I’ve recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview a number of independent consultants who are all members of the Talmix community.
Talmix is the home of independent talent – and their platform makes it possible for organisations to find the help they need from over 25,000 independent consultants from all over the world.
As part of their content plan, I was asked to interview a number of independent consultants in order to broadcast the wealth of expertise and skill that so many hold. (Read some of the articles I’ve written, here). Only on my 4th profile piece so far, I am completely overwhelmed by the calibre of knowledge available on the market. And more so – how wonderfully encouraging it is to see these unique individuals believing in a cause so much that they, at some point in their lives, risked their careers by taking the less popular route and follow a self-employed path that now sets them apart from some of their peers.
I had the pleasure, today, of speaking to a specialist consultant within the mining industry. This chap, originally hailing from Leeds, UK and now living in South Africa, has over 30 years’ experience within the industry. With a few more years left before official retirement age, there is no sign of stopping.
What an inspiration he is to me – as someone who is just embarking on this journey that is independence. I only hope and pray that I will be as inspiring when I get to that part of my career, as Andrew has been to me today.
I salute you sir. And thank you for the hope you give to the rest of us.
I love my job. And you’ve just made it even better.
As those of you who follow this blog regularly, know – there’s nothing better than finding a lesson in one of life’s most mundane activities – and translating that into action.
Introduction of The Protea Mission.
Here’s the Educational Bit: The Protea is South Africa’s national flower. In fact, such a favourite that we named our National Cricket Team after the flower. But it’s not just an ordinary flower. The journey in life that this plant takes is a remarkable one filled with struggle, hopelessness and sure death, followed abundantly radiant glory as it fills most of the open spaces throughout South Africa with it’s beauty. You see, the Protea seed only germinates through fire, and smoke. So it goes without saying that when the tragedy of the all-to-common bush fires take over the mountains of South Africa after a dry and windy spell, there’s a sense of hope in amidst all of that, where you can be sure that out of the ashes these incredible plants will rise in full splendour.
But the sad part.
They only really grow well in South Africa. As part of the indigenous Fynbos vegetation, trying to have a little bit of home when you’re living in the opposite hemisphere is somewhat of a challenge.
But that didn’t stop me this week.
So, in order to simulate the perfect germinating environment, I gathered as many dry leaves and twigs that I could find, and made a fire in an old baking tray. Creating the perfect smoky smouldering consistency by adding water and mixing it all together, I then added some ordinary river sand. (Proteas, ironically, don’t like very nutritional soil. As long as it drains well, they’re happy).
Completely contradictory to my gardening know-how – I tried to strip back as much goodness as I could – to emulate the perfect growing condition for what I hope would be an incredible thing.
I got to thinking about what this means in our working worlds.
All too often, we give too much. We give what we think our clients need. We overshare, overdo, overcommit. We try to be what they’re not, and we try to think where they aren’t. But how many times do we as business providers end up confused as to why it just simply did not work?
Why, when we’ve given SO MUCH?
Well, perhaps like my tiny little fluffy Protea seeds, maybe, just maybe, we should have spent more time looking at what their perfect conditions should have been, and focused more on emulating that in order to produce the best damn looking specimen you’ve ever seen. Maybe then we would have delivered exactly what they needed.
So even if my little seeds never sprout their sticky green heads above the ashes and dirt, and I never have the joy of seeing a King Protea standing tall in my front garden, at least I know that these little buddies have left a resonating impression on me, and the way that I interpret “perfect conditions”.
Fresh Brew Marketing is offering a great opportunity for a Dorset or Somerset-based student to get to know the world of marketing. If you’re looking to understand more about the Marketing world – and sink your teeth into some real-life experience, Fresh Brew Marketing offers work experience to those who are keen to learn.
The work experience placement is available to suit your diary – and will aim to equip you with the following:
This is an unpaid position and will be based in Beaminster, Dorset.
If you’re someone who is keen to learn, is interested in a career in Marketing – willing to learn – then you’re perfect. We’re looking for someone who is comfortable with creative writing, confident in trying new ideas and someone who is just keen to get DOING.
Get in touch with Katy via the contact page or email me on katy (at) freshbrewmarketing (dot) com.
I want you to think about something for a second. Hopefully, by now, your business has some sort of web presence. It may be a social media profile of some sorts – a business page, a personal profile that you use for your business etc, OR, it could be a website, or it may even be a listing on a local directory page. Whatever it is (and you’d better have one if you expect to be found – else you need to read THIS blog too….), think about it for a second.
Imagine you’re a prospective customer looking for exactly what you offer. Imagine that you don’t know anything about your business and you’ve heard about your services via someone else. You happen upon your business profile.
I imagine you’re pretty confident right now about the image that you’ve built up online. Great. So – here’s one more test. Think about your dream customer. Don’t limit yourself. You may only be a 1-man-band – but a 1-man-band can still provide a service to the biggest organisational in the world. So, for a second, think about that organisation. And imagine yourself meeting the CEO of that business for the first time. Imagine that he takes a look at your business online (in whichever way it is being represented). Would you feel proud for him to see what he sees. Would he still hire your services?
I touch on a little anecdote that I heard from one of my customers who shared one of their experiences with us. For the sake of anonymity – let’s just call our customer “Peter”. Peter was due to do some work for a customer. As usual, Peter did the usual homework – finding out what their potential customer does, where they are based, how they like to work, what their business vision is, what is important to them. Peter wanted to deliver successfully – so he ensured that he does what he always does, and researches. Peter notes a beautiful website, with all the best words and imagery – creating a view of his potential customer which excites the potential in a long-term working relationship. Off he trundles.
Peter arrives on site – only to be met by a chap in a vest shirt and jogging trousers. At the end of a lead, he holds onto a very ferocious looking dog. The business address is not a luxurious office block, but rather a home in a run-down suburb. After confirming that Peter was at the correct location, he is invited in to the ‘office’ – currently being run out of a garden shed.
It’s classic. It’s almost Hollywood.
Marketers are incredible people. We do some spectacular things. But there are just far too many who just create an impression that simply does not exist.
The true art of marketing is an accurate reflection of integrity, added value and most of all – a genuine reflection on the things that are important to you, as a customer.
If any of the questions I asked above made you feel slightly uncomfortable – then talk to Fresh Brew Marketing today. Let’s get you back on track.