How you doin’?
My intention was that you read that opening first line in your best version of a Joey Tribbiani voice. If not, then ‘Hello, how are you doing this fine day’?
I always find ‘About Me’ pages to be a bit on the strange side as they’re supposed to tell the reader all about whoever it is they’re interested in. That’s a bit vain in my book, but as this is a personal about page about me, Jaymes Payten (had to get the keyword in there, or my SEO plugin would file for divorce), I’ll do my best to sound super impressive and explain why I’m so into content marketing.
Before you dive in, I do need to warn you that this is a bit of a long read. Some readers have found that getting comfortable with a warm beverage (or a cold alcoholic one; whichever is your preference) has helped them.
Now that I’ve got that disclaimer out of the way, you’re free to continue to read to your heart’s content, or until I bore you.
My name is Jaymes Payten. Now before you roll your eyes and think ‘yes, I know that; after all, your website is named after you‘, I want you to know that I’ve received quite a few emails from readers asking me if ‘Jaymes Payten’ is indeed my name. I can assure you it is. If I had a choice, I would’ve preferred the name Judith, but being a heterosexual man, Judith Payten just doesn’t have the ring I’m looking for; so Jaymes Payten it is.
If you’re wondering why I’m also known as Jaymes Marsh and even Jaymes Payten-Marsh (like my LinkedIn page suggests), I have an explanation for that too. ‘Marsh’ is my step-father’s name. When I came to the Cyprus shores way back in April 2000, the Cypriot government issued me with a national identity card, and thought it prudent to give me the ‘Marsh’ surname instead of my real surname, which is ‘Payten’.
So then, we’ve determined that my name is Jaymes. While I’m at it, I may as well explain that the spelling of ‘Jaymes’ isn’t a typo as my name does indeed come with a ‘Y’ plonked right in the middle of it. Even though the ‘Y’ sits comfortably in between the letters ‘A’ and ‘S’, I can assure you that my name is still pronounced as ‘James’; not ‘Jay Mez’, as some have the custom.
Now we’ve got the inner workings of my name sorted, let get this vanity project on the road!
In the beginning
I was born in the Chase Farm Hospital in North London, England, in the year Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party won the General Election. I looked up what else happened in 1979 and saw that China had put the ‘one child per family’ rule in place. I suppose I was lucky having not been born in China in 1979 as I was the third child. I was also amazed to find that Sony had released the first ever ‘Walkman’. Kids reading this won’t know what a Walkman is, and that in itself serves me up two distinct feelings; the first being a warm, fuzzy feeling, and the second being that I’m getting old. Another interesting fact was that the first-ever snowboard was invented in the USA. If only the excruciating Dragons Den was around back then. I can picture one of the Dragons saying something to the tune of:
‘You want to strap yourself to a board and go down the side of a mountain? Are you crazy?’
Thankfully we now have the the US version, ‘Shark Tank’, and I must say that it’s not aptly named at all as most of the investors (even Kevin) seem to care. Now that I come to think of it, the 1979 snowboard response from the investors on Shark Tank would’ve been something like this:
‘You wanna strap yourself to that board and go down the Rockies? When can we try it out!’
I do love American people and America, but alas, I seemed to have gotten sidetracked from the goings on of 1979. You’ll find that I do that from time to time. Digressing is something I do, and it seems my digression tentacles have reached out and touched my website too. There’s no stopping them!
What else happened in 1979? Before I get to ‘what else happened in 1979’ it’s only kind to let readers that aren’t interested in 1979, skip further down.
If you’re not interested in 1979, continue reading from where you see a star. It’s just a few lines down.
Go ahead and find that star, and we’ll catch up with you in a bit, okay?
For those of us who want to find out what happened in 1979, I think it’s only right to tell you that I’ve not placed a star anywhere on this specific page. Let’s see how long the ‘I’m not interested in 1979’ readers take before they figure this out.
