Ever get tired of how we pros “have to market”? You see ads all over the internet hawking things from megacorporation products to people’s webcomics. “Personal Branding,” a term I’m fond of, seems to be on it’s way to becoming a dirty word. If you’re looking for a job or working on your career, which is probably why you’re reading this, chances are you’re sick of being told to “market yourself.”
I’d even give odds at one point someone told you to “go market yourself/your book/etc.” and you responded with a rather creative use of obscenities.
We know we need to market ourselves these days. Gotta hustle the artbook. Have to make connections for the job. Time to get people to buy that indie game. The market changed five minutes ago and you have to refocus on a different audience. You may even work in marketing, which these days has to be a pretty crazy adventure to judge by my friends in the industry.
I’m entirely sympathetic and I’m a guy that enjoys marketing himself. We’d like to get away from it, probably because we’re tired of hearing about it all the time. “Marketing” is becoming like “Networking” in that everyone tells us we need to do it, and at this point we’d like them to dearly shut up about it.
Be it your career or your small business or your side gig, I’m sorry, marketing is inevitable as part of your job or jobs. It’s not going away any time soon barring societal collapse, and in that case we have lots of other problems. But knowing it’s inevitable I’d like to talk about why it became so inevitable in our daily lives and professions and even hobbies.
If we understand why we can’t avoid marketing, we can work it into our job search or our consulting business or whatever geeky ambition we have or hope for. We may not always like it, but we can see the outline of why this is almost inflicted on us and make it work.
Or at least tolerate it. Continue reading