Opening the Suitcase

In the book Never Eat Alone, there's a story about Susan Cain's experience public speaking. Cain, author of Quiet, spent a year working on her public speaking skills by going to Toastmasters and hiring a coach.

After hours of practice, her dedication to the craft culminated in a TED talk that became one of the most watched of all time. In the talk she urged introverts to share what was in their suitcase, "because the world needs you and it needs the things you carry." This struck a chord for me.

Being introverted, I've always kept pretty much everything close to my chest. I rarely post on social media and my entire knowledge base is padlocked into my brain and Evernote. This is more or less due to my disgust towards self-promotion and ego flatulation to which I usually respond with a jerking off hand motion.

My closed perspective to sharing has since changed. While I still consider 90% of Facebook posts just noise that juices up ad networks with more personal data, there is value in sharing actual knowledge with others. A great example of this otherwise obvious statement are mindshare calls that my team at Kettle & Fire schedule with other eCommerce brands. While the introvert in me always dreads that 4pm mindshare call at the end of the day, I almost always come away with valuable knowledge nuggets.

Another quote that disspells my closed minded perspective. From Nathan Barry's Authority:

You can continue to create cutting-edge work and strive to be the best in your industry, but until you start teaching and sharing, your reach and influence will be limited.

So much fucking truth here. A common behavior amongst marketers including myself is to never, ever share your secret sauce. Your secret sauce is your competitive advantage and by sharing the sauce you run the risk of exposing yourself to copying which inevitably leads to the law of shitty clickthroughs. While I still believe this to be true, it's near sighted to think that by keeping quiet your latest and greatest growth hack is safe from marketing cannibalization. Any marketer worth his or her salt can reverse engineer a competitor's strategy by leveraging some combination of spy tools and common sense.

Tying back to Susan Cain's quote, it's only in my best interest to start opening up my suitcase. While I am no means a decorated marketing guru, I've seen some shit marketing in both SAAS and eCommerce that I think others could learn from.

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So moving forward, I'll use this blog to distill some of the shit I've learned. I know there is a ton of crap out there written with only page views in mind so I'll try my damndest to keep these posts actionable. My goal is to publish something at least once per week. I've never blogged consistently so we'll see how that goal pans out. Consider my suitcase opened.

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Jack Meredith

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