So

I was approached by a corporate head hunter this week.

There’s a position at a company they’re interested in having me fill.

At first I didn’t understand what was going on, but I did clue in after hearing ‘they’re interested’. So my question turned from ‘what’s happening’ to ‘why me’?

There’s probably 10,000 people in this city in the same line of work as myself. It’s not as if marketing is a ‘specialized’ career path. It’s not as if communications is a ‘specialized’ career path. Sure some people are good at it and some are average, but why me? There’s probably a lot of people who are good at it.

It can’t hurt to have a meeting and hear them out.

I mean, I have a job and I like my job, but I’ve also been told at my job that there’s no room for growth. If this could offer me that, don’t I owe it to myself to, at the very least, consider it?

Besides that, there’s no harm in considering it. I haven’t committed to anything.

I’m just dumbfounded at the whole situation.

Why me? Why not one of the other 9,999 people in this city who are in the same line of work?

I’m oddly confused that they sought me out. I’m also oddly proud. They sought me out. I didn’t go to them, they came and they found me. That’s a cool feeling.

I think I just got a job offer.

This is a weird feeling.

I’ve never had someone approach me before with respect to a position. I’ve submitted my resume for consideration. I’ve never had someone come to me and say ‘Hey, you interested? We are.’

I’m oddly excited and nervous. What does this mean? They want me? Why me?

I will say, that does make me feel pretty damn proud of myself.

Meeting was a success

The meeting went really great.

It was unlike anything I’ve ever experience before. By that I mean that I’ve dealt with agreements and arrangements that are supposed to stay hush-hush, but I’ve never actually been involved with something that’s completely confidential and classified to the extent that I can’t even tell my coworkers.

A few weeks back I mentioned that I was hoping to expand the reach of the company (here) and if this deal goes through, that could triple… possibly even quadruple the reach I’ve been aiming for.

I don’t want to get my hopes up, but my hopes are up.

I want this.

It’s funny, this is something that is so hush-hush, I don’t even think I could tell my family. It’s not like I could ever have bragging rights for it, at least no publicly. But I want personal bragging rights. I want to be able to stand in front of the mirror and say ‘yeah, I did that’.

As of right now, it’s more like ‘yeah, we’re half way there’.

Fingers crossed.

Toes crossed.

Everything crossed.

Now I’m going to enjoy the office being closed for Easter. I’ve got a few days planned of doing absolutely nothing.

High Anxiety

Something’s coming on Thursday. Something that’s really important to me.

I’m nervous. I’m anxious that I’m going to screw it up. I’m keenly aware that no matter how prepared I could, or will be, come Thursday… it’s likely not prepared enough.

Sometimes I feel like an imposter. I wonder how these things just magically seem to fall into my lap. Did I do this? Does the universe know that I can handle this? Or is this all some sort of a cruel joke to remind me that I shouldn’t get my hopes up?

Regardless of the reason why it’s coming, Thursday is coming fast. I cannot shake this uneasy feeling in my stomach. While this isn’t going to break my career, it could possibly make my career, if I play my cards right. There’s a lot on the line, I guess you could say. While there’s nothing to lose, if I don’t win it could feel like a serious loss.

Can I do this?

Am I capable?

Am I worthy?

Why is it that I’m doubting myself so hard? Where is my confidence when I need it?

Corporate Poaching

A new start-up has been systematically poaching the best employees from my company recently. It has been interesting watching this unfold. Management is… crumbling. They’re trying to hide it but they’re definitely stressed to the max.

This is a new experience for me. I’ve never worked in an industry in which poaching happened. In my previous work people were either fired for incompetence, criminal negligence or general stupidity. People leaving, resigning, willingly… because they were poached to a start-up that isn’t even public yet, it’s interesting to watch. The shape of the entire company is changing right in front of my eyes.

My Day Job

I keep posting this and then sending it back to my drafts folder to make edits. I really should just leave it up.

When it comes to work, I’ve talked a lot about how I work in marketing, communications and public relations. This is all true. My position is one of those chameleon positions that tends to change based on the day. I don’t have a set description of duties because those duties change depending on what is happening.

Here’s a little bit of an explanation of what being Director of Marketing entails:

I draft emails, press releases and professional reports for distribution and print in three countries on two continents, hoping to expand to eight countries on three continents in the next 12 months. I also edit emails, press releases and professional reports and act as the last set of eyes to see information before it’s distributed externally.

I maintain the company website. This involves daily maintenance and upgrades, adding and removing content, collecting registration information, optimizing SEO for the company and much more. I also use the company website to run the company blog – something that has become a bit of a behind the scenes look at the magic my coworkers create.

I create and maintain Google Ads for the company as a measure to help direct even more people to our company website. This is done through identifying what terminology is important to our executives, as well as using an SEM/Keyword Search Tool to stay up to date on what the most popular trends on Google are.

