As a recent graduate and an intern here at AdEase, I am constantly being handed career advice. “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” is a platitude that has struck a chord with me recently. While I do see the face value of this advice and realize that people will take you more seriously if you take your appearance seriously, it has prompted me to start thinking about self promotion in general.
I read a lot of blogs; humorous blogs, political blogs, fashion blogs, food blogs and everything in between. One common thread that these blogs have is the writer’s ability to brand themselves as an authority on whatever topic they are writing about. When I come across a blog with a clean layout, easy to navigate resources and interesting material I take the blog seriously. Furthermore, I take the author seriously. Today I forwarded a recipe for bourbon bacon brownies to my sister. The recipe came from a 28 year old, formerly a personal trainer turned food blogger.
What makes this amateur chef famous all over the internet? She has thousands of followers, and her food pictures appear early in the Google image search. I attribute her success to how she portrays herself in her blogs. She takes excellent photos of her recipes and combines them with witty stories about her personal life. Reading her blog and seeing her food photography create the feeling of an intimate space between two friends sharing stories over a delicious meal. She has created a persona that people are drawn to and self promotion is key.
In the online world of blogging there is a level playing field for getting one’s work out there. Everyone can have a blog but not everyone can have a successful blog. It takes a certain spark that draws people in. I think that this spark is a delicate balance of relatability, authenticity and authoritativeness. The blogger is responsible for creating a space in which people trust their opinions and value their featured work.
Turns out this idea is applicable in everyday face to face interactions as well as blogging. In advertising we think about making products desirable to consumers, but I am beginning to think of myself as a business, and part of that means presenting myself in a way that is desirable to my employers, peers and clients. Coming into the business world I am learning that taking oneself seriously, acting like an authority, and “dressing” for the job you want are all imperative to getting where ever you want to be.
Account Services Intern