Jay Conrad Levinson Speaks: Guerrilla Marketing Yourself

-Our guest blogger- Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, “Guerrilla Marketing,” plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide. He was a teacher and sounding board for The Shift Doctors (Tracy Latz, M.D. and Marion Ross, Ph.D.) ; and after many discussions strongly encouraged us to publish a book (soon to be released) designed to assist people who struggle with implementing tools learned in business or entrepreneurial coaching programs due to self-sabotage. For more on Jay Conrad Levinson visit www.gmarketing.com

Guerrilla Marketing Yourself

Once you understand that people judge you from the first moment you meet them, and realize that there is a range of tools available to help support your positioning, you can be more successful in every encounter.


If you haven’t already guessed, a key part of Guerrilla Marketing Yourself is learning how to position yourself. The people you meet just aren’t going to take the time to really get to know you. They’re going to make a snap decision about who you are and what you stand for whether you want them to or not.

Most of us don’t like to accept this. Most of us don’t want to boil the essence of our personality down to just eight words. Most of us don’t have a plan and a solid goal. And most of us fail more than we ought to.

Madonna is one of the most famous women in the world. But we have no idea what books she likes, whether she knows how to bake cookies and if she remembers her friend’s birthdays. Madonna has positioned herself, and we’ve pigeonholed her.

Abraham Lincoln has a position in our brains. Honest guy with beard who freed the slaves. Eight words. Compare this with Grover Cleveland, Millard Fillmore, U.S. Grant and even Lyndon Johnson. These Presidents all worked hard, but because they have no position, they’re anonymous.

Not convinced? Think positioning only works for famous people? Think about your high school days. Who do you remember? Why? Chances are the people who stand out in your memory aren’t necessarily the ones you spent the most time with, but they are the ones with the most vivid positioning. Did they do this consciously? Probably not. Doesn’t matter. Unconscious or not, positioning effects the way you’re perceived.

We know ourselves very, very well. We’re aware of all of our skills, our talents, our plusses and our minuses. And quite often, we expect that others will too. We meet someone at a cocktail party and are surprised and offended when they walk off after just a couple of minutes. “Wait! I’m so interesting! How can you leave?”

Unfortunately, most people aren’t as interested in you as you are. If you want people to remember something about you, you need to choose a position.

Of course, no one can force you to market yourself. You can reject the entire system and insist on ‘being yourself.’ That’s your privilege.

If you don’t consciously choose a position, you still have one. It may be muddy, inconsistent and difficult to detect, but just about everyone you meet is going to pick one for you anyway. You may think, “I don’t want to do any marketing for myself.” But that just means that the marketing you are doing, consciously or unconsciously, probably won’t help you achieve your goals.

This is one of the key messages of guerrilla Marketing. You must choose a position or have it chosen for you.

Guerrillas learn early on that they must select their own position, that they must consistently use it and they have to stick with it. The position you choose for yourself will determine who you become friends with, where you work and how high you get promoted. Of course your position can evolve. It can grow and change with you.

You can’t just pick a position out of thin air, of course. You can’t decide to go from being a shy librarian with a passion for roses and become a glamorous Wall Street analyst with a harem of attractive men standing at your beck and call. Just as Seven-Up started from a base (the soft drink business) you must stick with your essence.

The message behind positioning yourself isn’t to invent something brand new out of whole cloth. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. You position yourself well when you capture part of your essence in a few simple symbols and phrases. You must choose a position you can live with, a position you can be proud of, a position you can deliver on.

All too often, people unconsciously position themselves in very unattractive ways. These are good people, talented people, but people who are sabotaging their lives by focusing on an element of their personality that others dislike.

– For more on Jay Conrad Levinson visit www.gmarketing.com

*Check out The Shift Doctors’ books at the Amazon link by clicking here and the Meditation CDs at the digstation link by clicking here

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