Lessons Learned from 365 Days of Consulting

Yesterday was my birthday! Not my actual birthday, but the birth of my business. One year ago, I was hired by my first client and officially became a consultant.

It was the scariest, yet most exciting and satisfying decision I’ve ever made.  Would this work? Could I really make a living being my own boss? Luckily for me, the answer has been yes. Early on, I took a number of interviews and phone screens and drove myself crazy, but after I turned down a great job offer early into my venture and made the decision to fully commit and haven’t looked back since.

Throughout my career, I’ve led global teams, traveled the world and managed numerous agencies and consultants.  To this day, I continue to learn from my mistakes and re-calibrating for ongoing success. I’m constantly learning how to figure out what I don’t like doing or where I struggle so I’m able to get help.

Below are some takeaways from the year that was, I hope you find these helpful!

“You must learn from your past mistakes, but not lean on your past successes.” – Denis Waitley

  • Small successes feel absolutely incredible.When I worked for other people, achievements in the business were exciting, but they never really felt like my successes since they were part of a greater organization. Now, every time something exciting happens, I feel like an owner. Every step forward motivates me and pushes me to work harder since I know what it took to achieve.  It feels good to know that anything I’ve achieved is well earned.
  • Set Goals. If you start a business with some success, your offerings and mind may shift. It’s like a little alarm telling you that you did something you once thought impossible, and now nothing really seems very impossible. It’s exhilarating however it can open up the flood gates allowing a million ideas that you may way to do roll in. I recommend that you set a quarterly goal for your business. Make it specific and set up an action plan to help you achieve it. It’s easy to get sidetracked and over promise to clients but staying true to myself and the goals I set for this past year has worked (so far!).
  • People don’t understand what I do, and that’s okay. Friends and family may not always understand or consider my job “a real job” since it’s outside the normal “full-time” description.  I don’t work 9-5 in an office or a traditional setting. Others perception has been one of my major frustrations over the last year. My business is important to me and it makes me happy.  I try to share what I do in a way that people understand.  I’ve learned there are ways of having productive conversations and getting what you want out of an interaction.  It’s been helpful for me to be honest with my friends and family about where I’m at with my business and letting go of any frustrations I maybe holding onto.
  • Support is key. I’ve always loved having alone time, but I get a bit stir-crazy being home all day. Building a great business means you need a great network of people to help you. Getting out of the house and doing work from a coffee shop or a friend’s couch has been a lifesaver.  I’d describe myself as a creative soul and often I get ideas from my friends within other industries and outside of my house.  I encourage people to build relationships with the people who can help to get your business idea off the ground. Connect with individuals who will give expert advice and save you from making startup mistakes and take a break to network and get out!
  • If you’re thinking about it – do it! I’m a firm believer that things always work out the way they should.  It they don’t at first, you have to keep fighting through.  Too many small businesses fail because they were never started in the first place, if you have an idea then give it a shot. I’ve been able to eliminate hours of commuting, travel, busy work for others and so much more.  And what’s the best part? Having the ability to spend more quality time with my children and family.  Until this past year, I never had time to join my children’s activities at school, meet friends for coffee whenever I wanted too, visit my parents in the middle of the day, or have breakfast with my children.  My life was a state of constant rush, drop the kids, rush to make a train or an early call, work and hustle to catch another train home to grab the kids from daycare to get home in time to put them to bed. After my second son was born, I had a harder time spending 11+ hours away from my boys in daycare every day even though I was only in the city a few times a week.  I wasn’t happy and it was really taking a toll on me and my husband realized.  He pushed me to follow my dream of setting up my own business and has been my constant cheerleader over the past 365 days.  He believed in me and kept me going, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

It’s been a wild ride this past year, but one I plan to stay on for some time! I’d love to hear any advice you may have for a small business owner or someone new to entrepreneurship.  Please leave a comment below or reach to me directly!

 

Honored to Be Named as One of the Top 19 B2B Marketers To Follow In 2019

I’m thrilled to announce that last month the team from B2B Marketing Exchange included me within their list of 19 B2B Marketers To Follow In 2019.

These influential marketing professionals specialize in areas such as ABMinfluencer marketingdigital marketing and more. I’m honored to be included alongside 18 such influential and powerful icons within this list. 

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On a personal note, this has been quite a transformative year for me.  I left my full time role last fall to dip my toes into the world of entrepreneurship and setup my own marketing consultancy, Marissa Pick Consulting.    It’s been several months since I made the change and I’m enjoying getting my hands dirty developing marketing strategies, content marketing campaigns as well as expanding my work across new fields and alongside some fabulous clients which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

Who knows what lies ahead but i’ve learned to enjoy every day and moment including sharing honors like this! Thank you again for the team at B2B Marketing Exchange for including me within your list of 19 B2B Marketers To Follow In 2019.

