Perception is everything, protect yourself, and build your reputation on solid ground.
*These are part of a panel of personal opinions on marketing tips for executive protection agents formulated from my experience in the industry as an EP agent, business owner, and recruiter for other corporations. Keep in mind that just because I preach it, doesn’t mean I haven’t made the mistakes.
It’s actually the fact I have made some of these and it’s caused me to learn what can work and what doesn’t. You may not agree with me or follow up with the suggestions for marketing tips for executive protection agents, but experience is an amazing teacher…”Let he who has ears…”*
1) Know what you know and know your value. (Know what you are willing to sacrifice as well, working more hours, night shifts, holidays, for how much, or how little.)
2) Know what you don’t know and either leave it to someone else or study it. There is nothing worse than someone who is trying to operate in many different fields, and yet, has quite limited knowledge on each field and acts as though they’re the authority on it. Focus on what you are most interested in and master it. Only move on to something else when you have a solid foundation on a topic, and you are prepared to expand to something else.
3) “Listen more and talk less.” Comment or post on social media only if you have something constructive to say. Also, you should always stay on point and use professional language.
4) Post or comment only on subjects you know well, subjects you have studied, and subjects you know from real-life experience. There is no need to post daily or non-related posts.
5) It takes specific work and quite simply, boots on the ground to consider yourself experienced. Having worked EP two or three days or a month doesn’t make you qualified enough to disagree or raise your voice with people who have been doing this for 10+ years. Neither are you an expert after one or two years in the industry. You can always see who is who and what they know and don’t know by what they post on social media. Stay humble, lay low, and learn your trade well… Your day will come.
6) Maintain a professional image on all business-related social media sites. A suit and tie picture will always be better than a tank top or a duckface selfie.
7) Build a professional LinkedIn profile, highlight your skills, and post all your professional and educational achievements.
8) Stop posting sensitive information, IDs, and license numbers on social media. You are a security professional! If you fail to protect even your own personal information, what does that tell me about how you handle your clients’ information??
9) Always maintain OPSEC in every post you make. Always think, “How can someone use this to harm my client or my team?
10) Protect your data! We have seen more and more security professionals warning their connections that they have been hacked! If your ex-girlfriend can hack your Facebook or LinkedIn profile, then you are probably not very good at keeping your clients’ or your detail’s information safe.
11) Keep high school drama out of social media.
12) Control your emotions, remain professional at all times… You are your client’s close protection, NOT his/her “Buddyguard.” Friendly at all times, not friends.
13) Be careful of your connections and the people that you recommend or work with. Have you heard death by association? Make no mistake, it is a very real factor in our business!
14) Build a professional-looking CV, keep it simple and to the point. There is no need to hire a CV writer, you know what you have done, trained for, and accomplished.
15) Invest time in building connections. Spend time talking to others or helping them with their projects. I have gained many contracts after the interviews I did with others.
16) Offer pro bono services to companies you respect and want to work with.
17) If you are single and have no family commitments, perhaps you work that shift on Christmas or other holidays. That way, someone else can spend the day with their children. You have no idea how being understanding can help you in the long term.
18) Study your clientele and any potential clients. The industry has changed significantly and the new wave of clients are IT gurus, app developers, cryptocurrency investors, reality stars, etc. Always be knowledgeable on current trends and topics.
19) Be informed on local and international news, threats, and events that affect the industry and the needs or operational aspects of your clients.
20) Don’t be arrogant, there is a fine line between being confident and arrogant. Never cross it… There usually is no way back once the damage is done.
Denida Zinxhiria Grow, the author of Marketing tips for Executive Protection Agents, is the founder and CEO of Athena Worldwide, Athena Academy, Nannyguards. She is also the managing partner at LeMareschal LLC.