My Clients and Their Brands: a Marketer's Catch 22

by Jill Foster on June 2, 2009

From the moment my eyelids flutter open
As a marketing, PR and communications consultant, my days are full of the act of promotion for my clients. From the moment my eyelids flutter open in the morning until I drag myself back to bed late at night, I spend many hours promoting client products, services, outreach efforts, programs, events and the like. Everything I write, everything I design, every hyperlink I click and every stroke of my keyboard is dedicated to promoting my clients, period.

This is what I do.
These acts of promotion are what allow me to bring home the bacon. It’s how I even get out of some (yet hardly all) household chores,

-Often telling my husband, “Would you have me use an hour of my time cleaning the kitchen or doing billable work for a client?” (wink wink!)

Forgotten? marketing the marketer
But all the while, amidst every promotional and marketing effort I exert for everyone else, it seems that there’s just never, ever enough time to promote myself. I daydream sometimes about cloning my DNA and envision having one ‘Mayra me’ promote for the clients and the other ‘Mayra me’ promote exclusively all for myself. Yup, I know. It’s silly but honest.

I take so much pride in what I do for those who retain my services.
I go all out and then some — to get them the exposure they want, need and deserve. Yet, as I’m in the thick of marketing activity on their behalf, a part of me feels envy that I wish I could do all the things I do for my clients for myself, too.

Too close to my vest
Yeah, you can outsource accounting and billing and you can outsource some administrative tasks. But on the marketing front, this is just something too close to my vest to outsource to anyone. Besides, I often wonder, if I am a marketing professional, then shouldn’t I be demonstrating how it’s done well by doing it for myself? It’s like a professional Web services firm claiming they can do all these great Web things for your site but behind the scenes, they themselves don’t do any of their own Web work. I’m not saying this is entirely bad. Many folks outsource tasks, functions and support.

Perhaps I’m too hard on myself, I’m not sure. I guess I just believe that some things, particularly the very area I claim to possess the expertise in, cannot and should not be outsourced.

And so I continue my marketing life, promoting for others but not much for myself.
I do what I can and pour most of my marketing effort onto my blog. My professional and personal life commitments leave me little time to do a lot of face-to-face networking so I have to strongly lean on digital marketing venues to promote my services. Establishing a strong presence online through my blog, through my email newsletter and through social utilities has really helped but I know I could – and perhaps should – be doing so much more.

Always ready ‘to deal’
In the end, my mom always says we are never given a load that’s too great for us to bear. So I grin and press on knowing that my grass, although not as plush as I’d like, is still pretty green [image All's Well Katarina2353 by Creative Commons]. Perhaps one day soon I’ll have the opportunity to do more marketing for myself. For now, however, my marketing needs and wants are going back on the shelf.

My client and their brands are waiting …

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Guest post from Mayra Ruiz-McPherson, regular guest contributor to Women Grow Business. Mayra works as an independent marketing strategist and social media enthusiast. With over 14 years of marketing and communications experience, Mayra helps businesses and non-profits with all aspects of their brand identity, outreach communications, and competitive positioning. She produces the blog Marketing Misfit and can be reached at www.twitter.com/marketingMisfit.

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