When Marly Quincoces wanted to grab the attention of potential clients for her South Florida event planning company, StarMar Events, she made a YouTube video in front of a white board giving tips on how to land a sponsor. Quincoces quickly learned that even while she was sleeping or directing caterers, she could lure in customers with her online presence. “I’m definitely going to do more,” she says.
Today, efficient self-promotion is a critical component of success in any career. “You need to be top of mind,” says Michelle Villalobos, a Miami personal branding expert and founder of the Women’s Success Summit. “If you’re not shamelessly self-promoting, there are plenty of others who are.”
By now, most of us realize we need to create and market our personal brand to be a rock star in our fields, whether we work for an employer or ourselves. Our success depends not just on our individual capabilities but also on our network’s ability to magnify them.
With the venues for self-promotion exploding, the challenge becomes fitting it effectively into our work/life balance. In addressing a few hundred business owners at the recent Women’s Success Summit in Miami, experts shared their secrets for how to build a network that does your bragging for you. It’s time-consuming to promote yourself using every platform available. Experts advise choosing one and using it well.
• Make a video. Share Ross, a bassist who played with the ’80s all-female rock band, Vixen, strongly advocates using video. After touring with Vixen, Ross began making videos for musical acts. Now she creates videos for dozens of small business owners and teaches them how to do it for themselves through her Video Rock Star University.
“Video is a way to make an emotional connection. Doing it right is not about selling, it’s about tapping into that connection,” she advises. Because YouTube is the second-highest used search engine, ignoring it as an outlet to raise your profile is foolish, she says. A good video doesn’t have to be complicated or awkward, she says. Start out on camera by raising a question and answering it in a way that positions you as an expert, she says.
Making a video doesn’t have to take long, and it can be done at night using a smartphone camera, after the kids are asleep.
• Publish a book. Dawnna St. Louis, a South Florida motivational speaker on women’s empowerment, says to build a business, you need to build your credibility. Publishing a book will help. “It puts you in position of being an authority long after do the work of writing it,” she explains.
She published her first book, YOLO — Standing on the Ledge of Life and Leaping Towards Your Future, launched without any shameless self-promotion, and she sold only 2,000 copies. The next time around she took a different approach. “Create the demand first,” she says. In her case, she reached out to corporate clients, who pre-ordered the book before its release. That book, Audacious Acts of Successful Women, which encourages women to step out of their comfort zone to become more successful, has sold more than 22,000 copies. And she’s still receiving orders.
She believes almost anyone can position themselves as a expert with a book by identifying a problem and writing about how to fix it. To publish a book efficiently, she advises outsourcing pieces of the process by hiring a copy editor, ghost writer or cover artist. She suggests tackling one chapter a day, setting aside an hour a day for writing.