I am currently reading and watching several films about Leonardo Da Vinci. In his book – How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michael J. Gelb says “he serves as a global archetype for human potential, giving us intimations of what we ourselves may be capable of doing.
To some degree, we all have some idea of our talents, gifts, and skills. Whether we can communicate what we do and how we do what we do in a way that matters…well I’d go out on a limb to say that most of us struggle to toot our own horn. We don’t like to boast – think that we are being boorish if we talk about ourselves too much. We prefer to remain humble.
How is that working for you?
When you are unable to communicate your uniqueness effectively you suffer in many ways. If you are working for someone, often you are passed over by others who are not as capable as you are. If you work for yourself, or own a small business, you find yourself constantly competing on price or being told by the client what your services are worth. In other instances you find yourself involved in work that you are really not keen on or work not best suited to your skills but you are doing these jobs and projects solely for the money.
We receive three educations, one from our parents, one from our school masters, and one from the world. The third contradicts all that the first two teach us. – BARON DE MONTESQUIEU
Being great at several things always seems like a curse rather than a blessing. Both our parents and our teachers encouraged us to pursue one form of study…one path to expert status so we could excel in the real world and win in the world of work.
Again – how is THAT working for you?
I am inspired and intrigued by Leonardo Da Vinci, because his story shows that if we remain curious, keep learning by doing, use our whole brain to think things through, engage all our senses, and embrace ambiguity and uncertainty then there’s no telling what we ourselves might excavate in our own lives.
It’s time to toot our horn
When we talk about marketing, it almost feels as if we are discussing a dreaded disease. No one likes to talk about it because we suck at marketing ourselves.
This is frustrating. We know we have something great to offer so why can’t the world just see that we’re doing good and pay us accordingly?
Here’s what I know for sure: If you ignore the importance of marketing you are going to struggle. You must master marketing. It is the one skill that you will need but not in the way you think about marketing now.
To market yourself successfully you need to get three things:
- GET YOU
- GET CLEAR
- GET FOUND
Getting you means understanding yourself. Everything about you that makes you the best person for a particular job. Take a page out of Leonardo’s book here. Think about how he was able to clearly communicate all that he was capable of. This is a letter he wrote, applying to the Duke of Milan for a job. He knew exactly what the Duke of Milan needed and his description of his own capabilities displayed a mastery of the relevant domains.
Getting clear means understanding where you need to place your efforts. I’ve developed the marketing clarity quiz to help you do just that. Without establishing exactly where you are, it’s easy to fall prey to the tactic of the week, constantly spinning your wheels. Take the quiz here.
Armed with your clarity report you can now determine what you will do to go about getting found. How will people who need your particular offering find you?
Here are some additional insights from Leonardo, around marketing.
Marketing doesn’t have to be hard, but trust me when I say, it is a skill you must hone for yourself. It is less about posting on social media, keeping up with blog posts or putting yourself out there. Clarity brings confidence, and confidence inspires action because you know who you are, you know what you can do and you know how to communicate in a way that those who need you will find you. Now – doesn’t that make you feel good?