If you want the world to treat you like a professional author, non-profit, or business leader, then you’ve got to act and appear professional. Yet, I’m surprised by how many individuals and organizations shoot themselves in the foot by presenting a homemade image that damages their credibility. Their shoddy appearance makes you think they’re working out of their basement. Here are a few tips to avoid that mistake:
1. Use a professional email address to communicate with your audience. For example, if you’re still using an old AOL.com email, it means you’re an “Amateur On Line.” The same goes for Gmail / Yahoo / Hotmail and similar email services. When marketing yourself, use a professional email address based on your first name followed by “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
2. Don’t try to save money by letting a family member or friend to build you a website on the cheap or use a free blog service. Get serious and hire a legitimate graphic artist and website designer to create your website and marketing materials. Follow the adage that says, “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” If you don’t want to spend money to look professional, don’t expect people to give you their money to buy your products or services.
3. If you’re dissatisfied with your book sales, product revenue, donations, media exposure, or speaking fees, invest in your professional growth. You can’t grow if your skills remain stagnant. Take a class, join a critique group, read insightful books, attend a conference, join my Marketing Mentor Program, etc. Spending money to make yourself better is never an expense – it’s an investment, which creates long-term benefits.
4. Don’t title yourself: “Jane Doe – Author, Speaker, Consultant, Mother, whatever…” Nobody cares. People want to know how you can improve their lives. Instead, create a personal brand that showcases your expertise and value, such as Jane Doe – “The Stress Buster,” “Stories of Unscripted Grace,” or “Helping People Get Love Wise.”
The goal of marketing is to encourage people to trust you. Trust is built on credibility. And, credibility is based on presenting a professional appearance. Don’t believe me? Trust me, I’m a professional.