1979 was a great year for music as it saw Michael Jackson release his brilliant Off the Wall album. Art Garfunkel’s ‘Bright Eyes’ also spent 6 weeks at #1 in the music charts. ESPN was launched (never watched it), Voyager I sent back pictures of Jupiter, and we saw that the biggest planet in our solar system had rings! Saddam Hussein came into power, snow fell for around 30 minutes in the Sahara, Rhodesia saw the first black-led government take power in 90 years, and change the country’s name to Zimbabwe, and the Shah of Persia goes into exile. Oh, and I popped my head out on a not-so-warm Tuesday morning on 26th June 1979 and said ‘hello’ to the world for the first time.
Do you think they’ve given up looking for the star?
The greatest decade of them all – the 80’s
In a previous version of this vanitising content piece, I jumped from the previous paragraph right into the How I became a TV ad avoidance specialist – The second act section. That was until Stephanie, my young prodigy who once asked me ‘if I send an attachment to this client, will I need to ask them to send it back to me so that I can send the attachment it to another client’, pointed out that there’s no apparent link between the opening spiel and the second act. So here’s my attempt at marrying the two.
Not much happened between 1979 and 1992.
The eighties happened. That decade brought us these following gems, and a whole lot more:
- Confidence boosters, a.k.a. Shoulder Pads
- 8-track and cassette tapes
- VHS & Betamax
- The greatest film ever made, The Princess Bride
- Television shows which had the nation glued to their couches. These included Dallas, Dynasty, and the Dynasty spin-off, The Colbys
- Joan Collins
- Kids shows such as Fraggle Rock, along with Terrahawks – an evil TV show that was apparently for kids. It still gives me the shivers. Go ahead and look it up on YouTube
- A host of action films that saw the rise to a man that can literally do anything – Chuck Norris
- Ridiculous hairstyles that included but are not limited to, perms, mullets, crimps, the whale sprout, and the infamous Madonna wrap-up
- Nancy Friedman’s book ‘Everything You Must Know About Tampons’. How do I even know that?
- Chocolate scented soap
- The Commodore 64 & the ZX Spectrum (the 64 was better)
- Shell suits
Oh, and my football team, Tottenham Hotspur won the UEFA Cup in 1984, the FA Cup in 1981, 1982 and 1991.
There you have it.
Of course you are.
That is how I marry me being born and the gradual process which saw me become a marketer and future author.
Happy now, Stephanie?
How I became a TV ad avoidance specialist – The second act
If you’re a marketer like me (or not like me), you probably want me to talk about how I got into marketing, after all, marketing is the main theme that runs through my website. So let’s start off with how I knew I wanted to be a marketer.
The’ aha moment’ happened in early 1992.
I was 12 and I remember watching the TV, which wasn’t great as back then we only had four TV channels. Yes, four!
Television ads back in the day were boring, vapidly mundane, humdrum pieces of garbage. I could’ve used more adjectives, but time is money, and the ad agencies back then were swimming in money, which is why they should’ve been ashamed of themselves. They had one job – to be creative, yet the entire country en masse would change the TV channel over to another channel so as to avoid being bored to death by TV ads.
To be honest, not too much has changed in all those years as I still only remember one TV ad per year – if that, which is a shame, given the talented and creative marketers that are around, but I digress.
The rule in our house (and everyone else’s) was to switch the TV channel over to one of the BBC channels (they didn’t and still don’t had ads) as soon as the ads were about to come on. This involved us having to physically get up off the couch and walk over to the TV.
Now, if you’re thinking ‘remote controls’, then yes, remote controls had been invented at the time, and in all honesty, I believe they were invented so people could change the TV channel over (when the ads came on) without having to walk across their sitting room and do it physically.
Alas, we didn’t have a TV that adhered to the every command of a tiny infrared box, so my sister and I would take turns in getting up and changing the channel over during what seemed like a lifetime of ads. We first tried out turning the channel over and then getting back up off the couch and turning the channel over again, but that was far too strenuous. So we settled for standing by the television set (do people still call them television sets?) and flicking back the channel every minute or so to see if the ads had finished. We of course took turns when it came to ‘Ad Avoidance’. It was a difficult job, but one that had to be done.
