In today’s marketplace, your career is 100 percent your responsibility, including marketing your strengths. Unfortunately, marketing can be maligned, especially when you’re the product being marketed. Honest attempts can appear boastful, so we hesitate to do so. Yet, if people aren’t aware of your strengths, how will they know when, where, and how to use them?
The best self-marketing centers around building relationships and having fun doing so. Successful self-marketing can, among other things, enhance your job search, promote your own company, grab a piece of the spotlight (i.e. become a thought leader/industry innovator), and make new friends.
Following is the second of three articles summarizing “101” career books published by Course Technology. A different author highlights what it takes to achieve professional success in the 21st century for each book. Here, it’s businessman and marketing expert, Jason Miletsky. His new book is entitled 101 Ways To Successfully Market Yourself.”
Miletsky is CEO and executive creative director for a leading marketing communications agency in New York City. He’s a featured speaker for numerous companies and seminars and guest lectures for universities.
“101 Ways To Successfully Market Yourself,” is a short read of 88 pages, long on self-marketing tips. You’re bound to learn some new applications to advance your career. Use Miletsky’s ideas to gauge how many techniques you currently incorporate to promote yourself, and decide which ones best suit your needs.
The book reads in three easy parts. The first is entitled, “27 MYM (Marketing Yourself Mandates);” and establishes the foundation of your self-promotional efforts. Miletsky’s tips include:
Understand Your Personal Brand. Your personal brand is your personal reputation. It’s key to successfully market yourself and sustain relevant long-term connections. People will decide to befriend or distance you based on your personality, sense of style, unique qualities, what and how you say it, commitment follow through and what you potentially bring to the table.
22. Do Something Specific to Stand Out. Accomplish something that separates you from the crowd, and you’ll find yourself in more demand. Suggestions include write a book, or articles for popular print/online publications, record a series of Web videos, and hold a seminar.
27. Don’t Give Up-It Won’t Happen Overnight. “Marketing yourself is a process,” says Miletsky. It takes time to meet new people and build a following. Persevere.
Part II is titled, “Make The Most of The Web.” Miletsky emphasizes that to effectively market yourself today, you need to include the Web. “Social networking may die down a bit over time, but it’s here to stay,” he says. For space interest, Miletsky assumes you have a basic knowledge of the three big social networking sites: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If not, he advocates learning their attributes as soon as possible. Highlights include:
28. Make Social Networking Part of Your Daily Routine. Social networking does take time and effort. It can take a while before you see results. “This can be frustrating, because thanks to the speed of the Web, most people have lost their patience to allow things to happen over time,” says Miletsky. Incorporate social networking into your daily routine, using the Big 3 sites. Send an e-mail blast once a month to your contacts. Inform them of your new blog posts and other information.
63. Get Your Name in a URL. Make sure you secure your name as a URL. It’s good marketing for any of your online activities you engage in. Defensively it prevents someone else from cashing in on your name, as you become better known.
69. Broadcast What You Write. Get the URL for any blog post you write or comment you leave on someone else’s blog (shorten the URL through bit.ly or some other shortening service). Broadcast it on Twitter, use it in LinkedIn conversations, and post it on relevant Facebook groups and your Facebook wall.
“There’s Life Offline-Get Out and Meet Real People,” is Miletsky’s third message. Among his suggestions are:
78. Become a Regular. Frequent various places. Over time, people will recognize your face, making connections easier.
82. Seek Out Public Speaking Opportunities. Meet numerous people all at once. Be a featured speaker in a room full of people listening. Speakers command attention, are focal points for attendees; and many will want to befriend you afterwards.
101. Make Follow-Up a Ritual. Make sure you follow up with each new contact within 24 hours after your initial connection. Send a quick e-mail to remind new contacts who you are, how you met, and conversations had. Suggest a future meeting when you sense mutual benefits.
Six appendices enrich the book; with the first listing Miletsky’s top 30 Twitter tools. “Twitter is one of the absolute best ways to get people to notice you,” he says. Endorsements include:
Tweetdeck. Provides numerous columns to allow simultaneous monitoring of people you follow, tweets mentioning you, direct messages and any other keyword/group you choose.
Twitterholic. Checks your relative ranking and graphs your followers over time.
Nearby Tweets. Enhances local marketing by entering desired geographical location/keyword. Site shows the people within that radius that fit the description.
The ” Who You Should Follow On Twitter” List is Appendix B, and details 31 active links to find good people to follow on the site. Included are:
25 SEO Gurus.
50 Users to Follow for Job Searching.
Top 237 People to Follow on Twitter Who Will Follow You Back.
The most comprehensive appendix, titled, “Strategies for Success,” specifies how to maximize your achievements at work. Its nine tips include “Visualize Success,” and “Learn How to Advance within the Company;” which features 30 soul-searching questions pertaining to seeking a management position. Those queries include:
Are you decisive?
Can you see yourself calmly and objectively handling crisis situations?
Do you do your best work all the time?
Other appendices highlight LinkedIn groups, networking events and additional social networking sites.
Marketing yourself is no longer an option. To enjoy long-term career success, learn and hone a process that works for you; and have fun doing it.
Complement Miletsky’s message with Rashika Fernando’s “101 Career Success Tips,” and Carol A. Silvis’s “101 Ways To Make Yourself Indispensable at Work,” to jump-start your career, whether employed, unemployed, seasoned or novice.