It is so important that a man learns to market himself because most everything you do in life is based on a relationship with another human being. When you have a relationship with another person, you have to be able to market yourself effectively in order to produce desired outcomes for yourself and for the people you interact with. Your ability to market yourself effectively will spell the difference between your success and your failure.
This always makes for an interesting conversation because when I talk about sales and/or marketing, a lot of men think it’s about manipulation, sleaziness, or coming across as “salesy.” We all envision the slime ball used car salesman. That’s what we typically think of when we hear “marketing” or “sales.” But that’s not what I’m talking about at all. I’m talking about being genuine. I’m talking about creating win-win situations for you and the people you’re working with, whether that’s your family, clients, business partners, or employees.
You need to learn to market yourself with a potential spouse or if you’re married, your wife. If you’re trying to move your family in the right direction, you need to be able to build enough credibility with your wife so she’ll follow you, take your advice, and have a desire to move in the same direction. It’s the same thing with your children. If you’re trying to get your kids to do chores or do something they’re a little afraid of, it’s important that they’re willing to listen to you, that they trust you. The only way to do that is to market yourself effectively.
The same holds true with your clients. When I was in financial planning, and even with Order of Man, I need to be able to market myself effectively so that at a minimum you think, “Maybe this guy has something to share. Maybe this is a man worth listening to if not doing business with.”
It’s the same thing with your potential employer. If you’re trying to secure a promotion, you need to market yourself. Yes, I know that’s not all there is to it but I know plenty of people who are talented, educated, and gifted, and yet, they haven’t quite learned how to market themselves. It seems to me, from my experience, that the guys who know how to market themselves always get the girl, always get the clients, always get the promotion, their kids listen to them, and so much more. This is why it is so, so critical that we learn to develop the skill of marketing ourselves.
With that introduction, let’s break this down. Again, this is not about manipulation. This is about painting yourself in the best light possible. Here are seven strategies, tips, and tactics you can use to market yourself more effectively:
BECOME A MAN OF VALUE
First and foremost, you have to be able to be a man of value and integrity. Your words have to match your actions because, if they don’t, you might be able to trick and fool a few people temporarily but you will never achieve any level of long-term success.
This is why you see men who have a silver tongue bounce around from job to job or relationship to relationship. Eventually, they’re found out. They’re exposed as a fraud and that they’re incapable of backing up the things that they talk about.
If you’re all show and you don’t have anything to back that up, nobody’s ever going to believe you over the long term. You might fool them once, but you’re never going to fool them twice. Go out there, earn, provide value, have a track record of success, develop yourself, learn new things, apply new information, and read new books. The more that you can consume yourself with improving who you are and showing up as the best version of yourself, the less that you’re going to have to manipulate others.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
You’ve got to know your audience. If your audience is a potential spouse, you have to know what you’re looking for in a woman. You have to know what she looks like, what she needs, what activities she’s engaged in, her level of education, and her goals for a family. The same holds true with your clients. If you don’t know what your clients need or want, how are you ever going to market yourself effectively?
This also applies when it comes to promotions or getting a raise. A lot of people will ask, “Ryan, how do I secure a raise?” You have to understand what your boss is looking for. It’s likely that he/she is looking for an increase in the bottom line. If your boss looks at a raise or promotion as purely an expense, you’re not getting a raise.
If, on the other hand, you know they’re after an improved bottom line, you can actually go into a salary negotiation equipped to show a potential employer or boss what you’re going to provide in order for him/her to increase his bottom line.
When you know who your audience is, you can cater your message to them. Again, this is not about being manipulative. It’s not about being somebody different than who you are. It’s understanding what the other party is after so that you can craft a message with integrity that will highlight and illustrate what that other party is going to receive and how they’re going to be benefited by giving you what you want.
COMMUNICATE VISION AND EXPECTATIONS
I’ve never met a man who didn’t have an idea or a vision for the future. Every single person that I’ve met has ideas and things they want to accomplish down the road. It’s infinitely harder to find a man who’s able to articulate that message in a way that’s meaningful, credible, and inspiring to other people.
Frankly, that’s what I’ve been able to do here with Order of Man. I’ve got a vision. I’ve got an idea. I’ve got an objective. And, because I’m fairly good at communicating what that vision is and what those expectations are, we continue to see exponential growth in the podcast, our blog, and our social media platforms.
Learn to communicate. Learn to open your mouth. Learn to inspire people. How do you do this? You find other people who inspire you, then mimic and model what they’re doing. Read books on communication. Practice. Get up and speak in public. Go to Toastmasters. When you do whatever you can do to strike up conversations, share your vision, learn how to be a better communicator, expand your vocabulary, elicit feeling and emotion and story into your conversations, the more successful you’re going to be.
Pro Tip: Stories are critical. It is so important that you weave them into the fabric of the conversations that you’re having. I used to do presentations in my financial planning practice. I was so data-driven. Everything was data and numbers. I would see the eyes of the people I was presenting to glaze over. But it wasn’t until I shared stories of bankruptcy or financial success in retirement that people actually started to listen to what it is I was sharing. Those stories elicited emotion. You’ve problem heard the adage that facts tell and stories sell. Learn to elicit emotion through story.
