I am guilty of trying too hard not to specialize. Or to be boxed into one genre, one area or one particular set of ideas. I don’t like being defined and yet, it’s that definition that initially gets you to a place where you can do lots of other things.
So, rather than create esoteric pronouncements of what you want to do or what you’d like to do in a particular business, being very specific about how your experience translates into something more substantial is an asset.
I’ll cut right to the chase. The real problem with marketing yourself in a culture full of buzzwords is that I’m not full of shit. I mean, I can be I guess. And I know how to write really lofty things and make myself sound better than I am. But I prefer to be real with people and there really isn’t a reward for that in the midst of marketing.
So in some ways, it’s very much like what I learned to do as a young professional in the vein of interviewing for jobs. I had the hardest time at first, trying to convince myself to ‘sell’ myself. I’ve learned that skill over the past few years and no longer come close to having the problems I once did.
The issue here isn’t so much about a dearth of expertise, as much as it’s being able to identify coherently what one does and does well. That is a challenge beyond others. I think being in a place where you can connect with others in your field is a good start. But when your expertise is online strategy to companies based primarily in rural areas, that’s a bigger challenge.
I think I’ve come closer to figuring it out now. But given that my primary business comes from my interactions with real people in real time, versus by online sites, it’s a lot easier for me to focus my energy on the areas that I’m better at then wasting time convincing netgeeks of my superior abilities using netspeak.
Which makes me pretty happy.