What Do You Do?


What do you do? Good question. I was at the PRSA Western District Conference in LA recently.

Very few Advertising folks go to PR events. That is why I go.

There was an evening networking event and somebody asked me what I did? It stopped me for a while.

I don’t know why. I know what I do. Sort of anyway.

I always have my business cards in my back pockets. Both of them.

A lot of people would say I am a networker.

I always hand out my cards showing the back first. It says BLANK in large letters. Most people like that.

Always gets the conversation started. The smiles and the chuckles. That’s why it’s there. I’ve never changed the back. I have changed my job descriptions on the front over the decade I have been in business.

I do lots of things so I generally say I am a Marketing Consultant. Pretty vague today.

People turn the card over and on the front it says I do Advertising and PR. I do some of that but much less than I did a decade ago. There were no smart phones then.

The card says I do agency reviews and I do conduct agency reviews. I just finished one but agency reviews are done on a very irregular basis by clients.

My card also says Social Networking. I do a lot of social networking for Blank and Associates to market myself and some of my clients. Social networking almost seems like a way to communicate these days.

Often hard to monetize.

The last functional thing that my card says I do is, speak. Yes I have spoken to many companies and organizations across the country. Most organizations rarely pay. Not immediately anyway. During the height of the recession I would be flying back from somewhere and saying to myself. Why did I take two days traveling across the country to speak for free?

So then I thought for a bit on what I have been doing for the last year. What did I bank?

Well about a third of my income is generated by staffing. Why? People know I have a large network that is very diverse in age and deliverables. As finding good people is becoming very difficult, they come to me. They are generally looking for young digital talent. I know a lot of those because I have used interns for a decade and have spoken at numerous college campuses over the years. I used to drive home from many of those events at night hungry and wanting a glass of wine thinking to myself, Why did I go to Riverside during rush hour to speak to students for free?

Another third of my income comes from working with a digital development firm in Buenos Aires. Their US offices are based in Cleveland. How did I get that gig? From speaking to the Cleveland Ad Club for free in 2008. Sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop in the New Normal.

The other third of my income comes from what is on my card. Advertising, PR, & social networking.

In the Old Normal, Focus was preached and key. Be a beacon of knowledge and expertise that can be easily found. In the New Normal, adaption and floating with change is key.

In both worlds networking is the key to the bank. In reality what I do is network. When I did nothing, this was the first place I went.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:


Watch a Video called: Networking with Uber

I want a New Business Person with a Magical Rolodex

Networking Tips for Young People Who Hate to Network


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