Marketing Yourself – Tips On How To Leverage Your Weak Points
Nobody’s perfect. Nobody needs to be. We all have weaknesses. Those weaknesses are the very fuel that can drive us forward. Humankind has done this for thousands of years. We invented spears to overcome our agility weaknesses and be able to hunt much faster animals.
We’ve got planes that help us soar hundreds of times faster than the fastest eagle. We can explore the depths of the darkest oceans, thanks to good strategies and correct implementation of those strategies. So you don’t need to be perfect. You just need to constantly improve yourself. Applied to the business world, that just means good marketing.
Recommended Reading: How To Balance Marketing Yourself With Getting Work Done
Marketing makes all the difference
Marketing sells. Before this, marketing used to be all about emphasizing your strong points. Basically, listing all the benefits of your product and trying to convince your client about what you’re selling. Today’s business environment is just too crammed of a space for that to work. There aren’t enough idle ears. In fact, there are none.
Everyone’s a client and a seller at the same time. What makes the difference now is the ability to hint at your expertise without actually stating it out loud.
That’s intriguing. That stirs emotion. That will get you clients. Here’s how this applies to freelancers and small business owners.
Weakness 1: Not Enough Time
Clients love experts. I’ve recently started outsourcing some coding jobs through sites such as oDesk and Freelancer. The competition in any freelancing domain, be it coding, design or video editing, is high nowadays.
However, clients are still very much willing to pay top dollar for an expert. But experts are busy people — make sure you come across as one, leverage the fact that you are freelancing partime and don’t have enough time for all your projects in your benefit.
When writing a letter to apply for a job, make sure you do mention the fact that your time is valuable and you don’t intend to waste it nor do you intend to waste the client’s time. You’ll work hard and fast, but only within the space of the job description. Such a blunt, aggressive letter is something that will catch the eye of the client, in the sea of willingful and timid freelancers.
You’ve just turned your weakness into an asset!
Weakness 2: Not Enough Skill
Experts are a bit arrogant. You should be too. Not over the top, and not at the price of honesty, but you should come across as someone who carries himself well. Let’s say your primary weakness is a lack of skill in a certain area. Leverage that to your benefit. Be honest, but cocky at the same time.
Here’s an example:
“My Java knowledge is limited and as such, I’m sure I’ll be able to develop a more simple, more compact and robust app, because I’ll be thinking from my VB Studio perspective. That means I’ll create a more unique, more innovative backstage solution (e.g. unseen coding patterns) which other specialized full time Java programmers couldn’t come up with. Sometimes thinking outside the box helps.
Are you willing to think outside the box with your app?”
Would you hire somebody who sells himself like that? I know I would.
The only thing is, you have to truly believe in what you are saying, in order to make anybody else believe it. The truth is in today’s world, a particular skill is something easily attainable. You can get a full expert course on just about anything for just a few hundred dollars. Check out sites like Udemy for that.
Weakness 3: No Experience
Well first, you have to admit that you lack experience in that particular field. Let’s say you’ve just made a new profile on a freelancing site. It’s understandable that you’d have no ratings and no job experience there. What’s not understandable is selling yourself short.
So if you’ve applied for a job you don’t have any experience (but you do know how to achieve the objective), try to tie in your other work experience in other fields with this particular work.
As an example, let’s say you’re a freelance writer trying to get into Photoshop Design. You’ve just bought an online course and feel confident in your designs skills thanks to it, but you aren’t getting any jobs, because of your lack of experience. Talk about how writing connects to design. Be honest about your lack of ratings, but shift the conversation towards your strong points.
Here’s how the letter of intent should sound:
“I’m happy to design your website in Photoshop. I’ll bring all my fresh expertise in, and we’ll create the best custom site for your business. Please note I don’t have any job experience or ratings on this site. But I have all the necessary skills for the job.
So that’s why I’m the guy to pick!
Design is the most creative work on the Internet, isn’t it?
Because this will be the first job on this site for me, I won’t come with any restrictions in my creative way of thinking. As such, you’ll get the benefit of skill, without the troublesome hardships of working with an old style designer who isn’t willing to adapt, and just designs like a robot.
Here’s why I’m qualified to do the job:
I’ve done this before as a writer, writing for … and doing...”
And go on just listing your achievements as a writer.
Weakness 4: Not Big Enough
You should be proud that you are a small company. If you’re just one person, all the better! That can be easily leveraged into a benefit. When you’re small you can:
- Give each client more attention
- Provide faster, more personalized customer care
- Be cheaper, because of lower overhead
- Be more dynamic and more inventive
So make sure you convey all these points to your client. Nobody really wants to work with a big company nowadays, as everybody is aware of how they treat their clients. They don’t give the required attention to specific needs.
Read Also: How To Work Better With Your Clients
All that goes away when you’re small and you’re personally handling business for a client. So make that client feel special, make him feel cherished, as he should be. Be wary of rapid company growth. That may sometimes lead to disturbed clients, because of the attention they were used to getting.
So there you have it. Your profile on freelancing sites, your own site, your mobile app, heck, everything visible by others, should be a weakness polished and turned into an obvious benefit. That’s good marketing.