Learning and Unlearing are Equally Important | CorrTek Marketing Mixer #59

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CorrTek Marketing Mixer

June 20 · Issue #10 · View online

The industries most fascinating news, insights, and tactics (with oddly specific rants) from Dominic Corriveau.


I’ve been harvesting from my garden nearly every day, I’m working on the patio frequently, and have an outdoor family activity planned every week. 
I’m so excited for summer. 
For what it is worth, Fall is a very busy season around here. With holidays and four birthdays, the summer offers a short respite before our event planning season. So while you read this ranty newsletter with lots of internal emotion processing, know that I’m having a great summer so far!
Coming up in this newsletter:
  • The importance of basic technical skills, a rant.
  • Using a marketing approach for all communications. 
  • Some very useful hot links. 
  • My Father’s Day note about how we need to spend time unlearning, too. 

Your job is to be competent with the tools you have
There seems to be a serious downtick in general computing skills. 
This is sort of a sore spot for me, so buckle up for a rant. 
Tech literacy is more than just being able to open websites and check your email. I speak with so many people who are seemingly competent professionals but are dumbfounded by what are basic technical skills. This is blatantly obvious after being in a Zoom call and watching the plethora of issues people face, including the inability to even find the invite link in their own calendar. 
Some of this is how apps and services constantly change their UI. I wrote about this recently and how constantly changing the UI leads to the users always feeling like a beginner. 
Users can't be experts anymore Users can't be experts anymore
Where my frustration lies is that whenever there is a problem, the search to fix is always to find another application or service that solves it, instead of being able to handle basic troubleshooting skills. 
Just ask any Mac user to use the terminal. 😉
The other side of this is the people who are always looking for new apps and services. You know the people, the CrossFit people of software. The ones rattle off 3-4 competing services to the one you use. The ones who have used your tool and didn’t like it and give you a laundry list on why you are dumb for using it. 
So here are my two takeaways from this rant:
  1. It is your job to learn how to competently use a computer. Schedule time for it.
  2. Always shopping for a new tool is a form of procrastination. Jumping from Sheets to Smartsheet to Airtable doesn’t make you good at your job. You are just procrastinating from doing the actual work.
Taking the marketing approach
I have been writing a lot (I mean A LOT) of landing pages and emails lately. With the summer season and some new laws affecting the customers in my day job, June has been the month of copywriting. 
I created a short template to keep me on track while writing so that I create valuable content and not just a bunch of corporate PR/Sales puff pieces.  After putting together my list, I realized this approach works for basically everything. 
For every email, presentation, and or marketing pitch, you need to incorporate something from each of these points.
  • What is the reader’s problem?
  • What are their past experiences or stereotypes?
  • What is your unique solution?
  • What’s in it for them?
  • What do they stand to lose?
  • Why are you better?
If you consistently answer the questions listed above, you will be more memorable, which is the goal of content.
Twitter interlude
Jason Patterson
Me explaining to the Marketing Director that the organic content is only getting shared by our own employees. https://t.co/Zs5MlWHwzJ
Hot links
The number one feature you are not using is scheduled send. Not just for Slack, but any service that offers it. This isn’t just a tool for asynchronous work either. Any message or email you schedule now is a gift to yourself in the future. 
I have seen a significant decrease in LinkedIn activity. It seems like people are engaging less now that they are heading towards a new office scenario, unlike at the beginning of the pandemic where activity on the platform had skyrocketed. I’m unsure how much value there is in LinkedIn. I’d love to hear where you think is the best place to reach professionals? Where do you think a person should spend their time building their brand?
The hardest skill to learn is unlearning | Coaching - Leadership - Life
This is being published on Father’s Day in the US and is a day of deep reflection for me. This year isn’t an exception, Father’s Day has been a complicated day for me for most of my life. I am a happy father of 4 wonderful children who I try every day to become a better dad for them. The complication is with my own father and the man who technically raised me. 
I often tell people who ask about my father that I actually have two failed dads. I have a sperm donor whom I’ve never met (and never will, thanks for asking 😚 also stop asking people that, it’s none of your effing business) and a step-dad whose life of addiction and toxicity haunts me every day. This makes Father’s Day a time of reflection of my own parenting while re-living painful times of my own childhood. 
There is a quote I think of constantly, especially on days like this, that is roughly, 
“One of the hardest things you’ll have to do is unlearn what your parents taught you.”
I searched high and low for attribution but unfortunately couldn’t find it. I did, however, find this wonderful article about this topic, in the blog of Dollar Shave Club of all places.
I don’t want this to turn into an essay about my feelings, I have plenty of other places for that. The point I do want to make is that we have to make time to unlearn and re-learn, whether it is personally or professionally. Unlearning the toxic behavior we’ve encountered through our professional lives is hard. But it is important to do it so we stop carrying the biases of previous generations that are pervasive through our offices. 
Self-reflection is a powerful process. We often look for external sources for evaluation. But the most important review is how we evaluate ourselves. Self-reflection is a process I’ve been working through as we exit the pandemic and spoke to it in my recent video.
Looking Inward Before Heading Out - Leadership | Coaching | Life
I’ll leave you with one last quote:
“Old ways won’t open new doors.”
If you want something new, the first thing you have to do is unlearn the old.
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