Tag: agency

Why I Became a Podcaster

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A few weeks ago Sarah Thomas, Jason Neave and I got together over a few beers and gave life to the Communication Junction podcast. While it’s fair to say that the marketing podcast space is pretty crowded, we felt that there was still room for a uniquely (South) Australian voice to debate the issues important to marketing and comms professionals in the City of Churches.

While we still have some work to do to get it to a point where we will be truly happy, the response to the first episode has been reassuringly positive.

There was one bit of feedback I received, however, that took me by surprise. That was the number of people (over half I’d spoken to) who were perplexed at why I would (a) record a podcast; that was (b) specifically on marketing. After all, didn’t I already work, blog, speak and raise a young family? And why marketing? If it were sports or music, sure. But marketing? WTF?

It comes naturally to me

I love creating and content and have always wanted to record a podcast. Part of the reason why was eager to do it is probably because I spent over 10 years in radio. While most people are terrified at the thought of public speaking let alone someone downloading and playing back their voice, it really doesn’t faze me. I don’t have the best voice, but I speak passionately and earnestly on the things I love.

Having said that, I think I would be less comfortable if I were to do a video or photo blog. I’m a pretty average photographer at the best of times and don’t tend to take too many photos. In contrast, if I’m really interested in something, I tend to talk about it. A lot.

I’m compelled to do it

What’s the point in doing something if you don’t also love it. That’s how I felt when I realised I wanted to be a marketer – a digital marketer, to be precise.

Since then I’ve dedicated my professional (and large chunks of my personal) life to finding out everything I can about how technology has transformed the way brands communicate and engage with their customers. I’ve got a voracious appetite for knowledge and constantly read books, blogs and listen to podcasts, not to mention trawl Twitter for interesting links.

In addition to a varied background that has taken from the music industry, to the arts and not for profit sector, to media, marketing agency and now big client-side, I’ve been able to develop my thinking around issues related to digital marketing and business that I felt compelled to share with other people. I started this blog to do precisely that, but the opportunity to record a regular podcast with two people who I love debating the issues with was just too good to resist but also to take the great conversations we’ve had and put them online so that hopefully others can get some benefit from it.

So that’s my story.

What content are you compelled to create and why? Let me know in the comments.

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Walking away

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“To thine ownself be true.”
– William Shakespeare

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em”
– Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”

We all like looking at pretty things; especially if we’re the ones creating it.

It can be really hard to resist the lure of dabbling in Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Particularly on the web where part of the brief is to experiment, test and optimise, many digital marketers (myself included) love nothing more than to roll up our sleeves create.

In pretty much every case (unless it’s core business), this is a mistake.

We should learn to let go of those things we perceive as being ‘fun’ to do and focus on what really matters. This means letting go of tinkering and letting the experts do the work even if it’s going to cost you in the short term.

It’s cheaper to DIY

For some businesses this may be true, but for most, this argument doesn’t hold any water.

The cost imperative is often misplaced as the cost in terms of salary/lost productivity of you spending several days designing a new website far outweighs the financial cost of just getting a web designer to do it. Unless you have no money and there is no one else who could possibly do the job, there is no way you can say that the time you spend (a) figuring out how to do something; and (b) doing it at a suboptimal level, could be better spent doing something else that is more core to your business.

Having come from the NFP world where everything was done with shoestring, rubber bands and sticky tape, my thinking has shifted somewhat from trying to do everything myself and putting out an amateurish product, to engaging a professional who shared our vision and had a desire to work with us at a price that wouldn’t hold us to ransom. There are now so many design houses and agencies out there that its not too hard to find someone that matches your ethos and budget.

Ok, so what then?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given was from the Managing Partner of a large Adelaide law firm who asked me, “What do you want to be known for?”

While slightly out of context, his point was that if you want to get ahead you need to be an expert at something – your competitive point of difference, if you will – and that if you aren’t clear about what your objectives are for both your career and your job, it’s easy to get distracted. But if you know exactly what you are trying to achieve, it becomes much easier to walk away from the ‘nice to do’ stuff so you can focus on the task at hand and get the job done.

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