The TV ad that changed my life
The ads were about to come on and it was my turn to act as the TV Ad Avoidance Specialist. As I got up to go and change the channel over, my brother, Tony, shouted out ‘No! Don’t change the channel over!’ Being ten years older than me, he had retired from TV Ad Avoidance duty.
I remember that we were watching Channel 4 (the fourth channel. Captain Obvious here…) at the time when he issued the command to not turn the channel over. ‘Heresy!’ I thought.
‘Trust me, you’re both going to love this’ he said, just as a TV ad started and we heard a northern British accent mutter the words ‘Hello Tony’.
Before I continue the story, I need to ask you a favour. Now I’m not really into the business of asking favours, especially from people that visit my site, but I will ask you this one favour: Please click play and sit back and watch this 40 second TV ad, then continue reading, if you want to.
Did you watch it? How about that star, did you find it?
That 40 seconds was perhaps the best 40 seconds of screen time I had ever seen. Okay, I exaggerate as I had watched and loved The Princess Bride (best film evs, and ‘Hello to Jason Isaacs’), the original Star Wars trilogy, The Goonies, Flight of the Navigator, Weird Science, Short Circuit, Spaceballs, Back to the Future and the two Eddie Murphy classics, Coming to America and Trading Places. What I can tell you for sure is that this TV ad was the best ad any ad agency had produced in my 1.2 decade existence.
This ‘You Know When You’ve Been Tango’d’ TV ad was laugh out loud (I’m showing my age again) funny. That’s ‘LOL’ for all you Gen Z’s out there. You know who you are.
For the first time in my life, I was fascinated by a TV ad. A TV AD!!!
It was nothing like any other ad I had seen, and that’s when it happened.
‘This is the sort of ad I would want to make when I grow up’ I thought. I tossed aside my plans on taking over the world whilst also working full-time as a Vet, and decided right then and there that I wanted to become a television ad person!
I was 12!
There you have it. From that point on I had a clear direction; my own yellow brick road. I simply needed to stay on it, for I was on my way to Oz.
The ingredients that make up a marketer
When I started to write about the 3 key ingredients that make up a marketer, I soon realised that I had written a thousand words on the subject, which although they were interesting, this is an ‘about me’ page after all. I saved the copy and it’ll appear in a page on this site, so it’s not gone forever.
Here’s the compact version.
Whether you’re starting out in marketing or have been a marketer for a while, it’s my belief that you need three key ingredients:
And not necessarily in that order. Plus there’s a cold, hard truth that I need you to know; you can’t teach flair and creativity. Bummer.
In my longer version of this section, I talk about flair and creativity, and I’ll link to that page as soon as I’ve structured it.
When it came to me, I was one of the lucky siblings as flair and creative touched Tina (my eldest sibling), missed out Tony, hit me, and missed out Sofia. I’ve also noticed that great deal of Cypriots are creative and have flair. Being half Cypriot myself and having lived on the island of Cyprus for years now, I see it in abundance, but I also see that many of the creative people haven’t gotten into marketing, which is a crying shame. Instead, many non-creatives have taken up the position of ‘Graphic Designer’, when in fact what they are is a Photoshop Technician, meaning they know a great deal on how to use creative software, but don’t have a creative bone in their body.
I never said this about me was going to be scented candles and smiles.
Having flair and creativity, but using it in other ways
Do you know what’s weird? Even though I loved to draw (and still do), I never wanted to be a cartoonist or a designer. It just never pulled me in.
I’m lucky to have met, and count as one of my friends, Vince Deporter, the cartoonist behind Spongebob Squarepants. I’ve spoken to him about the distinctions between having creativity and flair, but focussing it away from the canvas. We’ve chalked it down to one of those peculiarities in life.
Whilst the canvas never pulled me, messaging on the other hand, did. I had found my calling, and marketing was it.
