I had a call the other day with a sweet lady who was considering getting my book. Her main concern was that she would have to actually sell herself, her services, to a prospective employer, and she felt that since she didn't have a marketing bone in her body, she would fail miserably.
This made me think about situations where I've encountered exactly this kind of problem with people who don't realize how much sales experience they already have. They think of the word "sales" or "marketing" and immediately they think of smarmy car salesmen who want to part people from their money with no concern for ethics.
When it comes to selling, it is not something new for most of us. Do you brush your hair in the morning? Do you put on makeup? Do you put on a nice outfit for a job interview? Then surprise...you are already experienced in selling yourself.
So, don't fear it...embrace it! It's only a matter of putting into words the best of what you can do, and learning how to communicate your highlighted services to a targeted market of prospective employers. It really isn't more complicated than that.
And it all starts with research.
The very first thing you should do before contacting any propsective employer is research them thoroughly. This particular technique is often completely ignored, and yet it is one of the most important things you should do before trying to reach a prospective employer or client. This applies to any kind of "first contact" situation, including sending your resume to apply for positions you found. This one small extra step can give you the edge you need to reach your customer and stand out above all other applicants.
Learning all about a potential company before you make that first contact is vitally important. It is a great way to find out beforehand whether or not you and the client are a good fit, and it also helps you get your foot further in the door.
Learn the name of the person you are contacting, and don't mis-spell it!
Learn about the company, its goals, its mission statement, its products and services.
And when you contact that company, don't send an obvious form letter. Take the time to send your information in a letter/email that shows you are interested in the company, as well as the job.
Here's an example:
"Hello Mr. Smith. I was on your website today and noticed that you posted a press release about your upcoming software development project. I've been watching your company's growth for some time and decided now was the perfect time to get in touch with you about offering my services as a ___."
"Hello Mr. Smith. Your company does amazing work in online games development and I would love the opportunity to meet with you at your convenience to talk about an idea I have for a new game. Working with your firm to develop this online game would be the highlight of my career."
Using techniques like this can open doors that were previously tightly shut, and it is the purest form of marketing that can set you apart from the milling crowd.