This week, while having the fantastic opportunity to work on a new customer account and exploring the wonderful platform that is Quora (a Q&A social media platform) a little more to promote new business avenues, I came across a question which started the thinking juices.
The question was, “What are some common beginner mistakes in content marketing and how does one not get pointed at and told “you’re doing it wrong”?
Dripping with insecurity, this question floored me.
We (by “we” I mean “us marketing folk”) are social people. We like to share – but it’s also about drumming up noise. Noise to direct traffic to a point. Noise to get people to know about us (or our brands). Noise to make a point. And sometimes, noise, just for the sake of making noise. We’re all guilty of it.
And for a few minutes, I thought back to the starting block of my own career in Marketing – the overwhelming intimidation I felt by all these GREAT resources, top tips, 10 facts, Quick Start Guides, 5 rules, 7 insights that you see in the social hemisphere. And then there are the inspirational, 2 minutes with Richard Branson, the “One thing my mother taught me”, the influencer thought processes, the 30-second thought-provoking video – also aiming to direct traffic, shout about your brand, make a point etc – but in a slightly more passive aggressive way.
Make no mistake – I am a massive fan of the Top Tips and 5 rules content – but at the point of starting out – and taking my first step into the world of representing a brand publically – it was exactly these pieces of quick-fire content that overwhelmed my thought process. Yes, it quickly developed my sense of discernment in terms of who I want to listen to and who I choose to unfollow – but the daunting thought that I was about to leap into the super fast swimming lane alongside professional athletes who live in an “eat-or-be-eaten” marketing world was more than I could bear.
So – looking at my Quora Question-Poser – I took a slightly different approach to the 93 other people answering the question. I was a little more real.
You don’t HAVE to be the best at what you do, when you’re starting out. You don’t need to be. You find just 1 or 2 people that you consider to have great advice and tips – you take what you like, you learn as much as you have the capacity for, you dip your toe into the water…. followed by your ankles, then your knees… and when you’re ready – you jump into the kiddies lane and paddle your way around, until you’re ready to swim under the lane separator and speed up.
There’s no Complete Marketing Degree that will teach you everything you need to know. There are good ways of doing things, and there are bad ways of doing things – but there’s no 1 thing. Marketing is ever-changing. Don’t be scared of it. Embrace it.
Just find the lane that suits your speed, and when you’re ready, you find a buddy, and then you speed up.
Katy Roberts founded Fresh Brew Marketing in 2012 and is proud to work alongside a wide variety of businesses looking to grow their brand, amplify their message and just generally do cool stuff.