I remember the first time I heard the phrase “pay it forward.” I went to see that 2000 Haley Joel Osment film “Pay it Forward” and sat captivated as I watched seventh grader Trevor McKinney set out to change the world for the better. It got me thinking of the sheer magnitude of change we could leave behind if each of us paid it forward just once.
I was amazingly reminded of the concept last week on my drive to Rhode Island to visit a Content Boost client. About 20 minutes into the ride up north, I noticed I was out of wiper fluid. Now I am pretty responsible/adept when it comes to my car. But I must confess I have never filled up the washer fluid before.
So there I am, parked at the gas station, on the phone with my husband having him walk me through how to pop the hood and locate the washer fluid hole when a policeman walks over to me. Clearly sensing my lack of washer-fluid-know-how, he asks, “Do you need help?” I graciously accept his offer as he fills my car up, instructs me to turn my car on to make sure it works and then states simply: “Now do something for me. Pay it forward to someone else.”
It was such a simple statement but it had an incredible affect on me. It got me thinking about the concept of random acts of kindness. I like to think I constantly give back to others—whether through mentoring my team, volunteering or having meaningful conversations with others—but I am not sure how often I “randomly” pay it forward to strangers.
But I have accepted the challenge. And, I’ll be honest, I’ve been wracking my head trying to think of the perfect way to pay it forward. For instance, on Valentine’s Day, I contemplated leaving a box of chocolates on a random stranger’s car until my husband suggested the recipient might be skeptical about the food that was delivered. This past Sunday, I considered paying the toll of the person behind me, only to discover there was nobody behind me (I took this as the universe’s way of saying ‘Not good enough, Carrie). This morning, I debated paying for the coffee of the person behind me in line at Starbucks—but that still felt too simple.
So while I continue to think of how I will pay it forward, I task you with this… in the next few days, use your marketing prowess and incredible creative mind to pay it forward from a marketing perspective. For instance you could…
- Write the blog post that once and for all convinces the customer to pull the trigger and buy your product, which truly could make their lives easier.
- Create a white paper that touches on your potential customer’s pain points so they can realize that there really is a solution.
- Compliment a fellow marketer on an awesome blog post and give them a little Twitter love.
- Challenge your internal team to push the boundaries on their writing so the next time you publish you give the industry your best work.
- Refuse to accept your first draft of work, realizing you have better in you and that better could touch the next reader.
The challenge is on. Over the next week, I challenge you to pay it forward in some creative marketing way. And in the meantime, I will look for signs for my perfect random act of kindness moment. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Dubbed a “Chatty Cathy” from the time she uttered her first word, Content Boost’s Director of Content Marketing Carrie Majewski (née Schmelkin) is nothing short of verbal. Her love of talking matured into love of writing which inevitably transformed into a love of marketing. Carrie is responsible for overseeing the cutting-edge content marketing beast that is Content Boost—managing brand and editorial strategy, fostering client relationships, identifying new revenue opportunities and striking strategic partnerships. Carrie has worked with a variety of high profile clients on branding and copy creation from Sprint to Panasonic to AT&T to Emerson Network Power. When she’s not busy wordsmithing and debating content marketing versus traditional marketing, you can find her working on her swag in a hip-hop dance class, clogging her DVR with “Friends” reruns and trying desperately to make it up past 9:30 pm on the weekends with her hubby. #OldSoul.