Importance of Self-Marketing
Every day at AAA Appraisal Management Company LLC (AAA-AMC), we receive numerous applications from Appraisers all over the country who would like to sign up and join our panel. They simply visit our website, have access to our forms, complete them and finally submit them to us. This process works great and it gets the job done. But what it doesn’t provide us, is additional information on the Appraiser that sets apart his/her form from anyone else. This is where my topic for this blog comes in; the importance of marketing yourself in a very competitive market. What are you doing to make yourself stand out among your competitors?
When I first started working as an Appraiser and attempting to complete my hours to become certified, I couldn’t help but notice how important it was to have connections to secure work or how hard it was to try and convince an employer that I would be worth the hire. At first I spent quite some time visiting websites and sending e-mails while also completing quite a bit of cold calls. I found that this was literally getting me nowhere. Barely anyone was responding to my e-mails and it was almost impossible to get passed the secretary and find the right person to speak with who could actually help me out. I had to start thinking outside of the box and come up with a way to not only capture an employer’s attention but convince them to give me a chance. I know myself and I know that I have an incredible work ethic and that no job is too big or too small for me to complete to perfection and on time. I know that I’m willing to go out of my way to ensure the happiness of my employer and that I am dedicated to every project presented to me. But how does a complete stranger I’m e-mailing or calling know that about me?
Today actions speak louder than words and knowing that, I decided it was time for me to hit the road. Every single day I would hop into my car and drive from building to building. I would go inside each building and view the list of different companies who had offices there to see if there were any brokers, appraisers, lenders, banks etc in the building that I could introduce myself to. I had my resume ready, a note pad to take down any notes and a “plan of action” which I will further explain below, that soon became my greatest weapon of feat. I would make my way inside the office and ask to be directed to the hiring manager. It’s hard to turn down someone who is face to face with you and most of the time I either had to wait a few minutes or was escorted immediately to speak with the person in charge. I would introduce myself, give a 30 second or so pitch I had prepared and mastered which highlighted my strengths and then ask if they were currently looking to hire someone now or in the near future. It was rare that an employer was ready to take me on after that. So I came up with my “plan of action” and that was to ask the employer “ok, then what is it in your office that you are paying over time hours to complete or a software you find your current employees need further explanation or training on that I could possibly help you with.” This is when the real conversation would start. Almost always there was something in an office that was causing stress to the employer or staff that they needed some assistance with. Let’s face it, when you’re looking for work, it’s not about what you can gain from the employer, but it’s more about what they can gain out of hiring you. I wasn’t afraid to volunteer my time initially and began teaching other in house appraisers or employees about computer programs or completing their comp checks that they found tedious to do. Sometimes it was something I had no previous training in but I made sure I would go back home and quickly learn how to do it well so I could go back and teach a workshop on it or in the very least present it to the employer. So back I went to these offices a few times a week to help take some tasks off their hands so they could focus on completing their work. You can imagine by doing this, I quickly proved myself to several employers and I showed them that I was indeed a hard worker and willing to do what it takes to not only get the job done but that I was also a necessary asset to their team. Before I knew it, I was becoming busier than I imagined and more opportunities were now knocking on my door because I had completed all the necessary leg work to build my own network of professionals who I assisted a few years later, that nurtured network I had created, started working for me.
I encourage anyone job hunting who is reading this blog to come up with a unique way that would work for you to make you stand out to employers amongst your competitors. If proximity is an issue and you don’t have the ability to go door to door, then think of another way to ensure that employers don’t pass you up or forget about you. Have you already sent an e-mail or completed a cold call with someone and it hasn’t worked in your favor yet? Grab some thank-you cards and recap your conversation and thank them for their time and end it with your willingness to help out in any way you can. The key thing to remember is that you are never above anything, any job or any assignment. No matter what your position is or what level you have reached in your career, know that you are always replaceable unless you make yourself completely irreplaceable; the only way to achieve that is to constantly be willing to go above and beyond for your team. If you’re having a difficult time coming up with unique ways to market yourself, I encourage you to contact me. I know an employment counselor who is the best in her field who can help you create a professional resume, assist you on how to complete market research, conduct mock interviews with you and help you come up with unique marketing techniques that will work for you and that you are comfortable with. Finally, always remember that you must invest in yourself first before expecting an employer to invest in you!