Over the years, I’ve seen many talented people who were hopefully expecting the world to discover them. I occasionally heard them lament the success of those who seemed to be far less talented. These hopeful souls have missed the entire point. When you are good at something, let people know about it.
The best cure for non-discovery is skillfully done self-promotion. By skillful self-promotion, I mean self-promotion that works for you, that fits your style, and that seems to be a logical extension of the product or services you intend to provide.
Self-promotion is occasionally linked to a gimmick, like wearing a green hat or wearing distinctive clothing. This actually quite unnecessary if you really intend to do business with people. All you need to do is to engage them in conversation and give them something to remember you by.
If you feel that adding one prospective customer at a time is too slow, think again. Word of mouth advertising works when you make a desired impact on someone and that usually happens one a one-to-one basis unless you have a busy schedule of public appearances.
For example, I meet a lot of talented musicians now that I spend more time in Floyd, VA, but a lot of them have no promotional material, no web site and no business cards! These are people who have daytime jobs, but are playing music professionally several times a week. When I see them performing, it is often a chore to find out who they are and if my notes aren’t complete, I fail to provide much background information about them when I blog about their performance.
Last week, I ran into Mac Traynham at the Old-Time Music Jam at Oddfellas Cantina. Mac plays the fiddle, guitar, banjo and sings at musical venues all over Virginia. He has also made a CD. Mac is very good at making music.
I’m sure there are dozens of other performers who play as well, but Mac was one of the very few who gave me a business card. As A result, I was able to look him up on Google and I know how to reach him for interviews or to find where he is playing.
In today’s world where you can print excellent four-color business cards on your home computer, there is no reason not to have business cards for every one of your business identities.
There may be an art to designing high impact business cards, but you start by getting cards that say who you are and what you do. Once you start handing out cards, you will come up with a dozen different ways to improve them. The important thing is to always have business cards to pass out wherever you are.
Do you have business cards? Do you carry them with you?
In the next post, I will discuss some ways you can use business cards effectively.