When you start a business, you quickly realise that self-marketing is the key to success.
People are just like products in that they have a 'brand image'. This image is how other people perceive you, so it's essential you learn how to market yourself.
It's not about bragging or showing off. It's about building a brand that people will want to be associated with, thus buying into your products or services. So how do you create 'brand you' the right way? Here are some tips to get you started.
Presentation is key
If you don't look professional or presentable, then you'll only put people off. Dress appropriately and in a manner in which suits your target market. In my business, we choose our outfits, depending on the clients we're visiting. Sometimes jeans and t-shirts are okay and help to make the client feel comfortable. But if you're visiting a more traditional business, smarter clothing is best.
Become good at what you do
Everyone could be better at their jobs. Yes, that's right, everyone! That person you admire who has been in business for years and has published successful books? Even they could improve. My point? Become good at what you do and ensure you continuously work on your skills. Read books, take courses and learn new skills. Never stop striving to push your abilities and pass on those skills to your clients.
Stay in touch
In this day and age, there's never an excuse to rest on your laurels. Technology and the web are transforming so many aspects of the creative industries; you must keep up-to-date. Follow industry news, embark on new training courses and ensure your business moves with the times. You want your brand to be switched on.
Be confident in your skills
Confidence is the key to running a successful business, so walk with a purpose and stand up straight. Be self-assured without being arrogant. Always remember that you have skills that people need. Ignore any unnecessary negative criticism you might come across and believe in yourself.
Be a positive person
People who have a 'can-do' attitude always go far in life. Being positive is infectious, and people love to be around happy people. Smile whenever you meet someone and don't be afraid to laugh. Avoid moaning or saying anything negative. And always tackle any problems with solutions because businesses want to work with people who can solve their issues, not add to them.
Trust is one of the most crucial aspects of any business relationship, so be completely trustworthy in everything you do. Be loyal to your clients and always diplomatic. Being transparent and open will help to build your brand and earn you a solid reputation as someone people can trust and do business with.