Posted in Livin' la vida loca!

Toot Toot! That’s the sound of my own horn.

What is life if it isn’t a little funny?

I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but … toot toot … ya know?

Years ago we met with an agency that dug through our social platforms (with our permission) in an attempt to put a number behind my work. We were in a different city and in a different industry and I got to be a part of our business. My social savviness and marketing skills were mostly self-taught early on. I was constantly reading, studying trends, learning and doing all I could to develop a skill that would benefit our business. As the social marketing world was starting to develop more I knew that I needed to learn everything I could. I enjoyed working in this space and I was seeing a lot of success. Our traffic and overall sales correlated with my social marketing more than any other place that we spent marketing dollars.

When this agency asked to peek into our platforms they planned to duplicate and market it to some other dealerships that we had connected them with. If I was more business savvy at this point in life I would have said no, created my own business plan and marketed it to those same dealerships … but I wasn’t and I didn’t. None of that mattered anyway because after they looked into my world I got a very unintentional compliment. I will never forget opening an email that said their team had evaluated everything and they couldn’t put a number behind what I was doing and if they did, nobody could afford it. I mean I knew that all along … but to have an ad agency say it meant a lot.

 When you work behind the scenes you don’t get a lot of recognition or praise. I could always review stats, study conversions and know that what I was doing made a huge difference, but it wasn’t something I heard much. I heard a lot of complaints from salespeople that didn’t want to write ads or didn’t believe that social marketing was “worth it”. Knowing that industry experts took a peek and could see just how hard I was working meant so much.

Since then I have taken classes, studied and researched immensely since then and really honed in on what works in this realm. I help where I can, and I love looking at the analytics and seeing exactly what my work produces. When we made this move and planned this change for our family this is what I thought I was moving to do. I started researching and studying this new industry over a year in advance. My work was proven and well … I was working for free … so you can’t beat that. I never got to work at the new dealership, but after only a couple months of it being open, I started getting messages from friends and family asking what was going on with the marketing because it didn’t look like my work. I had a few people send me screenshots and I explained the situation to them. When things really needed to get kicked off, I got to help a little, which turned into a lot. As soon as my work started things lit up! I got messages from people saying they could tell I was working on it and how good it was (love you guys that always love on me). Since then I usually spend half of my week creating content, writing ads, scheduling and I spent over 2 months updating a website and writing all new content. Its all behind the scenes, but I get to see those numbers. I can tell you without a doubt that I completely killed it over the spring and into the summer and fall. TOOT TOOT!! The more I worked the harder it got. To be so successful, know you are good, but still not good enough to be on the team … it weighs on you. I wrote on this in Stinky Socks if you remember.

As the reality of the hurt built with my work, I realized I needed to change something. I found an amazing agency that specializes in this industry and made the appropriate introductions. They were hired and were able to continue to improve and grow on my established work. As much as I want to be involved and work in this realm it isn’t healthy for me. I am sure I have friends and family reading this now that are saying, “we established this last August, why are you still doing this?”. I feel you! I am doing much less than I was before and am working more on my goals, I promise. But … there is something funny that has to be shared. If we can’t find humor in the awkward and painful stuff, then I really don’t know how to get through it.

About a week ago we were weighing a trailer at a truck stop and I scrolled through social media while I waited. I see a sponsored post and scroll on by … wait a minute … back it up … looked familiar. It was my ad that I built the week before. They took my text, my ripple video, copied and produced it for an ad (that they are paid for). What do they say about imitation? Ha! Work I am doing out of kindness & a company working with dealerships at a national level just took my work. I’m not sure if I’m on their payroll now or how that works? Life is weird. I got pretty mad and had a hard time sleeping, but my mindset has evolved. I know in my heart that my work is good. I have seen the numbers behind my Ads and the sales generated. I have also prayed for affirmation outside of numbers on a screen because sometimes we all need that. I am seeing this odd situation as a positive one. My work is good and in this case it’s good enough that a marketing agency didn’t even need to create an ad because they could use mine.

I have been working hard on creating a new path for myself and I am getting closer to the finish line (of classes) and the starting line of something new. I plan to use all these marketing and social media skills that I have worked hard to obtain to grow myself and my own brand. Taking all things into account I am thankful for the years of work I was able to do and the growth that came from it. I am glad to step away from working behind the scenes where I am not wanted or valued and into a new light. I pray that as I grow, I will always value those around me for everything that they bring to the table. Through a lot of hurt I pray that I have learned the value of teamwork and never leaving people aside that you love. If we can do anything to better a hard world, I think we can strive to do better than what we receive. Don’t become hard because you were treated badly, don’t leave others out because you were left out, be a light in a dark place and be the person He created you to be. That is my life plan as I move into a new season of life.

… and if you are looking for some outside marketing help … hit me up … I can freelance all day! Not working for free anymore so we will have to work something out! Lol