I’m not a career coach. I live in the same world as you do. I run a digital marketing agency where we help businesses create, launch and measure content strategies. But, I’ve developed a strong interest in the parallels between content marketing for a business and for the individual’s career.
We know that content marketing is good for business. This entire conference is devoted to content strategies for brands to compete, differentiate and win through content marketing. But, businesses are made up of people. Businesses don’t create content. People create content. Therefore, it’s not a stretch to say that the people who drive the content strategies for a brand benefit in their career, as do their employers. The key is to be aware of the value of content in our careers. Don’t be accidental about the value of content in your career. Rather, be strategic and proactive.
Conventional wisdom has taught us to build our net worth through tangible assets that have monetary value. This paradigm is centuries old. But, we live in the digital age now and in the context of your career your tangible assets have limited, if any value. Your employer doesn’t care about your net worth if you don’t produce value for the business that employs you (or your clients).
I want you to think of the content you produce as THEE measure of currency in your career. Let’s face it, if you had a choice to attend a one hour presentation by me or Seth Godin, you would probably choose Seth Godin because Seth has produced more content than I have. His content is his career currency. His content has created significant “value” in his career.
You’ve heard this cliché “you are what you eat.” It has double meaning. If you have a poor diet, it can reflect poorly on your health and your outward appearance, and the opposite is true. If you eat well and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it should reflect well on your health and outward appearance. It also means that if you want to be known for something, anything, be sure to make it your daily diet. Seth Godin has become well known as a marketing futurist. Some would call him a marketing guru. Why? Because of his content.
In the 1967 film, The Graduate, Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman returns home from college after graduation with no idea what he wanted to do in his career. His father’s business partner, “Mr. Robinson” pulls him aside at a party in his honor and gives him some of the most famous career advice ever documented on film. He whispered just one word to Benjamin: Plastics.Today’s version of “plastics” is content.
We live in an amazing time in history. Some of us are old enough to share stories of what work was like before the digital age. The digital age has given each of us unparalleled opportunity to create content. We don’t need anyone’s permission to create content. We need only to decide to do it, and then do it, because the tools are literally at our fingertips. Content has become a game changer in our careers as marketers. Unless you’re an engineer and you build something, or a scientist and you discover something, or an athlete with a multi million dollar multi year contract, you had better produce content to establish your credentials and build your career.
Considering this is Content Marketing World, and you chose to attend this session over the other options at this time, I probably don’t need to convince you that content is crucial to your career. So, let’s get down to how to do it. These 7 questions are the most common questions I hear from professionals when discussing content as career currency.
I will answer these questions, to the extent I can in 20 minutes by offering you 3 strategies and examples of people who are using content marketing in their careers. I think these examples will inspire you to answer these questions for yourself.
It shouldn’t surprise you that each example I’ll share today (except for Seth Godin) is a speaker at CMW. Let’s start with Joe Pulizzi. Aside from his well known love of anything orange, Joe has built a sizeable career portfolio of content. Joe is recognized as the godfather of content marketing. But, Joe could not have achieved this level of career clout without creating great content. From his blog, to his two books, the Content Marketing Institute and of course, this event, Content Marketing World, Joe has created a portfolio of tangible assets for his career around the theme of content marketing, comprised of great content. Joe is an inspiration to all of us.
Ann heads up all of the content at MarketingProfs. She’s a 13-year veteran of creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals, Ann has a passion for building community, particularly in using new media tools to broaden and build value. Previously, Ann was the co-founder of ClickZ.com, one of the first sources of interactive marketing news and commentary. Prior to that, she spent 12 years as a business editor and writer for both local and national trade and consumer publications, including the Boston Globe. And, she is the co-author of the wildly popular book Content Rules:
Andrew Davis is co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at TippingPoint Labs, a Boston based content marketing agency. Drew and his partner founded TPL after spending years in the corporate world in various marketing roles and coming to the realization that the most effective marketing revolves around telling a story. Drew has emerged as the face of TPL and frequently speaks at conferences telling the story of story telling.
One way to promote your assets is to brand yourself with a theme that you can personify. Drew is the consummate Internet cosmonaut, supported both by his presentation content and by his travel pictures available to anyone who follows him on Instagram. Drew’s new book, Branscaping is a form of self promotion. Drew is speaking at CMW, sharing the key points from his new book. Attending his presentation, or following Drew online will expose you to his valuable insights, all of which are effective ways for Drew to promote his content assets.
