I recently went to an ‘ICT for Growth’ workshop run by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, whose aim is to coordinate businesses, education providers and local authorities to ensure the huge period of growth the Humber Estuary is moving into is sustainable.
Designed to educate attendees on how social media can help to promote their business to current and potential customers, the workshop covered some basic and not-so-basic-guidelines. Here’s what I learned…
Back to basics
The workshop was very informative yet informal, and nobody was afraid to ask a question or venture an opinion. However, I will admit that initially, I was a little reticent in speaking up in comparison to most of the other people in the room. You see, I work for Knapton Wright, a creative marketing agency.
Admitting this at a social media workshop is a little daunting. At best, I could look like I was engaging in a little low-level industrial espionage, and at worst, my presence would make our agency appear to be in the habit of employing people with little experience in social media. Of course, neither of these statements are true.
I wasn’t trying to pilfer ideas from the course leader on the best way to run social media training sessions, and Knapton Wright has huge amounts of expertise and experience when it comes to helping our clients with their business marketing. However, I do believe that we can all learn something from re-addressing the basics. After all, it’s important to be able to see your area of expertise through the eyes of someone without much knowledge of the subject. Never assume you know enough.
Every day’s a school day
As well as the course leader, I also learnt a lot from my fellow workshop attendees, whose comments and questions were very enlightening; each one making me think about how their particular business could be helped through the use of social media.
Being surrounded by people from a range of sectors with varying skill levels reminded me that every single client is different, with different levels of social media knowledge, business priorities and expectations of us. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ package we can impose on them and expect great results. Results come when we really dig deep to understand exactly what our customer does, what they’re hoping to achieve, and how much support they need to do it.
The Humber LEP seems to embrace this approach as well. Businesses in the area vary dramatically in sector and scale, but they are keen to help each one reach their potential in different ways so that the Humber Estuary can thrive.
I learnt many things on my half-day of training, but if you take one important lesson from this blog, let it be this… Even if your business is a success story – even if you see yourself as a leading expert in your industry – always be on the lookout for training, workshops, useful guides and helpful advice. You never know what you may take away from them. Remember, every day’s a school day!