Hats & boots

Creative Lakes - Hats & Boots February 2015

Those of you that know me also know that I do a fair amount of networking.  Networking is an essential part (aka a necessary evil) of my business, as referrals are our main source of new projects and also finding partner businesses that can work with us. 

However, in all my years of networking, I’ve noticed that when I meet new people and they ask me “So what do you do?’ and I reply “Marketing”, I usually get one of two reactions.  On occasion, the ‘Help, I’m trapped’ expression surfaces and I can tell straight away that they’re searching for a plausible reason to go and talk to someone else.  The most common expression is one of ‘confusion’, followed by “What sort of marketing?” 

At this point, I usually say something about being a marketing consultant, helping companies to develop and implement better, more cost effective ways of promoting their products and services in order to generate more sales enquiries.

Blah, blah, blah…..

As such, they too change from ‘confused’ to ‘I’m trapped’, leaving standing by myself, contemplating a 3rd cup of coffee.

Fed up of being misunderstood and cast aside, I decided to do something about it.  But rather than guessing and just trialling new ways of explaining what I do, I opted to do what I would recommend to a client.  What I did was ask my clients how they describe to others what I provide for them.  The responses where very interesting.

The majority, in one form or another, effectively described me as a ‘Hat’ wearer.  I was the person they entrusted with the marketing hat that they had been periodically wearing over the years as they built up their business.  Now that their businesses required more of their time, there were less opportunities for them to put on the marketing hat, so they let me wear it and get on with their day to day promotions and campaigns.

The rest?  Well, they described me as a ‘Boot’ wearer.  These are the clients that fundamentally know what they should be doing, but just require a little bit of guidance, but more importantly the occasional boot up the backside to make sure that things get done. 

So whether you need someone to wear your marketing hat or put on the size 10s, I’m your man.

Neil CorriganComment