I encourage clients to leave reviews about our company and the software that we sell because I understand the importance of reviews to people who are considering investments of six figures in specialized software like that which we sell.

I manage a sales team of seven people. We’ve been developing and executing a sales plan over the past five months to grow awareness of our products around the world, and hopefully increase our clientele.

I am in charge of graphic design for the company. This includes adding any new design templates to our website, creating info-graphic advertisements for both print and digital publications, designing animations for our YouTube channel and I’m sure a half dozen other places that I can’t think about at the particular moment that I’m writing this. I have more than 800 fonts on my computer and I can tell you which are good fonts for which occasion by the back of my hand. Types of fonts, colours, sizes of documents/images/graphics, they all matter deeply when it comes to consumer purchasing trends.

I make videos for our YouTube channel. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

I manage the company’s social media platforms, ensuring a balance between promotion and showcasing the lifestyle of our company and employees. I’ve given our company platforms a very sassy personality and people seem to be enjoying it. I think it’s a nice change from the otherwise very bland topics that run our industry. I seek growth, I seek to share knowledge and I seek to make an impact with our platforms that is enough for people to want to continue coming back.

I develop presentations for sales calls, events, tradeshows and conventions (that last two have been online the past year) and investment meetings.

I watch daily, weekly, monthly and annual trends within the industry to ensure that our company stays relevant, that we continue to grow and that we maintain our knowledge of competitors to keep a competitive edge.

I send monthly email campaigns/newsletters to 20,000 people to share about our corporate structure, goals, services and products. I keep all analytics from these campaigns to ensure that I improve on each message the following month.

I track our company’s analytics across all platforms. What pages people visit, what emails people open, what videos people watch, how much time they spend doing each activity… these are all important statistics to help my team do a better job in the future.

I organize press conferences for the company. These haven’t happened that often lately, largely due to COVID, and when they have they’ve been more of a virtual feed that we send to journalists. But, I’m that person that’s ensuring there are no wrinkles in the curtain being used as a black background because I know small things like that can look unprofessional and distract from messages you’re trying to deliver.

I host professional development courses for scientists around the world, teaching them the basics of our software. I highly recommend the tactic of using your own products to teach someone something knew. Those who seek knowledge become guinea pigs for your own products and they often don’t even realize it.

I work with charitable organizations across North America to ensure that we donate a portion of our funds back to people in need. Prior to COVID my company did a lot of physical, in-person, volunteering. Since COVID began, though, we’ve switched to a model solely focused on donations because we understand that a bunch of extra heads in and around charitable organizations right now could be dangerous to the spread.

I try my best to understand everyone. I don’t always agree with them. Actually, I don’t agree with them a lot of the time. But, I understand them. I understand them because marketing is about understanding people. It’s about being able to put yourself in their shoes, and being able to know where they’re coming from. If you can know where they’re coming from, you can know how to appeal to them and how to help them. Realistically, that’s all anyone wants.

I think one of the most important things I do is provide a balance. My coworkers often come to me and ask my thoughts on something they’re working on – they treat me as somewhat of a trusted resource and I’m really proud of that. They know I’ll be honest with them and I know they’ll be honest with me. I think this is a reason why we improve upon our communication and messaging each month. I think this is why we’re growing steadily. We’re not afraid to be honest with one-another if something sucks. This pushes our entire office to be better. And, when we operate at a higher level of quality, continuously, people recognize that.

There’s a lot that goes into marketing. And, sharing this isn’t necessarily about bragging, although I’m sure that the majority of this post sounds like I am bragging. I just wanted to explain that there are facets to this type of work that a lot of people don’t think about, or understand. And that’s totally fine. Just… know… know that when I rant about marketing, when I share tips and tricks, it comes from a good place. I’m very passionate about marketing and the difference it can make in what you, I, or anyone is able to accomplish.

Marketing is important. Marketing can make, or break, a company/person. At the end of the day, everything tied to marketing is based upon understanding people. This is why you can always tell when good marketing is happening and… when people really understand the audience they’re marketing towards.

The one where I rant about Marketing

So, I’m sitting in a conference virtual session this morning, and I’m listening to a woman spew absolute bullshit about marketing that is infuriating.

The ticket to this conference costs $500. My work is paying $500 for me to be at this conference, and they’re also still paying my salary while I’m not ‘in the office’ doing office things for the next two days, which is another bunch of money. So, we’re invested.

The lesson this woman is teaching: to grow online, follow as many people as you possibly can, wait a few days and then unfollow anyone who didn’t follow you back.

This isn’t marketing. This is fucking stupid. Don’t do this, people. Don’t play the ‘how many people can follow me back’ game. Just don’t do it. We’re not in high school. We’re not trying to get people to sit with us at lunch. Marketing is about real-world engagement. I know people typically roll their eyes at me when I tell them that, but it’s true.

