The AEC industry is in dire need of marketing and business development professionals. In a recent MARKETLINK ALL IN Good Company interview with Catherine Curtis, CPSM, she explains there is great need for qualified candidates for mid-level marketing and business development positions in our industry. AEC firms are getting creative in helping to train and retain marketing and business development professionals. Firms are investing more time, money, and energy training existing entry-level staff members to enhance their career path and fill the void of mid-level marketing professionals.

 

What is the path of an AEC industry professional? How can you become a valuable asset to your team? Most AEC firms don’t have a formalized marketing career path and marketing professionals find they are unclear how to continue to position themselves for career progression.

 

Get Organized Month is not just for getting your department organized, it’s a great time to get yourself personally organized.


What is a personal branding plan?

The term personal branding is becoming more and more well known in the AEC industry. This should be even more important as career progression opportunities are more plentiful.

 

A personal brand is the image or reputation of a professional. There are different kinds of personal brands you can create for yourself or your team depending on your ultimate career goal. Marketing professionals are those who have invested in their education, training, specialization and have attained high visibility and expertise in the AEC industry, establishing a personal brand that is widely recognized.

 

You can develop ideas for your own personal brand by following this three-step process. This plan will help you differentiate yourself as a thought leader.


How to create a personal branding plan

A personal brand consists of carefully defining your expertise, service audience, and what makes YOU different from other experts in your firm or in the industry. To start, you’ll need to answer a few questions:


1. What is your expertise?

Identify and describe your specialized, unique, one-of-a-kind area of expertise. Answer the question, “I am an expert in ________________.” The more unique and specialized your expertise, the easier your career progression will be because you will not be easily replaced. Think hard! It could be that you have a unique understanding of CRM programs, develop exceptional infographics, write very technical content, or you are willing to work on short deadlines.


2. What makes you valuable to others?

Describe how you can help in various scenarios. How are you different? How do you help solve problems that are common within the work you provide? Who will benefit from your unique qualifications? How does your skill set assist internal staff members or your firm’s external clientele?


3. What is your superpower?

Think carefully about your most compelling differentiator, making your brand fit you and only you. No one should be able to provide the same service. This is the most impactful part of your brand.


A Work In Progress – Time To Get Organized

You will find there are areas in which you can always improve. You should always be striving to enhance your skill set. The SMPS Blueprints: Guides for Marketing and Business Development Departments is a wonderful resource that will guide you through the process of career progression. Review this document often and take the assessment at the beginning of every year (if not more frequently). Get your thoughts organized this month and make a plan for your continued growth. Stay focused and seek inspiration.


Look For The Bright Spots

No matter where you are in your personal branding journey, a thoughtful goal will help you stay on track. Choose areas that will bring you personal and professional satisfaction. The following questions will help you understand where your strengths lie:

1. Where do your interests lie?
2. Where do you most shine in your day-to-day activities?
3. Where can you deliver the greatest value? 


Take Action

Start off the year right by paying attention to YOUR personal organization and goal setting. Apply these new positioning ideas to your daily activities. Your newly found personal brand will help take your career to a new level of visibility, respect and value while navigating the undefined yet rewarding career paths of contemporary AEC marketers.

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About The Author

Keri Hammond, FSMPS, CPSM

Keri is a long-standing trailblazer in the Utah AEC industry. Clients appreciate her ability to get things done – they know she does whatever it takes, with integrity, to help them build their business. Keri is known for her leadership and diplomacy; she motivates others with positivity, trust, and unwavering support.

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