By Josh Braaten
Could your lack of knowledge of marketing fundamentals be holding you back in your career? Landing that dream job and even getting a raise or promotion is often as much about marketing yourself as it is having the right knowledge or experience.
At its core, great marketing conveys value of a product or service to its potential consumers. In the context of your professional life, you are the product and service, and your current and potential bosses are the consumers. Here are a six marketing fundamentals and how to apply them to your career:
- Develop a Unique Value Proposition - A unique value proposition (UVP) is a clear picture of what you deliver to those around you and how it helps them. For example, there are scores of Internet marketers out there, but how often do you hear of an organic content specialist with a focus on SEO, web analytics, and conversion rate optimization? Be specific about your talents throughout your resume and online profiles if you want to stand out to those looking for your passion and strengths.
- Have a Strong Brand Promise - A brand promise is an expression of how a brand is different within a market. For example, FedEx's brand promise is reliable shipping. Avis's brand promise is that they try harder than their competitors. Make sure the aspects of your personality that set you a part are layered throughout your online presence.
- Know the Persona - When preparing for interviews or performance reviews, get to know the culture of organizations by what they say about themselves on social media and their website. Align your UVP with the interests of a company to demonstrate how well you fit with the culture. It doesn't take a degree in organizational leadership to realize that you'll get more success if you speak the same language as your current or potential bosses.
- Perform Competitive Research - Research LinkedIn to find others in your area with similar interests and skills. Doing this helps you stand out even further because you'll know what unique blend of skills and experience you bring to the table. Tip: work the name of the job title you want into your LinkedIn profile to appear above your industry colleagues in the search results of HR recruiters and industry head hunters.
- Demonstrate Social Proof - Social proof is demonstrating the value of your product or service by letting others do the talking for you. Recommendations on LinkedIn, the number of friends and followers you have on social networks, and how often they engage with or share your content are all ways to let the words of others speak more about you than you could ever do for yourself. Tip: The best way to get a recommendation is to recommend someone else. Leave sincere and genuine recommendations and your colleagues will be sure to reciprocate.
- Personalize to Build Relationships - Use social media to get to know your boss or your potential employer. Spend some time on their profiles to get a feel for their experience, their former employers and sometimes even their favorite books. Bringing these things up in an interview setting show that you’re interested in not only getting a job, but in the person you’re talking to as well.
Many marketing degree programs today teach these important principles. Apply them to your professional life to increase your odds of landing a job or earning that raise or promotion to advance your career:
What ways have you used marketing to advance your career? Do you have any examples that support the list here?
Josh Braaten is a Senior Online Marketing Manager at Rasmussen College. Josh holds his B.A. in Economics from St. John’s University. He blogs about business education, marketing and related topics on his Squarespace blog. Connect with Josh on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.