It’s easy to talk about the mechanics of marketing yourself online. The “how to’s” in setting up profile pages, twitter accounts, fan pages and the like. What is more difficult is explaining the how you should go about marketing yourself. On one hand, the concept is simple, be yourself, share your knowledge and hang out. Let people come to you. Being aggressive in today’s market place will result in people recoiling away from you. On the other, it’s such a different mind set from old “push” marketing principles, that few people really get it.
It amazes me how many so called marketers do nothing but post links to content, theirs or other peoples, without revealing a single thing about who they are or why they are there. What makes them think that this method would create a desire to do business with them? When I look on my Facebook home page and see the same face over and over again with a series of links – no insights, no sharing – I get a knot in my stomach. They just don’t get it. However, I do not disconnect from them. They serve as a reminder of what I do not want to become.
I always encourage clients to be proud of who they are, what they do and why they do it. The reality is that their “who” is not going to resonate with every person they come across. What most have a hard time understanding is: THAT’S GREAT! I would rather have a handful of people that are truly interested in me and my work then a throng of thousands who simply tolerate me. That handful of people will be the ones who engage and converse. That handful of people will be the ones to share what I write and talk about. That handful of people will be greater advocates for me then I could ever be for myself. That handful of people will be the ones to point and say – “You want to do business with her” when their friends ask who they should contact for Web help.
Do I market? Of course. Do I market in a way that is “in your face”, says “you must do business with me”, “I am the biggest the best and the brightest”, no. I market by expressing my ideas, sharing my beliefs and throw in a dash of… hey, by the way I do this and I love it.
That’s the key – if you love what you do, you’ll share it. When you share it, people feel the passion. When people feel the passion, they pay attention. When people pay attention, they connect. When people connect, you achieve a level of awareness in their conscious. When you are in their minds, they talk about you. When they talk about you, you have a community.
Where you lead that community is up to you. Where are you leading your community?