Having balls of steel
As a marketer, you’ll find that you’re either working directly in the industry, e.g. at an ad agency, or you’re working for a company, within the marketing team. I have really only ever worked for companies that need to market their brands, and there’s no real difference between working in the industry and for a company, as in you need balls of steel.
As has been the case in my career, and most probably yours, your boss has decided to go down a pathway that’s clearly wrong with regards to the brand. Or your boss simply keeps saying ‘bring me leads! I want leads!’, yet doesn’t allow you build a brand.
Tango released more of these ads and I couldn’t get enough of them. In fact, I had dreams of working for HHCL, the now closed down ad agency that created the infamous series of Tango ads. You see, I saw the world differently, and still do. I was always (and still am) on the edge and never fancied the norm. Call me ‘disruptive’ if you will.
I wasn’t happy with the common standards and I believe that’s the reason these Tango ads jumped right out of the screen and gave me a proverbial wallop. In fact, if someone had a radical idea in our house, you can bet it was mine. And so life went on like that.
I have always had a crazy imagination, which has steadied now that I’ve got older, but it did land me in some hot water whilst I was at school. If the teacher gave us an idea, no matter what it was, my mind would squirt out (don’t be rude) new ideas and thoughts at a staggering pace, which didn’t make me popular with teachers. In fact, I was told off by some of them for having a ‘hyperactive mind’. It still happens today. I might see something that’s interesting, and immediately, my mind sets off on how I can take that ‘thing’ and use it to attract new clients. I can literally feel my mind running laps. Maybe you’re like that too? If you are, embrace it. Disruptive minds are what set new trends. Never forget that.
The internet came and assassinated patience
Since 1992, the world has changed a lot! We’ve been introduced to the internet for starters, which has, in my eyes, been the ultimate catalyst for change. I don’t need to ramble on about how the net has changed the way we do our marketing, as that’s obvious to anyone that was a marketer prior to the internet doing its thing. What I do want to talk about is the claim many have made about how marketing has actually changed since the internet came about. I’m not a 100% sold on the saying that marketing has completely changed. If we are to sum up what marketing really is, then it’s this:
Marketing – in its purest form – is the promotion of a brand, products and/ or services.
Marketing has never changed or derailed from that original concept. The main thing that’s changed is the medium of marketing. It’s the ‘how you go about marketing a brand, product and/ or services‘ that’s seen dramatic change. You still need to get into your customer’s head, and that comes with experience, plus it helps if you’ve read a few books on Marketing and Psychology. If you’ve not read it yet, please go and buy Allan J. Kimmel’s book, Psychological Foundations of Marketing. A good marketer is one that understands his customers. Consumer behaviour is a huge aspect of our industry and if you’re going to be a marketing champion, you’re going to need to embrace it.
I’ve digressed again.
As my sub-title claims, the internet came along and killed patience. Your target audience isn’t patient. They want what they want now, and the main reason for the change in patience is that you and me have so much choice. Back in 1992, we had 4 TV channels. If you turn on the TV today, you’re inundated with choice. In fact, a lot of people don’t even own a TV, but digest their TV-based content via Netflix on their laptop or mobile device. You get to choose what you want to watch and when.
We click on a Google ad and if the page takes too long to load, you’re outta there. Within seconds you’re clicking on another ad. It’s become that easy, and it’s going to get easier.
You’re in control, and it’s that very philosophy that I bring with me on whatever project I’m working on. My target audience is in control, not me or the company I’m working for. Jot that down.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey through life, then it’s that experience definitely matters. Thing is, you’ve got to learn from every experience – good, bad and downright dreadful – if you’re going to get anywhere in life. It doesn’t matter what walk of life you’re from, how old you are, what your skin colour is, or how special you think you are; you’re going to experience so much in this world, and it’s up to you to decide if you want to learn from those experiences.
