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What do you do when you say, ‘Now What?’


At 33, is it safe to say I am 33?

Let’s be honest. I’m at the age where I’m not quite young.

I’m not hip, cool and fresh.

Or whatever you youngin’s are saying these days.

Sitting at a meeting last night for a county board I serve on as a commissioner, this was the conversation (and remember, folks, I am a digital marketer, this is my career, my profession, my pride, and joy):

Person 1: “It would be so amazing if we could find someone who could tap into the network of young people to get more of that generation to attend…”

Person 2: “I think we already know someone I don’t even think we have to search I think we can connect with them if we just ask but they may not have the time…”

Commissioner Blair Pettrey: “I literally do digital marketing for a living – engagement, content, and interaction are my livelihood. If you would give me the chance…”

Person 1 and Person 2 immediately shoot me down.

Even as a commissioner, serving in a volunteer role, trying to help an organization GROW and SUCCEED, truly, my age was blocked. 

And while many more details could be shared, that isn’t the point of this: the point is, at 33, am I truly being blocked from my role?  My world? And if so, where is my role and world?

1.) I’m Being Brave: I needed to leave my last position.

For the first time in my life, I needed to leave a role before I had a new role lined up. What does that mean? The position allowed me to go when I was at the weakest of moments in a crisis situation. No one expects a crisis to happen – but unfortunately, they do. So what happens when for the first time in your professional career you find yourself hunting and searching? Trying to find a job when you haven’t built a resume? When you haven’t done anything to rely on connect outwards? When you don’t exactly know how to tell your network “hey, I’m available…”.

2.) I needed time to heal: but I have.

What also comes with a crisis is a time of struggle, and that means a time of healing, bereavement, grieving, and healing. More so, it comes with an identity crisis.

3.) I had an identity crisis


When I looked into the mirror and realized ‘oh heck, Blair Pettrey, what do I do, what do I excel at, and what do I most importantly want to do‘ I struggled. I always knew I excelled at web design, graphic design, social media marketing, inbound marketing, google ad words, search engine marketing, content marketing: things that meant something maybe even as recently as 2 years ago. But in 2018, nearly 2019: what did any of those truly mean? And more so, with the past year of what I had grown into and developed, the multitude of sales and business pipeline development and other “insert keywords that are relevant because this isn’t meant to fluff google here” : what did the skills I had learned and grown into combined with my prior 10+ years of history, education and experience create.

I was suddenly more than just Blair Pettrey: inbound marketing rockstar. Inbound Marketing Blair. Inbound Blair. Social media ‘anti-guru’, Blair Pettrey. All the things I had always prided myself on. I had matured, grown, and truly excelled.

4.) I realized my passion for sales & marketing

It’s hard to believe the gal that once said she was so die-hard ‘just a marketer’ realized she was so impassioned by face to face connections.

A crisis is defined as: “a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.

I’m not just a marketer. I am a business development creator, sales consultant, and in the last year more so a sales manager. I am passionate about developing leads and new business and passing it off to the right person within sales to then create that sale. I am also confident and strong at leading a sales team through the cycle of sale. Something I couldn’t say a year ago.

More so, I am confident at my abilities of the full cycle of marketing at all ends of the spectrum; and with me, I bring more than 10 years of experience with both traditional and digital experience.

I call myself Blair Pettrey, a rockstar who had a really hard experience happen to her, overcame tragedy, and is still kicking ass.

Are you ready? Then let’s do it.

I am looking for a full-time position in a sales and marketing leadership role that will allow me to direct and lead a company to success.


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The Power of Smarketing (Why Sales & Marketing Collaboration is a Win, Not a Fight!)

When I first began digital marketing years ago, perhaps I was one of the ‘rare lucky’ ones, or at least when it comes to most companies & businesses.

I came from a world where my marketing funnel went from Top of Funnel (TOFU), Middle of Funnel(MOFO), to Bottom of Funnel (BOFO). At which point if the potential lead was considered a right lead – and at the ‘BOFU’ they were passed on to the dedicated sales person. Otherwise, as a marketer, it was my job to continue to nurture and work with them through the process to make them become a ‘BOFU’ good lead.

In all actuality, my goal with every single lead I ever received, was to try and nurture them in an online way in every capacity possible before having to have a salesperson get them on the phone – so that I was not wasting my sales person time. My ultimate goal was to make it so that potential lead was so nurtured and aware of whatever product or service we or I provided was so worthwhile, at the point they talked to a salesperson, all the salesperson had to do was say ‘This is the pricing, and this is where you sign.’

Let’s be honest: most true marketers (especially online marketers) weren’t meant to be the sales person. Marketers weren’t expected to be the closers (which is why we have sales staff!). I know for sure that is where I fall short in my weaknesses, and thus that is why I focus solely on generating leads, qualifying them, and then nurturing them. AND THEN – gladly passing them off to my salesperson, who knows how to do demos, who knows how to share pricing without ‘seeking,’ who knows how to say ‘sign on the dotted line.’

For many business owners, companies, and the like – when generating leads in the online world, it’s hard to know when to shift that ‘marketing qualified lead (MQL) to a ‘sales qualified lead’ (SQL), and how to give both credits. Even more so, it’s hard for many to grasp the concept that inbound marketing goes beyond just the initial lead generation.

Inbound marketing is entirely about connecting, collecting, and generating leads. We as inbound marketers are drawing people and leads to whatever company and business through many avenues – paid, social, content, etc. However one of the most significant components that are often misunderstood by business owners is the fact that as inbound marketers, we continue to nurture leads. Whether it’s sending follow up leads. Or it’s actually placing that phone call (which the heck, I don’t like to do, but I often do just so I can know why a client may think not or share how we can be the best option!) It’s about continuing the conversation far past the point of a form fill out at day one.

Inbound Marketing is far past the point of filling out a form.

Sure, I’ve gotten a lead, WOOHOO! I can pass it on to my sales person and count it towards whatever my target goal may be. But are they converting? Are they becoming a sale? Are they becoming a client?

Are They Becoming a Client

This is the most critical question to ask and to have answered – and why it is so important that sales and marketing teams work together (aka smarketing). Because if perhaps a typically qualified “MQL” that turns into a “SQL” but then does not end up becoming a SALE – should you drop the potential lead? Of course not!

However! This means that your sales team and marketing team must be hand in hand in communication and efforts. Perhaps the lead didn’t sell this time. Well, your sales team should tell your marketing team to continue their nurturing process so that probably next time, they do become a sale. That’s not just a win for marketing or sales, that’s a win for the business.

Marketing Can’t Help Sales without Sales Helping Marketing

The point of all of this is this: if marketing passes on a potential lead to sales – but is failed to learn about the follow-up connection – whether that person became a lead or not: why that person DIDN’T become a lead or not, etc. There’s a tremendous missed opportunity for all.

  1. Marketing cannot continue to nurture the non-qualified lead in the future potential, that could have become a SQL (sales qualified lead).
  2. Marketing is missing opportunities on possible content, conversations, and failed to potential examples of clients as case studies – all of which reinforces the circle of the success of sales and marketing working together.

In Conclusion

The point that I am trying to make – and any marketer and salesperson together should ever make, is that there needs to be a ‘smarter’ approach. A written, defined, understood way to what happens to each lead that comes through the funnel. No marketing funnel stops at the top – no matter what, like no sales funnel ends at the bottom.

Sales and marketing must be a collaborative force, which works together, to better achieve not just their own goals – but the purposes of the businesses they represent.

Happy Smarketing!

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