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Are you promoting yourself as a digital marketer?

I run into  many people my age or even younger–for some reason more and more people seem to be younger than me each year–who are unemployed or underemployed. I don’t mean that they merely don’t like their job or that they have been out of work for a month or that they think they could be doing more than they are. I mean that they are seriously working at far below what they are capable of–or they have not been working for months on end. One of the things that I tell them to do is to Promote Yourself, which is the title of Dan Schawbel’s new book. Dan usually focuses on Millenials, but I think the message is for everyone.

English: Dan Schawbel, author and public speak...
Dan Schawbel, author and public speaker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The problem is that most people wait until they are unemployed before focusing what they really need to do:

  • Develop the right hard skills and soft skills–this means a cold-eyed determination as to whether you are missing the skills you need (or they need updating)
  • Develop some specific technical skill in your field where you go deep
  • Regularly promote your abilities in at least one area that is important to potential employers and clients

Unfortunately, waiting until you are unemployed usually means that you are spending months doing these things when you actually needed them the most right at this moment. I know that it seems hard to do these things on top of your regular job. I know that it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to do more than “do a good job” to remain employed. I know that it seems reasonable to expect that your employer will provide opportunities for you to grow the right skills that will keep you marketable.

You can either approach everything in that passive way or you can give yourself a kick in the butt and realize that no one is taking care of your career if you don’t. And it isn’t just that doing these things helps you when you get laid off. Doing these things is the best way to avoid being laid off.

Think about it. If you are always making sure that you have marketable skills and you are well-known for having those skills within your industry, why would you be the weak deer that they decide to cull out of the herd?

One of Dan’s best pieces of advice is to turn your passion into your career. So often in my own career I have found that I jumped into something new because I was excited about it and soon it turned into my full-time job. In digital marketing, something new is always around the corner–pick out a trend you are excited about and commit to it.

If you feel like you have no idea what I am talking about or you just don’t know how to start, then you need Dan’s book. Promote Yourself shows you how to choose what you need to be known for and to treat yourself as your most important product. This is important for everyone, but, honestly, I don’t trust a marketer with a bad resume. If you can’t do it for yourself, then how can you do it for my product?

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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