Why can I Market for Others but Struggle to Market Myself

As a marketer, I know how to create compelling campaigns that highlight the value of a product, service or company. But when it comes to marketing myself – whether to land a new job or sell my own book – things get trickier.

I’ve worked in marketing across various industries, from casinos to the army. I’m great at showcasing the unique strengths of the brands I work for. Yet I often struggle to effectively market my own abilities.

This difficulty stems from the fact that as marketers, we’re used to focusing outward on customers rather than inward on ourselves. I know the brands I work for inside and out, yet lack that same clarity into my own professional identity.

Without a clear sense of my differentiated value, it’s tough to compellingly communicate what makes me stand out. I sputter when trying to create a personal brand story that resonates.

So how can a skilled marketer like myself get better at self-promotion? Here are a few strategies I’m trying:

  • What are the key elements of my background, skills, passions and motivations? How can I synthesize this into a succinct statement of my professional identity?  For me, what are publishers going to look at that set’s me apart?
  • Who is my ideal buyer or audience, whether it’s hiring managers, publishers, etc? What do they care about most? How can I tailor my brand messaging to resonate with their priorities?  Here, I just need one agent.  Writing a form letter I send to every agent will not land me a single agent.  It’s one-on-one I must write one-off lets to ensure it’s personalized.
  • What achievements, projects, and skills stand out from my past roles? What tangible examples best showcase my abilities and the value I can provide?  It’s okay to brag.
  • How can I share my professional story in an authentic way that feels genuine to who I am? What is my real voice?  This is how you showcase your skills and inclusiveness.
  • Which mentors or colleagues can provide insightful outside perspectives on my most compelling strengths and selling points? What blindspots might they help uncover?  I’ve done A/B testing, product testing in other jobs why not with my own.  Send off to others for a beta read.
  • As I gain new experience, how must I constantly re-evaluate my brand positioning? What language and examples best reflect my evolving professional identity?  What is the best method?  Video, social media etc.

Marketing my own abilities requires turning my skills inward to understand and articulate my professional value. By taking the time to do this, I can learn to powerfully share what makes me unique – just as I would for a top client. It’s a process, but I’m making progress.

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