Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Go Market Yourself!

I got a blog, you got a blog, all God's children got a blog. It's a must, along with your facebook page, your linked in page and of course, your twitter presence. The social media craze has taken hold and marketing and advertising people everywhere are inundating the internet with their personal marketing theories, insights, observations and platitudes. It's as though you were compelled to be a guru just because you're good at your job. Problem is, lots of jobs don't deserve gurufication. And lots of very competent people can't write. It is agony for them to bullshit endlessly about their jobs and philosophize about marketing. Yet in this hideous economy we keep getting told, by consultants galore, you must have a blog to be in play.

The proliferation of blogs is partly due to the the fact that a lot of us are un- or under- employed. Some people are trying to get noticed by HR people, head hunters and potential employers. Others have given up on finding a full time job and are trying to build a consulting business (from a marketing standpoint, this is the group for whom blogging about the work you do makes the most sense). But should business blogging really be for everyone?

There are two types of productive workers: The type that lives and breathes the job and becomes possessed 24/7 by its demands, and the type that works heroically, like a dog, let's say... a rescue dog. Pretty heroic. And then that person wants to go home, chill out, enjoy friends and family and compartmentalize their job away in some drawer somewhere deep in the back of their brain. This type needs to replenish or loses productivity. Compartmentalizers should enjoy their time off and not feel obligated to blog, or get ripped off by a ghost writer they have to supervise. You can be a fabulous asset to a company and not want to spend your downtime working on your personal branding.

And here's the big question I keep asking myself: If someone has no notoriety and we don't know them personally, why should we want to read their marketing verites?

OK, I know you're composing snappy retorts in your head. What exactly makes me so special? Am I some sort of Machiavellian elitist hypocrite trying to talk the competition out of blogging while I refine my online presence? Nope. I am a talkative person with few friends in a strange town. I am also a writer. This is an outlet for me. If I had to pontificate about copy writing and creative direction all the time, I would bore myself to death. I rant about whatever I please. I don't do daily updates, because life gets in the way, and sometimes I have nothing to say. And I don't try to con people on linked in into reading me by starting discussions with teaser links to my blog. Besides, for every person I might charm or amuse, there will probably be two that think I'm deeply wierd, snarky, or worst of all, dull.

Now, if you like to write and have something to say that you're passionate about, write on. About politics, cooking, travel, yoga, marketing - whatever floats your boat. But if blogging for you is like downing your morning serving of plain unsweetened oatmeal with skim milk because, gosh darn it, it's good for you, it's time you let yourself off the hook.

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