1st Marketing Strategy: Being Humble

I've been thinking (and reading) a lot about marketing--what it is and how to do it. I'm noticing some patterns or common themes between different authors, and I'm gonna just say a few thoughts on the topic. It's almost more of a way for me to format the mumbo-jumbo in my mind. So here goes...

I think the most important thing to have as a marketer of one's own self is humility.

I have this acquaintance (I was gonna say friend, but that'd be lying) who knows how to talk big. She can paint a picture about herself that makes her seem so competent and capable. I know this because I worked with her. And I knew how incompetent and incapable and ignorant she really was. So much so that I'm wondering who she slept with to get her MBA.

She always knew something about everything. She was the expert on finances, construction, children, education, politics, business, banking, management, health care, or whatever else we discussed.

She has a daughter, aged 13. I have three daughters, ages 7, 5, and 3. Who has more experience with young girls? I do. And mine's more recent. That never stopped her from spouting to everyone what she thought she knew.

OK, I do have a point here. Something more than just a tirade against someone I didn't like much. She taught me something: when you talk too much about yourself and what you know, people walk away feeling like they never connected with you.

As a writer, I need to market myself, not just my writing. I have to share who I am with others, but not at their expense. I can't be the one with all the answers, because if there is nothing to share, give and take, then there's nothing that the other will want. People want to feel important. They want to be heard. They want to be known.

Fans want to feel like you know them. Not that they know you.

You can't give that with your mouth open. You can't give that while you're showing off how much you know. It's the listeners that make good managers, good salesmen, and good negotiators.

So let this be a lesson to me: Shut your mouth, Rita, for five minutes, and let someone else have a chance to speak.

More on humility:
10 Secrets of Humble People
12 Evidences of Stinky Pride
Humility Marketing Resources

Other Marketing Articles:
2nd Marketing Strategy: Being Naked
3rd Marketing Strategy: Being Persistent

Recommended Marketing Books:
Purple Cow by Seth Godin

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