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  • Writer's pictureMartin Vaux

Marketing Yourself Stinks So Good!

I had a previous website, long ago.

You probably never visited it, although if you did then thank you for keeping the faith. This new one has been a long time coming, as has any news of new work from me. A decade has passed, in fact, and I have emerged from it wanting little more than to write and be read.

But how does one ensure that they are read these days?

In my experience, it is relatively easy to market products. Creating websites takes time, of course, as does managing social media, planning campaigns, and ensuring key stakeholders are all on board. Issues of time aside though, I tend to find that if I can understand a product, and understand what people want to see in that product, the process of marketing it is not too tricky. It is simply a matter of concise communication.

The distinction I have found when it comes to marketing myself is that I do not understand the product. I do not understand what people want to see in the product, either. This is the reason, I suppose, that people hire other people to market them rather than doing it themselves.

My old website went down because I could not afford to maintain it. It was a good site, if simple. People visited it though. It was bright yellow, and looked like it was warning people about something.

When I made that site, I was just out of University, and it felt edgy. That was how I wanted to be seen, as an edgy warning-sign type of a person.

But I don't feel that way any more.

The clip from Boomerang at the top of this post is a favourite of mine for many reasons. I saw that movie when I was still a kid, aged perhaps 9 or 10, and it cracked me up and spoke to me about marketing. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's a great time capsule, and more than just an Eddie Murphy vehicle.

The other movie that really caught my imagination about marketing was perhaps a more age-appropriate film that I saw around the same time...

It may just be that the glory days of The Muppets are over, but this scene in The Muppets Take Manhattan hits the nail on the head. You are selling soap? Well, tell people it will get them clean. Simple.

What about marketing a person though? What about marketing me? I don't think that I can be parcelled up quite so simply. I am not a product. And I say this pointedly, as I am well aware that people of my generation, and of the generation below mine, sometimes think of themselves less as people and more as brands.

Time on social media is brand management time for them.

The photographs they take are part of their endless marketing campaign.

The friends and influential people, or businesses, tagged in posts, are all part of the wider digital ecosystem.

Predators and prey, all fighting for their spot in wilderness of the modern economy.

The thing is, I don't really want to play that game, and not just because I read No Logo as a teenager and freaked out.

(If you haven't read No Logo by the way, have a watch of this...)

No, the big reason I don't want to market myself is because the business of projecting an image of oneself can become a full time job, and there are not enough hours in my days to cultivate a persona.

So, in lieu of knowing myself well enough to package up my persona, and with not enough time to cultivate a new one for myself, I figure that my best bet is to just do stuff, show some of it on my site, and let the chips fall as they may.

Of course, I won't be publishing everything I do on the site, and a lot of my work is going to be held back so that I can try to sell it through traditional publishers.

But hopefully what is here will be interesting.

Hopefully it will not feel like a waste of time for you.

Hopefully, I can make this site into the kind of place that I myself like to visit.

First step - let's see about some content...

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