Y E S. Three little letters can change your life’s course. Richard Branson said, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity, but you are not sure you can do it, say yes, then learn how to do it later.”
Initially, I thought it was a stupid thing to say – especially from a businessman. I related it to delivering promises to a customer. I mean, aren’t you supposed to under-promise and over-deliver? What if you don’t learn in time? Aren’t you setting yourself up for failure?
- 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service (HubSpot)
- 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products/services (Salesforce)
- 84% of organisations working to improve customer service report an increase in revenue (Groove HQ)
So customer service and delivering what you promise should be paramount. Why on earth would you promise something you didn’t know how to do? Even if there is a ‘yet’ at the end!?!
Over a year ago, I attended a marketing conference called DigiMarCon. It was the best mix of two things: confirming that what I was doing was good and introducing new marketing concepts and opportunities. During the two-day conference, I had conversations with the speakers and organisers. One of those conversations led to an offer of an amazing opportunity – “Would you like to MC our conference next year?”
This was it; this was what Mr Branson meant in his quote. My eyes widened… ‘Speak!’ my brain yelled at me. I gulped, and out came the words, casual as ever, “Absolutely!”
I smiled as the organiser, Aaron, responded with further conversation – much of which I cannot remember. What I do remember… the swear words racing through my head, telling myself off for putting myself in this situation.
Now, and only with hindsight, I understand where Richard came from. There is some context needed to ensure his strategy works. Because if you just say ‘yes’ to every single opportunity, you will burn out, or look stupid – I don’t know which is worse.
Say yes if it aligns with your goals.
That’s the context. You should only say yes if it aligns with your goals. MasterJack (the business I run and a division of Gilligan Sheppard) has a goal of becoming the experts in content marketing. Part of achieving that goal is to get over the camera, the eyes looking at me, what people think of me, and put myself out there.
I’ve been doing podcast training with John Maybury, which was part of the “then learn how to do it later.” Now that it’s all over, I would say that I am not a multi-day or huge auditorium type of MC. I can do it, but far better people (like John) are more talented. I am not the MC who energises a room, I’m the MC who introduces topics and speakers and then leaves the stage. Job done.
You don’t know what it will lead to.
Over the course of the year leading up to the conference, there were more opportunities. I was asked to run a masterclass about content marketing, and we were invited to have a stand at the TECHSPO exhibition next door. Both turned into great learning curves for MasterJack.
As I compiled all my content marketing expertise into one document and then divided it into slides, I realised I know a lot. Enough to be considered an expert and enough to fill a 55-minute time slot. When I spoke about this ‘shocking’ realisation I had, people looked at me like I was a dumbass. To them, I was the expert, and how did I not know I was?
It was hard. I was nervous. I had to read off my notes because there was so much to say. But. I received pretty good feedback, “that was the best session of the entire conference.” “Of all the sessions, I learned the most from you.”
And now, I’m glad I said yes.
The biggest learnings
The 2023 conference was the same mix as last time, but there were two recurring themes throughout the masterclasses and sessions.
- Ensure your data is clean.
- Get the basics right.
Jakub from MediaMonks kicked it off and was the first to speak about first-party data. If you have data about your customers, is it correct? Is it updated as their lives are updated? Then Marie from Digiberry, with her beautiful French accent, talked about gathering knowledge about your client’s needs and using it to shape their journey with your brand.
Yash from Werk Agency was the nicest fella in the room, and he, too, talked about the customer journey (but made it entertaining by comparing the journey to the Mario Brothers game). Then a friend of mine, Liv from Soda Digital, took on the challenge of making TikTok not scary for marketers and did a great job.
Mark from TASK Group started the second day with the concept of the dark iceberg – all the numerous untrackable touch points that influence consumer decision-making. Then, another friend, Teresa from Marketing Architect, ensured everyone had their foundations sorted with a solid marketing strategy. Laura from Elab talked about the importance of marketing to existing customers (especially in e-commerce).
Then, the vibrant Sobia from TradeMe and the intelligent Irene from Oceania joined me on a panel about digital marketing trends (again, all about clean data and basics). Loren from The Social Collective (currently up for a David Award) talked about the five mistakes those in senior positions overlook (the basics). Laura from Safari Group hit it home again about consistency. And then, one of my favourites, Seann from Air New Zealand, talked about how the customer journey is no longer linear but a flexible and responsive loop between channels.
I have linked all their LinkedIn profiles above so that if you’re interested in learning more about what they spoke about, please feel free to message them on LinkedIn. And, of course, I can’t continue without a huge thanks to Aaron, who asked the question and gave me the opportunity – thanks Aaron 😊
Off the back of DigiMarCon, MasterJack was involved in research to decide whether a content marketing conference was a good idea. Content X, Aotearoa Content Marketing Summit 2023 is happening at the end of November, and I have put the big-girl pants on again, this time to be an expert on the panel. ‘Developing successful content strategies – plans, processes and executions.’
This time, there are no notes; it’s a real live discussion, and who knows what questions I’ll get. I have to take another ‘yes’ step and trust that what I know is expert knowledge. I keep proving it, so perhaps this opportunity will make it sink in.
I mentioned that we had a stand at the neighbouring TECHSPO – we ran 15-minute content reviews, and we received excellent feedback about our feedback. We’re happy to continue this offer for you if you’re interested. We’ll book an online meeting with you, do a screen-share, and discuss how your online presence can improve with some content tips and tricks. No obligations, take the feedback and do with it what you want. Get in touch with MasterJack here, and let’s make a time that suits us both.