Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Digital Signage "Need To Know": Educate yourself and your clients, before the competition does it for you!

-Deacon Wardlow

One of the great things about childhood, nobody expects a child to know things. We accept a child is generally ignorant of the world and things which are contained within it. A child can walk around blissfully unaware of anything and everything and people (generally) take extra efforts to help children learn and overcome their ignorance of things. It’s harder being an adult. At some point, between childhood and adulthood, ignorance isn’t acceptable anymore and it’s quite embarrassing to be caught off-guard. Why? What happened along the way?

Richard Feynman (a great philosopher, physicist and human being) was entranced by the unknown. He saw it as a personal challenge to explore and discover things. Feynman was amongst the mental giants of our history and he openly admitted to ignorance and the joy discovery can bring. The difference between childhood and adulthood is choice and knowledge. People are often afraid to admit ignorance because they don’t want to appear “lesser” in other’s eyes. Unfortunately this means we sometimes won’t admit to ourselves when we need to knuckle-down and bear into a new subject to overcome a lack of knowledge and familiarity. As a child, we didn't have as great a fear of failure. 'Can't' wasn't part of the child's vocabulary until someone taught it to them. We have to step up and reclaim the fearlessness and rid ourselves of the worries associated with learning something new (and potentially difficult to take in).

When you take that step towards overcoming any fears about taking on a new subject, you’ll see loads of new opportunities. Digital Signage (DS) is a rapidly growing segment in the sign industry as well as advertising and general mass communication systems. The problem with DS is there’s both an astounding lack of simple, concise explanations to learn more about systems and an increasingly insane amount of advertorials masked as educational information which do nothing to educate and everything to muddy the waters further.

There’s hope. You’re taking the first few steps by reading the blog and searching for information. There are a growing number of resources out there available for you to take advantage of. Check out the past blogs (I’ve posted a quick summary blog for easy reference here). The ISA has great resources on EMCs and a DS overview. The USSC (United States Sign Council) has several publications available to learn more. There are several free resources and people willing to help out; write myself and/or the other bloggers (Scott/Mike) if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered (we appreciate feedback and are always open to topic suggestions). Especially take time to join sites like LinkedIn or The Sign Syndicate (a great group of sign pros who are quick to share their experiences) and other professional networking groups online or in your municipality. There are loads of professional groups and individuals happy to give a little of their time to help you along.

By reading this blog and others, exploring and finding trusted educators willing to share you’re taking a step out of the darkness and into the light. Clients will come to you as the expert and expect you to drive out the ignorance and educate them on the best solution and fit for their needs. A little time invested now in this education will pay off immensely when you’re able to easily explain concepts and systems to the client while the competition struggles to get beyond the basics. Knowledge is power, make sure you're fully charged!

*I invite you to comment here and/or email me directly with requests at deacon@vantageled.com. Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (http://www.vantageled.com), please check it out when you have a moment. Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.

1 comment:

Deacon said...

I figured I'd post my comments from LinkedIn to share with others who are visiting from different sites.

I find it difficult stepping out of a comfort zone. It's called a "comfort zone" for a reason. I learned early on with consulting, the only way to be successful was to admit (to yourself) where improvement is required, where ignorance resides, what weaknesses there are. Some things I had to accept as there were limitations (time, space, money, etc.) which couldn't be overcome at the time or I was unwilling to be bothered with. Other things, I realized I could change, but it would take resolve and persistence.

Sites like LinkedIn are sometimes littered with people making a sales pitch or pushing product/services, but the majority are people who have knowledge or a skill set and are willing to share. Groups like this are important to lean on in one's struggle to grow/learn/improve.

Today's blog is about pushing boundaries and growing beyond the self-imposed borders. What other sites or resources have you found helpful? There are books (like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill), sites like LinkedIn, Quora, Khan Academy, TED, etc. Please share a few which have greatly helped/affected you in a positive way. We're all looking to improve, sometimes it just takes a helping hand to get out of the space we're in.

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