How to Build a Marketing Portfolio — With Erik Martin

February 6, 2024
Anonymous Marketer | Content Marketing | Marketing Strategy

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Anonymous Marketer, host Kirsti Lang converses with Erik Martin, a seasoned marketing expert. They delve into the importance of maintaining a professional portfolio for marketers. Erik, with his extensive background in various high-profile marketing roles, shares insights on creating compelling portfolios that stand out in a competitive job market.

The discussion begins with Erik emphasizing the value of portfolios in showcasing a marketer’s achievements and skills. He advises on how to document marketing projects effectively and highlights the significance of visually representing one’s work, even for non-visual roles. Erik’s unique perspective on portfolios extends beyond job hunting; he views them as tools for self-reflection and career development.

Kirsti and Erik explore the practical aspects of portfolio creation. Erik suggests using accessible tools like Notion, Canva, and public Google Docs, making it easier for those with limited technical skills. He also touches on the relevance of personal branding and the use of portfolios as a strategy for career advancement.

This episode is a deep dive into the professional world of marketing, offering valuable advice for marketers at any career stage. Kirsti and Erik’s conversation is not only informative but also serves as a guide for marketers looking to enhance their professional presence and impact.

Featured Guest

Name: Erik Martin
What he does: Head of Community
Noteworthy: Erik has a notable background in the marketing industry. His career history includes positions such as General Manager at Reddit, General Manager US at Depop, VP of Member Engagement at WeWork, VP of Marketing at Airtime, Lead Entrepreneur at Nike, and Chief Community Officer at Teal. This varied experience in high-profile roles showcases his extensive expertise and knowledge in the field.

Key Insights

Tailoring Portfolios to Job Descriptions

Erik Martin emphasizes the significance of aligning portfolios with specific job descriptions. Instead of generic presentations, he suggests marketers should highlight skills and projects directly relevant to the roles they are applying for. This approach involves showcasing projects and results that demonstrate their expertise in required skills, even if the job application doesn’t explicitly ask for a portfolio. By doing so, candidates can differentiate themselves and make a stronger case for their suitability for the role.

Documenting Achievements for Future Opportunities

Erik advises marketers to regularly document their successes and learnings. This habit is not just about building a portfolio but also serves as a tool for self-reflection and professional development. By keeping track of accomplishments, challenges, and metrics, marketers can easily reference their progress and achievements. This practice becomes invaluable when discussing promotions or exploring new opportunities, allowing for a tangible showcase of their career journey and impact.

Portfolios as a Canvas for Team Contributions

Portfolios offer a unique opportunity to detail one’s role within team projects. Erik points out that resumes might not always capture the nuances of team collaboration and individual contributions. A well-crafted portfolio allows marketers to elaborate on their specific roles and the collective success of team projects. This approach is particularly effective in presenting a comprehensive view of one’s skills and achievements, making a more compelling case to potential employers or clients who value both individual expertise and teamwork.

Episode Highlights

The Emergence of Portfolios in Marketing

In this part of the discussion, Kirsti Lang addresses the rising importance of portfolios in the marketing field. She observes an increasing demand for portfolios in job applications, highlighting the challenge many marketers face in understanding what to include in their portfolios. This trend underscores a shift in the industry towards more tangible demonstrations of a marketer’s skills and achievements. Kirsti’s question submitted by an anonymous marketer further emphasizes the relevance of this topic in the current job market.

“I kind of feel like portfolios are something that I’m seeing a lot more about. Like, I mean, the job market is nuts at the moment. A lot of the applications — when I was kind of on the hunt for a new role — a lot of the applications that I saw were kind of, they would ask you for a portfolio link or, you know, something on your website. And I was just like, what do I put in here?”

The Role of Community in Career Development

Erik Martin discusses the value of community in career and personal development. He describes how engaging with niche communities enhances his learning and keeps him connected with diverse perspectives and knowledge. This part of the conversation underscores the importance of community involvement in broadening one’s understanding and staying informed about various topics and subtopics. Erik’s approach demonstrates the significance of community as a resource for continuous learning and professional growth.

“That’s a beautiful thing about community too, is you get to, like, pop into these, you know, little niche subgroups where people are, you know, geek out about, I don’t know, all kinds of topics and subtopics. And just that passion they have and the knowledge they have about their specific areas is contagious in a good way. Yeah. Helps me learn.”

Building a Personal Brand through Digital Platforms

The discussion shifts to the concept of building a personal brand using digital platforms. Erik Martin highlights the importance of having an owned digital space that is searchable and can be used to showcase one’s work and expertise. This segment of the podcast emphasizes the growing need for professionals, especially marketers, to establish a strong online presence. The ability to be found easily on search engines and the use of personal platforms for branding are discussed as key strategies for career advancement.

“You could have a portfolio that’s in a PDF or, you know, password protected something or other that you’re just sending to hiring managers and jobs. Or all the way at the other end, you could have something that’s online and indexable by search engines, and you include it in your email, share and stuff.”

Creative Strategies for Showcasing Expertise

Erik Martin shares insights on how marketers can creatively showcase their expertise and opinions. He suggests using various mediums, like email newsletters or analyzing marketing campaigns, to demonstrate strategic insights, taste, and opinions. This approach not only showcases one’s marketing acumen but also helps in building critical thinking and analytical skills. Erik’s advice provides a fresh perspective on how marketers can use their unique interests and insights to stand out in their field.

“Here’s three of my favorite email newsletters […] and here’s why I think they’re pretty good […] sharing your critique and opinion […] helps to show a potential hiring manager you have strategic insights, and you have taste, and you have opinions.”

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