So you’ve spent some time figuring out why you do what you do and what you want to get out of it. Great! The next step is to define your product and find the best way to market it. You may think that your book, merchandise or service is your product… and you’re partially correct. In the end, though, YOU are your product. YOU are what you sell.

How can this be? Well—whatever you sell—you have to make an emotional connection with your target audience. That’s what sells you and your product. More often than not people buy based on their emotions. So if they can relate to you as a person, you have a better chance of reeling them in. Tell your story in a compelling way and your target audience will hear you. So will the media.

You must clearly identify what you have to offer your audience. Your branding and core messages all flow from this identification. Without it, you can’t present to the media or your target audience the pitch that will seal the deal. Think through the next five or so years: are you selling what you really want to sell? Would you rather be involved with something else? Is your service or merchandise in line with your values? Do you feel good about what you’re doing? Make some notes and write about it all in a journal. Your feelings and views will evolve and ultimately bring you clarity.

Naturally, you want your PR marketing campaign to contribute to your bottom line. Sure, we all work from a place of passion, but the bills still have to be paid. Find the means of promoting yourself first—then your merchandise, book or service. Only in this way can you reach the people who are most likely to click the purchase button. Once they bite it’ll be easier to get them to return—whether it’s the media or a customer.

These things are critical. Most of all, though, believe in yourself and what you’re doing. If you don’t, then no one else will buy your story. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Speak with confidence and purpose.

Remember, you are your product and by selling yourself you’ve done the hardest job of all.