How can you promote yourself for skills you are good at but lack the credentials?
I have a plethora of skill sets and I have the ability to work at different capacities, but I am having a difficult time marketing my skills to build a portfolio of projects. So how can I attract, pitch, or market my talents?
Volunteer for 1 week, or a few hours, for work in your field. Get that organization to recommend you, contribute to you Linked In profile, etc.
Join a non-profit board and offer assistance that relates to your field.
Write articles/papers about your work and offer them to local/industry periodicals.
Join your professional association and be active. If you spend time with successful people you will learn their strategies for success.
Antoinne it is great to have the ability to work at different capacities because you need these for managing projects. On the other hand building a portfolio of projects require that you zone in on the projects you are really good at (targets achieved, project completed below budget and before time etc), and where you have testimonials. Review them to see what went well, where you can improve and which ones are in demand, then use this to build a brand for you.
As highlighted in some of the responses companies look for results - what problems have you solved and what have been your results.
Showcase yourself - free sessions on the projects you executed well, associate with groups and persons who would require your service, and also attend seminars where you can network to meet your potential clients. There is also the social media - linkedin, blogs, facebook where you can talk about different aspects of your projects and build a following who can eventually be your potential clients.
You may want to have a written plan of all your marketing activities to monitor which ones are working for you. If you need help let me know.
Proof. I have always relied on experience trumping education and awards (credentials) every time. I have started companies, purchased companies, rolled-up companies, bailed out companies etc. and in every single instance the underdog who rolled up their sleeves to work with me and the rest of the team to get "it" done were the ones with the attitude and skillset to help accomplish something significant. That's not to say that these heroes didn't have some credentials, I am saying that attitude and "can do" work integrity always raise to the top.
Every job I have gotten has been the result of me taking a risk by asking to review and offer solutions to their biggest immediate problem in the area of my skill and experience. I can't remember ever walking away without the job. ..and I'm not a puffed up egomaniac, I did however have the confidence in my ability to have them put it to the test immediately. I put many interviewees in this role with some surprising results, for me and for them.
I also force them to carry on a conversation; 2-way no matter what the position for which they are interviewed. I've discovered that conversation along with exceptional writing is becoming a lost art and hence more valuable. Sorry for the bit of ramble; I wish you luck and I hope my experience helped.
Another way to gain credibility is to put yourself out there via speaking engagements, training videos, published articles, writing a book, create your own projects to illustrate your skills, volunteer your services to nonprofit organizations (in the project area of interest) to add to your resume. Also - ask for recommendations and testimonials from people you have already assisted.
One way to get testimonials that will help you exactly where you need it -- is to supply testimonial samples or templates. It makes it easy for your client or coworker to give you a testimonial (because they simply have to modify it as they see fit) AND it already highlights the areas you want to promote (because you wrote it).
Bottom line - you can easily fill the gap by creating your own intellectual property on that topic and sharing your talents with others.
If you would like to bounce a few more ideas around, feel free to contact me for a complimentary business coaching session at https://www.timetrade.com/book/WFSFQ
You can promote your skills through accomplishment stories. Tell stories of the problems you faced, how you solved the issue and describe the result. Make sure that the stories are authentic and true and apply to the needs of the hiring manager.
All the best to you.
The best way to do this is to be able to share examples of projects where you have used that particular skill set. When you create your resume, you should take up very little space identifying the "job responsibilities" and instead create a list of bullet points that showcase the skills you used to accomplish an outcome. These accomplishment statements are designed to demonstrate the skills that you used and the success that you had in using them (i.e. the outcome). For each accomplishment statement on your resume (and hopefully they each speak to different skills), you should have a story to tell when asked to elaborate that encompasses WHAT you did (skills used) and what was the RESULT. The results should always be quantifiable if at all possible.
Simply it depends on the skills and the specific credential or credentials. You need certain licenses to do or perform certain professions. An example is a real estate license is needed. If you are a bookkeeper you don't have the skills of a CPA would have, and if you are a medical technician you are not a nurse or a doctor.
Good news: start earlier to get the classes. Or study for an exam. Take one at a time or two at a time. The longest journey starts with the first step. Good luck and all the best.
