Recently I had coffee with a young woman who is thinking about starting up her own marketing company. She wanted to know what to do in order to be successful while she toys with the idea of venturing off on her own.
This conversation made me revisit what I did when I started to ensure that I would be successful in my own business venture.
Now I know what you might be thinking and yes I do know that not everyone reading this has the intention of starting their own company. Luckily I believe all of these tips are applicable to a person going in for a job interview or even selling themselves to their boss in order to get a promotion.
1. Maintain Your Voice– Every company (or person) is trying to sell the same skill sets. Any marketing company can promise increased ROI, more conversations, and better results, but what makes you or your company different? Why would they choose you instead of the other guy? It’s because they like the way you present yourself and your voice. A lot of companies forget that if a client doesn’t like the person or they fade into the background, they won’t get the job. Make sure to bring your personality into work with you.
This should also be reflected in your writing. No one wants to read text while by someone who speaks like a robot. Make sure your voice is heard while getting your message across. For me this is especially true in blog writing. Anyone in the marketing field can write about the industry, but what I hope keeps people coming back is the way I deliver my message. I want to inform my readers while making sure not to sound like every other blog out there.
2. Always Exceed Expectations– Almost every company will expect a person or company to work 9-5. What will set you apart is working past those hours and giving it 110%. For a company this means solving problems before your client even knows there is one. If they have to call you and let you know something is wrong, they won’t be happy.
3. Dress– Unless you are going into a very strict office, remember that you can have some fun with your outfit. If you have something that reflects your personality but doesn’t distract from what you are doing there, a person will be more likely to remember you. The people wearing a black pencil skirt and white button will fade to the background, but if you put on a fun pair of heels, a skirt with a bow on it, or a colorful blouse you’ll stand out (again, make sure it’s the right environment, but in my experience the people in the marketing field are pretty relaxed about dress so long as it’s congruent with their image).
4. Target Audience– Whether you’re a company selling yourself to a potential client or a person selling yourself in a job interview, it’s important to know who you’re talking to. This will change the way you word your thoughts, the words you use and the manner in which you speak.
This is also true with point #3: If you are talking to a company who is very type A, don’t go in wearing a pair of high pink glitter heels (actually, come to think of it… unless you’re in a very “specific industry”, please never wear pink glitter heels to work).
5. You Can’t Win Them All– Selling yourself or your company is similar to dating; not every person you meet will be interested. This is why it’s so important to remember that just because you don’t get an account or job doesn’t mean your skills aren’t great, it just means that the two companies / people aren’t compatible. The sooner you brush yourself off and move on to the next company the sooner you’ll find a great fit.