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"Marketing yourself in the new technical world"

We all know that marketing is one of the key contributors to success in any business. But before we can begin to market ourselves we need to first understand ourselves.

How we choose to market ourselves depends on the company we work for and the business sector in which we work.  In our industry, marketing oneself usually takes the form of networking and asking for referrals. But in today’s tech-savvy world, there are a variety of media that are excellent tools to tell people who we are, what we offer and why they should do business with us.

Getting started online

Establishing an online presence seems like a good location from which to start, since you can even access the web from your cell phone, but just thinking about starting this process can become overwhelming. Simplify things by asking yourself key questions such as: Who will host the site? What content will I put on it? Who will maintain it? And remember that all of this comes at a cost.

With the large number of sites already promoting tools to help one figure out how much insurance one needs, and how much money one should have to retire, do you really need to re-invent the wheel by creating an expensive website which has the same tools? Most of us just need somewhere to tell people our story. What we have to do is to differentiate ourselves. How do we do that?

Making yourself standout

For me the solution was as website called www.roaringwomen.com. Started before many of the new social networking sites like Face book, Roaring Women was established to fill the need of promoting individuals in business. People will do business with those they know, like and trust. Roaring Women facilitates this by building a bond with the reader through the story of the member they are reading about. It is a place where people can learn about WHO they are thinking of buying from. It is where they make that  first key connection.

According to Mandie Crawford, founder of Roaring Women, “marketing is all about knowing your market, who your customers are, and then educating people on how you can solve their problems.” Her monthly dinner meetings focus on promoting, educating and networking oneself, all key skills in successful marketing.

Harness Google’s power

We all know that Google is used by a large percentage of the population to find people and services. So if you are looking for a simple way to get started, you need to find a solution that gets “picked up” by Google. Why is this important? Google is constantly checking the web and sites for changes and new information. What this means is, once you set up a site and stop making changes to it, Google will no longer pick it up.

Social networking sites where you set your profile and check it once a week or once a month simply won’t generate the same exposure as a site that has an administrator or members making changes on a continuous basis .

When looking to companies to tell your story, important questions to ask include:

  • How often are changes made to the site ?
  • How many hits is it getting per day? Per month? A site that gets a million or better hits a year is an active site.
  • Does it share qualities that you hold valuable in business?

One of the great benefits about being in financial services is that everything we learn helps us grow in our role as an advisor or manager. Teaching our expertise to others and  sharing the lessons we’ve learned along the way benefits the industry as well, and that’s why all of us should continue to market ourselves in this new technical world.

Karly L. Berry, BComm, EPC
VP GAMA International Canada

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