Greetings and Salutations. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted but not to be mistakend for leaving my post. As promised, I’ve been hard at work mixin the minutia to see what comes about. I tweeted about the sassy little tech pod cast I was asked to create about how technology has affected the world as we know it (never used video editing software in my life BTW). Not one to follow the rules verbatim, I chose to narrow it down a bit and profile how technology has affected the Boomer generation while I was at it. Might as well kill both those birds, right?
So in case you didn’t catch the earlier tweets, here’s a link to my first video creation on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIqhK5t0nWs
Nuff said about that. This week was a super win when I realized that this next class Introduction to Internet Consumer Behavior had us reading Seth Godin’s book: Tribe. Today’s classroom discussion was centered around a case study where a group of students were asked to ‘create’ a communication piece for a potential client. Long story short, students were eager to start, create and present. None really spent time working on the front end discovery, so of course, missed the mark…blah, blah, blah.
So needing to answer the question: What’s in it for my blog? I decided to use the opportunity to reflect on the work I do with helping Boomer execs create their niche in this new business climate. Of course I found this to be very ironic. You see, many of my Boomer clients are soooo full of knowledge and experience; however, ironically miss the mark when it comes to nailing their outreach efforts and later wonder: why? Sure they set up their Facebook pages, Tweet their hearts out and blog as much as they can, but more often than not, tend to be unhappy with the return of these efforts. I think the hardest part of my job is to tell a client that is a good 10-30 years older than me that they need to forget everything they thought they needed to say about themselves and just…listen. Shhhhh. Just listen.
If the client is not irritated with me by this point, he’ll usually play along. “Listen for what?” they always ask. “Listen to your audience…what are they saying, how do they want to be reached?” Before we start ANY kind of marketing campaign, I give that client (and most likely his marketing team) the simple homework assignment of studying their audience and learning their behavioral patterns online. A week later I come back and it’s AMAZING how much they have to share with me about their discoveries. Makes the whole “getting there” a whole lot more fun dontcha think? Tellin ya, it’s a party.
Back to class…this is what I posted in the class discussion forum earlier today:
Triple Exponential Smoothers section in the Tribes Casebook made me smile. I spent most of my 20’s learning this lesson the hard way. Back then my sole mission was to prove that I had the talent and skill to produce anything and everything the client asked of me. I spent countless nights creating and recreating brochures, logos, websites with only a bittersweet end reward. I kept asking myself why they didn’t get excited nor see how hard I was working to please them. At times, the disappointment in a client’s lack of enthusiasm almost caused me to rethink professions.
A good decade later, I realize now that it was never about how magical my talents were or how well I knew how to manipulate my treasured Adobe suite. I learned that people wish to be validated and heard. For the last decade, I’ve spent more time on the front end discovery than anything else. I not only listen to the objectives, I co-create their desired destiny…giving the client full ownership of the end result. A rewarding end result I must add. It doesn’t matter how we arrive at that deliverable, the clients are always so thankful, so excited to have gone through the process with me. I very much favor this approach and reading Seth’s book very much reminds me of that fundamental. I’m SOOOO excited that we’re studying this book. I actually started reading it on the plane to Vegas a couple of weeks ago and once again think Seth is amazing. Here’s to a fun class!