Three Things You Need to Know About Self-Promotion

If you’re in the marketing business or do your own marketing, you know how difficult self-promotion can be. Due to current market conditions, many business people find themselves working on their own marketing campaigns and branding programs.

Fueled by pressure to publish creative and technical publications and messaging, marketers find themselves doing the work they would have outsourced just a few years ago. If you find yourself in this situation, here are three things you need to know about doing self-promotion:

1) Win in the niches.

Do you know what specific niches in which your brand can effectively compete and win? If not, it’s back to the drawing board before you write word one. You’ll need three lists.

  • The first will list what truly differentiates your brand from all others.
  • The second will list your customers’ needs that your brand fulfills.
  • The third will list the specific markets in which your customers can be found.

With these lists in hand, your next step is to analyze if you’re trying to sell in more niches than your company is truly capable of supporting. In most cases, it’s desirable to sell more products in fewer markets than fewer products in many markets. By competing in niches, your company and its brand can be positioned as a leader—which generally will provide a greater return on your marketing investment.

2) Know your competition.

Before you begin writing your self-promotion, it’s critical that you study your competition to ensure you have a strong and persuasive story to tell to your customers in comparison to your competition. If you find a niche market that has many competitors that are all pretty much offering the same set of products and services as yours, perhaps this is a market you may want to avoid. If withdrawing from the niche is not feasible, then the more you know about your competition, the better you can bring something new and fresh to the table.

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.
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