Thursday, March 30, 2006

Do you blend into the business background or are you leading the You Marching Band?

There is a finesse to self promotion. Hand Number One says you should be modest and helpful. Hand Number Two says you should tell stories about yourself and be interesting. The fact is, you must be ambidextrous to pull off good self promotion.

I am always amazed at how hard many people work to blend into the business background.

  • I want my website to look like everyone else's
  • I want to dress like everyone around me
  • I want my brochure to be just as good as my competitors
  • I want to offer the same products and services as others in my industry
  • I don't want people to know I was an Fashion Design Major for a year (That is true about me, but don't tell.)

Instead, find ways to be different. Both personally and as an organization. However, not so different to make everyone afraid of you.

I just met a motivation speaker, Derrick Pledger, who hired us. His last marketing expert told him to take things out of his bio, like that fact that he dropped out of school in the 8th grade. (he is now finishing his Ph.D.) She thought it made him look less professional.

Instead, we are getting him set up with a blog so that he can keep his professional profile but also tell his real story, which is far more interesting than the grey wall of trying to look like everyone else.