Monday, November 21, 2011

When The Student Is Ready...

Mark Schaefer and I at "CLINK" Boston, MA.

Here is an excerpt from my new book

Music, Mischief And Marketing: A Guerrillas Guide For The Creative Protagonist

From chapter 9:
When The Student Is Ready, The Teacher Will Appear

"The title of this chapter is an old Buddhist proverb that speaks volumes about my own experiences in Marketing. When I started out in my position as Expert Laser Services “Chief Social Media Marketing Engineer” (as I have been dubbed by management) I had no credentials, no budget and a mere six months to show some ROI.

What on earth was I to do?

Not only was thinking outside of the box my only option, it was the only thing that made sense at that point in time. As an autodidact, I leapt headlong into educating myself about social media, B2B Marketing, the state of our industry and how to combine and utilize knowledge from each of those resources.

In addition to studying marketing and mps industry blogs I worked hard at developing my own perspective, a unique voice within an industry that already had its fair share of experts spread over the blogosphere.

Being true to your self is key in a position such as this. Listening to my own intuition and trying to think as a consumer within my market space, I created content that I would want to see coming from a vendor such as my own company.

With the internet still pulsing with free knowledge I simply soaked up everything I could from all other marketing experts and industry pundits that I could while simultaneously presenting my own variants of opinions and information via the company blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter account.

To be an “expert” you simply have to be at least two steps ahead of those who view you as a thought leader and always learning more, day in and day out.

While using this same process in becoming a thought leader in my own industry, I formulated the first installment of the “Destroy Your Printer Contest”.

On October 19th of 2009 I (the student) had apparently become ready for exposure on Mark Scheafer’s (the teacher) “Grow” marketing blog. Mark who is a legend in his own right as author of one of the top marketing blogs on the net, Professor of social media at Rutgers University and author of the book “The Tao of Twitter” was the first person to break the story of my now infamous and annual destruction contest.

I truly feel that his post about my work is the seed that has sprouted into a cornucopia of media surrounding my work which includes coverage from countless blogs in both the marketing and MPS industries as well as the New York Times, Recycler Magazine, and multiple books.

Indeed, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear…"

In the picture above you will find both myself and Mark Schaefer striking a pose. In this shot we are sitting in the restaurant "CLINK" which resides in the beautiful Liberty Hotel in Boston Massachusetts. Mark and I finally had the chance to meet here in person after years of communication via the internet and a short phone call a while back.

Meeting Mark in person was more like reconnecting with an old friend than meeting a fellow human being in person for the first time.

Friendly, professional, humble and generous...

In addition to being a master of his craft, Mark is the epitome of the above terms.

If you ever have the chance to meet with Mark, I highly recommend jumping at the opportunity. A conversation with this man will likely result in your own bursts of inspiration. Truly a great person with a great mind, Mark is simply a joy to be around.

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