I have been thinking of this idea for some time, but haven’t had as much time as I’d like to expand on this basic thought:
Traditional enterprise employees should adopt modern digital marketing technologies as a way to build a personal brand. Specifically, they should blog and they should build an email list.
The why’s for this include (in no particular order at the moment):
- Work is changing, these techniques are for everyone. You never know when you need your network, and if you think your network is LinkedIn you are sadly mistaken.
- Blogging (really writing) is even more critical as a way to communicate in the short-attention span of today’s business world. Understanding how people consume information is important to proving value. The only way to communicate well is to practice.
- When people give permission for you to email them, it’s like in the past when they’d share their mobile phone number only for “special people”. It’s the most personal form of communication, and that makes it valuable.
- You wouldn’t want someone to think you didn’t know how to use PowerPoint or Excel regardless of your job function, why would you want them to think you didn’t know how to use the social-web?
- It’s a great way of learning, both about yourself and a subject in which you have an interest.
don't write to make money, write to build relationships with like minded people that you haven't yet met.
— Naval Ravikant (@naval) December 14, 2016
I write for a number of reasons, but one of the most satisfying results is when I write something that stands the test of time (and that I end up sharing with people for years). Writing is important for knowledge workers as it helps you learn to think in structured way, and frame your thoughts in a way that’s easy for others to understand.
I’d like to expand this article over time, but it’s been in my head so long that I just wanted to hit publish on something. So, here you go. Two quotes to help you understand the importance of writing:
The process of writing clarifies thinking. Warren Buffett says if you can't write it down you have not thought it through. Think, then write
— Tren Griffin (@trengriffin) March 26, 2017
Writing is hard because it often ends up being the process through which you realize that you don't actually understand something.
— sean 🌹 (@sean_a_rose) April 23, 2017
The changing nature of work
The very nature of work is changing. We can see this from the employee side, in terms of the social infrastructure that we have from work. For example, when was the last time you went out to dinner with the people you work with and their spouses? This literally can’t happen when teams are remote.
Anyways, this is one of the lines of thought I’m developing for this post.
I came across this perspective on the organization and it is truly breathtaking:
This is breathtaking.
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) June 21, 2017
That quote is from a NY Times article on the Decline of the Baronical CEO.
When companies are smaller, we either need more of them to keep employment the same, or… well, work is going to have to change. How are you going to be more competitive? How are people going to find you? When they do, will they understand what you do? You need to blog if you are an enterprise employee because the “things” that have made entrepreneurs successful are going to be important to enterprise workers as work is unbundled from the organization.
Similarly, the layoffs at ESPN are a sign that employees need to leverage their employers’ brands in order to build their own.
Become the CEO of Yourself, Inc.
I saw this tweet:
Part of what distinguishes today’s big tech companies is a continual push against complacency. They saw the last 20 years and read the books
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) August 5, 2017
It refers to how companies need to behave in this economy. I believe it’s an appropriate individual mantra as well.
Blogging becomes your PR, marketing, and expression of your public persona.
You might be interested in episode #2 The Way We Work podcast from the Energy Project (the place where I stole this section title from).