Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
September 2, 2008 5:20 PM

6 Ways To Get More Involved In The Marketing Community

The only way you're really going to grow your business, get your next big promotion or land that perfect marketing job is by taking an active role in growing your marketing community.

"It's not about who you know.... it's about who knows you." - Jeffrey Gitomer (author of The Sales Bible and the awesome Little Book Of... collection).

Here are:

Six Ways To Get More Involved In Your Marketing Community:

1. Volunteer your time. There is no time like the present to call either your local or national marketing association and ask them how you can get involved or volunteer your time. Beyond that, you can call any association or charitable group that you are passionate about and ask them if you can get involved in helping them to get smarter about Marketing. If they don't have a marketing committee, offer to start one (see point #6).

2. Become a paid member. Don't be skeptical about paying industry association dues. Many marketing professionals  look at the sliding scale and think it would be better to lie about how many employees they have or how much income they make to get a better rate, but that's not the point. As you grow (or as you're just getting started), it's important to support your local, national and international marketing industry associations by paying your dues and becoming a full-fledged member (and then following point #1). It's a honour to be able to pay dues (they sometimes have not-for-profit and/or student reduced dues too), and the only way you're going to grow your business is if you have a strong, unified marketing industry behind it.

3. Go to events. What better way is there to learn and meet similar people? One of the coolest things I've discovered is that I tend to meet the most interesting people at events that I would never have looked at in the first place. The good news is that there are also tons of free Marketing-related events you can attend (look no further than PodCamp, BarCamp, CaseCamp, etc...). Don't forget your business cards and don't be shy - you need to go up to people and introduce yourself. Remember, you're both there for the exacts same reasons.

4. Plug into the community. Use your Google News Alerts to see what's going on in your neck of the woods. Invite a business colleague, a client, or someone who you know is looking for a job in Marketing. Connect them to others. Follow the Blogs, Podcasts and industry trade publications (not sure where to start? look on the left-hand side at the Marketing Blogs and Podcasts I check out). In a couple of weeks you'll become a serious "person in the know." Plugging yourself into the marketing community tends to open up many new business opportunities. Ones you would have never seen otherwise. While your competitors have their noses down in their day-to-day operations, be out in the community building the present and future of your business.

5. Create content for a group. Remember content isn't just writing. It could be images, audio, video and, yes, words. Some of the most well-known and respected marketing business leaders built their reputations by writing columns for local newspapers or guest editorials for the industry trade publications. Now, with the availability of publishing platforms like Blogs, Podcasts (audio and video), photo sharing sites, etc... there's simply no excuse. It's easy for me to Blog here, but there is a strategic and community-driven reason why I also contribute to places like the Canadian Marketing Blog, One Degree, Marketing Magazine, Strategy Magazine, the Montreal Gazette, the Vancouver Sun and more. Yes, you'll drop off of some (I know I have), but you'll add some others as you build, share and grow. Creating content not only builds your visibility but brings what you do to a whole new audience. All media (including mass and even Blogs/Podcasts) are looking for fresh content. No reason why you should not be their salvation.

6. Become a leader. It sounds like a tall order, but it's not. All communities are looking for the "next generation" of industry leaders. If you're going to attend an event, why not call up the organizers and see if you can volunteer/lead a certain sub-committee or important function? If that fails, why not start your own? A bunch of cool Montreal Social Media types decided they wanted to bring a PodCamp to Montreal. They did not wait around for permission. They self-organized and are now leading an event that will have several hundred people attending. All eyes will be on this small group of people who took the time and effort to make this event happen (full disclosure: I am helping to organize PodCamp Montreal). What do you think it says about them to a potential employer, potential/existing clients or their boss? Leadership is one of the hardest skills to foster in marketing. Demonstrating it not only adds value to your resume, but it takes you several notches above your peers.

Social Media and Web 2.0 have made getting involved in your marketing community one of the easiest things you can do. There really is no excuse.

If your excuse if "I just don't have the time." Think about it: you always have time for the things that are important to you.

How has your involvement in the marketing community changed your career? What can you add to this list?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by frank
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch ...

    One thing that I have noticed in my trying to get involved much more in the social media community is that just visiting/reading blogs and the like is not enough.

    "Commenting" or contributing to the conversation on peoples blogs who are in the space you are trying to become more involved in is a HUGE way to both engage with the blog authors and learn quicker. Learning likely being the key here.

    Spending time commenting makes you think more thoughtfully about the content you are reading and often leads to building relationships with others through the blog (including the author) that takes you even deeper.


    --
    http://twitter.com/franswaa

    Reply
  • Posted by Avinash Kaushik
    Mitch Joel

    I think you meant to share this one as well Mitch:

    "Start a blog and communicate your valuable knowledge back to the community!"

    No blog is small enough, and all knowledge is worth sharing.

    Great way to build your own water cooler and give something of value back.

    -Avinash.

    Reply
  • Both of these comments are great extensions to #5.

    Content comes in many forms, and as the two of you pointed out, it includes "start a Blog/comment on a Blog."

    Thanks for adding!

    Reply
  • Posted by Tamera Kremer
    Mitch Joel

    Great post Mitch, love it. I'd add that part of volunteering (#1) & plugging in (#4) is making sure that wherever you are participating you don't let the ball drop. If someone tags you (as you've done in this post) or @'s you on twitter, acknowledge it and add to the conversation.

    You don't have to be ubiquitous, but you should be present and responsive.

    Cheers,
    T

    Reply
  • Posted by Daniel Waisberg
    Mitch Joel

    Excellent post Mitch!

    I have been following your blog since eMetrics Toronto (Bryan presented me to you there).

    I especially agree with this post, since the Web Analytics Association volunteering was the best career decision I made. I have been there for two years, 1.5 as the Co-Chair of Marketing.

    Over the last years, through the WAA, I had the chance to meet bright people (and get them to know me :-) and I really see how time volunteered is something that is truly appreciated. And the ROI is just huge.

    Thanks for your posts, they are very enlightening.

    Reply
  • Mitch, if you're working on interactive stuff today and you don't blog and don't go to events, you simply DON'T exist in the eyes of the community.

    Reply
  • Posted by Paul Raynor
    Mitch Joel

    As promised... my blog response for today..thank you ... the event..it went beyond "presentation" ...was great...i nspirational thought provoking, quantum physics (interconnectivity) sort of concept bending... it had moments , of real clarity and insight that were mind-map shifting...it was the specific kind of concept stretching we have challenged ourselves with ...I am watching my group with interest for what they have taken away... and for burning ships on the horizon


    Thanks again

    Best

    Paul Raynorr.

    Reply
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