Sometimes your best marketing is to simply toss out humility and start talking about yourself and your own achievements.
Have I told you recently that I’m one of the best translation professionals in the world and that I’m generally considered a Thought Leader in the field of translation services? No? I must be getting rusty. Also, I can’t really tell you what a ‘thought leader’ is!
The preceding bit of arrogance might seem ridiculous to you – but it’s actually an essential component of marketing, whether in the translation industry or elsewhere. People often make the mistake of thinking of marketing as a discrete set of functions – a website, email blasts, blog posts. The fact is, marketing is a 24/7 kind of activity. You never know when a big client will be paying attention to something you say or write, and so you have to assume you’re always marketing – at least when you’re communicating in a professional capacity.
And part of that is selling yourself – and there’s no room for humility there. Humility in marketing is essentially telling people you’re not as good as your competition – when is that a good idea?
Don’t Be Shy
Step One in this process is to sit down and create an objective list of your achievements. Every degree, every certificate, every project, every job, every award you ever received. This doesn’t require bragging – this is just journalism, writing down facts. What sets you apart from your competitors? It’s one thing to craft a general statement about skill and experience, it’s something more – and better – to back that statement up with a quick list of every official recognition you’ve ever received.
Now that you have your list, start weaving it into your marketing. Your website “About Me” page is a good place to start – tell people what you’ve done. Next, work it into your pitches, into examples of previous work, and every other nook and cranny of your marketing. Finally, craft a short bio of about 100 words that hits the main points – this becomes important in Step Two.
The next step is to realize that by marketing yourself, you’re marketing your business. If you think of your accomplishments as the accomplishments of your business instead, it gets easier. Armed with your bio, get out there and start spreading the news of your achievements:
- Guest Posts and Blog Posts. Write some articles. You know what you’re talking about – you have a wealth of training and experience. Pick a topic you’re versed in and write some articles for your own website and offer to pen guests' posts for others. End each one with your short bio if allowed. Everyone who reads them will come away aware of your resume.
- Speaking Engagements. You’re probably a member of a professional organisation or guild – find out if they’re holding any events, and get involved. Submit your bio and tailor your presentation to highlight your areas of expertise.
The key is: Don’t be shy! You’ve achieved great things. Let your potential clients know it.
Image courtesy photosexposure.com