November 17, 2014

Everyone Markets


When I was in university, a long time ago, I majored in Accounting and Management. At that time my interest in marketing was so lacking that I only grudgingly took the first year required Marketing credit, Advertising. You see, I sort of felt that marketing was vaguely seedy and extremely creative. And that I was neither.

What I know now is that marketing can still be seedy, but it doesn't have to be. And creativity comes in many forms.

There’s one other factor to successful marketing: flawless execution. All that has come before is quickly negated by sloppy presentation.

I became a marketer without ever making a conscious decision to do so. I’m still not very seedy, and not a creative genius. But I can plan and I can execute like there’s no tomorrow. Making it happen is where I make a difference, sometimes the difference between success and failure.

I still have that big heavy Advertising textbook and I’m not sure why I've kept it. It’s clearly outdated for an industry that has changed so much. Email marketing, websites and social media were only vague ideas back then. And marketing was the purview of agencies. Now, pretty much everyone markets something, from resumes to garage sales to product line introductions.



November 4, 2014

Writing to Deadline


One thing I keep telling anyone who will listen is to write when you're inspired... and take the time to get inspired. This means doing a little planning, too, then. Inspiration will have a hard time finding you, buried in emails and racing between meetings.

I asked my friend and mentor, Neil Everton of Podium Media and Communication Coaching, "Do you plan your time to write? Or do you write when you're inspired?"

The response I got was neither! "Planning and inspiration are not concepts I'm familiar with. I write best when there’s a deadline."

I use deadlines, too, but for me they are a last resort. I find it hard to be creative when I'm stressed about a deadline.

Do what works for you. Whatever it is that causes you to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard needs to be harnessed and exploited. Creating great content that people want to read doesn't happen without some effort.

photo by erink_photography / Flickr

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