Product, Pricing, Placement, Promotion.
Product: What service or product do you offer that fills a need. In true marketing, a warranty is generally included in defining this.
Pricing: What is the market willing to bear? This can also include non-monetary exchange, such as time or attention (think barter)
Placement: How does the product get to the market (retail vs on-line). What is its geographical region, industry and specific target audience?
Promotion: Last and last for a good reason, identifying the brand, and how to advertise or promote.
In my next life, I want a Masters in Marketing. In my mind, these 4 elements are critical to every individuals success in life, not just work/career.
The market is saturated with talent. In order to find the right opportunity, you have to know the answers to these questions. It can also open up opportunities you may have never considered (but should).
You are the product...what need can you fulfill within a company/organization? Can you come with a warranty?
"I can redesign a website in 3 months, if it isn't done, I will continue to work on the project until it is completed at no cost".
Risky, you bet. Therefore, before you propose this, you need to really be a master at what you can do and know the terms of the deal. Be firm in developing a scope of work contract before beginning such a project.
What is your value in the marketplace? What is the going rate for the average person delivering these talents? What is the supply in the marketplace? How much is someone willing to pay for YOUR unique problem solving abilities? I wrote about finding salary info before.
Placement means where is there a need and how will you deliver your services? Where means understanding your industry. What are the trends, is there growth or decline? What about geographic region? Are there pockets of opportunities elsewhere in the United States or internationally? How would you deliver your services? As a contractor, temp to hire? Could you work remotely?
Once you have answered all these questions, you can build your brand and bring it to market. Be sure of yourself. Use this P's to promote you! This is the point at whichthe use of social media is advantageous. You can strategically follow folks on Twitter (almost like stalking, but not quite). You can promote your brand to an audience using Facebook or creating a blog, or commenting on the correct blogs. You can use LinkedIn to connect with the right people.
I liked this post Be Prepared- Using Social Media to Know Your Target because it explains how to really do good Market research.