I've been thinking a lot about Derek Sivers' and his post on marketing - check it out here: https://sive.rs/cons. Here it is in its entirety straight from Derek's brain to yours:
Don’t confuse the word “marketing” with advertising, announcing, spamming, or giving away branded crap.
Really, “marketing” just means being considerate.
Marketing means making it easy for people to notice you, relate to you, remember you, and tell their friends about you.
Marketing means listening for what people need, and creating something surprisingly tailored for them.
Marketing means getting to know people, making a deeper connection, and keeping in touch.
All of these are just considerate — looking at things from the other person’s point of view, and doing what’s best for them.
A lot of musicians say, “I hate marketing!” So, yeah, if you thought marketing meant turning off your creativity, spending lots of money, and being annoying, then it’s a good thing you don’t like that. Nobody likes that.
Just find creative ways to be considerate. That’s the best marketing.
One thing I realized? The power of being considerate doesn't just apply to marketing. It applies to many things such as relationships, work, and networking - here are a few examples from my life:
When friends come over for dinner, I carefully watch them for things they need or want. Are they missing a utensil they need for a particular dish (e.g., a spoon for soup)? Have they run out of their drink? Are they cutting a cake and need someone to help pass them dishes and utensils? I notice these small things and take action. In this way, I'm considered a thoughtful person.
When I needed things from others at work, I would send detailed emails where I would take as much action as I could so that I could lower the friction on the other side. For example, if I asked coworkers to fill out a form, I would pre-populate the form with the information I already know so they don't have to fill it in again. Or if I need someone to send an email, I'll draft up the email for them so they can review it and then hit send. These small things add up to me being recognized as an excellent worker.
When I'm networking with others, I consider what they need or what they might be looking for and do the work upfront so that they get the maximum value from our coffee chat or time together. I guess you can also think of this as a way to optimize my time so I'm not spending significant amounts of time trying to help someone identify the right questions to ask, but the people that I network with get more out of it, and I get more out of it too. These small things add up to me being known as a connector that helps people in their careers.
Considerate isn't just being kind or thoughtful, it's a superpower because most people don't want to spend the extra time or energy in making things easy for others. And remember, this isn't about doing things because you are expecting something out of it. You have to give without expecting anything in return.