I love meeting people who are really good at what they do.
Looking back over the years it is these interactions that have been a big part of my growth. Working with people who are among the best at what they do.
They inspire me. They give me a vision of how life can be. They have a certain, cool energy about them.
And there’s something else important that I have gained from these interactions.
I always paid attention to how they were doing what they do, and I watched how they were getting where they wanted to go.
In short, I watched the PROCESS leading to their finished product. So often we are recipients of the FINISHED PRODUCT. Whether it’s a television show or movie, a book we read, a social media account we follow, we see the finished product. So rarely do we get to go along for the ride and watch the process it takes to create the finished product.
I’ve been so fortunate in my career and I’ve met such cool people working at the top of their game:
Authors, Actors, Musicians, Politicians, Athletes.
And all sorts of people who are specialists in their fields including physicians, non-profit directors, fundraisers, teachers, the list goes on and on.
So why am I mentioning those experiences today?
In August I had the pleasure of being interviewed for an article about how meeting planners and event directors can make their events and conferences more inclusive. I was included in the mix due to my expertise in producing events for the disability community, the primary focus of my career since 1992.
The person interviewing me was Hannah Kinnersley. It was yet another opportunity for me to meet someone working at the top of their game, as well as an opportunity for me to see a little of the PROCESS leading to the FINISHED PRODUCT.
Hannah is a Senior Content Manager for MeetingsNet. They are, per the “About Us” page on their website:
“leading the meeting industry by providing award-winning, engaging content for market-segmented meeting decision-makers planning meetings, incentives and events through integrated solutions. MeetingsNet publishes an interactive magazine app and digital edition and several e-newsletters tailored to our industry.”
If you’re in the meetings industry you’re probably a subscriber.
But whether you are in the meetings industry or not …
Here is why this post matters to YOU:
These are my take-aways from the interview experience that matter for anyone using content marketing to grow a female-directed business in the health, wellness or disability field.
1. Love what you do. And get really good at it.
It’s a bit of a given that I had a good time talking about this topic with her, since it’s a long-time passion of mine. But I also paid attention to how she interviewed me: from her first email to me, to the questions she asked, to how carefully she listened and probed during our discussion. My take-away? Hannah’a an experienced pro and she loves what she does. Do what you love. And get really good at it. If you’re just putting in time at a job … stop. Find something that you love to do, where you are 100% engaged. Then work at getting better at it. You’ll get to where you want to go. And you’ll have fun doing it.
2. Be Fascinated with the PROCESS, not so much the FINISHED PRODUCT.
Here’s something I tell my consulting clients all the time. We always see the FINISHED PRODUCT.
It’s as I discussed earlier. Very rarely do we see the PROCESS that takes place to get from an idea to a finished product.
When you can have the opportunity to see the process behind the finished product – take advantage of that experience! Seize it! You will learn A LOT!
I was part of this process because I was the person being interviewed. I was 50% of that original discussion. I knew the source material that Hannah was working with for the article – because it was the discussion that she had with me.
And then I got to see how Hannah took that source material and sculpted it into the finished articles. I was particularly interested because I know that her goal is to get the readers of those finished articles, thousands and thousands of event producers, to really “get” the core points and carry those points into their own events. She’s a talented writer and she gets it done.
I was lucky to know where it started and that helps me better understand the process it took to get to the finished product. I can use that understanding in my own work.
I also knew that I was working with someone who has taken the time to hone her craft. She’s a writer, and she works at that skill. Whatever type of content you are creating, be a life learner about it … constantly improving your technique little by little. I call it “being a turtle.” The turtle wins the race you know.
3. Content can be generated BY YOU. But content can also be generated by someone else ABOUT YOU.
When content is generated ABOUT YOU … be sure to use it in the same ways that you would use any content you produce.
Repurpose it across multiple platforms. Multiple times.
For example, I’m talking about this experience and the finished product here on my website. Once I’ve published this blog my next step is to link to it from my LinkedIn.com account. And from my Facebook and Instagram accounts.
By doing that I will put the experience to work FOUR TIMES. I put the effort in one time. And then put the content to work for me four times.
This time around I’m using my website as home base for my content. Because remember, you own your website, but not your social media. Much of the time (although not always) I work to pull people to my website to see the core of my content.
- Do what you love.
- Be a lifelong learner. Dribble in your learning, a little bit at a time, every day or every week. Be a turtle about it. Win the race.
- Pay attention to people who are producing content. Ask to see the PROCESS that gets them to the finished product.
- Remember to repurpose your content, on multiple platforms, multiple times.
- Keep your website as home base for your content.
Want to read the article?
You can read it at the link below. It’s the cover feature for the MeetingsNet October 2019 issue and it is not just one article, it’s a set of articles. There’s a specific interview with me. I’m also quoted in a few of the other articles that make up the feature. While you’re reading about inclusive meetings and my ideas, keep an eye on how Hannah is presenting the content – how the information is chunked, the headlines and sub headlines, the length of the articles, the use of images. Lots of ideas here to carry into your own written content!
The Welcome Guide: Tools and Ideas for Inclusive Meetings
(P.S. If you’re not a member you can join for free to read the feature!)
In closing, I do have to say that I’m pretty stoked to see some of my concepts get this kind of face time in a publication like MeetingsNet.
I have long believed that we need to be considering access at events for everyone attending.
Too many times I found myself as a meeting professional focusing only on the needs of those with very specific types of disabilities.
The truth as I found it is that ALL attendees have access needs.
People may not recognize it for themselves. For example – someone who wears bifocals is often not consciously aware of the challenges they face when reading publications printed on glossy paper.
But the meeting professionals presenting events can absolutely be aware of this type of access glitch. In my example the problem with glossy pubs is that the gloss finish produces a glare that makes reading tough for those wearing bifocals. Which equals an attendee getting less than full access at the event.
As meeting professionals we can also be aware of other, similar access glitches that effect large numbers of attendees – such as difficulty hearing and understanding general session presenters (due to second languages, accents, room acoustics), long distances between sessions, and lack of dietary options.
Meeting professionals can increase the value of their events when they work on ensuring full access for all attendees. It’s making access about everyone – access for all.