 

Event Manager Blog’s Social Media for Events Guide (2018 Edition)

Thank you so much to the Event Manager Blog for including my insight and experiences within the newly launched 2018 Edition of Social Media for Events: A Complete Guide to Marketing Your Events Using Social Media.

The guide shares 42 strategies, ideas, tips and tactics on using social media to promote events.  Levering social media at live events is crucial for generating engagement before, during and after the conference. However with social media rapidly evolving it’s not something that’s always easy to develop a strategy around especially since KPI’s around live events are sometimes challenging to measure.

I’ve been fortunate to have an extensive event marketing background which has helped me to develop innovative social media campaigns to enhance a variety of live events.   It’s crucial to always take chances and push the limit.  Failure is important to enable you to measure successes over the long term.  Always think outside the box and take chances, that’s how you and you brand can excel and stand out!quote-1-768x510.jpg

So, what are you waiting for, check out the 2018 Edition of Social Media for Events: A Complete Guide to Marketing Your Events Using Social Media.

What do you think of the guide, anything you would add? Leave me a comment below or shoot me a Tweet!

The Eight Traits Successful People Have In Common

Lecturer Richard St. John met a young girl on a plane on his way to speak at a TED conference in California who asked him a simple question, are you successful? This sparked him to travel the world for years where he conducted face-to-face interviews with a wide array of people to find the common factors with success.  He met people in all fields including comedians, parents, surgeons, nobel prize winners, celebrities such as Bill Gates, Russell Crowe, Peter Max, Seth Godin, and MORE!

He analyzed his 500+ interviews and sorted them line by line mapping out and reviewing over 300+ success factors. After analyzing everything he’d learned, he came up with these eight traits:

  1. Passion: Love what you do.
  2. Work: Really hard.
  3. Focus: On one thing, not everything.
  4. Push: And keep on pushing yourself.
  5. Ideas: Come up with some good ones.
  6. Improve: Keep improving yourself and what you do.
  7. Serve: Serve others something of value.
  8. Persist: Because there is no overnight success.

Success doesn’t happen overnight and Richard St. John found that these eight traits are at the heart of success and within the foundation across any career & field.  You can add in people skills, computer skills, and a wide array of other skills to help you succeed with your specific area of interest, but regardless of what you do, the eight traits above will always be within the heart and key to success.

Meet Mike, Your Customer in 2015 (Infographic)

Meet Mike, Your Customer in 2015 (Infographic)

Always connected, opinionated and sharing it, requires immediacy, and so much more. This is Mike, and he’s your customer in 2015. With 34% of people turning to social media to air their feelings about a company, you better know what your consumers/followers are saying, and monitor and respond.

Some great stats in the infographic above. Tweet me @MarissaPick or share your comments below.

Ten Tips for Using Social Media to Further Your Career

Ten Tips for Using Social Media to Further Your Career

It’s no surprise that as we enter into 2014 we’ve seen a social media explosion.  Now there’s over 800 million people connecting with each other on social media networks including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and many more. I had the privilege of joining Sarah Lawrence, senior associate, DLA Piper; Lucy McNulty, managing editor, IFLR; and Callum Sinclair, partner, DLA Piper on a webcast run by International Financial Law Review (IFLR) and sponsored by DLA Piper on using social media to further your career. This webcast was the first in IFLR’s Women in Business Law Group’s webinar series.  We each explained our experience and insights into how the rise of social media has fundamentally changed, and how we each communicate within our professional worlds.   At the bottom of this post is the slide share of the powerpoint deck we used during our presentation, and if you would like to access and listen to the webinar broadcast please visit this link.

During the Q&A portion of the webcast, one of the questions directed to me focused on best practice for the use of social media platforms. Below are my top ten tips for utilizing social media to advance your reputation and further your career.. 

