Susan Shelby, FSMPS, CPSM President & CEO Rhino PR
If I had a dime for every time people ask me why I became a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM), I would be a rich marketer. With an impressive list of benefits, it is more a question of why would I not want this distinction.
SMPS National defines a CPSM as an “individual who has met a rigorous standard of experience and expertise in marketing professional services and has demonstrated their knowledge of practice and related disciplines through a thorough examination of marketing competency.” Becoming a CPSM is a mark of distinction; a way to differentiate yourself and add credibility to your role as a marketer. CPSM positions you as a leader in the marketing industry, earning respect and a competitive advantage over someone with the same experience but without the certification.
CPSM will enhance your credibility with employers, clients, and peers, and even potentially enhance your wallet. CPSMs earn an average of 30% higher salaries and receive 78% more bonuses. Have I convinced you yet? If you are still contemplating becoming a CPSM, consider these additional benefits:
- Invitations to CPSM-only educational and networking opportunities
- Access to CPSM-only communities on MySMPS and LinkedIn
- Inclusion on the CPSM roster on the SMPS website
The Icing on the Cake
Even the process of studying for the exam was beneficial. I increased my knowledge of strategic market planning, plan implementation, and business development. I have since taken the next step and become a Fellow of SMPS. Think of CPSM as the icing on the cake. It’s an added layer that sweetens you. Becoming a Fellow is one step fancier, or the fondant on the cake. Attaining this level requires national involvement, and further develops your perceived authority with your company.
Licensure as Public Display of Skills
Working in the AEC industry, many of my clients have some type of accreditation or licensure – think AIA, PE or LEED AP. The letters after their name demonstrate their dedication to their profession. By adding CPSM to my name, I was also able to rank as a leader in my industry and publicly display my professional competence. It shows I have taken the extra step in my career.
An added perk is specialized opportunities only available to CPSMs. The SMPS national conference – Build Business – devotes an exclusive day to CPSMs, and a symposium dedicated for Fellows. This year, the bonus sessions were tailored to analyzing and aligning yourself to achieve your goals. Sessions included a self-assessment training to recognize what is impacting your perceived value and how to overcome these obstacles. Mindfulness was taught as a way to focus your intention, attention, and attitude to conquer vulnerabilities and make your skill + your desire = your full capacity. Access to training tools such as these have advanced my professional development.
The additional event for Fellows included three C-level executives for AEC firms discussing how they value and perceive marketing professionals. They acknowledged that strong marketing and business development is crucial to growing a business. As one COO and PIC of an architecture firm said, “we have a CFO-trained accountant. Would we hire an engineer as our CFO? No!” This was music to my ears! The executives all agreed that marketing professionals, as significant contributors to value proposition, should be valued higher than a director. The AEC leaders can do the work, but the marketers create the content that sells that work to obtain new clients.
Becoming a CPSM will elevate your professional development and your career. Isn’t it time to invest in yourself?