Self-Marketing for Experts

Who am I? Technical specialist? Or company director? In the first release of the “Self-Marketing for Experts” series, interim manager Malte Borchardt, explains how a targeted self-analysis can increase your chances of finding fitting projects.

Mr. Borchardt, for almost 3 years you have been consulting interim managers concerning the topics of positioning and self-marketing. What does good positioning on the interim market look like?

A clear self-assessment is important, goal setting, and the right strategy as well are key to developing your network and finding the right projects. That may sound trivial, however, many interim managers have much room for improvement in these areas. When it comes to self-assessments, many managers want to present themselves as being capable of meeting as many different requirements as possible. Conversely, I recommend that interim managers should rather focus on their strengths, and finding a niche in which they can clearly demonstrate their skills. Network maintenance is also important, especially on a personal basis with different providers. Some interim managers do not utilize placement agencies, which means they are missing out on an important distribution channel. On the other hand, some interimers only use providers, and neglect including their peers within their network. The rule of thumb is: The higher the operational level of an expert, the more important their personal connection to companies, decision makers and providers is.

How do I best position myself as an interim manager?

This process begins with an honest strengths and weaknesses analysis. In our consultancy for example, we work with an extensive survey. Which three projects worked the best? Where did I feel the best? What does my dream project look like? In this manner special capabilities and facets are ascertained. Target setting also plays a vital role here: In which industry, which company-type, and at which hierarchical level, can I, and do I want to work? Without these parameters the entire profile remains out of focus. The goals must be to remain in the memory of companies, providers, and colleagues with a specific set of skills. Thus, it is also key to maintain close contact with providers, albeit in an unobtrusive manner.

So, specialization at any cost?

Currently the market prefers specialists. The subject expert has a better chance than the generalist. Generalists, so the leaders in the highest management levels, are currently less in demand because many companies are pursuing specialist projects, rather than committing to full scale restructuring. That however, is a snapshot of the current situation. It is also not about trying to change yourself to meet requirements. Those who are generalists should present themselves as such and should try to promote their special features. The individuals that are technical specialists, should also promote this.

Foto: Malte Borchardt
Malte Borchardt
Malte Borchardt is an experienced marketing professional who worked for many years for the Dachgesellschaft Deutsches Interim Management (DDIM). Since 2015 the business graduate has been running the company forma interim and helps interim managers to achieve a professional market presence.

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