I had a great time down in G’ville two weeks ago. I strolled onto the University of Florida campus to talk with Professor Lisa Duke Cornell‘s ADV 4101 Copywriting and Visualization class. I walked the same route from Murphree Hall to Weimer Hall that I walked 12 years ago. Very cathartic.
Although the second floor classroom in Weimer looked exactly the same, much has changed in the advertising industry since I took Copy & Vis in 1998. I initially planned to talk about online advertising, but instead came at them like some kind of positive-psychology nutbag with questions like:
- What do you love?
- What are your passions?
- What do you believe?
My talk, titled Thank You For This Moment, has a simple five-step message:
- Life is a stream of moments.
- Figure out what sort of moments are your favorite.*
- Maximize your favorite sort of moments.
- Be thankful for those moments.
- Gratitude leads to happiness.
I know. This sounds too warm and fuzzy. Most of these kids just want to get a job, any job, after graduation. But I also offered some practical advice to these Padawan learners:
- Start a blog or community about something you love.
- Produce quality content for your blog (articles, video, and podcasts).
- Learn how to use Google AdSense, Adwords, and Analytics.
- Learn about video revenue sharing, affiliate programs, and ecommerce.
- Learn about and participate on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other emerging social media/networking outlets.
- If you don’t already have one, consider hopping on the iPhone bandwagon. Pay attention to mobile advertising trends.
- Read The 4-Hour Work Week, Crush It, and Seth Godin’s books.
- If you have questions, feel free to @ me. Or aim higher and reach out to your hero. Chances are he/she is on Twitter. Don’t be shy.
Use your blog as your resume and as proof that you know what’s crackin’. You won’t learn this stuff from your text books (or by osmosis…I tried). It takes extra effort, but you won’t be sorry!
So, yeah, that’s pretty much what I said. Then the generous Dr. Lisa took my tribe out to lunch at the Reitz Union. Thank you Lisa!
What a great day. And running through my head the whole time were these five words:
Thank you for this moment.
*As long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else. I’m not saying you should drink beer all day because being drunk is your favorite sort of moment. But maybe you love beer, and beer is big business. So blog about it brother! Everything in moderation. Also, we all know ads always have a legal disclosure with tiny text on the bottom. So here’s to keeping it real in Copy & Vis class. I love G’ville.