I’ve never been much of a self-promoter. That becomes a real problem when you play music for a living, like I used to do. Granted, I was playing in a thrash-metal band (and you were considered an obnoxious poser if you promoted yourself much), but it was the part of the music business that I liked second-to-least (The first being the obnoxious, deceitful, filthy cretins who ran the music business in those days). My idea of promotion is to simply state (most of) the 5 w’s and let the chips fall where they may. Nobody to blame but yourself if it doesn’t work out, right? Well, sorta.
As a solution-provider, it’s critical that I articulate how I can solve your problem. I have to know a few things first, right?
- Is it a problem I want to solve?
- Is it a problem I CAN solve?
- Is it even a problem?
- Can I justify my cost for the solution?
The trick in this equation is how I allow people to know I’m in the problem-solving business, and more specifically, how I can solve their problem. It really is that simple. Most people can see through (or at least tolerate) the flowery language and downright bullshit that you typically get from marketing people.
Now to be fair, I’m not trying to completely devalue an entire industry or suggest that all the trillions of dollars spent on college degrees are worthless. What I AM saying is that it’s the industry that has the most to lose as people become smarter and more informed. I once had a gentleman from India (here in the USA on an H1-B) suggest that the only thing Americans could do better than the rest of the world was marketing. I promptly (and not-so-politely) informed him that vast, overwhelming amount of innovation that happens in the USA was a pretty good indicator he missed a memo on that one. Superbowl-Sunday-be-damned.
I certainly don’t consider myself an expert marketer, nor do I ever want to be one. I do know how to close a deal when one is on the table, however.
Maybe I just need the good leads. The ones from downtown. From Mitch and Murray.