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?
It really depends on the skill set. I they are skills such as design, video, etc..., you should create a portfolio on your own time, of your own material, or take some jobs off of craigslist, simply so you have something to show potential employers. They probably won't pay much, but if you go in to it with the idea of building your portfolio....you can stomach it.
If your skills are not physically show-able, I would suggest trying to make elevator speeches and get face to face with potential employers. Offer a trial probation period where they aren't committed you, at a lower rate, to prove yourself.
Just my thoughts. I've hired a couple of media people that didn't have big portfolios, but they sold themselves well face to face, and have worked out great...because they're usually very hungry. Hope that helps you, and good luck in your search!
When I first started, I donated my services and skills to local nonprofits. People I met during that time - volunteers, board members and their connections are still (paying) clients today.
I have 4 ideas to help you with this.
Idea # 1
I have found a person of influence in my local area and while talking with him found out he needed help setting up a company page and share pages on LinkedIn.
You could do the same in your local area. Find a person of influence and talk to them about their needs. Many times we can do something for them (free or low cost) and they will spread the word that you are good at what you do.
I call these people sneezers because they are sneezing your message out all over your local area. You can't buy better publicity! :}
Idea # 2
You can also get on local radio and TV and talk about your area of expertise. The folks that have these shows are desperate for experts to come on and fill time.
It just takes a little research on your part.
This one is fun and it is a takeoff on idea # 2
Sign up for HARO - Help a Reporter Out
You will be sent requests about your area of expertise from reporters.
With this service you can send in "expert advice" in your field of expertise to reporters who need content.
This will put you far ahead of your competition and you will soon be seen as an authority in your field.
Idea # 4
Get cited on ABC,NBC,Fox and CBS (service)
We provide a service for people like yourself to help you get started more quickly and easily.
Our service will get you cited on NBC,ABC,CBS and Fox news sites within 7 days.
Once you are cited on these major media networks it makes the Help a Reporter Out and getting booked on radio and TV much easier.
I hope this helps! :}
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.
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!
The best way to build a portfolio of projects is to do build projects. If you don't have the time you can work on honing your skill set slowly. Like work on a project for 15-30 minutes a day.
Are there any skills that you can improve on and then prove that you worked on them?
I'm not sure what skill set you are talking about, but for example let's say you are good at editing movies, you could edit a movie and then add it to your portfolio.
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.
References. Do what you are good at, and get testimonials, letters of reference, and referrals from those you do well for. These are far more powerful than any credential.
Just make yourself available to people who need your skills.
It is great to have a versatile skills. These days generalization is more preferred than specialization. In my view you should first explore skills towards its implementation mechanism, i.e. in which diversified fields you can implement your skills. Once you recognize it, prepare you CV and approach in that direction.
Document the results of your efforts. "During my capacity as _____ I successfully increased the blah by blah percent and reduced the - problem you fixed -. Before applying the ___ to Acme Fender Bender, the number was ###. After my intervention, the number was ###. Certifications do not show results but only capacity to get results. Good Luck
Take a very objective inventory of what you have achieved. Quantified the results and improvements/impact. List them in a very specfic way on a career summary either at the top of the resume or, as an addendum to the resume. When on lacks credentials but has performance capabilities you will discover that making a personal contact by phone to the potential key decision-makers amongst possible employers is about the only aggressive/effective means to avoid summary rejection as an individual scans resumes for credentials and often passes on the resume that is missing them. Also, word recognition software will likely reject a person lacking credentials. They are commonly used today by larger employers.
Connect on social media offer opinions and feelings about events topics that demonstrate your skills.Linkedin pulse, twitter and Klout.
Customer testimonials is the best way I know of, especially from customers in the field in which you are trying to generate more business.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.