In a recent post, Matt at 37signals’ blog put forward some useful ideas about how to get your product or service noticed in a relentlessly competitive marketplace.
Indeed, the name of their blog (Signal vs. Noise) is itself apposite in this regard – marketing is, in its most basic form, the task of boosting the strength of one’s message (the signal) in a sea of other potential alternatives or rivals (the noise).
In the context of how to "self-promote" more effectively, here are his 10 (condensed) points that should provide a starting point for any marketer to have lost their way:
- Provide something of value. Attention = time, so getting your customer to engage with your message effectively in the time available is paramount. Making sure your audience gets something out of the experience is just as important, though – They should feel that the time they’ve invested has been worthwhile.
- Know your hook. What sets you apart from the rest?
- Stand for something. Everyone has a philosophy on life, and companies are no less individual – How does your firm view the world, and how can it improve your customers’ lives?
- Get your face out there. Personal contact with clients and potential customers never goes amiss…
- Try to build real, sustained relationships. …But try to keep the contact genuine and human.
- It’s the message, not the amount you spend on it.
- Give stuff away for free. Because free doesn’t always lead to a loss on the balance sheet – Freebies get your name and what you provide out there, and this can often bear fruit in terms of potential leads.
- Ride the wave. What’s the buzz at the moment? Identify it, see if it can work for you and run with it.
- Be in it for the long haul. There probably isn’t such a thing as an "overnight success".
- Be undeniably good. In fact, be so good at what you do that you cannot be ignored.
This is all sound advice we think – Although as Seth Godin points out, companies aren’t really so vainglorious as to be involved in the business of "self-promotion" – all they actually want is to promote their products. After all, organisations rarely exist merely to inflate some non-existent corporate ego.