If you want to strengthen your personal brand, you need to begin by focusing on your reputation. I have had the honor of mentoring quite a few inspiring marketing professionals, and it doesn’t surprise me that they want, to begin with, their logo and building the marketing assets. Personally, I believe that is the wrong approach. I started working on my personal brand by the network I began to establish. Through time, my reputation for being creative, flexible and educating started defining Kevin Iriarte to potential customers.
If you want to start a professional version of yourself, you begin with your reputation. The logo doesn’t define you, the marketing won’t create you, it’s the word of mouth from your customers that cement you. Honestly, I never advertise myself as a marketing consultant. I have business cards but that’s only for the exchange of information. I never made flyers, ads, nor did I make a logo for Kevin Iriarte. I began with the conversation and delivering a product that the customer was proud of.
A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.
– Jeff Bezos
Mike Volpe, ” Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.”
According to a recent study by Robert Half International, a staffing agency, workers are so focused on following policies that they don’t want to take risks (2012, November 19).
Leadership are extremely focused on protecting the organization from making mistakes in their marketing that they extremely inhibit productivity and innovation. Employers need to learn how to truly trust their workers (2012, November 19). Why else did an employee earn the honor of working for a company if their own judgment isn’t trusted?
I have worked in marketing in a variety of industries and I have to say the most fearless industry was entertainment. When I was part of the entertainment industry my colleagues were bold and fun with their ideas that it made being creative a normal day-to-day function. We were able to create trends, develop processes, and learn what works with our clientele. We failed more than we succeeded, that I can tell you. However it’s in the many failures we shared that our drive for success become more dominant.
Marketing isn’t a guaranteed formula. You follow a set of processes that help you structure a marketing campaign but you still have to deviate from the template. The absence of successful predictions leave marketers vulnerable to leadership because they are unable to provide definite results. This uncertainty starts regressing the very character that makes marketing professionals unique.
Marketers have to let go of their feelings as well. I have learned to put my emotions aside when pitching ideas to leadership. You have to. You can only learn to adopt philosophies and provide expert opinions without the fear of rejection. In my 20 years of marketing I have learned 3 things that helped me stay productive and creative in my profession.
- You are a professional.
- Learn that all ideas will never stick. As you expect your leadership to take on your ideas respect their rejections as well. Yes you have to be fearless and unattached to your work. As long as you can back up your suggestions with research, case studies, and internal surveys, you have done your part.
- Not every idea is completely dead.
- I have had hundreds, if not thousands of ideas rejected. However I never delete any of them. I have saved majority of my ideas just so I can bring them back up again when I feel the moment is right. I have taken concepts with me from industry to industry only to have my ideas embraced for an unexpected business.
- Know your audience.
- As marketers we tend to overthink our campaigns in the beginning of the process. Usually we are enthusiastic enough to being pitching our ideas incomplete to leadership only to see them rejected with abusive confidence. This happens because we forget who we are audience is. Yes we have to consider the main demographic, our customer but don’t forget your leadership is your in-house customer. You need your leadership to understand the campaign. Keep your idea simple, clear, then have a beginning and an end.
It’s frustrating being a marketing professional. Social media, internet, and viral success seems to be on everyone’s agenda but what works for one business won’t work for another. I find that organizational leaders take benchmarking too far and forget what makes their company, different. The same goes for marketers. Don’t forget what makes you diverse. Rejection is part of our business. Not every idea will be embraced with open arms. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment. Be fearless.
Cutrone, C. (2012, November 19). These Five Statistics Show Just How Much Fear Cripples Employee Performance. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com/the-best-way-to-innovate-2012-11
If you lead I will follow. I can’t even fathom to explain how this graphic is a true testament of how I feel. I’m tired of the so-called bosses that feel that they are leaders. It’s something I learned when I was helping with raising 12 kids all at once. If you want the kids to listen to you, the only way to get them to follow you is to lead them. SET THE EXAMPLE. Greatness if followed by greatness if you nuture it right. I have had the opportunities to work with some great leaders. I mean amazng leaders. I would follow them anywhere. I learned that I wanted to be the best becuase I was following the best. That’s it. You don’t have to be stern, forceful, just nuture my hunger for growth by simply being the best example. Lead I will follow, tell me what to do constantly and I shut down. I’m ok with being number 2 or 3 if it’s contrasted to 1 billion others.