Last year I started mentoring as a member of the team for the Accelerator Academy in London.
For a long while , I have had a calling to give back to the digital community around me. Having worked in this space for over 15 years, I thought it was about time that I did something, got involved and started sharing my expertise. Having worked in digital for this length of time, I have amassed a wealth of understanding about WHY we do digital the way we do today. I know, having seen how fast digital has changed in this time, that what we do today is not going to be the same in three to five years from now. In fact what I knew about social media a few months ago is hardly still relevant today (this channel is changing at a rapid pace).
Whilst we can’t and shouldn’t stop this change, we must roll with it , if we want to improve our grasp of how to harness the power that online marketing presents for businesses. Mentoring start ups, helps keep me ahead of digital change for a number of reasons:
1) Start ups are at the forefront of revolutionising online marketing to effect change
I get to meet some interesting folk when I mentor – who are approaching online with an innovative outlook. They have listed budgets, and a big message to spread that they feel truly excited about , they want to effect change. Seeing this and hearing their thought processes means, I get to learn from them too. They see the landscape ahead with a fresh perspective, and they are not hindered by what or why things have always been done the way they have. (The theory of good digital marketing principals, is just not relevant anymore and what was technically right yesterday is not fit for purpose by tomorrow as the digital landscape , technology supporting this changes so fast (think smart phone and it’s evolution and how we can now do highly targeted push text marketing, where five years ago that messaging format really didn’t exist)
2) I see the contant digital disruption…
I’ve seen first hand how people have interpreted the advice I’ve given, changed it up , shaken it about and implemented it with an authentic perfection specific to their brand, their target audience, and using their own sales or marketing experience to achieve some truly incredible results. This is what being authentic in marketing is all about. Using the principles of good marketing is not enough to stand out from the crowd. You have to take what you know and make it your own to deliver a message that resonates with your customers. Some of the most successful social media brands today are doing just this!
3) I thrive on seeing good start ups achieve real success
I’ve stood back in awe and watched the excitement of success , as businesses I’ve been fortunate enough to meet during their start up processes – have grown into successful businesses, hustling their way through the crowd to deliver great tech, service and innovation for others. An example of this is OPENR – if you don’t know it, go and find out about it. There are hundreds of innovative businesses just like this developing tools that people like me, who work in digital are using as part of their online strategies. It’s businesses like this – that are changing the face of digital and how we are using it to deliver messages, drive sales and increase revenues in an ever changing and competitive online landscape.
This is why I mentor, why I give freely of my time and why I enjoy every minute of it!