Market Me First - The Positive Career and Work Action Plan Market Yourself | Make Money | Be Happy

------------------ In Black and White -------------------------------

Since 2005. Market yourself. Find better work. Make a name. Survive Layoffs. Be successful.


Personal marketing

One thing I have begun in earnest is an electronic personal marketing campaign. If you have not started one, you should now.

What does a personal marketing campaign involve?

1) Get a website - not for your company, but for the brand called you. Websites are cheap and easy. The tools to build one are idiot proof. Domain names are inexpensive too. Check with GoDaddy or one of the other registrars for names and hosting options.
I have two web sites, one which markets me and the other which facilitates my sales work.

2) Get a blog - not the same as a website but rather a fluid online journal of your actions and accomplishments. A blog is as mandatory as a business card and working phone number. Use your blog to promote your website and vice versa.

3) Use LinkedIn - go to and download a copy. Fill out the profile and get your personal URL. Now tell everyone you are on LinkedIn. Get lots of invites to join their network. Grow your name.

4) Get Plaxo - It integrates with Outlook to manage your addresses. But it does one more thing. It sends email updates every time your contact information changes. Think about it. Free e-commercials to everyone in your address book every time your title or phone number changes. And its free. Unbelievable.

5) Start a mailing list and newsletter - these two go hand in hand. Setup an email list of your business contacts. Once a month or week send out a newsletter. Make the newsletter look as professional as possible. Most of the tools are free, so why not use them? Make yourself an expert. Mailing list software is cheap or can be done for free with most mail programs.

Note: Remove anyone who requests it. Don't be rude.

Enough to do this holiday weekend to keep you busy and excited about marketing yourself. Get busy and let me know how it goes.

Career Mapping

Do you career map?

Glossary: Career map; to forward think and plan your professional life for optimum success.

Case: I have a friend who at the age of 8 years decided he wanted to be a CPA (I know, I know, most boys want to be firemen or astronauts). Over time, and with advice from his father (a practicing CPA), he put together a career map which took him to the age of 30+ years. After carefully deciding upon schools, tests and outside interests, he now owns a very successful practice.

This may sound extreme; most of us get into college and change our majors a few times, graduate, work a few different careers before settling into the two or three jobs we will work for long periods of time.

This type of activity is no longer prudent in today's economy or work environment.

In a world where companies jettison whole divisions with the stroke of a pen, none of us can afford to let life carry us.

Career map your life now.

For instance, I work in technology sales. Ten years ago, I was very successful selling internet access to corporate clients - in 1996, that was a very profitable field to be in. Today, internet access service is a price driven commodity with tight margins and vast and varied competiton. I had to move on.

Since then, I have sold network systems, software and cellular equipment.

My next sales position will be in some form of hybrid connectivity hardware and will involve my partial ownership in a startup company.

Afterwards, I will continue to work in technology, however, my work will be in consulting and have already targeted some like minded companies.

I know when I would like to "pseudo-retire" although I will probably continue to work until the put me out to pasture.

I have dates and details for all of these plans formulated in my head and as part of my life strategy map.

It is not hard to career map and plan accordingly for your future.

As I have always said, "Nobody is responsible for your career except you".


What do you know?

What do you know?

When you get your next paycheck OR how many new contacts you made this week?

What's on TV tonight OR what's on your professional schedule next year?

Your supervisor's name OR the names of five companies you would like to work for?

How many miles until your car's next oil change OR how many months until your next career change?

How many days of vacation you have accrued OR how many appointments with career makers you have made?

Ask yourself the hard question: What do you know? What do you really know?

A Person To Know

Are you a Person To Know?

Do you get phone calls or emails which start with "So and so said I should talk to you.."?

Do you find yourself being constantly recognized and stopped at trade shows and conventions?

Are you solicited for your opinion often? By co-workers? By the press? By your competitors?

The world craves an expert. Become an expert in something. Something which may or may not be relevant immediately, but relevant all the same.

Now market yourself. Write. Post. Speak. Sell.

Career map your expertise. Become someone to know.

The Big Picture

What did you do this morning before attending to your daily career path?

Where are you on your long term plans? What about mid term? What about for the year? Have you met your mid year goals yet?

Most likely, you were more concerned with what to wear TODAY. What phone calls and emails had to be completed TODAY. Maybe some personal business which needed to be completed TODAY?

Take some time first thing every morning and focus on next year, ten years, twenty. Focus on the big picture. Don't worry about the details, rather, think only about the long term plan.

What do you want to do? Where do you want to be? When will you make your next big move? Will you be ready to move now? How about in one year? Five years? If the promotion came at 9:01 this morning, will you be ready to relocate? What about in six months? When do you start your own company? Do you have a business plan?

The dry cleaning and bills can wait 15 minutes while you get back on track with the big picture. Widen the angle and focus. TODAY.



Typical scenario:

Job interview. In business clothes with binder of resumes. Sitting in office with interviewer.

They ask questions. They pause and read notes on your resume. Look up and ask questions.

You sit politely and answer. You practiced your answers. You are trying hard not to fidget and think about the electric bill which is due today. Or whether or not your turned off the iron at home.

You say nothing other than answer the questions posed to you.

Wow - one dimensional at best.

Try this: Go to your next interview. Dress correctly, be on time, the usuals.

When the interviewer comes in let them lead with a few questions. Then start asking more questions as part of your answers.

For instance:

Interviewer: You have here at your last job that you brought in and maintained several key accounts. Who for instance?

You: From my network I came in with Pepsi, John Deere and Pacific Gas and Electric, all of whom I successfully transferred over to our system and services. How do you work that here? If I bring to the table certain accounts of that type, will I continue to maintain them? Will they be my accounts or will they be handed over to a more senior member of the staff? Will they become house accounts? Is there any consideration for the caliber and depth of an account with your company?

Keep it up. Ask lots of questions. Ask about the company. Ask anything. You may go to work for this company for five years. Why aren't you asking the real question "Will I be able to do my work the way I need too?".

Finally, never, ever, ever end an interview without asking the interviewer - "What do you like about working here and what excites you about coming to work every day?". If the interviewer cannot answer the question, politely excuse yourself and leave.

Me 101

Remember, you are selling yourself.

It does not matter if you have a job selling or marketing things right now. You still have to sell yourself.

Sell yourself to customers (essential), to co-workers (difficult), to competitors (fun), to prospective employers (nearly everyone).

What did you do when you met with a customer today (you do meet with your customers don't you?)? Did you monologue endlessly about your company and products? Did you recite facts and figures about features, warranties and customer support?

Or did you ask 100 questions about your customer and their needs? Did you sell your personal service as part of the sale of your product? Did you treat a sales call or meeting as a job interview rather than a sale?

You will always have work. You will always have something to do which earns money. But you can only be successful, truly successful if you are able to sell yourself in every situation.

What do you want to do?

What do you want to do?

I can't believe how many people I meet who cannot answer this simple question when it comes to their career.

They can answer questions about the "symptoms" of work - nice people, close commute, good health plan, an understanding boss, free pizza, etc. But they have the hardest time defining exactly what they WANT to do.

Before you write that resume, ask yourself "What do I really want to do?".

Write it down. Write three versions - the long, rambling-talk-as-much-as-you-want version, the top of the resume version and the "elevator pitch" version (this one shoule be the length of an elevator ride between two floors, about 8-10 seconds).

Practice it. Say it out loud in front of a mirror. Now go live it. Fine tune your message as you go.

Just make up your mind - what do you want to do?

BTW - Leader of sales force for a cutting edge technology company. See. It's easy.
We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.