Whether you’re marketing a business, product, or yourself, the number one skill you must have is the ability to communicate effectively. You can offer a dynamic product or service but if you can’t articulate a strong message to back up your claims or have an influential sales pitch, you’ll always be just mediocre.

Products don’t sell themselves. They need someone behind them to convince the general public why it’s good for them. A good communicator knows how to capture attention. As Business software expert DP Taylor puts it, “In order to be successful in marketing yourself, you have to absolutely know what you’re talking about.” And I’ll take it one step further—you have to know how to articulate your thoughts and ideas with clarity. As a solopreneur, it is important that you also know how to write captivating emails/newsletters and eye-catching articles/blog posts to drive traffic and sales.

So why are good communication skills important? Good communications skills allow you to build a rapport with others. This includes both verbal and non-verbal. When you meet someone for the first time you want to make sure you speak to them in a positive and friendly way. This is not only reflected in the tone of your voice but also in your non-verbal mannerisms such as eye contact and facial expression. I’d certainly rather engage with someone who is smiling than frowning as if they’re disgusted or confused by what I’m saying.

Unfortunately, some people are too quick to start talking about themselves and what they do (or sell) before they take the time to learn more about the other person they’re interacting with. Even if someone asks you what you do, you don’t need to given them a 20 minute presentation. You can briefly tell them while turning the conversation back to them.

Equally important is the ability to listen and understand what is being said in the conversation because it opens up the door for more engaging dialogue. As I stated in my previous post, the way we communicate with our bodies can be a dead giveaway as to how we actually feel about a particular person, subject or discussion. The research shows that more than half of half of all human communication is non verbal. Our body language is the unspoken element of communication that we use to reveal our true feelings and emotions. This includes our facial expressions, gestures and posture.

Being able to communicate effectively is a vital life and business skill. The words we choose can have a major impact on how others choose to interact with us so if you trying to market your business, a product or yourself remember this: If you speak well you can influence and if you can influence you can achieve your marketing goals.