FRAME THE DIALOGUE
You have got to be able to articulate what is in it for the other party that you’re working for. Too many men are self-centred and they focus all of their attention on themselves. They completely forget that this is a relationship with another person or a group of people. The better you can get at articulating what’s in it for them, the more likely it is that person will follow you, be led by you, be inspired by you, and eventually buy whatever it is you’re offering.
What is in it for the other party? Is it an increased bottom line? Is it excitement and adventure with a potential date? Is it allowing your kids to get the chores done so they can go out and do the fun stuff they want to do? Frame the dialogue so they know what’s in it for them.
A Word of Caution: There are a lot of what I refer to as, “nice guys” out there. These men will bend over backward and succumb to everybody else’s wishes and desires at their own expense. Your engagements with other people have to be a win-win situation. You can frame the dialogue in a way that it will help other people succeed, but if you’re not also winning remove yourself from the table. Don’t allow yourself to be a doormat. Don’t roll over. Don’t get beat up. Offer what’s in it for the other person and be able to articulate and share what’s in it for you. Everybody knows that you are after a winning situation too so to pretend that you’re not going to get ahead is not a good idea. Share what’s in it for them. Share what’s in it for you. Come to a mutually beneficial understanding and agreement
PEOPLE ARE NOT ATTRACTED TO UGLY
People are not attracted to ugly. If, for example, you are in a business and your logo looks like crap and your website looks like it was built in the late ’90’s or early 2000’s, you’re going to have a hard time convincing clients to do business with you. If you want a date with a woman and you’re a slob, overweight, don’t dress well and can’t communicate and you can’t articulate your points, she’s not going to be convinced that she should spend her time and attention on you.
Some people hear this and say, “You shouldn’t judge a book by a cover,” and, “That’s pretty superficial.” Maybe it is, but it’s the truth. Every single day, we base who we’re going to invest our time, energy, and money, on how people look, the way they present themselves, the way they communicate, their logo, and/or their website. If your stuff looks like crap – including yourself – you need to level up. Level up your style. Improve your ability to communicate. Enhance your website. Enhance the logo. Have professionals help you with these things so that you can look the part and ensure that your desire matches the way you present yourself.
People are making a judgment based on your appearance before you even open your mouth and propose an offer. People are not attracted to ugly. Make sure you clean everything up.
After-Action Reviews are critical. You have to objectively critique your performance. Nobody wants to face the fact that they are inadequate in certain areas, that they can’t communicate, their style needs to be improved, their website looks horrible. So, most men wander around in ignorance believing that they’re actually presenting themselves in the best light possible.
You have got to evaluate yourself. You’ve got to do after-action reviews. You have to be brutally and ruthlessly honest with yourself. If you want to improve in any area of life, whether that’s fitness, marriage, business, you have to evaluate yourself and being objective as to what you did well, what you struggled with, where you shined, where you fell behind, and what you’re going to do moving forward.
Constantly be looking to improve. Look for feedback from yourself. Be objective in those reviews. Look for feedback from qualified sources. If you can implement new ideas and improve, you will be able to enhance yourself and the opportunities that present themselves moving forward.
DO NOT CHASE, EVER!
This one is very, very important. I saved this one for last because it’s one that a lot of people overlook. The tip is, do not chase. DO NOT CHASE. DO NOT CHASE. When you chase, whether that’s a potential relationship with a romantic partner, a potential client, or your boss you come across as needy. The more that you come across that way, the less attractive you are.
This is a really tough one. I’ll give you an example. When I started in the financial planning practice 10 years ago, I was needy. I didn’t have any clients. Income was low. I had my wife and son to take care of and it was a real challenge. So, I would chase clients around. I would call them all hours of the day. My potential clients could sense that and I gave them the power I should’ve maintained. It’s the same thing with a woman. The more you chase and put yourself in the position of neediness, the less desirable and attractive you are.
The challenge here is that you want something. You want that woman, or you want the promotion, or you want the business, or you want the client. I get that. I understand that. But the way you overcome the need and desire to chase is by adhering to these other six steps I shared. When you adhere to these other six steps, you put yourself in a position where you don’t have to chase. Your prospects are abundant and that if something doesn’t work out – the promotion, the job offer, the date – it doesn’t matter all that much because you’ve got another one lined up behind it. Again, the more that you incorporate these other steps into your life the more attractive you become and when you do, people will come to you.
Granted, you don’t want to overlook being able to go out there and pursue what’s desirable to you, but you’re going to find that opportunities are going to be presented to you when you become a man of value, when you know your audience, when you communicate great visions and expectations, when you frame the dialogue in way that allows other people to win, when you enhance the way that you present yourself, and through constant evaluation. This is how you put yourself in a position where you don’t need to chase, that you have enough clients, that you have enough prospects, and that you have enough confidence in yourself.
You should now have enough information to get you on your way to marketing yourself more effectively. Find what works for you. Wrap your head around the fact that if you are to be successful, you need to learn to be a marketer. This isn’t about being sleazy, “salesy,” or a slime ball. This is about living in integrity and being able to articulate the value you offer so that you can help other people win, and you, in turn, can win as well.
Written by Ryan Michler, this story was originally published on Order of Man.