Personal Marketing

Personal Marketing is an essential skill.

We’re moving to a world where people find jobs and friends on the internet. This is great news, especially for intelligent and eccentric people. Sharing your ideas is the best way to attract career opportunities and like-minded people. I call this Personal Marketing.

Personal Marketing begins with Google. Before you meet somebody, you look them up. Invisible people seem sketchy. I’m much more likely to get coffee with people who have a vibrant online presence. A well-written personal blog is a strong positive signal.

Successful people aren’t just creators. They’re marketers too. They push their ideas into the world. They carry them forward, fight for them, evangelize them, and make sure people see them. In the words of Steve Jobs: “They put a ding in the universe.”

Personal Marketing isn’t arrogant. If you run a business, it’s your job to find the customer. It’s not the customer’s job to find you. “You can’t rely on the quality of your work alone. If you want to reach people, you have to be proactive. You have to bring people your ideas.”

Avoiding self-promotion is arrogant. It’s arrogant to think that companies are going to come knocking on your door just because you’re looking for work. It’s arrogant that people *need your help* and you’re not telling them how you can help them.

School doesn’t teach us about Personal Marketing. Nobody learns how to build an audience. To have an impact, you have to reach people. A well-written blog will spread wider than a well-written scientific paper. Add podcasts and YouTube videos and it’s not even close.

Make it easy for people to hire you. When you define what you do, it becomes easy for people to determine if you’re the person who can help them. Define what you do. Then tell the world.

As Marc Andreessen says: “The world is busy. There are 7 billion people on planet earth whose time is already fully allocated. The work has to speak for itself, but somebody has to pick up the flag and carry it into the world. None of this is an excuse for having the work not be good.”

Ten years ago, Personal Marketing was hard. You needed connections to people in the press. But now, you can write online and build your own audience. The internet is the best matching tool ever invented. The benefits go to people with an online presence.