Marketing yourself or “How I learned to love my ego”

Web Worker Daily has run a couple of pieces on marketing your “personal brand” in the past, but just before I left for California, they ran another post that gives “3 Rules of Self-Marketing” (with links to their previous posts on marketing yourself in that post). This one offers 3 fairly simple rules (not particularly easy, but fairly simple) for promoting yourself in your field. The basics are:

  1. “Knowing how to market yourself will do more for your earnings and reputation than becoming better at what [you] do.”
  2. “Start now.”
  3. “If you have an exceptional talent, market yourself through exceptional means.”

There is more on each of those at the actual post, I’ll let you click through to read them if you want, but I also want to add on to those bits of advice.
Blogging is a great way to “get your name out” on the web, but it’s just the tip of the iceburg. It’s kind of like having a Web 1.0 website – you expect everyone to come to you, and – for the most part – they won’t. People are busy doing other things on the web and unless they just happen to stumble upon your site, they aren’t going to be visiting it on any kind of regular basis. You have to go where your users (or potential blog readers) are, just like we do in our Web 2.0 sites. Contributing answers in mailing lists, posting in forums, joining social networks and participating in them are all ways to both help others and get your message out to people who otherwise wouldn’t run across your site at all.
If the idea of following and contributing to a bunch of mailing lists and forums isn’t your cup of tea, publishing – even in local or small circulation formats – is good, too. Everything from local newsletter articles about something you do or are good at doing, at least, to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are ways to get the message about how freakin’ great you are out to the masses. The chances of your blog being the topic of conversation at dinner (excepting the Annoyed Librarian, of course) are pretty slim – you have to let people know what you have done if you want them to get interested in what you are doing and reading your thoughts about it besides.

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