• John Walker

Things I’m Thankful for in 2020

It’s been a hard year, but I have lots to be thankful for. The difficulty of 2020 has reminded me of what’s really important.

Clients who inspire me

My clients have inspired me with their energy, ambition, and perseverance. In spite of constant challenges, they’ve adapted to changing conditions, greeted setbacks with good humor, and kept at it day after day. And they’ve welcomed me into their worlds to succeed, fail and share our daily lives at work.

Strangely, there are some clients with whom I’ve worked intimately for months and never met in person. We meet on Zoom, we’re in the foxhole together, and I couldn’t be more thankful to work with them.

Finding new possibilities

Last March it looked like the business train was derailing. The pandemic was spreading and it wasn’t clear how businesses could continue. I was afraid for my livelihood.

But the worst didn’t happen because ingenuity prevailed- not so much my ingenuity as the ingenuity of the whole business ecosystem. Owners of businesses that I work with never wavered. They showed up every day and moved forward energetically in spite of heading into the unknown.

And I worked with them to find new marketing paths. No more trade shows? Ok, how about a virtual online trade show? No more in-person sales calls? Ok, let’s do a webinar instead. And because the stakes were high, I was forced to push myself and find new strategies. Many of these have worked and for that I’m thankful.

Gaining new skills

The challenges of 2020 have forced me to learn new skills to help my clients. Things I dabbled in before are now part of my everyday skill set, like:

· Using webinars to build relationships with prospective customers.

· Running paid advertising on LinkedIn to market these webinars.

· Building advertising campaigns on Google Ads- not just paid search campaigns, but display ads and YouTube pre-roll advertising.

· Doing advanced analytics using Google to see what’s really happening inside campaigns.

· Expanding search engine optimization beyond simple on-page optimization to more robust inbound marketing efforts.

The year has challenged me to get outside my comfort zone. It’s stretched me and for that I’m thankful.

Having caring colleagues

During 2020, I’ve felt a new level of genuine caring from business colleagues. The normal platitudes with which we greet each other at the beginning of calls and meetings have been replaced with a deeper level of caring. “I hope you and your family are doing well.” I hear that a lot and I know there’s real feeling behind it. The pandemic has reminded me of the importance of my communities and my family. That’s a good thing.

I’m thankful for all these things this year and I’m going to try to hang onto the gratitude.

Happy Holidays.

This post was written by John Walker, Principal Consultant at J. Walker Marketing. Contact John to discuss your marketing challenges.

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