If thoughts like these often cross your mind, ask yourself this -- who are the biggest names in your profession? In your line of work, who might be considered unquestioned experts, those with maximum credibility? Now, how did you get to know about those people's work? Did you read an article or book they had written, hear them interviewed, learn about them on the web? Or perhaps you were told about them by others who had heard them speak or read their words.
The point is that these well-known people became well-known because they showcased themselves, usually in multiple ways. They shared stories, examples, and ideas about the work they had been doing with a wider audience than just their friends and family. You know about their work because they showed it off. And I'll bet it never occurred to you to call them unprofessional for doing it.
2. Public speaking - Appearing as a speaker allows you to broadcast your expertise with three different audiences -- the people who attend your talk, the people who are invited by the sponsoring organization but can't attend, and the people you tell about it before and after. If standing in front of a room makes you too nervous, serve on a panel of experts instead. You'll get to sit behind a table and speak from notes.
5. Testimonials - Whenever you do a good job for a client, ask them to write you a simple thank you note describing what you did to make them happy. Then make their words available on your web site, brochure, or other marketing materials. Let them tell others about your value, and you won't have to say it yourself.
6. Building a portfolio - It's not just artists that should capture their best work to show off in a portfolio. You can collect photos, examples, and other evidence of your accomplishments and display them on your web site, in a marketing kit, or with a PowerPoint presentation. You don't have to sell people on your abilities when they are seeing for themselves what you can do.
7. Creating products - Packaging your work into merchandise that prospective clients can take home and sample gives them a compelling way to discover your real value. Products like ebooks, white papers, and audio recordings allow you to showcase your expertise and increase your credibility. They can often be advertised more widely than your services can, giving you another avenue for getting your name known.
Pick just one of these ideas to pursue and make a plan to showcase what you can do for a wider audience. If you truly want to spend less effort on marketing yourself, start letting your prospective clients know how good you really are.
Copyright © 2005, C.J. Hayden
C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income. Get a free copy of "Five Secrets to Finding All the Clients You'll Ever Need" at http://www.getclientsnow.com/.