The First Steps in Marketing Yourself to a prospective employer or a client are: Knowing your Skills and Knowing your Market. Any Marketing expert will tell you these are the critical questions:
- Define your product – i.e. who are you, what do you offer, what have you accomplished?
- Who will buy your product – what prospective employer or client needs you?
- Why do they need you – what need do you fill?
- What’s the catch – what is your value proposition?
- How will you find them?
- How will you approach them?
Finding answers for the first 4 questions is half the battle. It is like the dreaded job interview question: Tell Me about Yourself. Tell the employer or client who you are with confidence and be taken seriously. If you don’t know who you are, how can you expect others to know and hire you?
How I Defined Myself: I had to define myself when my last employer sent me home with a glossy exit package. I did not go looking for another corporate job. I wanted to share my knowledge with others – but who, what, where?
I considered myself a Marketing Guru – now I had to practice what I preached. Jumping into job search without the 6 Steps is like driving in a new country without a map. I am reminded of a meeting I scheduled with Kim, a former colleague, in the city.
Kim and I made an appointment for lunch on a Friday in the city. She emailed me her address and contact information. I entered it all in my cell phone. On Friday, I parked the car in the station, ran like an Olympic runner [untrained and panting, though] to catch the train and reached Penn Station at 11am. I reached into my pocket book for my cell phone. It was not there! I panicked. I remembered her street address, but not Kim’s floor or telephone number. I am ashamed to say I did not know her employer’s name or her most recent last name. The doorman of this multi-story building restrained himself from dialing Security.
So, don’t go looking without knowing what you are looking for!
Some research and introspection led me to define myself. Here’s looking at ME:
- Who am I? – I am a trainer, an instructor, and a coach.
- What can I offer? – leadership, marketing, communications expertise
- Who will benefit?– anyone who needs skills to succeed in a business environment, particularly in the IT outsourcing market, where interactions between Americans and Asian Indians need help
- Why ME? Am I different?
Why Me? YES, I definitely can claim:
- Experience in diverse industries, including IT – So can a Million others
- Expertise in highly-specialized areas as research – So can a Million
- Skills in writing, platform, research etc… So do a Ton of other MBAs
- Training certification – Market is flooded
- Passion for Teaching – Just look at Academia
BUT, where will you find an Asian Indian corporate executive, with all of the above, and the ability to establish a rapport with both Asian Indians and Americans? I GOT IT!