Lucas Mack, CEO and founder of Fourth Avenue Media, joined us this Wednesday—for the eighth year in a row, so clearly he loves being here and we love having him. His inspiring fireside chat (and super insightful Q&A session) gave us some much-needed motivation as finals and internship/job searches loom in the not-so-distant future.
This recap has been edited for length—there's no way I could capture all of the amazing hour and a half of our chat with Lucas!
Marketing Is All About Relationships
"At the end of the day, [as a marketer,] I am in the business of relationship-building. And to have a relationship, you need three components:
You have to know someone
You have to like someone
You have to trust someone
It can be 'someone' or 'something.' Even a company. 'Marketing,' 'sales,' and 'networking' strips away the humanity; it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you define yourself as, what binds us all as human beings is just the breath in our lungs.
How can you market to people—and build relationships—if you don’t see people as people? You can’t. When you see your audience as human beings, that’s when you build relationships. They will know, like and trust you when you are authentic, and always authentic.
Discover Your Story
A story has 5 questions: who, what when, where, why?
'Who?' 'What?' 'Where?' Every company is great at talking about these. Most of us are pretty good at them too—maybe not so strong on the “who,” because we don’t spend a lot of time in integrity with ourselves. It boils back down to marketing. How are you going to market if you’re not in alignment with yourself, in integrity with yourself? Not “integrity” as in lying or ethics—it’s that tiny voice in your head, that split second when you know what to do and you do it.
But those aren’t the most important questions. The only question that touches the heart, the only question that matters, is “why?”
The answer to “why?” is what you believe.
“Why?” makes us uncomfortable because we have to look inside—and most of the time, we actually don’t know why. “Where?” You can spit out the answer. “What?” You can spit out the answer. But you also must know “why,” as a human being.
What would you crawl bloody-knuckled over a broken field of glass to accomplish in your life? What would you die for? When you can answer this, you will know your “why.” Who are you beyond skillset? Degrees all look the same.
Be authentic. Be transparent. Be in alignment.
The only thing that will ever set you apart in your life, in your career, in your class, is your story. Your fingerprint is the only one like it. Out of seven billion people. You are unique, you are powerful, and you can create massive change.
Why defines what you believe in as a human being, and marketing is just a means to an end to build relationships. That fire, that flame, what keeps you going, is what will set you apart: on your resume, on your LinkedIn, in a job interview.
So be inspired, and be around people who inspire you."
For more inspiration, check out Lucas' book Everyone has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Face.