The art of unlearning.
I was recently inspired by the idea of unlearning. Believe it or not in my consults I often help people organize and implement the marketing information they already have stored in their brain. Several hours on Pinterest and you pretty much know most of the nuts and bolts of marketing. People book consults with me thinking they don't know enough, but most of the time they know too much. I couldn’t really come up with a name for this process, but when I heard the concept of “unlearning” on the podcast Raise Your Hand and Say Yes (link at the bottom) it totally clicked.
We are bombarded with so much information. The confusion around marketing doesn’t come from not having enough information, but it comes from having too much. Sometimes we learn things that will work for us, and sometimes we learn things that won’t work for us. But that info is still catalogued in our brain, and it gets harder and harder to sift through as time goes on. Then, you find yourself in a place where you really need someone else to help you organize the information, throw away the clutter and create a plan of action that will work specifically for you.
So instead, what if we started unlearning some things when we become overwhelmed or stuck? What if we freed up some processing space by throwing some things out? What would that look like? Would you imagine more? Would you reach for more? Would you be more open and fluid with your marketing strategy?
Instead of looking for answers in another blog post during these frustrating moments you could ask your customers a question and see what they need. Wouldn’t that help you become a better marketer? Instead of reading about how to move past creative blocks, simply sit down and write down your thoughts. It’s simple but the action can help you get out of your own head. Instead of trying to implement tips and tricks that are complicated and confusing, save yourself the frustration and simply unlearn them. When you do this you make way for things that might actually work for you. For example: Unlearn someone else’s detailed tactics for a 100k launch so that you can forge your own path to a fabulous 100k launch. Throw them out, clean house and allow yourself to start paying attention to the things that matter: the big picture things, and the things that will help you move forward. I am talking something so huge that it won’t fit into an Instagram post or a blog post.
You need to let go of the little things to make room for the big things, darling. I have too many clients that come to me without even considering what they are trying to say or whom they are trying to say it to, but they know that pinning 50 pins a day can get you 1k followers on Pinterest.
Know this: A good marketer knows their customers/audience. They know what their clients need, and they offer those clients content that is inspired by what they want. They are open to change, and they aren’t bound by the little things or all of the rules. They are consistent, but they aren’t trapped.
These are all practiced skills. Just like any relationship… you need to practice listening and communicating. Instead of reading tips and tricks you could be spending time listening and asking. You learn new things in this process, but these are things that will help you in the long run. When you start this practice the rest will come. You will know what your clients need, and you will be able to respond. You will know what the best time to post is because you will be paying attention to engagement. You will know what resonates and what doesn’t. You will know if your time is better spent on Pinterest or on Twitter. These are things that you will learn over time. So unlearn some of the tidbits that you have been holding onto and start practicing and connecting. That, my friends, is marketing. I may not have 10 tips to get you there, but I can tell you that it will come with practice, practice, practice.
If you want to listen to the Podcast that inspired this post go here.