Here’s a little exercise I do each day. On my one hour drive from my office in Limassol to my home in Nicosia, I mull over the day I’ve had and think to myself ‘is there anything I can learn from today? How can I apply what I’ve learnt?‘ You’ll be surprised at how such a small exercise can help you grow in maturity. It’s my strong belief that we’re on a continuous learning gravy train that only stops when you want it to.
Top Tip: Don’t stop.
Another thing I do on my hour long journey to my office is to listen to podcasts – especially marketing-centric podcasts, and marketing books via Audible. Remember; learning never stops. If you think you’ve learnt it all, fall to your knees, look up to the heavens and shout ‘death take me’, cause you’re no use to anyone down here on earth.
The ups and the downs
In my time as a marketer, I’ve learned from the very best there is.
In 2000, I moved to the sunny island of Cyprus and started working for Tony Robbins, the world famous life coach. Tony has been the most influential life coach for decades, and he’s been at the top and stayed there because he understands his target audience. I can’t stress just how important it is that you know who your audience is. I want you to think about that for a moment. Do you know who your audience is? What they want? What their pains are?
How are you going to help and empower them? In fact, if there’s anything you take from my website (and this pathetically long, self indulgent About Me page), then it’s that you get to know your audience, because you know what, your audience pays your salary. The better you know your audience, the better your life will be. It’s a simple formula.
Right, where was I? Ah yes; Tony Robbins.
As I said, I learned my trade from the very best there is. I worked with Tony and his excellent crew for eight wonderful years. In that time, I started to learn the digital side of marketing too. In 2005, I jumped head first into SEO. Social wasn’t around, although there was Facebook, it just hadn’t exploded yet. SEO was my heaven. I was a buddying copywriter and knew that SEO was going to be huge, after all, everyone wanted their business to be on the ‘first page of Google’.
I was tasked with getting our site to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). I devoured every Search Engine Optimisation book I could get my hands on, but it seemed as though Google was speeding ahead faster than I could anticipate. I would finish a book and begin to implement the strategies held within its pages, only to see Google move one step ahead of me. I was getting a bit tired of this as it was a waste of time and our website had now entered the SERPs, but was nowhere near page 5, let alone page 1.
I decided to take my fate into my own hands. So I called Google. I spoke with a lovely lady called Sarah and she put me on a webinar. Webinars in 2005 were a new phenomenon, and I was super excited. Google had a couple of experts on their webinar and they basically said the same thing. ‘think about your users‘. They went on to add that they were working on algorithms that would identify what users wanted. And today, all those years on from 2005, Google still says the same thing; ‘know your audience and give them what they want.‘ So I did. I changed my copy around and stopped focussing on keywords. Rather, I used my keywords as a guide.
My job was to write content that would get people interested in attending Tony’s Unleashed the Power Within (UPW) seminar, so I created page upon page of content that targeted different people and their behaviours. Success! This worked! I then created a blog and would submit my blogs onto other life coaching blogs. I created landing pages and event ticket giveaways. I even put together my first email workflow, which lead our readers to purchase tickets. I did everything I could to ensure potential customers found us, and purchased tickets.
I put myself in the shoes of our potential customers and did everything I would want to see if I were an interested person. I put myself in character. I analysed the thought processes of someone that needed life coaching, because no one wakes up one morning and thinks to themselves ‘I need life coaching’. So I figured out what the triggers were. What led someone to search for help? Were people searching how to turn their lives around? You bet they were. I remember getting massive results from the longtail keyword ‘how can I completely change my life around?’ Millions of people in the UK and Germany (my target geos) were looking for the answer to that very question, and questions that were related to my primary search term.
It was the first time in my life that I had worked this hard. I wanted to show the team that the internet could sell at least 25% of the seats at the next primetime event, which was 10 months away. I was wrong.
It took me 9 months to get us to the top. Our new source of income – SEO – changed the company. I was looking for 25% of the sales. SEO had gotten us 58% of the sales.
We rapidly grew, our events got bigger and bigger.
