#INBOUND15: Seth Godin keynote

Photo from Hubspot

Photo from Hubspot

One year ago, I hardly knew what the term “content marketing” meant. One year later, that term is not only in my job title, but it has also become one of my greatest interests. I love what I get to do everyday.

I’ve also drank the “Hubspot Kool-Aid” and really enjoy my content marketing platform. That’s just one of the reasons why I’m so excited to be at INBOUND in Boston, MA for this first time this year!

One of other reasons I’m excited for INBOUND is the great lineup of speakers. There’s Brené Brown of course (insert fangirling here) but she’s in great company with a variety of different keynotes.

It seemed only appropriate that marketing guru Seth Godin kicked off the event. Here are some of the things I scribbled down in my notebook during his talk:

  • Harley Davidson made a group of people go from outsiders to insiders because of shared experience.
  • No one is giving you more authority but it’s your choice to take on more responsibility.
  • In our Internet economy, these are important questions:
    • Can you be trusted?
    • Do you connect?
    • Do you do work that matters?
  • Only a fool refuses work that isn’t guaranteed to be successful.
  • The less reassurance we get, the more important the work is.
  • Quality: good at what it’s supposed to be good at. For example, Shake Shack didn’t become a billion-dollar business while trying to be McDonald’s. It’s good at being a restaurant that some people won’t line up for… but many people will! How do we choose to matter?seth_godin2
  • “Writer’s block” isn’t real! This term wasn’t introduced until the 1940s when writing became a profession.
  • The story we are telling ourselves about our competence or incompetence is made up by us!
  • Our job is to change from “it’s always been that way” to “sure, let’s try that!”?
  • “I’m not sure what the question is but the answer is yes.”

If all of those nuggets are from one talk, I can hardly wait to see what the rest of INBOUND holds! Good night Boston!

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Fangirling over Brené Brown at INBOUND

It’s no secret around our office that I really admire Brené Brown’s work. Okay, that’s a  major understatement. I absolutely adore Brené Brown, and not just because of her excellent last name.

When she was announced as a speaker at INBOUND, I completely fangirled – letting out a scream and performing a happy dance around the office.

Why the fangirling? Let me tell you.

  1. She understands the value of story.rising_strong

As content marketers, this is a concept we can all embrace. Customers will seldom relate to the facts and figures that we may find exciting internally. But tell a story and you’ve got a hook and something your customers can relate to.

Brené understands the effectiveness of story and you’ll remember her talk long after you’ve left INBOUND – all because it’s tied together with narrative.

  1. She’s a researcher and knows how to make it interesting.

Intertwined with Brené’s wonderfully engaging stories is findings from her research. After all she describes her stories as “data with a soul”. Her research dives deep into our feelings, fears and complexities, making her stories not just memorable but also credible.

  1. She talks about topics we all relate to – and rarely talk about.

Shame, vulnerability, courage and struggling for belonging are subjects that hit close to home and yet are very rarely (if ever!) talked about. Brené’s research brings these themes to the forefront and shines a spotlight on them. Her own willingness to be vulnerable and transparent is what makes her so relatable and encourages her audiences to bravely live their own stories. There is great power in that – both in our professional and personal lives.

I’ve been counting down the days to INBOUND to see Brené and all the other wonderful speakers and presentations that are ready for us. I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am!

And if you happen to sit near me during Brené Brown’s keynote, I apologize in advance for my fangirling. My coworkers will have extra earplugs on hand for you.

(If you haven’t seen Brené’s fantastic TED Talks, they are here and here.)

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Satisfying my inner journalist

When I was in high school, I decided that my university major would one day be journalism. Somewhere along the way, my choice of major changed to human resources… then accounting… then undeclared… and then marketing. But despite my flip-flopping in choice of major, my interest in journalism hasn’t wavered. I love watching news coverage, reading newspapers, and my roster of magazine subscriptions is extensive. While I was in grad school, I signed up for a history of news course from the journalism department as my elective. Despite it not directly relating to my career goals, it was by far my favourite class.

