I had a bit of an epiphany this week.
As part of my analysis into what's working well on Linkedin I noticed that a lot of the people who are growing their accounts and engagement fast have one thing in common…
…they're comfortable admitting to the world they're still learning.
Actually, they might not be comfortable admitting it, but they do it anyway.
It's really interesting that the people building the most active tribes aren't necessarily at the top of their fields. But their journey and what they're learning seems to resonate.
And I think the reality is that we're going to see a lot of revolution in the next few years. AI for one, even though it's become a bit of a cliche.
We're all going to be beginners.
Of course, fundamentals don't change. Psychology doesn't change.
But plenty of other stuff does. Even in the last decade or so we've seen new platforms open up big opportunities for people willing to start from zero and learn.
But that whole “starting from zero” is actually quite hard.
I love learning new things. But I'm also very proud of what I already know and the fact that people look to me as a source of great ideas and insights for the topics I'm an expert in.
Stepping off that pedestal of expertise in one field to be a beginner and just one of the pack in another is really hard. It's tough for the ego to be the oldest guy in school.
But that need to always be the knowledgeable one, to always be the professional…it's going to kill you when it comes to learning.
Right now I'm watching all the noise about ChatGPT with one group of people trying to position themselves as experts and another group trying to convince us (or more likely themselves) that actually it's not a big deal.
I don't think either of those two groups is going to be the big winners.
I think the big winners are going to be the people who say “I don't know much about this. I'm not an expert. But I think it's going to be big so I'm going to learn everything I can”.
All new things start off rubbish.
The problem with the people who want to be seen as experts in the new thing from day 1 is that it stops them learning.
The problem with the people who believe the new thing won't replace the old thing is that it stops them learning.
The folks who are humble. Who are brave enough to be a beginner are the ones who'll learn the fastest.
And in a year or two years or five years when the new tech isn't rubbish any more, they'll be the ones positioned to get the most from it.
And that's true not just of AI but of marketing generally. Of Linkedin. Of email marketing.
Casting off the protective armour of competence and admitting you have a lot to learn is the first step to getting really good.
If you're brave enough.