Imagine yourself, as you are right now. Perhaps you're sipping coffee while scrolling through a newsfeed of articles that interest you. You have your calendar ready with your tasks for the day. You know what you're about and where you're going.
"You've got this", you confidently tell yourself. You're self-assured and you know what to do.
Knowing what you're doing in your job is the cornerstone of actually being able to do something constructive in the day. That same feeling of "I got this" pervades across the scores of social media pundits.
And there's a good reason for that, it's what I like to call the "Know-it-All-Curve", and it's best described as this:
"You start by knowing nothing then you know something and think you know everything. Then you know a lot more, and realise you know nothing."
That's the effect of the digital world. Very often clients, consumers, experts and analysts alike will expound upon the ways and means their expertise and experience can guarantee results. And in a world that is vastly different than even a mere two years ago, the truth is: it's impossible to keep up.
Take the African continent for example, with an estimated 205 million internet users, making up only 18% (from 7% in 2012) of the global online population which tops out at an incredible 2.4 billion. And let's not get started on the increase in mobile penetration (6.5 billion by the way) and smartphones with access to every feature you can shake a stick at.
The role of the experts and analysts is not one of a gold miner, hacking away until you suddenly strike it rich. It is a nurturing, advisory role that helps you find the best ways to take your brand further. With effective marketing, tailored solutions, clever thinking and just a dash of luck, you may very well find yourself sitting on a gold mine of your own.
Messaging and branding
A good strategist will work with you in a careful dance between messaging and branding to find that gentle balance of symmetry. We may sometimes disagree, and that's not a bad thing. It doesn't mean either is right or wrong.
Whether you're taking those first trepidatious steps or working up to a good solid jog along the rough terrain of the digital world; you need to be sure of a few things:
1. What it is you're planning to do out there
2. How you plan to go about it
3. How much you think you know about and how's and what's
4. Whether you're willing to ask for help
5. If you said no to the above, go back to 4 and ask yourself that question again
Once you realise that asking for help is not an admission of failure, but rather a brave step towards growth; you will be well on your way.
The vastness of digital
The digital world is an organic, living, breathing organism that needs to be treated as such. A little love and tenderness, a little training, sometimes a stern word or two and the willingness to adjust and change your own behaviour constantly.
I am constantly amazed, confounded and bewildered by the sheer vastness of digital. To me, it's akin to staring into recursive mirrors. Simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. While I don't purport to be an expert in how one should perceive the digital world, I am of a strong opinion that a feeling of confidence against a raging torrent is pure bravado and very little substance.
As a strategist, client or DIY'er - remembering information is infinite, retention is not.
There is no right answer. No guarantee. No fool proof solution. There's no real recipe, rhyme or reason. And absolutely no absolutes. Don't let anyone tell you any differently.
If you think you know it all - you definitely don't.