Marketing professionals can be forgiven for putting their clients’ personal and corporate brands ahead of their own. That’s their job, after all.
But, for better or worse, we live in a world where personal brands can make or break a career. And in few industries is a strong personal brand more crucial to one’s public image than marketing.
No one’s suggesting that you shouldn’t continue to put your clients’ brands first. That helps sustain your reputation for professional excellence, a vital foundation for your personal brand.
You should devote more time to your personal brand than you have, though. It won’t be as much time as you think if you’re able to follow some basic personal branding strategies that work particularly well for high-powered marketing professionals. Perhaps you’ve executed a few on your clients’ behalf already.
Personal Branding Strategies for Marketing Executives
These personal branding strategies help sharpen the distinctions between you and the next marketing executive. They elevate your professional profile. They clarify your value, inside and outside the marketing world.
In short, they’re powerful assets for your career. Here’s how to use them.
Don’t Neglect Your Personal Website
Your website won’t be the most-visited part of your branded ecosystem. But it’s likely to be one of the first hits people see when they type your name into Google. Make sure yours is appealing and informative.
As an example, check out the personal website for Michael Capiraso, a C-level executive and former New York Road Runners president and CEO who’s currently advising JoggingBuddy, a social running app. Capiraso’s website uses big, dynamic images and strategically located text to define his brand and clarify his professional value. And it clearly communicates to the user that Capiraso is influential and impactful.
Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups
Your CV can be as impressive as they come, but if you’re not part of the conversation, it’s fair for folks to wonder why they should care.
Joining LinkedIn groups relevant to your work as a marketing executive (ideally not just general-interest marketing groups but groups specifically targeted to your area of expertise) is a great way to say, “Here’s why.” Your membership in these groups signals that you’re involved in the space; your active participation signals that you’re someone to listen to.
Create a Medium Blog and Use It As the Hub for Your Thought Leadership Campaign
Why not a personal blog attached to your website? That’s fine, but Medium is far more effective for starting and sustaining high-quality conversations with other marketing professionals (and would-be clients too). Get in the rhythm each week of posting at least one piece of original content to Medium and devoting at least one hour of work to managing and responding to comments. (They’ll come, don’t worry.)
Join Relevant Professional Associations (Local Is Better)
LinkedIn group membership signals your credibility and relevance, but they’re not as prestigious as professional organizations that have been around longer than the Internet itself in many cases. Local associations are better, if only because they’re better for networking; invite-only groups are ideal.
Launch a Marketing Newsletter (About You, Not Your Clients)
You don’t want to spam your prospects or clients, and certainly not future employers. But you do need an active vehicle for your professional insights, a means to communicate on the regular that you’re more than another face in the boardroom.
A marketing newsletter is an effective and surprisingly low-effort option. Using your personal website, Medium page, and social media handles as funnels, you can build a nice-sized list in relatively little time. Or you can opt for a more all-inclusive option, like Substack (starting with the unpaid option) or ConvertKit.
Buy Defensive Domains
This is especially important if you have a common name. Don’t worry too much if someone has
Get on Twitter (Or Back on It)
Twitter’s general usefulness is debatable. It’s a great place to find and curate breaking news and opinion, but it’s not particularly well-suited to building community.
That’s okay. You can find your tribe elsewhere. Your concern is positioning yourself as a credible authority in the marketing space — someone whose opinions and insights carry weight. Twitter is perfect for this; just be sure to self-promote sparingly.
Get an Agent
Yes, seriously. They’re not just for celebrities and athletes anymore.
Your agent’s remit will be your personal brand. In practice, they’re likely to focus a lot of energy on finding speaking slots — hopefully paying, but fine if not — at industry conferences, private events, and anywhere else where your expertise is welcome. But they can also help you think about how to present yourself to the public in ways that you haven’t yet considered.
Publish a Marketing E-book (Or Have One Ghostwritten)
Regular blog posts aren’t enough to set you apart as an authority on your craft. You need a piece of signature content. Preferably many such pieces of signature content over time, but one is enough for now.
An e-book about a marketing topic of your choosing is a natural choice. Offer it for free to anyone who provides their email address, then shunt them into your sales funnel.
Talk to the Media
Not as an “unnamed source,” no matter how tempting it might be to share your unfiltered thoughts without anyone being the wiser. Not attaching your name to a quote or insight defeats the purpose of the exercise.
Instead, hold yourself out as an expert source on marketing and anything else you can legitimately claim to know cold. Use platforms like HARO and ProfNet to connect with journalists hungry for insights.
You Know How to Build a Better Personal Brand
There’s no secret sauce for a better personal brand, no Coca-Cola formula that eludes all but the most enlightened marketing professionals. The recipe is straightforward, repeatable, and easy to execute.
These are among its most important ingredients. It’s time you focused on yourself for once. Time you took the reins of your career. Time you stood out from the crowd.
Because your brand is worth it — even if it’s not well-defined at the moment. And you’re worth it too.
Interesting Related Article: “Content Marketing Trends of 2021“