Tony Robbins’ UPW events prior to 2005 had around 3,000 attendees. After 2005, we had 9,000 attendees, each paying a minimum of £200 per ticket for a 4-day explosive event. There wasn’t a need to rely so heavily on print or radio ads, and we didn’t need to pay out huge commissions to external ticket agents. The online world was becoming a beast, and I was at the forefront of it.
All good things come to an end, and the office closed down in Cyprus.
From Tony Robbins, I went to a few different companies, but could never really settle. I had become institutionalised. Working for someone for so long does that to you, plus I was working in a multicultural environment at TR. So when it came to working in a company that was predominantly filled with just one culture, I quickly became unstuck. Maybe this has happened to you too?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Cypriot people, it’s just that the culture shift was too much for me, or so I thought. It was at that point that I decided to get a grip, man up, and deinstitutionalise myself. I got my career back on track and moved from the events industry to the software industry.
Having spent three very successful years as a Head of Marketing for one of the biggest PBX (that’s phone system to you and me) companies in the world, I wanted to move into the Forex industry. I had heard so much about this industry and it was, at the time, paying well. So with a heavy heart, I left Nick and the gang at 3CX and headed to FXTM.
The Forex industry
There’s so much to say about the Forex industry. For starters, it’s heavily regulated, which means you can’t be a proper marketer. Now I know that’s not what you want to hear, especially if you’re in marketing and working for a Forex broker. But the harsh reality is that CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission), ESMA and MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) isn’t really interested in the retail side of Forex. They would rather companies on-board Corporate clients. The truth is that nearly all Forex companies are in the business of on-boarding retail clients, whether CySEC likes it or not. That’s the simple nature of the beast, and until CySEC issues a circular stating that no more retails clients are allowed, there’s going to be this unspoken tug of war contest between the regulator and every CySEC regulated FX broker.
But enough about that. I talk extensively about how you can market your financial products correctly on my website. Simply look out for the Forex Marketing category.
I think I’ve bored you enough by this point, and so I won’t go into my great time at FXTM and the other brokers I’ve served. What I will do is share with you what my LinkedIn profile says, and I encourage you to connect with me on LinkedIn and tell me about yourself.
In a nutshell
Here’s what my LinkedIn profile says about me:
I am the Marketing Director your FX firm is looking for if you’re looking for someone that can come in, shake things up and bring you the results you need.
I’m not your guy if you’re an ad hoc-based broker, instead of being a strategy-led broker.
A bit more about me…
I help Forex brokers grow and meet their objectives by creating a brand, marketing strategy and action plan. Together, these three things produce real, measured results.
In plain English…
My marketing strategies (both for online and offline channels) help to bring in the activations (FTDs) as well as expand retention via tried and trusted campaigns, and powerful email marketing campaigns that I have devised.
Under the surface…
I’m also one of those crazy people that loves what they do, is passionate about doing things right, and can spot a single pixel out of place from a good three metres away. Yep, designers love me…
I started off in Marketing as a Copywriter. I love to write. I then moved into SEO and PPC around a decade ago, so I speak CPL, CPA, ROI CRO, etc.
I am a hands-on Marketing Director; plain and simple. I don’t believe in simply getting others to do the jobs for you.
When it comes to the three main cornerstones of any marketing team (Brand & Communications, Digital, Visual), I am fluent. Can I write? You bet I can. Can I set up a PPC campaign? Yep. Can I provide SEO direction (both on and off page)? 100%! Can I design visually inspiring artwork? No, but I have an eye for it.
I believe that all the marketing teams I have built have learned something from their time with me at the helm. But enough about that; simply reach out to Rana Kassir, Elias “Dad” Kanaan, Nina Pavlik, Marge Samouridou, Chrystalla Pieri, Oleh Rusyi, Daria Kravchenko, George Tam, Anna Tokareva, Stephanie Heracleous, Martinos Georgiou, Christia Theodorides on LinkedIn and ask them yourself. You can also reach out to the CEO’s of 3CX, FXTM and FxNet and ask them too.
PS. Never ever forget this:
Disrupt the Market or Disappear and Die
See you soon!