Marketing For Freelancers and Entrepreneurs – Selling Yourself in the New Economy

The new economy is a competitive place and you’ll have to be a marketer in order not to be marginalized by the marketplace.

In brief: If you cannot market and sell your ideas to your employers and colleagues, you’ll be exploited and under-paid.

Fifty years ago, giant corporations offered a lifetime of job security and upward mobility. Today you’ll have to be more flexible in your working skills because chances are the jobs you are doing today will not be the ones you are doing in 5 or ten years.

In our current 2010 economic meltdown in the United States, we have a chorus of workers demanding the government create jobs. I’m not too astute about politics or economics, but it seems to me that the workers should be busting their buns to get new skills with more value in the new economy instead grousing about the loss of the obsolete jobs they lost.

In the news, a factory worker who for 25 years has put in his hours and spent his off-time watching television rather than bettering himself cries angrily at the government to replace his lost job. I ask this: how many books has he read in the last year about improving his earning capacity by learning new skills?

I am not being political here. It is a very practical matter. If your skills are no longer valued where you are, you have two basic options to improve your standard of living:

1. Go to where your skills are valued. The move may be geographical but if you are a knowledge worker and not a physical worker, you may be able to work remotely.

2. Learn new skills that are valued or will be valued where you are.

During the industrial revolution workers moved from farms to cities in order to do better financially. It did not always work out for workers, but consider that 19th century farming was pretty unscientific and unpredictable, the idea of stable, long-term industrial employment was attractive to poor rural folk.

In today’s shifting new economy the likelihood of you becoming very prosperous doing any form of work other than knowledge work is remote. Knowledge work can be creative work and it can involve physical activity, but the driving force behind the value a knowledge worker provided is not in his or her muscles, but between his or her ears.

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