Way back in 2020 I wrote a post about the most freeing statement I learned to say… “I don’t know.” 

This week’s Big Marketing Minute is focused on that topic. As an entrepreneur, no matter what business you are in, it’s important to recognize the fact that you don’t – you can’t – know everything. Asking questions is one of the best things you can do as the leader of an organization. Whether that’s a small business, a corporate team, an entire department or a global enterprise. How can you learn if you don’t ask questions? 

I originally found this to be challenging. The number of times a client would ask me a question and I assumed I was “supposed” to know the answer is jarring. My initial response many years ago was to jump to an answer, even if it wasn’t 100% on the money. What I learned over time is it’s better to ask and get it right than guess and get it wrong. 

Saying “I don’t know” is one of the most liberating statements one can make. I mean… this is how we stay in business. Our clients can’t possibly know everything there is to know about social media. That’s not their industry. They make whatever widget they make and are thought leaders in THAT industry. But they hire us because we know social. And, as a reminder and disclaimer, we are not experts in social, we are practitioners. 

If you know me or follow my personal social media, you know these have been trying times for me and for the world. It would be very easy to only read what’s in my natural algorithm and only believe “facts” from one side of the aisle. It’s important that we seek out information from different points of view and understand the facts of reality. And sometimes… sometimes I also just don’t know. Anyone out there “protesting” anything and claiming to be an expert… well… I question them.

But back to work…

One of the best things I’ve done for my business this year is join the founding cohort of Marketing Made Simple for Small Business. Lindsay Pinchuk, founder of this company, is a marketing podcaster I’ve listened to off and on for a few years (fun fact she’s also my cousin’s friend!). We’ve connected since October 7th and I’ve loved what she’s had to say about both world issues and also marketing. When she launched this group in January, I knew I had to be a part of it. You’d think I wouldn’t be interested in this level of course because we really did start from the beginning for the benefit of small businesses who weren’t yet working with a consistent, clear message for their business, and maybe had not even launched their Instagram account. But here’s the thing… learning from Lindsay and the others in the group has paid off. I’ve learned that the cobbler’s shoes phenomenon is real. Everything I do for clients I wasn’t doing for my own business. And with a rebrand on the way, I needed a plan. 

Now, I’m using the tactics I’ve learned for my clients but also in my own marketing. Because you can never really know it all and the way people in this group are marketing their businesses provided great tips, along with the program’s roadmaps. It’s amazing what happens when you let go of the idea that you already know it all. 

I’ve been able to use and apply so many of the methods from this group. And all I had to do was put my ego aside. 

We used to work with a client who would get advice about his social media from friends at cocktail parties. He’d come to us in meetings and ask why we weren’t using hashtags. Um. We were using hashtags. He simply didn’t know what a hashtag was. So the moral of that story is to ask the question… not jump to a conclusion that something isn’t being done. 

But let’s take that example for a second. Back in those days, hashtags were relatively new, and there were constant updates regarding them. For while it was better to put them in your caption. Then, that became completely taboo and it was better to put them in your first comment. Why? We didn’t know. But those were the facts. There were times when 5-8 hashtags was the magic number to get your content to show up in feeds and then there were times when you needed at least 20 to get any real traction. The point is, it’s our job to know what those rules and best practices are. And just so we’re clear… the rules have changed again… do you know what they are? 

If not … ask. We’re here to help. 


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