December 7, 2011
by kimberly reuther
I know we keep discussing the bad economy but in reality, it is a shifted economy that we now live in. As with the weather patterns, the rules of business have changed and will change again in the future. The one thing that remains constant is the need to “sell” yourself to potential employers, clients, and business associates.
My philosophy on self-promotion and marketing is somewhat different than most. I don’t believe in shameless self-promotion, I abhor it actually. I believe in being informative and helping people. Here are a few things I picked up in my career that I hope will resonate with you as you enter your next working relationship.
1. know your audience – I believe this is an essential technique for success. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Ask questions, pay attention to subtle clues and adjust your message accordingly.
For business dealings, make sure you aren’t pitching an expensive remodel to someone who is looking for DIY advice. For a job interview, it is important to learn more about the company than they know about you. It is as much an interview of them as it is of you.
2. know your strengths – There comes a time in your career where you are comfortable with what you don’t know and are confident with what you do know. Don’t be afraid to call in someone else when you are in over your head.
Your clients and boss will respect you that much more when you complete the project on time with the help of someone else versus costly mistakes to your client or employer.
3. keep it real, keep it personal – People do business with people they like. Simple. Be friendly and personal in all of your professional dealings. Don’t be afraid to let your sense of humor and little quirks slip into the conversation. Work doesn’t need to be so formal & serious all of the time, we’re not brain surgeons!
You are a unique individual and promoting what makes you special will get you far in life.
4. expand your network – A common phrase is “it’s all about who you know.” Fortunately, it is true, especially, in a smaller city like St. Louis. This city is full of amazing people and they often aren’t found in your generic networking seminars. Don’t underestimate the importance of getting outside your “circle” to meet new people.
Listen to those around you; get involved in larger organizations and causes greater than your own.
5. admit when you are wrong – I think this is essential to being successful in business as well as in life. We don’t always make the right choices, even with the best intentions. It’s okay. Own your successes and failures and learn from them. Doing so will make you a better business partner, team member or employee.
Every thing that has happened to you has gotten you to this moment and shaped you into who you are.