When Lloyd Robertson, Canada’s long-serving and easily most recognizable news anchor, The-Kind-of-Life-Its-Been-Lloyd-Robertson-Chapters-South-Granville-Vancouver-432x648released his autobiography, I knew I’d love it. I certainly wasn’t disappointed – Robertson depicts the “story behind the story” and details the coverage of events such as 9/11, the Quebec Referendum, Kennedy assassination, royal weddings, and a myriad of Canadian elections. But Robertson also dives deeper – giving readers insights into the changing face of news (a great throwback to my journalism class), his troubled childhood, and how he learned to balance a skyrocketing career and family. He makes sure to provide some laughs as well – from conversations with Prince Philip to a hair dye snafu to on-air flubs.

If you love news and want to learn more about the man who brought us the stories for so many years, I definitely recommend The Kind of Life It’s Been. And if nothing else, you’ll appreciate that the next time you eat candy at work and get it stuck in your teeth, at least you’re not being broadcast to a national audience.

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Friday Favourite: Today’s Date

It’s November 30 and I have one blog entry for each and every day in November. Mission NaBloPoMo is complete and not a day too soon!

Today’s Friday favourite will actually be three…

  1. Making it to this month in the calendar.
  2. Accomplishing goals!!
  3. Avon nail polish… great colours and long lasting. This is four days in with no top or base coat and no touch-ups… not bad at all!

Have a great weekend! I’ll see you back here on Monday.

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Less Clutter, Less Noise

I’m a communicator both by nature and by grad degree. I find myself regularly studying communication strategies, critiquing design decisions and editing copy… and that’s just while looking at ads on the subway. One of my side projects is consulting on church communications. To keep myself refreshed, I was looking through my notes from the 2011 Create Conference. One of the featured speakers was Kem Meyer, Communications Director at Granger Community Church. Her thoughts are worth re-visiting so today I share them with you:

  • It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.
  • Not our job to send the right message but to release the right response!
  • Check your ego: Before people encounter your message, they encounter you!
  • Do you overestimate what you say but underestimate your audience?
  • Run your messages through a filter – how will your audience respond?
  • “What” is a supporting character, “Who” is a lead character!
  • Get an image consultant: Do you know how you’re coming across? Draw on the wisdom of people who have different perspectives. Become a student of everyone – they can save you from you!
  • Learning about your audience helps you to predict their response.
  • Keep it simple: if you want to maximize the response, minimize the options.
  • People only notice what they’re looking for.
  • Are we bombarding people with too many options?
  • Spend more time curating, less time creating.
  • “A generation ago, the question was ‘What is truth?’ Today, it’s ‘What’s the point?'” – Billy Graham
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Triple Christmas Decorating Score

November is almost over and thankfully that also means the end of NaBloPoMo. I’m quickly running out of inspiration so today I’m going to send you over to someone who is providing a fresh batch. My friend Heather is participating in a Christmas Decorating blog collaboration and has posted a tutorial for these fantastic Scrabble ornaments. In the mean time, I’ll be back here scrambling to put together two more November posts.

Posted in Daily, NaBloPoMo | 2 Comments

Morning Me

You would think that five years post-undergrad, I’d have the work morning routine down by now. I still find myself waking up, pressing snooze a few times, and then bleary-eyed making my way through my morning routine: Make bed (a must!!). Shower. Pour cereal in bowl. Munch. Convince self not to just toss hair into a ponytail. Drink tea.

The morning workout was supposed to be added to this routine… but as we all know, that hasn’t been working out so well. It could also be the reason why my pants have started to feel a bit tight.

Lack of morning workout aside, I’ve found a huge boost in my morning routine comes from having my lunch already packed and ready to go.

Carlo Mendoza for Canadian Family

This week, I’m packing a quinoa salad recommended by Rachel at the Blissful Bakker. If your lunch needs a toss-up, this one’s for you. It’s ridiculously easy to make (and substitute-friendly to suit your tastes), very filling and yum-o. Never before have I had cravings for the salad that I know is waiting on the other side of the refrigerator door.

Now that the lunch question is answered for the rest of this week, I’m back to focusing on the elusive morning workout. One failed morning down, four attempts to go…

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