  1. Stand out within your social media profiles. On twitter you have only 140 characters to tell the world who you are, so make your profile catchy and interesting.  Although this seems basic, many profiles across social media are missing photos, contact information, and other crucial data.  Highlighting your interest, job duties, location and other keywords helps people find out more about you.  In addition, consider cross promoting your other social media platforms as well to boost your digital footprint.  If you want to be taken seriously online, including a link within your profile is encouraged; for example feature your LinkedIn profile within your twitter bio to make easy for people to connect with you. 
  2. Lock It Down. What happens online doesn’t stay online.  We live in a world within limited privacy, so as your setting up your social media profiles make sure to check your privacy settings and ensure they’re set properly. As employees we are a representation of the company which employs us, so remember to think before you post, or you can be held liable.
  3. Transparency is key in building and maintaining a strong reputation.  Be honest, respectful, and mindful across all social media platforms.  It’s important to be open and transparent, this makes people relate to you.  It’s important to align your online persona with your offline personalty to avoid trouble. 
  4. Content is King. The key to any social media strategy whether you’re trying to advance your career or increase your businesses visibility should focus around a solid content marketing plan.  What you share across social media platforms should be interesting and engaging for others to enjoy, read, and share.  All social media platforms are not a one size fits all model, it’s important to craft posts for each social networks to maximize and leverage content.   As a reminder content doesn’t always have to be original.  Test quotes, statistics, and visual content and images across social media and see what works best.
  5. Incorporate Images.  Visual social marketing is the next generation of social media.  90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visually based, and the human brains processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Utilize social media tools Instagram & Vine which let you embed posts and videos easily, and use free apps like Quoter which provide ready to go quotes, or let quickly create a visual image.  Mix it up and create content that is visually pleasing and easily shareable. 
  6. Become an authority and add value. Choose a focus, and share information relevant to your niche career area. Join LinkedIn groups, start discussions and comment on existing discussions, find and engage within Twitter chats, and most importantly always add value.  As you engage more within social media you will gain the trust of others who will follow you to find information.  As you focus and carve our a niche area, you will build trust, and people will begin to share your content and come to you for advice.
  7. Establish Yourself Offline. Establishing yourself as a brand both online and offline allows people to put a face to your name.  Nothing takes the place of face to face interaction, so ideally building a strong online presence can translate to building a stronger and larger network of offline connections.
  8. Stay up on Digital Trends: Demonstrating your proficiency with all things digital shows you’re up on digital trends, which are currently affecting every company.  Employers are increasingly looking for social media and digital proficiency in potential employees.
  9. Make time.  Social Media is easy, but it does take time, carve out an hour a week at a minimum to go in spend within social media platforms.  Setting up a social media profile is a great first step, but as with anything else it takes time and a comfort level to become successful. If you’re going to let your platforms sit and never update them, why bother even setting up a profile?
  10. Have Fun.  Social Media is a great place to have fun and let your corporate hair down.  Whether your using social media to advance your career, or build your business remember to utilize your profiles as an avenue to have fun!

Please share your feedback below in the comments section, or tweet me @MarissaPick.

2014 New Year’s Resolutions, Reflections, and Objectives.

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert wrote a great post for the Washington Post titled,Read this if you want to be happy in 2014.” Within the article he outlined a very basic principle, Happiness = Health + Freedom. Scott reminds us that there’s’es a right time and a wrong time for almost every activity from sleep, paying bills, and more.  It’s crucial to match your mood to your activity as a basic requirement to happiness, and equally important to remember that timing is controllable, especially in the long run. The article goes on to outline some of his goals and obstacles, and gives important insight into the power of your mind in making things happen.

Forbes contributor Cheryl Conner wrote a fantastic post titled, “Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid.” She included a list compiled by Amy Morin which was shared in LifeHack and reflected on her list including her thoughts on how the items were applicable to entrepreneurs. The 13 reflections touch power, change, success, and so much more with fantastic insights from Cheryl and Amy.

I’ve done a lot of thinking and reflecting upon my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions. The two fantastic articles above from the Washington Post and Forbes helped me craft my below post and insight,  I hope you enjoy!

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1) Expand upon Scott’s reflections and work on finding a better life & work balance to focus & attain the formula: Happiness =Health + Freedom.  We all struggle with finding a balance for everyday life, and we have to really prioritize and focus on what’s important, for me I know where I need to focus, and sometime unplug, so i will work to create more a life balance into 2014.

2) Become more adaptable to change: Cheryl nailed it within the Forbes article saying that mentally strong people embrace change and welcome the challenge.  The biggest “fear” if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and stagnant.  I need to become more adaptable and take more chances and accept change to further succeed within my work and personal life.

3) Make mistakes & learn: In December, my company held a offsite meeting in London to cover 2013 reflections to help plan for 2014. One of my colleagues brought up an important point, in order to learn we need to make mistakes and reflect and learn from them.  We can’t measure our successes without assessing our failures as well.

4) Dwell on the Past: We all know the saying forgive and forget, well easier said then done.  There is a positive when acknowledging the past and learning from experiences, but we must focus on living in the moment and creating the present and future.

5) Embrace alone time: I’ve really cherished the day’s in 2013 I was able to work from home and enjoy the quiet, meeting-free days.  I’ve learned to embrace the time I spend alone both within work and personal life.  I’ve been able to reflect, plan, and be productive and I find my alone time to spark some of my most creative ideas.

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” —Brad Paisley

What are your 2014 resolutions? Please comment below or tweet me @MarissaPick