How to “Think” of Me: Who is Chris Wechner?
It always helps people remember someone when they know when they “should” think of them.
During different times of my life, I’ve been “The (Blank) Guy.”
When I was a kid, I was The SOCCER Guy.
In college, I was The MATH Guy…sometimes The Math Professor Guy.
During the early part of my career, I was The QUALITY CONTROL Guy.
During the majority of my last jobs, I was The EXCEL Guy (or occasionally, The Access Guy).
Today, most people know me as The MARKETING Guy.
So…Who were these “other guys?”
Honestly, I have received very little formal education in Marketing.
When I was a kid, I was interested in the idea, but I don’t think I really understood what marketing really was.
At the time, I thought that it was simply “being creative” and finding ways to get people to buy what I…or you…have to offer.
That’s pretty good, but there is a whole lot more to marketing than just “being creative.”
The Math Guy
During college, I became a math major, mostly for the wrong reasons. I was good at it, and most of the time, I enjoyed it. However, I never really knew how I would apply it to my life once I graduated.
I completely immersed myself in it. Well, I immersed myself in the teaching side of it. I really loved to help people understand something that seems difficult for them. I’ve always loved that feeling of being able to make the seemingly difficult…into something that’s pretty easy.
So I tutored for Western Michigan University, where I went to college. I tutored the low and higher levels of college entry level math. Certainly, I tutored independently, too, as that paid more, but I was mostly focused on finding ways to make things easier for people to understand.
…and I did it with enthusiasm. I can’t think of a time when I went to work as a math tutor when I didn’t enjoy what I was doing.
Don’t get me wrong! I was more enthusiastic to help some people more than others, but I always enjoyed my craft. If the other person was not interested in learning, he or she usually didn’t stay for very long…not long enough to dampen my enthusiasm for helping people.
The Quality Control Guy
After college, I picked up a job as a Quality Technician for an extrusion plastics company (that’s no longer in business today). Honestly, I had NO idea what a Quality Technician did. I just knew that my college buddy who graduated with a degree in statistics had a job at the same company doing the same thing. So it made sense for me, too, right?
Well, I had NO clue, and I didn’t have a clue for the better part of my first year of working there. Eventually, I started to find my stride and began to develop a liking for it.
I enjoyed reviewing the data, but I really enjoyed analyzing what was really important to our customers. On part print drawings, there are lots of dimensions, and we were not making precision parts. So technically, I could reject nearly any part my company produced.
I was smart enough to know that rejecting EVERYTHING my company made would result in us losing our jobs (since the company would not be able to survive). More importantly, I learned that only SOME of the things that were different from the print really mattered to our customer.
My goal was to find what the “real” concerns were and teach my coworkers. Then we could figure—together—what we had to reject and what we could send to the customer.
As my Quality Control career progressed, my responsibilities increased, but my basic goal was always the same. Analyze what really mattered to the customer…and figure ways to measure to ensure THAT is what the customer got.
The Excel Guy
Actually, I was really a data guy, but most people saw my work with MS Excel and associated me with that.
I used programs like MS Excel and MS Access to create data structures and analyze the data I collected.
During my time as The Quality Control Guy, I would record our part measurements, internal part rejections, customer complaints, and customer return costs.
I would also use Excel to create forms. People usually liked the way my forms looked.
Later in my career, I started doing other odd jobs, like medical underwriting (low level), purchasing data transfer, tool move case tracking, etc.
At my last “real” job, I was working for a company that was not in good shape, and that industry was ailing…badly. It lasted longer than I thought, but I could see that my job skills were becoming rapidly outdated.
So when I learned about an internet marketing class, I figured that anything having to do with computers would be good for me to learn. However, there was a funny thing about that course.
I only paid attention to the Internet part…but NO attention to the marketing part, but that changed quickly.
What makes me The Marketing Guy Today?
Even though I started taking that class to get better computer skills, I started to remember that I liked marketing.
Internet marketing is each exciting…and boring.
At first, it was also really confusing. It was not brand new, but internet marketing was new enough that the people who were teaching it were not necessarily great teachers.
So it took me a while before I had any clue about what I was doing with it.
I started volunteering to work for a small real estate investing business. At first, neither the owner nor I had any idea how I would help, but he was smart enough to take advantage of free work, especially work from someone who was serious about learning.
Soon I realized that the owner was overwhelmed with too much work. One of the things I saw him do was marketing online. However, he really did not have time to do it.
So I offered to take over that for him. This way, he could focus on other parts of his business.
There were other people working with him as partners, but they really did not know much about marketing. He did, but he really didn’t have enough time to devote to that part of his business.
HERE WAS A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR ME!
I started doing all sorts of things. Today, I see that I was doing many things “wrong.” However, eventually, people were finding things I made online for this owner.
I took another class to learn how to market online. So I started to learn even more. Plus, I bought a couple online courses. I also started meeting with peers to figure out this “internet marketing stuff.”
My work captured the attention of someone locally who was pretty well known for being The Internet Guy, himself. He looked at how much work I did, and he walked away impressed.
He made a deal with me. He would show me how to do several things online…IF…I would be willing to help students in a workshop he was teaching.
I did what he taught me. I practiced many times to make sure I truly understood it. Finally, when the class came, I enthusiastically helped as many students as I could. The workshop was a huge success!
I worked on another project with this “Internet Guy” on a volunteer basis. So I picked up another internet marketing technique.
I started volunteering for a few different businesses. It’s amazing what you can learn when you are not afraid to make mistakes. (When you’re volunteering, getting fired is not a very big threat.)
I started making money using my internet marketing techniques. Only some of those techniques work today, but the first time you make money online, it’s amazing how exciting that is.
I managed to influence someone I never met…and probably never will meet.
For the last couple of years, I started giving talks about internet marketing. THIS is when many people started to know me as The Marketing Guy.
Truth be told, marketing is too huge to “do everything.” However, as long as you know who you really can help, you can be a marketing specialist…and be a darn good one and really help companies make money.
So what type of marketing do I do?
As I write this, the majority of my marketing falls into a few categories:
Online Reputation Development (making your small company seem larger than it might be)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Emergency Service Companies
SEO for Real Estate
Twitter (for Branding only)
Twitter (for Branding only)
What separates me from most other marketers?
I am not the most technical guy. Sure, I have some technical skills, but there are many people who are WAY better than me with their technical skill set.
Just like when I was The Quality Control Guy, I am an EXPERT at identifying what really matters…and things that don’t matter so much.
I can write…In fact, I write really well.
Actually, I am not a writer. I am an analyst. I notice things that make the world seem less complicated, and I find ways to transfer what I notice…into words that allow you do understand what I noticed.
If you understand what I see and see how I saw it, you have a much better chance of benefiting from it.
Hence, I decided to form a company called…The Ultimate Analyst.
I’m an analyst first…and a teacher second. Writing is just one of the ways I make sure you understand something that’s important to you…even if you don’t know how important it is…yet.
Most marketers seem to be one of a few things:
I am creatively analytical, and I love using it to find ways to help you. I’m just wired that way. Sometimes, my business even benefits from it. (However, personally I always do!)