How Do I Market Myself and Remain A Deep Person?

Posted by on July 19, 2011

To market, to market, to make sales that are big.

Home again, home again, jiggelty-jig.

marketers running to promote themselves but are they getting anywhere real and deep?

What happens when I get home, jiggelty-jig? Do I just take off my marketer’s hat and the “me” comes back?  Or has the “me” been affected by my involvement in marketing?


This blog post isn’t our standard “How Do I SEO?” article, despite the similarity in the way the title starts. It’s a reflection on the negative emotional and psychological effect that I think marketing has on me and anyone else in the business. You won’t find practical tips here – but you may find some food for thought.  If you’re interested, read on.


Given #1 that I’m starting with here is that human beings have the potential for infinite depth – emotional, psychological, spiritual depth. Given #2 is that it is a value – if not one of the ultimate values – to develop that depth.


I find myself at a trade conference. At a trade conference, you have to network.  That’s why you’re there.  So you ready yourself with your pitch that you’ll hand out like a business card (and it’s probably the preemptive strike to “Do you want my business card?”). You’ll get lots of times to say it, because everyone’s first question to you is “So, what do you do?” Every time it happens, I give my line, something along the lines of “I help website owners increase their online business – either by doing it for them or by teaching them how to do it by themselves.” And my networking partner says, “Oh really? I do business coaching, enabling businesspeople to be more productive and make their time their own.” “Oh, very nice.” And then we proceed to have a conversation which consists of either subtly trying to impress the other with how professional, savvy and in-the-know we are, or of subtly trying to get information out of the other.  And thus the conference continues – sessions, lunch, after-conference mingling. I meet lots of people, have lots of conversations, come away with lots of business cards and Twitter handles scribbled on the back of my session notes.


I met lots of marketing pitches with human faces on them. Did I meet any humans – the way the value of a human being is defined? Was I a human being? Or was I also a marketing pitch with a face?


The more I do this, the more it becomes ingrained. The more I act like a marketing pitch, the more that defines me.

are you wearing a mask? are you a marketing pitch with a face on ?

One of the popular marketing recommendations now is “Be authentic.  Be real.” That sounds good. But if “my realness” is part of my marketing plan, is it real? Or is it a mask of authenticity? Or was it based on realness but it became shallower once I had to market it? Did it get cut off from the inner depth from which it stemmed? And do I even know the difference any more?


You can’t market depth. If you can say it in two sentences or less, it’s not depth. If you can expose it to every person you come into contact with, it’s not depth.  In fact, even if it was deep, once you expose it, bring it up, spread it out before everyone – it’s shallow now.


Some people just can’t market their authentic selves. If you are a contemplative person who thinks a lot before you say something – well, that doesn’t Twitter too well. So you’ll have to take on a persona, slip on a marketing mask of “contemplative – but outgoing and interactive and shares all her contemplations.” If you spend all day tweeting like that, who do you feel you are? “@DeepContemplativeTweeter?”


Even if you naturally have the gift of charisma and smooth, flowing interaction with anyone under the sun – is that all you are? Is that as deep as you get? What about the rest of you? The part that not many people see? Should you expose that on social media? The more authenticity the better, no?


It’s a catch-22, in both of the examples above. If you make any part of you that is truly deep part of your “marketing of my authenticity,” you’re bringing the depths of the well up into the sunlight – and then the well’s not deep anymore. If you don’t and save it for yourself, but you’re still spending the majority of your day marketing yourself with your “authentic” mask, how long will it take before you primarily identify with the mask? After all, it’s real, no?

depths of the well - if you bring it up it's no longer deep

This wasn’t a marketing pitch for the perfect solution to help you with this issue. I don’t have the perfect solution. The only thing I can think of is to be aware. Be aware of what you’re doing when you speak to other people in any context relating to “what do you do.”  Think about how it’s impacting on your self-perception.


May we succeed in working as marketers but becoming people of depth.


If you agree or disagree with any of these points, or have any thoughts of your own on the topic – let’s continue the discussion in the comments below.

July 19th, 2011 by Aviva B
Posted in Business, Marketing

4 Responses

  1. Naomi | on Says:

    A while ago everyone was retweeting “people want to be brands and brands want to be people.” But in reality people can never be brands and brands can never be people! But we wear many masks in our lives and our social media persona/brand is just one of them. The ability to act differently yet appropriately in differing situations is one of the signs of mental health.
    So when then say “be real, be yourself,” I think normal people interpret this to mean that you should be the “real you” that is appropriate in this situation.
    Wow… I sound like a really deep person… :)

  2. Shlomit on Says:

    Dear Debi,

    interesting post.
    from my perspective, you are much more than marketing pitch.

    don’t worry just do what you know the best, continue to be nice and happy and people will continue to appriciate that.


  3. Aviva B on Says:

    Hi, Shlomit!

    Thanks for the interest, comment and encouragement.

    ~ Aviva B (I know the post doesn’t specify, but I’m responsible for upkeep of the blog, so most of the posts were written by me. We should probably find some way of specifying that so people don’t get confused.)

  4. Aviva B on Says:

    Hi, Naomi! Thanks for the response – and for being thought-provoking yourself. Led to an interesting conversation with my family.
    If people did compartmentalize the different parts of their lives, that would probably help the situation, but I’m not sure if the human psyche works that way entirely. If we get used to acting a certain way in a particular ongoing situation, it makes sense to me that there would be some kind of impact (even subconsciously) on other situations in our lives.
    It may also make a difference how we mentally categorize the people we’re interacting with. It could be that we are able to act a certain way towards people we tag as “family” but differently towards people we tag as “business prospects.” The question is what happens when there is potential overlap? When we meet a new acquaintance in the park, what category do we subconsciously put her into? When our uncle tells us that he’s starting a website (and you just happen to do internet marketing) – what category does he get assigned to in our head for the next few minutes?
    Just some thoughts…

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