The goal with marketing is not to get 100,000 followers. Sure, 100,000 followers sounds great in theory, but if 99,600 of them don’t give a rats ass about what you’re doing, then what’s the point in them following you? The goal is to find people who resonate with your content, your products or what you’re trying to share. If you run a small store that sells candles, you want people who like to buy candles following you. If people don’t buy candles but they follow you, they’re not contributing to you, your business or your marketing efforts. If you run a blog about parenting, you want moms and dads to follow you. If people following you are 16 year old kids who don’t read your content, or even remotely pay attention to your blog, you’re essentially speaking into the void. Marketing is about finding your people, your niche and your space on the internet. Marketing has absolutely nothing to do with quantity of followers, and everything to do with quality of followers.

If you’re good at marketing, it won’t matter if 50 people read your blog or 50,000 people read your blog. They’re all going to pay attention because they care about what you have to say. What’s the point in having 50,000 following you if only 50 of them actually read your blog? There isn’t a point.

Marketing is about appealing to people.

Marketing is about resonating.

Marketing is about creating messaging that matters. Telling a story that’s worthy of being listened to.

Marketing IS NOT adding as many people as you can to try and get them to follow you back to that you can look popular. Looking popular doesn’t translate to real interaction.

If you’re using digital platforms to try and make friends, you don’t need 100,000 friends. You won’t ever have 100,000 friends. So even still, playing ‘how many people can I get to follow me back’ is ridiculous.

Real growth online is slow. It’s calculated. It takes effort. It takes communication. It’s thoughtful. It’s garnering an audience who is exactly who you would wish for your content to reach. If you sell candles, it’s building an audience of candle lovers. If you write about parenting, it’s building an audience of people who care about parenting. It’s not going after the entire population of the planet…

I’m pretty sure this isn’t coherent due to my having been ranting so long. I’m going to end this here.

What a week

I’m really not sure where the past week of my life went. Actually, I do know. I’ve been pulling double duty and work due to the shit show that happened in Texas and my coworkers being off-the-map for several days. Luckily the clients were understanding of the fact that our Texas crew was unavailable and I don’t have a biochemistry degree like each of them have. We made due.

Speaking of what happened in Texas – holy shit balls. I feel so deeply for everyone who’s had their lives turned upside down by the aftermath of that winter storm. It’s going to cost hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars and take years to recover from that storm. A storm which I think pointed out a fatal flaw in Texas infrastructure in that, it’s not prepared for weather fluctuations. Luckily, for each of my coworkers on our Texas crew, they’re relatively well-off (financially speaking). I can’t imagine what people are going through who live pay cheque to pay cheque. This must be their worst nightmare come to fruition.

I know there are a few people who read this blog who are from Texas. I hope that you’re safe, warm and staying as sane as possible amidst the cleanup from this winter-storm.

Life Lessons from Me

It is not appropriate, acceptable, okay, or EVER warranted to tell a woman she’s beautiful in a professional setting. It’s not now, it never was and it won’t ever be. That’s not a compliment.

Women do not go to work to be eye candy. They don’t want comments about their appearance made in the workplace.

Women work long and hard to reach the levels they reach in their professional careers. When a man is willing to interrupt a meeting to refer to a woman as beautiful, what he’s doing in that moment is telling her that no matter her education, no matter her work experience, no matter her skills, her intelligence, her professionalism and her ability to change the very face of the company, workforce and world, he will never see her as an equal. He won’t ever see her as anything more than a shell.

A woman’s appearance has not a single fucking thing to do with how well she can do her job.

Just don’t do it. Just don’t comment on a woman’s appearance in the workplace. Please don’t. EVER.

Canadian cliches

I’ve been speaking with a potential client for a few days this week and he keeps asking me about Canadian cliches… except not about the realistic cliches, about the stupid/silly ones. The problem is, I’m sensing that he really has no idea and he might actually think that we own polar bears as pets. He keeps implying that polar bears are as common as cats and dogs in Canada. He also definitely thinks we eat beaver tails. He also thinks that all Canadians know one another. When I told him there are 37 million people in Canada his response was ‘Holy shit, where you all been hiding all these years?’

He seems like he’s lead an incredibly sheltered life. He was born and raised and has never left where he’s living now, not even for a holiday (from what he tells me). Which, hey… some people lead simple lives and don’t desire globetrotting, I can understand that much. I just… as someone who’s always been curious for information, find it hard to comprehend someone reaching their forties and never asking or trying to learn. I guess it wasn’t a priority to him. He learned what he needed too and left what he didn’t. lol

I just… I always assumed that it was mockery when people made fun of Canadian’s for stupid cliches. It never dawned on me that people might actually believe them. Perhaps that’s my bad. He seems to like his sheltered bubble, so I don’t want to burst it at this stage of his life. On the other hand…?