digital marketing presentation

What I (Re)Learned About Digital Marketing By Giving a Terrible Presentation

Before we get into all the juicy details that I’m going to share in this article, I’m going to first share some backstory that will provide important context here. A few years ago, I had some crazy health issues that had me in the emergency room a minimum of once a week for about a year, and nearly killed my business. Now, given the fact that I’m a Marine Corps veteran, I did what Marines are known for doing—I embraced the suck and pushed through it.

Today, a little over three years later, I’m still working to resolve the health issues, but my business is back in hyper growth mode. Unfortunately, the stagnation meant I was starting over almost from scratch. Because during that time, I was recovering at home while doing everything I could to support my existing clients, I wasn’t pursuing new clients or media exposure. As a result, we suffered significant downsizing during that three year period.

We have a saying in the Marine Corps:

Adapt, improvise, and overcome.

In our world, that means no excuses. You find a way to achieve your objective no matter what. So long before a more rational person probably would have, I forced myself back into the world to rebuild my company. This meant guest posting all over the place, seeking every PR opportunity I could find, being interviewed on numerous podcasts, networking, conducting sales calls, and everyone’s favorite—public speaking.

It was my most recent public speaking engagement where I was painfully reminded just how rusty I had become. No surprise though—having nearly zero human interaction for three years will do that to you. The group I spoke to was 2-3 times larger than other groups I had recently spoken to, and admittedly, I was probably a bit under prepared. I felt nervous and I’m certain that was evident. Here’s the thing—none of that mattered.

It started off badly, but every so often, I would find myself falling back into my flow. The audience became engaged, asking questions and frantically scribbling notes. I would fall out of my flow, then back in again, over and over.

I was the expert and this was all brand new information for them, so they were focused on that, not my ums and ahs. This point was reinforced the following morning while cringing at the recollection of my presentation, when I realized that I remembered some of the information that the other presenters shared, but I couldn’t recall anything about their delivery. None of that mattered.

What mattered in the short term is that I showed up and presented valuable information that the audience could implement tomorrow as a powerful weapon against their competition. What matters in the long term is that I continue showing up, presenting valuable information, and consistently  improving.

Digital marketing works the same way. You’re going to suck at first. Do it anyway because you’re probably better than you give yourself credit for, and each time you do it, you’ll get a little bit better.

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly–until you can learn to do it well.

—Zig Ziglar

Every piece of content you produce, whether it’s a blog post, podcast, or video, will help build your expertise, authority, and trust in the eyes of your prospects, as well as develop brand recognition through repetition. It also helps you to build an arsenal of useful content to drive social shares and organic search traffic.

Do you know the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Likewise, the best way to market your company online is one piece of content at a time. Over time, it all adds up.

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