Marketing yourself is very similar to marketing any other good or service, except that when it comes to your career, you are the product. You have a set of features and benefits, a package, a price, and a preferred channel of distribution. Together this comprises the solution you can offer to the market. How you position, package, and promote yourself can determine whether your target audience chooses you as the solution to their needs for a marketing professional — or whether they hire someone else.
- The Product. What are the key attributes that make up your offering? Start by understanding your passions and strengths. Be able to articulate not only what you are good at, but what you enjoy doing. Think about the unique value that you can provide to a marketing organization.
- The Market. Research your target market so that you have a good understanding of your target "customer" and their organization. Learn about their culture. Understand their business and their customer's business. Take a critical look at the competitive environment — are you competing against a broad range of talent, or is it a seller's market?
- The Position. Understand how you can help your target market. Specifically, know what problems you can address for them, how you can solve these problems, and what makes you different and better from other available alternatives. Be able to articulate how you will improve your prospect's situation: What results will they be more likely to achieve because of your help?
- The Promotion. Next, you'll need a plan to effectively promote yourself to new potential employers. Think of your job search as a direct marketing campaign. You'll need to make sure you have the right messages and materials to hit the hot buttons of your target market. Consider how you'll reach hiring managers and executives in target organizations. Whether you're just starting out or you're well-established, developing a network is always an important element of a career marketing strategy. You'll want to make sure you have an attractive online presence, as well. Think about the image you want to portray on internet websites, job boards, and social networking sites.
About the Author
Linda Popky is the President of L2M Associates, a Redwood City, California-based strategic marketing company that helps organizations dramatically improve their return on investment on marketing programs, processes and people. She is the author of the soon to be published booklet, Marketing Your Career: Packaging and Promoting Yourself for Success. Learn more about how to leverage your marketing investment by visiting her website at www.L2Massociates.com, or contacting her at linda@L2Massociates.com.