A little while back – in September, I had posted a blog with the title of “It’s Not About You…” Well I am going to take a spin-off on this a little today – not really contradict what I had to say, but rather also emphasize that yes indeed marketing today is all about you – just not in a way that tries to blatantly sell someone!
No doubt you have heard of the concept of push marketing – the old standard where a brand would tell you all about how good their product or service is. This was very much how you communicated in the past, by a “one-way” dialogue, whether on TV, Radio or in Print. Even in the beginning of the internet, websites were not much more than a glorified brochure – listing products and services.
Over the past 5 or so years though, the trend has very much shifted towards the idea of pull marketing – whereby we try to engage our audience through social media, interactive websites, content marketing, landing pages, etc. We encourage visitors to download special reports or white papers, we host seminars and webinars where we look to establish ourselves as “thought leaders” or experts – professionals in our markets. The intent is to share enough information that establishes our brand as being different and unique compared to our competition, so much so, that prospects want to contact us because they feel comfortable with who we are!
Add to this mix the social media component, where we also look to build a following that is willing to interact and support the brand, and now the pull becomes even stronger! The intent is to build an ongoing buzz that reinforces your brand’s persona.
In his book It’s Not Who You Know It’s Who Knows You, the author David Avrin does a great job of explaining how we need to differentiate ourselves from our competition and build our personal profile. Of course you genuinely need to be different, not just say it, and there is another great book that talks about this – The Purple Cow, by Seth Godin. The point I bring up here is that before you begin to really look to market yourself, you need to make sure you know who you are first!
Once you do establish your identity, then full speed ahead! Share this information in as many different media forms as you can – in a coordinated and consistent manner. The key though is to not sell yourself – rather communicate what makes you different and share how your services can help your clients with their specific needs. This is where you shift the emphasis from who you are, to the why it is you do what you do, and what’s in it for the customer.
Do your clients and prospects really know who you are?