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The Hindsight Career Project 2021

One of the most important skills I’ve learned on the back of developing ideas for products and services is learning how to actually sell them. To teams. To clients. To customers.

You’re asking for the audience to listen, to hear you, to take a leap based on the case you present. You’re asking for them to invest their time and often money in your story, your idea.

You might use facts. You might use emotion. You might use jazz hands.

Early on in my career as a creative assistant I learned from my creative directors how to stand up in…

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Photo: Dezirae Bradley

How many of us dream of turning what we love to do into what we do? What might it look like? How would we market it? If the world changed around us, could we adapt?

On the hunt for role models at turning passions into businesses, I spoke to the three partners of sk.Artspace, a Brooklyn-based art incubator and curator service, whose primary focus is fostering relationships between artists and local businesses about how they have pulled it off-and what others can learn.

Jarryn Mercer, Melissa Sutherland and Symone Wong are best friends since undergrad at Southern Connecticut State University…

One neighborly trend I've noticed recently in good newsletters (like Jay Acunzo's) is recognition via shout-outs to others, which for me, builds a sense of knowing I'm not the only one reading it. And if I share something useful, it might be heard and even amplified by the author.

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Hindsight Career Project, 2012

In the weeks leading up to publishing Bronze Seeks Silver, my career memoir about advertising, I was utterly focused on cover design, catching typos, marketing materials, building thank you lists, and, of course, the launch plan in October.

Post-launch, most of my time was spent on promotion, whether it was figuring out soliciting reviews, understanding keyword and title searches to do Amazon advertising, writing op-eds for industry blogs, appearing on podcasts, and speaking at school ad programs.

What I didn’t expect were the profound benefits from formally putting one’s professional story out into the public. …

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Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Before I launched my book, a career memoir about working in advertising and marketing as a creative, I read dozens of advice pieces on Medium and elsewhere for tips on getting started and tools. I’m sure you have too.

Building up to the launch, I realized that while I had a loose project plan of activities, I hadn’t put down on paper an audience and channel strategy that I would normally do for my own clients to market their products.

So I took a few minutes and created this simple grid of key audiences mapped to owned, paid, and earned…

We are that woman

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Photo by Gabriela Braga on Unsplash

We learn in advertising the power of repetition to build familiarity. In radio spots, copywriters mention a phone number twice; in email communications, best practices tell a designer to place the call-to-action both above and below “the fold.”

What if you’re going to defend a culture? Or honor half the planet? Can repetition of a single concept create impact and persuade?

In a powerful new video, two male global creative directors put out an eight-minute film featuring footage of more than 300 iconic women including Coretta Scott King, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Toni Morrison and yes, even Sarah Palin. …

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You don’t have to be a writer to write it all down. Even if you don’t want to publish your stories, I encourage folks to take each job or stage of your career and put it on paper. I wrote as such recently in this piece for the Natie brand agency blog.

Before I knew it would be a book, I simply wrote down the stories from 10 jobs —how I got each one, what I learned, why I left. Starting as a secretary. Becoming a copywriter for radio and early internet. Heading comms for a gay online service. Getting…

The goal is not to be an e-commerce marketer

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Photo by on Unsplash

If you’re seeking a gold rush, look no further than the growth of e-commerce. Driven by digital transformation, accelerated by economic shifts and the coronavirus, e-commerce retail sales continue to rise in nearly every category globally. This creates more than billions of dollars in revenue for companies; it creates thousands of great jobs for ambitious people.

As an advertising creative turned marketing strategist, I think about the skills needed to go from one job to another, even within related industries. …

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Photo by Pars Sahin on Unsplash

E-commerce shopping has steadily grown, even accelerated due to Coronavirus, expected to reach $4.2 billion globally in 2020 (Statista) and be more than 16% of global retail sales. Nearly every category and vertical has been impacted, including books, video, electronics, and of course household goods. We can expect this holiday season to be even bigger.

I spoke to Ricky Busby, director of e-commerce and website content strategy at Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products -maker of Brawny, Quilted Northern, Dixie, and other household brands-about what it means from a marketer’s point of view. What does he see in his role developing online content…

3 lessons for a creative career
3 lessons for a creative career
Photo by shams NAJJAR on Unsplash

As I wrote about 30 years in advertising and digital marketing, each job led to specific lessons that people can use selling brands, building relationships, and managing careers. Three in particular stand out for folks going through a transition during these times. I capture them in a video clip below:

  1. Ask for what you want: People can only help you if you tell them what you want. Some will disappoint, but everyone else is everything.
  2. Find your people: Colleagues and clients will be people you work with again and again.
  3. Swing big + be early: Just as I got into…

Mat Zucker

Marketing + content leader. Partner at Prophet. host: Rising & Cidiot podcasts. Author of career guidebook and memoir:

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