Zenith 2017, Duluth and the Content Marketing Career Thing
Updated: Feb 12
I attended Zenith Digital Marketing Conference in Duluth, MN yesterday. This is my second year. Having attended MIMA events (and written articles/conducted interviews) since October’s MIMA Summit, the language of marketing content is not only becoming familiar, I feel pretty confident of my grasp on the material. Basic keyword research, SEO, AI, Automation, use of social for different purposes, and how to use it most effectively.
At the Zenith after conference Happy Hour at Blacklist Ales, we shared deeper stories and got to know each other. My conversation with two UMD (University of MN Duluth) employees, cut to the heart things. Both had seen epic changes in the University settings in which funding cuts for general research was looming and the fear that science (not just art but AND art) was being attacked. Keepers of knowledge and bastions of progressive society and it was all something out of an Aldous Huxley novel (or any other novel from the 50s and 60s that seems a little too close to home).
They were hoping to learn somehow what it would take to save their work, to preserve their knowledge, to work in a paradigm in which deleting research was acceptable discrimination. I don’t have all the answers to this time, none of us seem to. However, what I could be was an ear of understanding. I said, it is up to each of us to tell our stories, find a way to put more of ourselves “out there” and provide whenever possible, a checks and balances to the fake news and misinformation. We were each being called to something greater – even if it makes us uncomfortable. My new friend’s face lit up, then with hope. Finding our greatness individually will be our Truth.
I am reflecting on the word Zenith, also. “The highest point reached by a celestial or other object.” Here I am in Duluth – not always lately feeling like I have reached any particular zenith. The ups and downs of the last year since graduating with my MBA have given me a type of resilience, or maybe more accurately, uncovered within me a resilience I had lost touch with. Unlike a year ago, I feel more at home at the conference and with marketing professionals.
Kate Cummings and I (and it is nice to have another person from our MBA program in the same room) – we are the first few cohorts through (or almost through in her case) and some of the only ones changing careers – and non-traditionally to boot. We are creative and social media savvy. We network. We want to break the mold. Sometimes it is hard to know if we aren’t thinking outside the box enough. Nevertheless, I haven’t given up on my job applications and networking. Something has to turn the corner and be the elusive jackpot. Still, marketing
Sitting in the hotel lobby of the Radisson Duluth, I am stuck by the older style décor, giving the place both a timeless attitude and transporting me to a different era. A hockey tourney must be taking place as parents and kids with large oversized hockey roll-bags have shown up by the droves since I checked out at 11am. I’ve been conducting business and chatting with a friend.
I want to head out soon and check out the maritime museum before driving home. Or at least go to the water for a bit. The hotel lobby gas fireplace is beautiful and relaxing, inviting to me to sit longer. I’d hoped to have done more writing while here – this blog will have to be it. I would rather be outside than typing my novel projects.
While I do not know when I’ll be working Fulltime in marketing – I feel like more and more I am aligning with that vision and desire. Letting go, bit by bit the limitations and point of view that kept me locked in my previous career. Keeping things small and struggling to complete projects.
Looking forward to applying my learning from Zenith and building on my volunteer assignments in the weeks to come. As well as staying connected to and building on the relationships from the event.
On the other hand, the Evolutionary Love course, took an unexpected two week hiatus due to logistics and I haven’t listened to last night’s course recording. Amazing how the Universe builds in unexpected processing and integration to our manmade schedules. Never ceases to amaze me that timing is not always under our control, and nor should it be.
Of course, no matter how much work I do on myself and clearing blocks of one kind or other another, the ego will always bring up time - like a badge of honor or dishonor, as the case maybe. After all it is just not good enough if it isn't just so!
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