4 Ways to Market Your Brand Without Being Creepy
Marketing gets a bad name–mainly by the people who hate doing it. And if you work in a big company, they have folks who do that sort of thing. But when you work for yourself, it’s your job now.
The good news is that marketing does not and should not be a gladhandling, glib affair. You don’t have to go all gimmicky or feel like you’re doing cheesy things (unless you like doing cheesy things, and trust me, there’s an audience for that, too).
My guest, Ilise Benun, aka The Marketing Mentor
, had some great advice on this episode of Solopreneur
, and while it seems simple and straightforward, the key was never to be “fancier” than everyone else when it comes to marketing, but focused and consistent. It’s not a party trick; it’s a muscle you strengthen and build the more you do it.
Get a business card. Sounds like a no duh, but you know what? I don’t have a current one myself, and I got lazy about it. When Benun asked for my card and I didn’t have one, I got a tsk-tsking from her alright. When I countered her, saying, “Really? In the digital age, is this really a thing, a tiny square piece of paper?” She said, emphatically, Yes. While I like to connect online and follow new contacts on Twitter, and so on, fact is, even I’ll admit that when I came across someone’s card, it was a reminder to get in touch. So I’m on it, and you should be too. You can get super cheap cards on moo.com, which has so many cool and customizable designs and sizes, that there’s really no excuse not to. It’s hardly going to break the bank.
Be a LinkedIn slut. It’s true. This is the place where you shouldn’t feel one bit bad about hooking up with anyone who appeals to you in even the slightest way. Don’t be nervous to accept other people’s invitations if they don’t know them, says Benun. I’ve gotten better about this since in the early days of LinkedIn, when I thought you should only accept people whose work you could vouch for. Not so anymore. “The more ppl you’re connected to the more people you have access to,” she said.
Be aspirational, not just historical. Post what you want to do, not just what you did, says Benun. Now, LinkedIn was created for people who are employed, and for employers to find them, not really for solopreneurs. But of course, with such a huge percentage of the workforce working for themselves, this is changing and we do have to do workarounds, says Benun. Your title is one of the most important aspects–and you get to make it up (see the episode on why “freelancer” isn’t ideal
). In other words, make your profile as much aspirational as historical.
Terri Trespicio is a writer, creative consultant, and host of Solopreneur on the Whatever It Takes Network. Visit her on Twitter @TerriT.