Ten years ago I wrote my first book. I was excited as a writer to be published and that started a whole series of events that I had never anticipated. I was on television, radio and written up in a few papers. Suddenly I was being asked to come and speak for a variety of events and over the next few years I added other skills to my repertoire, completely by accident. I was not trying to become a writer, I was actually a pastor trying to supplement my income. So I found myself submitting articles for a variety of publications across the continent and trying to get my name known in a handful of key forums online.
The first hardcopy newsletter that I ever wrote was in 2002 and it took me 40 hours of work. I did almost all of it at a friend’s house who coached me through the entire project. His wife was seriously wondering if I was ever going to go home?
When Facebook started I was an early adopter. I immediately saw the opportunity to connect with people of “like” mind long before the button was there and within months built a network of leaders from around the world. For the last three years I have had to turn down 20+ people a day because I would have been over the limitations of what a personal account would hold. I have online friends that have invited me to come to just about every region of the world and many of them I have communicated with on a weekly basis for over five years, and some I have met personally. On my birthday last year I had over 2000 well wishers!
I started writing emails for my church to stay in contact with a growing house church network that I was multiplying across Southern Alberta about 8 years ago. I never even knew was even any good at it. I just knew it worked for keeping people connected and that it helped build faith and loyalty. Three years ago I began writing for a couple of other non-profit organizations and then added a three businesses mostly because I felt sorry for their inadequacies to communicate to their market and to keep their sales teams updated on what they were doing.
One year ago I was in a point of transition and examining my life for something of value that I could use as a skill-set to take a break from the ministry. A trusted mentor emphatically suggested that I should explore email marketing as a possibility as he was sure that I showed some talent in that regard. So I went out and asked a few questions to some local business owners and quickly realized that professional emailing mixed with social media could have some real impact for their businesses. After convincing a handful of clients to give my company a chance I took a few more classes and spiced up their marketing lives with some solid results and we have never looked back. Our clients are getting larger and larger and the industries that we represent are becoming more and more diversified. It seems that the talent pool that we have hired and partnered with have added additional features that have made us formidable marketers.
All of the combined years of the military, sales and marketing, ministry and relational development have proven to provide a powerful concoction that produces online results. Somewhere in the middle of Facebook friends and a brightly colored email message we found a way to create loyalty and generate new sales leads through LinkedIn. Who knew?
Did I learn anything playing Farmville? Yes I did. I learned that even professionals play Farmville! Meaning that everyone is doing something online, and therefore that is where the market is.
Who knew 10 years ago that Facebook would come along and change our lives?
Who knew that words like Yahoo, Google, Twitter, and Mashable would be important to our lives today?
Who knew that careers could change so rapidly and that marketing innovation and genius could be found while tweeting and liking?
It is an ever changing world that we live in. Are you in awe like I am in awe?
Hope you are able to keep up...