Quite often I have conversations with different business owners who are saying that they need to overcome their weaknesses and then they are able to market themselves better. I usually respond that let’s start with working with your strengths in marketing first. My firm belief is that everyone can be marketing themselves with good results if the will and the need is there.
Very often we have a belief about our strengths and weaknesses. Some of those beliefs have come to us over our lifetime of peers, bosses and parents. Others are even more general than that – I am good with math that means I must be crap at marketing. Or I am an IT person, what do I know about marketing? We might have failed at something once and then taken this as a sign that we are not good at that. Whereas the failure might have been due to completely other circumstances. When I started my first own business, I was convinced that I can do it well. I was happy to have an alternative and be able to set my own schedule. I started with the demand already there and I just had to create an entity with which to accept payments and pay taxes. Yet, I failed. Not with the money part – I had a few clients who paid well, but I was miserable doing the work. I started believing that I am not cut out for this entrepreneurial stuff.
It took me two years before I would venture out again, this time with partners in business to give it a try (I maintained my day-job, just in case). That business was growing nicely over a 3-year period, but I would not have picked the business for my long-term occupation and was happy to sell out, when the opportunity came along.
I could have taken this as a sign that I really do not enjoy running my own business and could have continued working for other people. Fortunately, I got coached on my strengths and weaknesses and found out that instead of starting with what others wanted from me, I should have started with what is it that I am good at and what I enjoy doing.
My current business is based on my strengths. This time around I am really enjoying what I do and my clients benefit more because of that. It has been more than two years and I haven’t quit and am not dreaming of selling out. If I had started with my weaknesses, I would have started with what is out there and tried to shape myself around to offer that. I would have ended up in the same situation as before – not liking what I do and feeling doubtful about my skills.
You can use the same thought process to marketing yourself – start with what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Build your marketing and your business around your strengths and this way you will enjoy it and your business and clients will benefit.
What are your strengths in marketing? If you come up with nothing, think what do you enjoy doing? Is it writing, having conversations with people, generating some powerful ideas, speaking, building something? All of these could be also your strengths in marketing yourself. If you’d like to have a discussion around what strengths you could use right now in your marketing, sign up for the Complementary Confident Marketing Breakthrough Session and you’ll get clearer in 30 minutes.