The most important marketing lesson I’ve learned over the years: If what you’re doing feels wrong (in your head, heart, or gut), it’s wrong. Period.
Over the years, I’ve been employed in a wide range of full-time, part-time, contract, and freelance business strategy, brand strategy, marketing, proposal strategy, and communications roles. I’ve made my share of mistakes. I have a lifelong tendency to learn the hard way. I fall down a lot. Fortunately, I almost always get back up.
When I started my career, I wrote some proposals that made me feel uneasy because I stretched the truth. Sure, the truth stretching was at my client’s behest, but I didn’t walk away or draw a line in the sand. I stuck around and got the job done.
Mid-career, I supported lots of outbound marketing campaigns even though outbound isn’t my wheelhouse (and often isn’t the best strategy for landing new clients in the services sector). I even worked on outbound campaigns blasted to purchased email lists. Outbound marketing is more expensive than inbound. Instead of getting traffic organically, you’re paying for ads and lists. It’s also more disruptive and involves unsolicited (and often annoying) sales pitches.
Around the same time, I took on an internal communications project for a global corporation known for treating its employees poorly. In both cases, my gut told me to run, not walk, away. In both cases, I stuck around and got the job done.
Learning the Most Important Marketing Lesson Didn’t Come Easy
I’m entrepreneurial. I’m also a hard worker. I built my business brick by brick. I have no regrets about the diverse range of work I’ve done. I do have regrets about some of the projects I chose to take on and some of the clients I chose to serve.
I didn’t always make the best choices.
The most important marketing lesson I’ve learned is to pay attention to what your head, heart, and gut are telling you. Build a brand you stand behind. Take on work that helps you think and learn and grow. Offer products and services that are the real damn deal. Market your business with clarity and honesty. And always work for customers or clients you respect and who respect you in turn.
From the time you get up in the morning til the time you go to bed at night, be you.
Fast Wins + Zero Fluff = Game Changer
My aim is to help small businesses and teams keep from making common (and costly) marketing mistakes and get out of their “random acts of marketing” rut.
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