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Marketing When You Are the Product

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Marketing professionals widely use the four "Ps" for marketing products. But how do you market yourself when you are the product? How do you make your own accomplishments believable?

In this day and age, we all might as well be from Missouri, the "Show-Me State." We constantly have to prove ourselves to others. We have to provide believable evidence of our capabilities. A laundry list of responsibilities ("responsible for 2,000 people and a budget of $100 million") hardly says anything about how you really performed on the job. Simply documenting activities ("managed supplier relations" or "participated in reengineering efforts") doesn't say much about your contributions or the outcomes you helped achieve. Impressing people with scope, size, or history ("over 800 offices globally" or "150 years of history") doesn't exactly tell listeners what you can do for them.

Your level in your organization matters very little. In fact, the higher you are trying to go, the more you have to prove yourself. Whether you are an executive thinking about that next big promotion, an employee writing a performance self-appraisal, a stay-at-home mom reentering the workforce, a consultant trying to sell to a potential client, or an organization trying to establish credibility through marketing, you have to face the music and answer the inevitable question: "What have you done for me lately?"

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