Do You Have A Marketing Plan For Yourself?

Today’s post is directed to communications professionals specifically, but can potentially benefit anyone who is able to share their work/ideas in a digital format.

image credit: todd ehlers (modified under cc 2.0)

You spend all day marketing (in some form or another):

a)  In-house for a large or small business

b)  At a firm or external marketing agency with various clients.

Either way you spend all day marketing, and you’re obviously passionate about it as that is what you devote a majority of your conscious hours to.

So this brings us to what I want to call you out on.  You have developed these wonderful skills to help others get the word out about their products, businesses and executives – which is great.  But do you use those same skills for yourself?  If not, here is your wake up call.

I know you are busy, but honestly it makes little sense to work so hard for others and not bother to do the same things for yourself.  As Jeremiah Owyang sagely advises, you are a company of one.  If you are in any type of marketing, your best case study and perhaps most valuable use of your skills is figuring out a way to successfully market yourself.

Some think marketing yourself is what you do when you need a new job, but in fact that’s not the case at all – it’s actually about having a voice in our industry, creating a name and reputation for yourself, and shaping the future.  Also, there is a symbiotic relationship between any company you work for and your personal brand.  Smart companies embrace this behavior because they understand the value in nurturing talent.  Ideally, all parties win.

Take on marketing yourself as your personal challenge and an ongoing project with no end date.  If you were an interior designer, would you hire someone else to furnish your house?  I doubt it, what would that say about your skills as a designer?  An interior designer’s proudest work should be their own interior, just as you should be your own personal case study of success.

Not convinced yet?  Think about the following:

No one else is going to do this for you

If you don’t take control of your own image, you essentially yield that to the world to decide for you – for better or for worse.  And they’ll never portray you as accurately as you can represent yourself.

The future isn’t tell me, it’s show me

I have written before your resume is meaningless (and building career security, not job security).  We are building a semantic world, and not directly tying yourself to your accomplishments and putting them in a public, linkable format  for the world to see is a mistake.

A google-juiced blog along with a following is powerful for dedicated professionals in all fields

I’ve previously written that every marketing and PR pro should be blogging.  You can re-read that post on the reasons why, but it’s 2009 – if you aren’t sold by now, you might not ever be.  If you do decide to jump in here’s some advice for how to successfully integrate blogging into your life.

There is no power in remaining silent

By not blogging, by not making yourself available for quotes in industry trade publications, by not talking shop with your peers, by not writing by-lined articles for influential publications and blogs, by not being in charge of your personal PR, you are essentially invisible.  If you see the power in what you are doing for others, how can ignore doing it for yourself?  Remember Robert Greene’s 48 laws of power?  Law 6, once again:

Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost.

Got ideas?  Share them with the industry

I know a lot of people are hesitant about giving out their ideas or providing direction to others – but guess what – if you don’t, you just succeed in letting others establish themselves as the go-to person and you are left as the unknown.  Plus it is enjoyable to mentor others and contribute what you know to your industry.  Something perhaps even more fulfilling than seeing your own campaigns succeed is seeing the campaigns of someone you inspired succeed.  I believe heavily in giving back and have no problem sharing ideas with peers or letting others bounce ideas off me, and am always open for discussion.

Personal branding gives you an edge over your competition

Let’s be honest – the marketing/PR world is cutthroat.  You really need to stand out from your peers if you want to go far in your career.  And as I wrote previously in the rise of personal branding, the web let’s us see in black and white who is dedicated, talented and serious about their craft.

The real trick isn’t to make it about you

Here’s a hint:  market others, share their content, put them in the spotlight – don’t even worry about directly promoting yourself.  The smartest way to market yourself is actually to make it not about you.


Okay, you’re the communications professional – I’ll let you create your own strategy and path you plan to follow.  Hopefully you’ll also join the dialogue of our industry if you have not already.

Related posts from The Future Buzz

10 Reasons Why Organizations (And Individuals) With Audiences Win

Shouldn’t SEOs Rank Well? Shouldn’t Web Pros Blog?

10 Skills All PR Pros Need For 2009 And Beyond

Related posts from around the web

Save Your Career, Start a Blog (AdWeek)

How to Create a Personal Brand by Becoming a Thought Leader (Personal Branding Blog)

When To Ask For Help (Six Pixels of Separation)