It’s now been a week since I attended the Denver Digital Summit, and it’s been just a little over two months since I made the leap from unfulfilling government work into the deep waters of content writing and search engine optimization.

My primary care physician thought this move was some mid-life, manic episode, however, I assured her this was a thought out (err…well…as well thought out as possible) transition into a career where my skills at and passion for writing would no longer be going to waste. It just seemed that simple. So why aren’t we all doing this? Why isn’t EVERYONE working in SEO and copywriting and making bank? How hard could content writing and SEO really be?! Well, from what I gather, it shouldn’t be that hard at all and there is no excuse as to why I can’t succeed in this venture. I say this now…

So much of what I heard at the summit seemed rather obvious. Especially for anyone who has ever had a social media account, which is, in essence, advertising yourself and attempting to increase your visibility. Attention is the new currency; it’s scarce and everyone is trying to get yours, but our collective attention span is shrinking. The challenge isn’t so much reaching an audience; the challenge is keeping the audience (as demonstrated in Rachael Sperling of Facebook’s “Building Ideas for the Attention Economy” session) by catching their attention, inviting them to interact and then allowing them to dig deeper into your service. Oh yeah, and obviously all while avoiding giving the audience a shitty experience. In all, marketing is basically the equivalent of dangling your keys in front of a giggling baby to keep it happy and engaged. Right?

A week later and it seems my biggest takeaway from the summit was the importance of providing a feeling your customers can’t get anywhere else and ultimately having the courage to go all-in to ensure that your purpose intersects and has an impact with the passion of the audience. In the “Marketing Trends That Matter in 2019” session, Leigh George of Freedom presented us with a value-driven ad campaign by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. I am still thinking about how effective it was in gaining my attention, and how impactful taking a deep and authentic perspective can be. If every brand were willing to connect with their audience at such a meaningful level, marketing could be much easier. Most brands won’t…. And there’s your opportunity. I will leave you with that ad by John Jay. Marinade in it, like I have been for the last few days now. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

John Jay University - Top Five Reasons Why You Need To Go To John Jay ad