In the first three examples Joe, Ann and Drew are in the business of content marketing. The rest of the examples, starting with Michael Brenner are corporate marketing professionals who have embraced content marketing in the performance of their marketing responsibilities. In Michael’s case, he is the senior director of Global Integrated Marketing for SAP. That’s a big job for a big company. Michael recognizes that “walking the walk” is part of being an effective corporate marketer. That’s why he has figured out how to promote his content without being self promotional through his blog, B2B Marketing Insider. It’s a terrific blog that adds currency to his portfolio of tangible content assets.
Todd Wheatland is VP and Head of Thought Leadership and Marketing at Kelly Services Outsourcing Consulting Group. Todd’s content was won him recognition from organizations such as MI and MarCom.
Todd has authored numerous articles and white papers which serve to strengthen Kelly’s global brand. And, while he is strengthening Kelly’s global brand, Todd is growing his portfolio of content assets. This dual content asset portfolio benefits both Kelly and Todd in his career journey.
ShakuSelvakumar is an award winning social strategist currently responsible for IBM WebSphere. Her content portfolio has won awards from Forrester, Hermes and SIA. Shaku’s content asset portfolio is a big reason she has been tapped by IBM for leadership role after leadership role. Shaku has been recognized by IBM as a top performer and was selected to join the company’s exclusive Leadership Development program.
Shaku’s career content has earned her the position of Editor on the IBM Impact Blog. Objective: Drive traffic with strong content, interviews and viewpoints from experts. Method: Blogazine with a strong editorial focus. Results: Blog traffic increasing yty at 49.5%Provides content for social channels and increases conversation. Promoted on Facebook, LinkedIn Groups and TwitterInterviews with key leaders have helped broaden my personal networking.Requests from business partners, customers and thought leaders to be featured in the blog.
Shaku also maintains a personal blog. A personal blog is a good way to show the world who you are as a whole person including your interests and hobbies. One word of caution…If you have interests that are potentially controversial there is risk in expressing your views. A blog is a public content medium. While you have the right to express anything you want, consider the potential risks on your career.
There are many other online channels where you can create and share content. Some of the obvious ones include popular social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Another channel which too few people leverage in career content is Slideshare. Shaku uses Slideshare to post her PowerPoint presentations.
And, did you know you can link your Slideshare account to your LinkedIn profile?
Sandra Zoratti is V.P. Marketing, Executive Briefings and Education for Ricoh. When you review Sandra’s digital footprint, you quickly learn that Sandra loves marketing as a vocation. And, she is highly recognized by her peers as an outstanding marketing professional.
When you visit Sandra’s website, and you should note that a personal website is a must for your career content growth strategy, you gain insight into Sandra’s content strategy and devotion to her career and her community.
Her new book, Precision Marketing has a dedicated website too. Sandra’s book is a great example of a growth strategy in a career content plan.
In March of this year, she was recognized as Business Marketer of the year by the Business Marketing Association of Colorado.
In this video she said something that summarizes my key points in this presentation on career content. She brilliantly points out that “marketing is so dependent on a whole eco system of people and companies.”
No matter where you are in your career, you should have goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re 22 or 62, your career is a journey. Goal setting is a necessity or you’ll get nowhere fast.Embrace the fact that content is career currency. Sure, your network has a lot of value. But, in this digital world your content is available for review 24/7. Will your content help you reach goals?Commit to at least 2 content assets. It’s not complicated. A blog is a must. A personal website is also advisable. Beyond that, consider being a guest writer for publication in your industry or community, or if you can commit to writing a book, do it. A book is a terrific content asset in your career. I don’t care how busy you are, there are no excuses to build your career content strategy. No excuses! Watch others and learn from their achievements, and perhaps mistakes. Most of all take action. Doing nothing will limit your career options. As the Nike slogan says, just do it!
Questions to answer• How does
content marketing apply to my career?• Is content marketing for career enhancement self serving or beneficial to my employer?• How do I develop a content marketing plan for my career?• How can I promote my content without appearing as self promotional?• How doI know if Im on track or off base with my content in my career plan?• How do I learn more about how to develop a content marketing plan for my career?• Who are some examples of people who know how to use content marketing in their career? #cmworld