Mark Goren learned about blogs while commuting to work by train. He created his own course on social media marketing from reading some of the best in the biz. Not only did Mark develop a passion for this new media but he found something that he had lost during his time working in the ad business .. his voice and then he began helping companies find their authentic voices too.
Blogger Story Teller: Mark Goren, Transmission Content + Creative
I’ve probably been on a collision course with blogging for ten years, eight without even knowing it. Let’s rewind.
I started out as a copywriter in Toronto, moved to Ottawa and then back to my hometown of Montreal. That was about five years ago. As an English copywriter working in a mostly Francophone-lead industry, my frustration slowly mounted once I returned home. For two key reasons:
1. French and English culture is very different, particularly when it comes to humour and other areas where our not-so-subtle nuances are magnified. So having to explain, defend and fight for my lines all day long for over five years can wear a guy down. The result? I started to lose my voice.
2. Coming to writing from a business background, I also thrived on the strategic side of projects, understanding where the client was coming from and pitching in to develop strategies, with a creative mindset. The more I became involved dealing with all facets of the agency’s operations, I slowly but surely stopped believing in mass advertising as a way to truly engage consumers. (Saw just how much wasted dollars are being thrown around.)
Then, in the summer of 2005, I met Mitch Joel at Twist Image. And that meeting inspired me. I saw an agency trying new things, excelling in social media and doing it right here in Montreal. And that’s when the collision course I was on started to become clear.
I loaded up my reader. Seth, Joseph, The Church, Steve, Tom, Shel, The Professors, Mitch and other influential blogs. A couple of months later, I started commuting to work by train – and that’s when I went on a real reading binge. IdeaVirus, The Tipping Point, Naked Conversations, Cow, Moo, Life After 30, Cluetrain, Creating Customer Evangelists + Citizen Marketers – all the obvious ones and more.
All the while, I was planning my exodus from the agency. I started working with new clients on the side. Evening meetings, weekends. I started selling new media to a receptive audience. To clients who listened and appreciated the ideas I was passing along. During this time, I hooked up with Industry 44, a talented web development company, and started planning to work with them. The chemistry was there from the get-go.
And then, the agency lost a major English-language account and I made my move. I asked to go on contract and they promised all English work would come my way. Perfect.
I moved in with i44, continued servicing the agency and worked in earnest to build up a client base. The blog was always a natural part of the plan. I launched in November and haven’t turned back. After writing talk-down-to copy for companies insisting on telling consumers how to think, I’m starting conversations for an audience interested in engaging people.
Now, today, thanks to the blog, I have back the two things I had lost after all this time in the agency world: my voice and an audience that understands where I’m coming from.
And that, I have to say, feels real good.