I finally understand why I got into marketing. In a nutshell, marketing is simply applied psychology. That's why I got sucked into the business: it was another way for me to explore the way people's minds work!
As a writer by nature, I have a keen interest in probing people’s grey matter. Not literally, well in some of my more graphic writing, it could happen. In everything I do, I’m attempting to get inside someone else’s head. I spend far too much time in my own brain, and it’s no longer a shiny new object to explore, as much as I’d like to think that I am an intriguing creature.
Marketing is just that. It’s trying to get inside my target audience’s head. It’s attempting to feel what they feel. To have strong likes and dislikes. To live inside another realm. To escape my own realm. To leave my comfort zone of “me as the consumer.” That’s what drew me in. It was to explore the realm of the unknown, from the comfort of my own laptop and ultra high-speed internet connection.
When asked how I “got into” marketing, I don’t have a straightforward answer because I could tell any number of stories. Do I tell them that I grew up in a religious cult, where I was manipulated and mislead by kooks to propagate a faulty belief system I was coerced to believe from birth? Do I tell them about my stellar cold calling skills as a former telemarketer and how I sweet talked my way into making shady sales off little old ladies? Or, do I give them the straightforward story about writing my novels and finding out the shocking truth that I couldn’t “just write and get published if it was good,” but that I HAD to learn how to market myself? Yeah. That’s the story I usually tell because it boosts my conversion rate (i.e. helps me close more deals). And, I’m a closer.
Since getting a full-time “day job” in marketing, I’ve “tried” to leave this career several times. I think I want to go back to those endless days of full-time writing, only working on my own website and building my personal brand. Thing is, once you’ve been a marketer, you always will be a marketer. You get addicted to the rush of making a connection, of generating a lead, of making your client/company look amazing online. It’s just too much fun to leave it behind.
I now like to think of myself as a writer with a day job that I enjoy and one that also brings me fulfillment as an industry professional. I may dread checking my email inbox on a Monday morning, but there’s always that one email from a client or colleague bragging on something I did “that worked.” I like those pats on the back for a job well done, and you don’t often get those as a burgeoning writer with a “following” of 39 people, including your mom and your lazy English bulldog.
I choose to embrace this life I’m living, where I have a waiting list of clients and have the self-confidence that I can always get more work by sending out a few emails. In my early 20s, I envied those women who could support their families solely based on their own income by working from home full-time doing something they loved. I’m there. I’ve made it.
Though I’m never quite content, I know that things will fall into place when I’m ready to take that next step forward instead of forcing myself into a competition with a marketer who’s doing it better. I often need to remind myself of all the perks of what I get to do, because I’m genuinely thrilled to be in my own skin, proud of where I’ve come from and excited about where I’m headed and what I’m doing. Everything is as it should be.
What about you? What’s your story? How did you get into your industry, start your business or discover one of your passions? I would love to hear from you, and if there’s ever any way I can help further your vision or lend a listening ear, let me know!