Dave Morris, Zentano Group
The CGM Business Media Club is five in 2018 and to mark our anniversary we’ve been talking to members about how the club has helped to improve their marketing and communications skills.
Be part of our celebrations at CGM Media Centre on Friday, September 28 by booking via Eventbrite.
Dave Morris is the Business Media Club’s longest lasting member having attended his first meeting in April 2015.
“At the time I was looking for informal networking opportunities. I had been to a lot of larger networking events but they really didn’t do it for me. It was just about exchanging business cards.”
“I wanted something more personal – with not too many people attending – that was conversational so you got to know the other people better and there would be an educational benefit.”
“The Business Media Club was perfect – particularly as the focus was on marketing and communications.”
After four years in business, Dave’s biggest challenge was learning how to fine tune his approach to marketing.
“I knew about sales and was confident in my ability to be able to close deals and advise other people how to do it but I didn’t really have that much knowledge of marketing as I’d been in a corporate environment where that’s all done for you.”
“When you run your own business, you have no choice, so the marketing aspect of the club was relevant but so too was the image we wanted to portray and the message we want to get across.”
“Chris is big on messaging. In particular, he has very clear views on the way business coaches and consultants need to market themselves and mark out their own ground,” recalled Dave, who wanted to make his own distinct impression. He was concerned that we’d be lumped with some of the worst attributes of business coaching so he encouraged me to focus on shaping my own image and USP.”
Dave set about creating a brand for Zentano, not just a logo or image but with a strong emphasis on thought leadership.
“The first meeting I attended was about blogging. I’d never really blogged before so it seemed fascinating and a bit different to most other types of marketing.
“To be honest, I was a bit sceptical about whether it would work in terms of generating new business but that wasn’t necessarily the point. We believe our approach at Zentano is different to the way most business coaches work so we needed to explain that and build up a following via our blogs, which has slowly started to happen. I want to build my profile and realised this was one way to do it.”
Dave stayed with the club and month by month (and later year by year) and has developed his marketing skills and contributed to the club in many other ways. In 2018, he presented the main theme of a meeting for the first time.
“I like the support materials the club offers and always keep the meeting notes as they are a good reference. It is useful to reflect on the notes you’ve made and your thinking at the time while the meeting is in progress and when lots of opinions are being exchanged.”
As someone who works on his own or one-to-one with clients a lot, the club has also fulfilled another function: ‘It creates time and space to take a step back and reflect on things – which is useful.”
At a meeting in 2016 Dave spoke about his grandfather, who was a huge influence on him as a child and how that has impacted on the way he works with clients to support them.
“I had no idea I was going to say any of this when I turned up for that meeting but somehow Chris teased it out of me and suggested it was a good story to tell as it was about my values and character of the way I work.”
“Sadly, my grandfather, who died a year later at the age of 100, had written a book about his own very difficult childhood so Chris urged me to write a blog and maybe even consider writing my own book as it would enable me to explain why and how my grandfather was so important to me and it would be a therapeutic experience too. The blog was really popular as it resonated strongly with challenges that other business people have experienced in their lives.”
In summing up his views on the Business Media Club as the person (other than Chris and Teresa) who has attended more meetings than anyone else Dave has some simple advice to anyone who’d like to join the club:
“It IS different and has many angles to it but it is the people who really make it. I have met some really good people so lots of needs have been served in one go from attending the club.”