Whatever your career aspirations, having an example of where you want to be and what you want to achieve can help drive you to reach them. Without having someone to look up to, it can be difficult to determine what your next steps should be or the routes that you can take to further your career.
However, most marketers don't have professional role models to inspire or mentor them in their work. Marketing Week reports that just one in three marketers have role models, which can lead to careers plateauing and individuals not reaching their full potential.
Despite the lack of role models, the same research found that many marketers want to be mentors and role models to others, suggesting there is the drive to help and a recognition of the issue. So how can marketers become role models to others in the industry?
Understand your value
The initial step to becoming a marketing role model is to understand the value that you bring to a company, superiors, clients and other employees. As the American Marketing Association notes, your value is a unique combination of skills, accomplishments, characteristics and strengths, all of which can help you stand out from the crowd.
Understanding your value not only ensures you don't undersell yourself, it is a vital part of your personal brand and can help you see exactly how you can serve as a role model. Not having a complete understanding of your value can make it difficult for others to see it, which is not ideal when you want to be a mentor to others in the industry.
Grow your knowledge
It is difficult to become a marketing role model if you do not have extensive knowledge to offer to others. One of the biggest gaps in marketing is expertise, with Knowledge Tree reporting that over 80 per cent of marketers learn on the job, which can lead to knowledge gaps. Addressing this for yourself can ensure you're in a better place to help others develop their prowess.
With the industry moving at such a fast pace, understanding what knowledge would be beneficial to you and others is the best way to ensure that what you're learning will still be relevant over the next year. However, it is also vital to ensure you are constantly keeping on top of advances and using any and all opportunities to learn. This will ensure you are in the best possible place to teach and mentor others.
Become a thought leader
Role models stand out and inspire others, which is hard to do if you don't establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry. Thought leaders help spearhead innovation and are respected by others within their sector, as well as their customers.
As Entrepreneur explains, there are several stages to becoming a thought leader, including networking within your industry, publishing thought-provoking and inspiring blogs, staying ahead of the curve and driving change. All of this helps to set you up as an authority within your industry, helping you to influence others within it and provide leadership.
Send a message
One of the things that marketers are looking for from potential role models is passion. This passion translates through what you do, how you do it and the way you speak about your role and industry. It also sends a strong message about your personal brand and why you are mentor material.
A lack of passion isn't going to inspire or innovate, however, unfocused passion can also be confusing. It is important to think about the image you want to represent and how that might help others in the sector. Your passion needs to send a clear and concise message about who you are and what you have to offer in order to truly be seen as a role model. Once you have this message, you need to maintain it through your work and attitude.