Monday, January 2, 2012

The Product is You. Managing your Career in a Social-Centric World

By Mark Helfen


Our January meeting will be at EMC on 2441 Mission College Blvd in Santa Clara. This set of buildings is on the other side of Great America Parkway from where we normally meet, right near the Marriott. Back to normal next month......
The more things change, the more they stay the same. At least in terms of the core elements of your marketing strategy. Some people think that technology, particularly social media, has changed everything, but these only changes the tactics. The key questions - what makes your product better, and who will care - still need clear answers.

At next Monday's SVForum MarketingSIG meeting, the focus won't be on marketing systems or software, instead the product will be you.

Linda Popky will speak on the topic Marketing Brand You: Managing Your Career/Business in a Social-Centric World. Popky is founder and President of Leverage2Market Associates, a marketing consultancy that helps companies of all sizes, startup to Fortune 500. Part of her business is to help and mentor individual consultants in improving their personal brand and business marketing - she is a Certified Master Mentor. In addition to her consulting practice, she is an instructor in marketing as Cal State San Francisco, and was part of the team that designed a new certificate program in Social Media Marketing.

Her 2009 book is titled Marketing Your Career: Positioning, Packaging and Promoting Yourself for Success, which would seem to be about her topic on Monday. Available here or here.

From Popky's perspective, the basic marketing issues have never changed. She used the model of "I have too much grain, you have a cow with too much milk." How do we exchange what we have for what we want? You need a quality product, it needs to be in the right place, you need to know who the buyer is and what they want, and you need to have the write price. The same marketing thinking applies not only to a business selling a product but also to you as an employee, individual consultant, or a job seeker.

If you have a hot technical skill that Google needs, they will find you. But as you may have already noted, it's not quite the same for marketing people.

"You need to take control of the situation, you can't expect others do it for you," said Popky.  The positioning and branding process for brand you is your job. And you need to show up better than the competition.

"There's always competition."

She says that just showing up on Monday and thinking about the problem for an evening will put you "head and shoulders" above the rest of Silicon Valley.

One hurdle is the lack of resources in solving any marketing problem - lack of time, expertise, ideas, or money. Leveraging what you have to get the maximum effect is part of her practice, and will be one of the topics at our meeting.

I also asked her about the process for those people (like your humble blogger) that are at the upper end of the Silicon Valley new-tech age range. Part of her presentation will cover how to take your experience and turn it into a positioning advantage.

So come by next Monday, and make "brand you" an irresistible sell.

PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE at our meetup page:


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

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