If you’re in the marketing business or do your own marketing you know how difficult self-promotion can be. Due to current market conditions many find themselves working on their marketing campaigns and branding programs. Fueled by pressure to publish creative and technical publications and messaging marketers find themselves doing the work they would have outsourced just a few years ago. If you find yourself in this situation, here are three things you need to know about self-promotion:

1.  Win in the niches: Do you know what specific niches your brand can effectively compete in and win? If not, it’s back to the drawing board before you write word one. You’ll need three lists. The first will list what truly differentiates your brand from all others. The second will list your customers’ needs that your brand fulfills. The third will list the specific markets that your customers can be found.

With these lists in hand your next step is to analyze if you’re trying to sell in more niches than your company is truly capable of supporting. In most cases it’s desirable to sell more products in fewer markets than fewer products in many markets. In niches your company and its brand can be positioned as a leader will generally provide a greater return on your marketing investment.

2.  Know your competition: Before you begin writing your self-promotion, it’s critical that you study your competition to ensure you have a strong and persuasive story to tell to your customers in comparison to your competition. If you find a niche market that has many competitors that are all pretty much offering the same set of products and services as yours perhaps this is a niche you may want to avoid. If withdrawing from the niche is not feasible then the more you know about your competition the better so you can bring something new and fresh to the table.

3.  Write with distinction: There are zillions of brands and messages in the market today so you’ll want to make your self-promotion unique and memorable. Strategic themes that are simple are easier to recall than complex themes. Being creative helps memory recall as well. Make your communications easy to understand by avoiding complex sentence structure. The keys are to be direct, simple and creative.

The challenge for today’s brand owners is to persuade potential customers to give you their time and attention, and to become engaged with your branding. That takes knowing how to create an intriguing and inviting brand story that your customers will want to learn from and become interactively linked to.

So ask yourself, what am I doing with my brand that makes it the one that my best prospects will want to pay attention to and begin participating? Customers will appreciate your well thought through approach to solving their problems.