When I studied marketing there was one fundamental thing that any professor who taught me always talked about. That was the importance of the four ‘P’s; Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Four essential elements for any business first defined by marketing expert E.J. McCarthy in 1960. When we think about ourselves and what we do sometimes we don’t realize that WE are our own business too. Especially for those who are self-employed and have the entrepreneurial spirit.
These days the ability to market yourself is so important because several companies no longer offer the job security they did decades ago. Many employees are no longer really employees. Rather they are working on contracts which classify them as Independent Contractors or Self-Employed. This reality means many have to learn how to constantly market and promote themselves more often than in the past.
Think about how you would apply the 4 Ps to yourself.
The product is YOU! How are you packaged? What do you look like? Now this doesn’t mean you are supposed to look like a super-model or actor. It’s more about how you are presenting yourself. What does your package look like? The reality is even though we say we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we all do it.
This is why companies spend so much money on researching how to best package their products. Because what we see on the outside affects our decisions to buy a product. The same applies to us. What others see on the outside determines what they think about us. Your personal style is an extension of who you are and what you represent. Think of your audience and know what’s appropriate about your package.
What’s your value? What are you worth? Some of us never really think about this. An example of this is the moment many get stuck during a job interview when the question of “what are your salary expectations?” comes up. Sometimes people are too timid or lack the confidence to really say what they are worth. There is a fear that if you say too much you may not get the job. Sometimes people even think, “Am I worth this?” We undervalue ourselves all too often.
When it comes to your worth take the time to research what others are being compensated for the same position. Think about what you have to offer the company. If you run your own business think about what value you bring to your customers. Often those in creative fields like photography, freelance writers and artists are not sure how to set the value and charge clients. If you set the bar too low people may not have the right perception of what you are worth.
Present yourself as the best, expect the best and get paid what you’re worth! Demand it.
Location, location, location. That’s what they say right? There is a world of opportunity at our disposal. Sometimes fear holds us back from moving or setting our sights outside of our own vicinity.
When running a business or selling a product, where you are located is so integral to your success. The same applies to YOU. If you live somewhere that opportunity is lacking, sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone in order to surpass your wildest expectations. I understand sometimes obligations like a spouse, children or family commitments can be a hinderance to moving. However you can explore other options. With the global community we call the Internet, success can come in so many ways. Your location doesn’t have to be physical. Set up a website, you never know where people will visit you from around the world.
Advertising costs during the Superbowl continue to skyrocket every year. The average cost for a 30 second commercial in the 2013 Superbowl was $4 million dollars. Advertising costs but is has its rewards. How are you promoting yourself? There are so many ways you can do that. Networking, website, social media, volunteering, business cards, the list goes on.
Self promotion has become so important in today’s world. People are becoming their own personal brand. Remember that promoting yourself needs to be strategically thought out and you have to be prepared to ‘sell yourself’ when the occasion calls for it.
So there you have it. The 4 p’s not only applies to marketing a product or service, but it also applies to YOU!