Here are some suggestions:
Identify which of these skills that you have the most passion for doing. Prioritize them based on that. Passion sells!
Get client/customer or employee testimonials about the FABULOUS job you've done in these areas of expertise and share them everywhere.
Develop a short video introduction sharing your passion and experience in these areas. (Which includes testimonials.)
Write an e-book how-to ... This gives you instant creditability!
I can relate to your situation and here is a suggestion. Most buyers of services have a paradigm that anyone with multiple skills is out of the norm and therefore are dismissed.
Do some soul searching and determine which one of your skillsets meets all three of the following criteria:
#1 The skillset you are most passionate about.
#2 The skillset that has produced results buyers are looking for to solve problems.
#3 The skillset that buyers will invest money and resources to acquire.
Get testimonials. Offer your services for free to get your first ones under your belt. Then use those to get more work. Credentials is one thing, but social proof is worth more.
That is tough. If you are in a field that has designations or some visible training credentials you can try those without needing to go through extended programs. Otherwise look for training and teaching opportunities where you can showcase your knowledge in front of others. To find the right slot to prove yourself, you need to find someone in need to the point where the skills out weigh the credentials and prove yourself through experience.
Honestly, companies don't hire skill sets, they buy results. Demonstrating or gaining a range of measurable successes, a network of contacts and the ability to deploy your skills usefully is key.
There are a number of things one can do. It largely depends on what ones skills are. If it is in the product arena, then pohotos and samples may be the way to go. If it is in the realm of service then it is not so easy. Lots of articles on the subject that demonstrate knowledge and expertise may help. Providing a pro bono service and obtaining feedback and referrals from that may also help.
One has to give in order to receive so be free, at least initially, with your expertise and skills and, as you become more in demand, one can start to charge a fair price for your skills.
All the above advice from others is invaluable also. Some great ideas here. The good thing about this forum is that we all have a chance to learn from each other even when we were not the one asking the questions. I have learnt a lot just by reading the responses so many professionals give.
Customer testimonials is the best way I know of, especially from customers in the field in which you are trying to generate more business.
Connect on social media offer opinions and feelings about events topics that demonstrate your skills.Linkedin pulse, twitter and Klout.
Hi Mr. McKinney,
Glad you brought up this question that plagues several professionals out there. Ask yourself these questions:
a - Do skills set matter or the outcome of a certain project that would require these skill sets?
b - Have you always worked on projects that depended heavily on your skill sets and nothing else?
c - When a job is well done, the skills set existed and they were well leveraged, however, when the right skills set is present, it doesn't necessarily mean that the job would get done, let alone done well.
Market your latest track record and references as each customer is going to dig into the references and get a good grip of how things were, even if it is only lasted few weeks or months. Good luck!
All good answers, but a quick observation -- you can't be "good at," you must "have expertise." Anyone can be "good" at something. You have to market your expertise. Without slamming credentialed professionals, the credentialling process is more about limiting competition and making money for the credentialling company than it is about expertise or accomplishments. You can't say that, but you can make the case through your accomplishments that you devoted your time and energy to accomplishing things, not stringing together initials after your name. I had the great good fortune of working for a true expert. I realized one day, sitting in a discussion with my boss and three similar experts, that these four men probably knew more about the subject technology, theory and application than any other four men in the world, and none of them had more than a masters degree. Initials do not make up for expertise.
I started out inviting 50 employers to a FREE 1 hr workshop' - 20 showed up.
I gave them my best -. had them fill out an evaluation by telling them I was asking 'feedback' on this new topic.
6 people said they'd like me to present it at their business.
I offered them an 'introductory' price as a Thank You ' for their feedback and ask them to write to 1 - 2 companies sharing their enthusiasm.
I've NEVER had anyone ask me for 'credentials'
Start writing about what you know ( Blog) You can do videos, audios, podcasts
I'm assuming you already have a website. Public speaking to local groups.
Join Forums, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups and answer questions in your area of expertise.
To your success,
In my experience, the best way to promote yourself is letting others know you face to face, workshops are the perfect tool to show up all your talents, skills and your charming personality.
The technology bring us the ability of working worldwide but the personal contact is the one that creates the best bounds.
Show them who you are!