Are You Tooting Your Own Horn?

My town had an election for town meeting representatives in April last year.  I live in a bedroom community and the local paper had reported that there were not enough town meeting candidates for the required number to get elected.  The town was even considering reducing that number of town meeting members because so few seemed interested.

Shortly before the election I got a flyer under my door requesting a write in vote.  The woman was clear about why she wanted to be elected.  She stated her qualifications and she also explained how to write in her name since her name was not on the ballot. It may seem like she was tooting her own horn but I was interested in hearing what she had to offer.

I admired her courage, recognized her name and did in fact vote for her.  Turnout was light as you might expect, and she got 15 votes but she was elected. 

In discussing this with my neighbor who was the one who put the flyer under my door, he told me that at the last minute her husband decided to run.  Since he didn’t “campaign” he was not elected.  My comment to my neighbor was “I wish I had known I would have voted for him.”

What a disservice people do when they have something to offer that others would benefit from but they don’t let others know about it!

Is your marketing like the woman or the man in this story?  Both were well qualified for the position they were seeking.  One kept it a secret and one introduced herself and made a request for a vote.  Are you letting people know about your business or keeping it a secret?

Many shy away from marketing because they think they are being pushy or that they seem desperate. They feel embarrassed to toot their own horn.   In fact, they are being more like the man in my story.  Think of marketing as a way to alert those people who really need your services about what you have to offer.

How did my neighbor get involved in this marketing effort?  He happened to be having coffee at a local coffee shop when he saw a friend having coffee with her friend.  His friend’s friend was the candidate.  The candidate asked my neighbor to support her, and he offered to help by canvassing his neighborhood. She gave him some flyers.

Marketing can be that simple.  Notice what happened here.  It is all about relationships.  My neighbor met the candidate through a friend.  You’d be surprised at how many people you know and your marketing can start with them.

Of course, your friends may not be in your target market but they may know someone who is in your target market or someone who could be a referral source for you.  It is said that everyone knows about 250 people and each of them knows 250 etc.  Your personal network is huge if you care to delve into it.

Take Action

  1. Who are your 250?  Have you told them what you are doing?  Start with those you feel most comfortable with first and begin calling them.
  2. Use your elevator speech when contacting them.
  3. Practice giving examples of what you have achieved at your current job or in life.  Sometimes just saying something out loud can get you beyond the discomfort.  Practice with someone listening to you after you’ve done it alone for a while.
  4. Try finding even more people that you know or have

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