Happy 2010!  I just returned from a very wonderful, relaxing (and necessary) holiday.  The break gave me space to reflect on last year, to spend time with people I love, and to re-set a healthy work/life foundation.  Taking time off pulled me off a very unhealthy “hamster wheel” pattern of go-go-going in circles…circles with no clear end in sight.  I learned a LOT in 2009 about myself, and not all of it was pretty.

I believe in “failing forward” and learning from what worked (and what doesn’t).  I start 2010 more connected to my strengths, weaknesses, wants and needs.  This is good for me and REALLY good for the advice I will be sharing with you this year and beyond.

I am The Marketing Therapist for Web Marketing Therapy clients, my students and my team, but as I was taking care of everybody else, I realized that forgot to take care of someone else – Me.

Marketing Advice:
Our personal and professional lives blend.  I don’t care how touchy-feely you are, whether you like it or not, the two go hand in hand.  When your personal life is strong, it helps your professional life and vise-versa.  My core was very unstable last year and it took some serious time off (and unplugging from the computer and phone) to help me see that.

A Healthy New Year’s Resolution:

My 2010 theme is all about “life feng-shui”.  I am in the process of “feng-shui-ing” my personal and professional life to clear space to focus on meaningful work and relationships.  We need space to think, be creative, reflect and take care of ourselves.  If we do not take care of ourselves, we cannot be as helpful and present to help others.  Mother Teresa said that we “take care of ourselves, our family, our community and the world”  Note the order of who we have to care for!  Change begins with us.  We need to work inward before we work outward.

What This Has To Do with Marketing:
I am sharing all of this because as a web marketing speaker, the marketing therapist, teacher and CEO of our web marketing agency, I think it is un-authentic to pretend that I am perfect.  I’m not perfect. I am, however, committed to taking responsibility for my actions and learning and growing and SHARING my experiences to help others.  Marketing is about building relationships and web marketing supports our ability to create awareness, distribute information, create connections, offer good customer service and sell our products/services.

I am being 100% real.  In order to help you, my biggest credentials come from being able to identify with my target audience.  I am my target market, as real as they come!

When people ask about my credentials, I used to talk about my Masters degree, experience working for large corporations, my awards and agency successes, but lately, I hear myself getting to my core when I talk to people.   I tell people when I speak at conferences, client consultations and workshops that I am a small business owner, entrepreneur and marketing professional.  I work in the trenches and I practice what I preach.  I have good days and bad days and I learn and grow every day.  Like you, I make mistakes and I have great successes – ALL of what I learn can help me be the best service to you and my being “unperfect” as I learn on myself, allows me to be a powerful marketer.

Your First Dose of Marketing Therapy for 2010:
KNOW YOUR WORTH.

According to the Free Dictionary, the definition of worth is:

worth 1

n.

1. The quality that renders something desirable, useful, or valuable: the worth of higher education.
2. Material or market value: stocks having a worth of ten million dollars.
3. A quantity of something that may be purchased for a specified sum or by a specified means: ten dollars’ worth of natural gas; wanted their money’s worth.
4. Wealth; riches: her net worth.
5. Quality that commands esteem or respect; merit: a person of great worth.

adj.

1. Equal in value to something specified: worth its weight in gold.
2. Deserving of; meriting: a proposal not worth consideration.
3. Having wealth or riches amounting to: a person worth millions.

Self-worth is defined as:
self-worth
n.

Self-esteem; self-respect.

and

n
respect for or a favourable opinion of oneself

What is Your Professional Worth?
I want you all to reflect on what your professional worth is.   What value to you bring to your work?  Don’t think about the WHAT of your work, focus on the HOW – the HOW of your products and services is where your value and worth lie.  Once your worth is clear, make sure your marketing communicates your worth.

Like Muhammed Ali said:
“It ain’t bragging if it is true”
Once you are clear on your value, revisit your marketing efforts.  See how they are supporting you and identify ways to have your marketing support you even more.  I spent the bulk of December re-tooling www.lorriethomas.com because I realized my search optimization was poor, my website copy was old and my worth was not communicated clearly.  This year, I am optimizing www.webmarketingtherapy.com to communicate our worth better and be a better support tool to our clients and workshop attendees.
Part of our worth is tied not just to our value, but to our VALUES.  I value healthy life work balance.  I value the environment and plan to share more this year about Web Marketing Therapy’s support of 1% for the planet and our commitments to helping make the planet healthy.
I also plan to use my VOICE via our blog, our blog talk radio show and the articles I produce to share my  healthy marketing advice so we can all thrive together.
STOP marketing execution based on the should’s you hear from others.  Listen to this quick podcast about why you need to stop “shoulding on yourself” We do need help and expert advice, but make sure you listen to yourself first and always.
Surround yourself with people who help you see the could’s (not just the should’s) and before you take steps, be sure you UNDERSTAND options so you can make healthy marketing choices that are INVESTMENTS to help showcase your worth.
First Healthy Marketing Exercise of 2010:
Write down your worth – personally and professionally.  Some of this is monetary worth, some of your worth is going to be personal, health-related, self-respect, etc.  This needs to include:
1. Your Value
2. Your Values (and if you are in business to make a quick buck and you have no passion or commitment for your profession, please find another blog, we are not the right fit for you….)
3. Identify ways to optimize your marketing so it helps you Voice your value and values.  Websites, blogs, email, online articles, podcasts, webcasts, social media and more can all do this.
Here’s to making 2010 a WORTHwhile Marketing Year.  You have my commitment to supporting you invest in meaningful marketing!
Virtual Marketing Hugs,
The Marketing Therapist

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