When you are striking out on your own, there’s nothing wrong with using your knowledge of marketing and public relations to promote yourself and build your business. The more you can get published and recognized, the greater chance you have of picking up new clients and driving traffic to your website. Yet many women feel uncomfortable talking about themselves.
Before you start pitching story ideas to your favorite websites or social forums, make sure you have a clear picture of who your audience is and what type of client you want. Once you’ve identified that, make a list of the most popular websites, bloggers, or magazines that have the same targets. See what their qualifications for submissions or queries contain. Most website will have that information clearly labeled.
Spend some time brainstorming topics that would appeal to the audience and how your particular skill set could provide value to them. Think about what your perfect client would want to read.
Now sit down and write that perfect piece. Make sure it’s error free. Enlist the help of a trusted friend or editor to proofread and offer suggestions. You want to send a polished piece.
Sell yourself in your introductory email or letter. If you have a following or previous publishing credits, make sure you mention that and provide links to the documentation. Address your submission to the right person and if you have a website make sure you link to it so that they can see you have a following and a web presence.
Make sure you think about your brand. Your brand reflects your personality and the services that you offer to your clients. It’s the first impression someone has of you. The right brand will draw clients to you. Crafting an irresistible brand takes time and thought.
Think about your unique style and personality. What are your personal values? Do you have a particular style? What is your personality like? How do you want others to perceive you?
Be clear on what you can offer. Make sure you aren’t promising something that you can’t deliver.
Make sure everything you put out for public consumption reflects you. Your website, social presence, newsletters – everything reflects your brand. Develop images and color pallets and stick to them. All of this contributes to the consistency of your message.
Self-promotion shouldn’t make you uncomfortable. Think of it as a business investment. After all, you’re the most valuable resource in your company.