer” to have one, you also need to interact with actual people.
5. Stay Confident
And last but certainly not least, be confident about yourself! Its important when marketing yourself to not show self-doubt of any kind. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it will show in everything you do.
I know that I’m not going to want to work with someone or take someone’s class who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Even if they do actually know what they’re doing but they come across as if they don’t, that’s going to turn me off to them completely. Stay confident in yourself and your abilities, and that will take you further than any of the other advice I’ve given you in this post.
Final Thoughts: Its not easy putting yourself out there for the world to see, but once you go for it, its not as bad as it seems and you’ll get a lot out of it as well. I hope this post helps you kickstart your self-marketing campaign!
If you have any suggestions on self-marketing that I missed out on, please leave them in the comments below! Also, I’d love it if you would like my facebook page, add me on Google+, and follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Thanks!