Selling Your Most Important Asset: Yourself

After a two month hiatus in which I pondered what to write about, either for general interest or in relation to advertising, I realized I’d forgotten a vital subject.

When talking about marketing a product, brand or concept, I believe that the most important product or concept you have to market is yourself.

If you’re reading this, right about now I’m sure you’re wondering what I mean when I say you can market yourself as a product or a concept.

Marketing yourself as a product, I’d say most commonly occurs when we’re looking for a job. In this scenario, you’re hopefully dressed sharp, with a well presented resume that lays your experience and credentials black and white, trying to convince Mr. Manager So-And-So why you’d be an asset to their company.

How are you supposed to convince Mr. Manager? Not just by answering questions, oh no. That’s not enough in today’s day and age. It’s in the way you answer the questions, not to mention how you incorporate your experience and skills into the company’s mission as well as the job description.

But even that’s the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes, it’s a casual quip about the way you’re dressed that earns you a laugh, or striking up a conversation about the Canucks when you notice the flag on the manager’s desk.  Any little thing to make you memorable and imprint you in Mr. Manager’s mind, even if it’s a hand-crafted card thanking them for their time.

As for marketing yourself as a concept, it’s more so like marketing yourself as an example in a scenario while brainstorming ideas at a board meeting, let’s say.

You place yourself inside the concept as a consumer, as a producer of a product or service, or the actual idea. Talk about innovative. Refer to yourself as the idea to create a new service for helping families turn home movies into DVDs for example. By placing yourself in the scenario, not only are you letting the talking heads in charge that you’re serious about the idea, but you’re also forcing yourself to think on your toes.

Imagine trying to market yourself in your social life. Isn’t that how we all try and expand our social circles? The two best examples I can think of on this are talking to someone on the bus, and creating an ad on a site like craigslist.

There IS one main difference between the two though, you can only press the ‘delete’ button in one of those scenarios. When you try to market yourself and make an impression in person, your words should be chosen and measured, based on the other person’s facial expression, voice and body language.

When you’re online, you’re free to do what you want.  You can be free with your words and what impression you want them to make and you can also be picky about who you want reading those words, or looking at your picture. Either way, you’re still marketing yourself.

We’re still looking for a connection, albeit a friendship or relationship, and both those instances may be the truest way any of us would ever market ourselves.

Perhaps, learning how to market yourself socially will be the reason for your successful marketing professionally.