I'm going to get personal for a minute here. In this job market, it's important to understand what value you bring to potential employers, and to always be iterating on your personal value propositions.
Given the guest lecture series I give at Tufts and Boston University bi-annually, I thought it would be a helpful exercise to look at my background and distill how I would approach the marketing of "me." Hopefully you can take some of these items and see how this framework might apply to your next role.
Who Am I?
Ashley (Osgood) McManus is an experienced marketing professional with a track record of driving growth for startups and established businesses. As a VP of Marketing, Ashley brings a unique set of skills and qualities that can help a tech startup CEO take their company to the next level.
Here are some reasons why a tech startup CEO might want to hire Ashley as their remote VP of marketing:
1- Proven Track Record
Ashley has a proven track record of success in marketing. She has worked with companies in a variety of industries, from SaaS and eCommerce to consumer products and health and wellness. She has consistently delivered results, helping companies increase their revenue, drive more traffic to their websites, and build strong brands. A startup CEO can feel confident in Ashley's ability to create and execute marketing strategies that will help their company grow.
2 - Experience with Startups
Ashley has experience working with startups and understands the unique challenges that they face. She knows how to work with limited budgets and resources to create effective marketing campaigns that deliver results. She also understands the importance of agility and adaptability in a startup environment, and can help a CEO pivot their marketing strategy as needed.
3 - Strong Leadership Skills
As a remote VP of Marketing, Ashley will need to work closely with a team of marketers and other professionals. She has strong leadership skills and can motivate and inspire a team to achieve their goals. She is also an effective communicator, able to clearly and concisely convey complex ideas and strategies to stakeholders at all levels of the organization.
On a personal note, becoming a mom has been one of the greatest leadership challenges: if you can get 2 children, ages 6 and 3, up and ready by yourself in the morning and dropped off to school (especially if they do not want to go), this is the demonstrates the epitome of leadership, negotiation and persuasive skills!
4 - Strategic Thinker
Ashley is a strategic thinker who can help a CEO develop and execute a comprehensive marketing strategy. She can identify new market opportunities and create campaigns that target specific customer segments. She is also skilled at analyzing data and using insights to optimize campaigns and improve ROI and identify where marketing has the most impact.
5 - Creative Problem Solver
Startups often face unique challenges that require creative solutions. Ashley is a creative problem solver who can think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas to help a startup overcome obstacles. She can also help a CEO develop a strong brand identity and create marketing campaigns that stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Overall, Ashley McManus brings a wealth of experience, leadership, and strategic thinking to the role of remote VP of Marketing. Her track record of success, experience with startups, and strong leadership and communication skills make her an excellent choice for a tech startup CEO looking to take their company's marketing to the next level.
Interested in learning more? Let's talk.
One of my absolute favorite things to do in marketing is working with partners. When it comes to spreading the word about your company or your product, I can't see why you wouldn't take advantage of working together towards this greater purpose. Partner marketing can really complement and help amplify your thought leadership pograms
What are the Benefits of Partner Marketing?
I see it as a win-win: let's say it starts with a piece of collaborative content you have come together to create. When it comes to promote that content, you have access to each other’s networks - their social media following (both personal and of the company), email subscriber lists, employees, and more. So you are effectively each doubling the reach of your content.
1 - Make it Easy.
While I was at Affectiva, and even continuing at the Smart Eye group, the Human Centric AI podcast that I started is a great example of this. It was designed as a vehicle to build that relationship and then promote each other on our networks. We also packaged it up so that the speaker received a sample social post to copy & paste on LinkedIn to promote their episode, a pretty graphic featuring their headshot that they can easily share and tag to point back to my source content,
2 - Brainstorm Collaborative Offer Ideas.
You can come together via partner marketing to collaborate on new, innovative thought leadership content - podcasts are one example, but you can also consider livestreams, blog posts, eBooks, webinar presentations, or joint speaking gigs to name a few.
3 - Map out Your Ecosystem
So, take a minute to map out who the key players are in your ecosystem. They can be partners, clients, customers, or influential people in your network.
By aligning yourself and your company with thought leaders in your industry or in companies adjacent with your own lends credibility. This also ultimately builds trust with your target audience - it's nice to talk about yourself, but even more powerful when you can team up and talk about each other.
Learn more about thought leadership and partner marketing strategies in this recent podcast I did!
Have you ever been jealous of someone who got a little bit of an edge earlier in life? If not, good for you: you are some kind of pure.
Because I definitely have.
Starting out right out of college, even before college, I remember looking at classmates and being in envy of their personal situations. I wish MY mom was an executive VP who could coach me on my first interview, or I wish MY dad led the finance department of a start up, and could advise me on how to negotiate my first offer, or could explain equity and 401k to me.
But my mom sells furniture, and my dad is a handyman.
Don't get me wrong, I am super proud and I learned so much from both of them. In fact, if you are just starting out and find yourself in a similar situation, here are some thoughts for you:
1) Examine your relationship with success, and money.
This first step requires some reflection. Based on where you came from, how do you define "success"? What about your attitude towards money? How do you manage your finances? Will the career you are in support you financially? Understand what motivates you, and how your definition of success can best set you up in your life. Spoiler: you need to make that money, don't be afraid of it and get your credit card / student loan act together ;)
2) Look at what triggers your jealousy and make a plan.
I once heard that we are most jealous of the things we see that we want most in this world. Are you jealous of your friends' parents coaching them on their job hunt? Or if your friend received a promotion? Great, this tells you what you want, which is step 1.
Now let's start by creating a plan to get you there. If it's moving up in your career, check this 7-step post outlining how to make your case for a promotion. If it's a new job at a new company / industry all together, start the job hunt with this interview guide. And if it's a lack of monitorship, get creative about your network: ask your friends' parents for advice! Reach out to that old professor of yours! Ask an executive at your company if you can buy them a coffee, to pick their brain on how they achieved their success (and maybe inspire them to be invested in yours.)
Start today by stop making excuses, and be proactive about the resources that you need.
3) Reflect and identify your strengths.
I doubt that you have made it this far by sheer luck. Not having people in your corner by default caused you to get your own people. If you needed to teach yourself a skill in order to advance yourself, that's an amazing thing to call out on your resume or in a job interview. If you don't have experience in a particular field, show how you started a blog and started researching the topic to become versed in it. All of these ways demonstrate resourcefulness and showcase how you are willing to take the initiative; both incredible qualities to look for in an employee, in my opinion.
The Bottom Line: Flip the Script
It's easy to make excuses. What's not easy, is taking control of your narrative and doing whatever you can in your power to change what you do not like in your life. Consider these experiences opportunities to learn, and turn them into advantages.
I'm a motivated, self-starting marketer and working mom looking to make a difference in the world - one story at a time.
Let's get you set up for success!
Have a podcast? Let's talk.