Authors Posts by Mark

Mark

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Author of The Content Revolution. My focus is to encourage businesses to adopt an owned media mindset to build leads, visitors and sales. Companies can now have total control of the spaces that they have ownership of. It's time to make a stand and create content that makes a deeper connection with your audience.

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content connection

If you are going to make an impact, at least be consistent with it.

2017 has been a great year, so far, for brands to resolve social problems in the shape of two to four minute ads, but have absolutely no depth to them. One question to ask from brands who have been causing a stir this year is, ‘are they playing the long game?’

 

What’s Has Come Crashing Down In The Past Month Or So

April was the watershed month. It all came together in the shape of a balloon filled with water and thrown at a wall, rather than letting it rise higher into the sky.

The beginning of the month was the famous Pepsi advert that highlighted the role of social unrest and we ended the month with Heineken becoming a brand that shared common ground over polar viewpoints.

If you haven’t seen it, ‘world’s apart’ explores finding the similarity between people who are divided by beliefs from sexism to climate change. This is part of Heineken’s ‘Open Your World’ campaign, intended to search and discover the things that unite, rather than divide us.

This week has seen the discomfort of the latest McDonald’s advert that looked at death (it was pulled on Tuesday 16th May). The advert focuses on a boy and his mother talking about his dead father. Charity campaigners have highlighted that this, “exploits childhood bereavement.’

To many, this angle points to exploitation for the gain of a brand. However, if McDonalds are making a longer-term commitment to a painful social issue and working with groups and networks and a role of responsibility then we start to look at the message differently. The response from McDonalds was, “We wanted to highlight the role McDonalds has played in our customer’s everyday lives – both in good and difficult times.” A pretty empty piece of PR spin.

 

The One Word That Bonds What Happened

The word that bonds McDonalds, Pepsi and Heineken is, ‘campaigns.’

Long-term consistency is when people recognise that Pepsi have been highlighting generational social unrest for years (they still can do it). It is when people recognise that Heineken has been making a stand for tolerance for more than the run up to an award (it can still happen). It is when McDonalds take a role to tackle bereavement and people being open with each other (they still can). When people recognise that this is what a company does, alongside selling drinks and food, then the whole world becomes more believable.

The Pepsi, Heineken and McDonalds examples were not about standing for something meaningful, but making their products the stars of the show. There was no conflict (apart from commentary after the horse had bolted) between society and brand values, they were just ads.

To get to a point of association where brands create value and not just highlight the role their products play, takes real commitment. Does this mean that we are now going to see more businesses playing the ‘sell more products/but we have a soul’ card? Do we really care what a business believes in, as long as we have access and ticks a box that fits a need?

Should the whole approach be to find a way to connect on an emotional level, but shift more product?

What about you? The work that you share is it just to put more stuff out there that will hopefully be the magnet that attracts people to your side to buy, or is it to connect?

 

What Does This Mean For You?

There is nothing wrong with being upfront about selling products and services. That is what we are here to do, so we can get sunburnt in a place we haven’t been to before. However, you need to represent a business that does have a meaning where you can deliver value, alongside convincing people to buy. This way, when people decide to buy, you are top of mind.

It comes back to this question, is the work, articles, posts, videos, downloads, visuals, stories that you share with the world a vending machine of content or is it there to create higher impact?

Does it invite people to connect, share your stance and a clear alignment with what you do? In a previous article from April (on something to say, not something to sell), I highlighted the need to move away from social channels as just a method of direct selling but a point of difference based on viewpoint. One of your biggest challenges today is to bring someone from the newsfeed, to your place of creation and curation. However, that is where the reward truly is.

When something scales, it is because you do something that is worthwhile. It is not because you found your moment to publish and promote. We all like a stat that is like a bucket becoming full to the brim. Here is a Contently article that puts everything to a zombie apocalypse scale where in just one minute, 400 new videos are shared, 4.1m other people are liking Facebook posts. The only way to cut through is to connect and recognise whom your audience is. You connect when you have something to say that someone else associates with. Have a read of last weeks article that looks at finding your allies.

This whole angle of doing something worthwhile that aligns with your product or service, is something that Colgate are currently standing beside with their Every Drop Counts initiative.

This started with an ad from last years Superbowl.

The one word that they are well and truly standing for is conservation. It is more about a way to encourage behavioural change, rather than selling toothpaste.

Alongside swimmer, Michael Phelps they are asking us all if we will pledge to save water, by turning off our taps when we brush our teeth. This represents a company delivering value, not convincing people to purchase. This approach of inspiring change, has also led a hand to creativity. They have started writing messages on hotel mirrors.

A hotel in Moscow shows hidden messages in bathrooms when mirrors start to steam-up. This means that it will be targeting people who are already using too much water. This sign on the mirror becomes a, ‘wasting water detector.’ The #SaveWaterMirror has been a successful project to date, with the hotel reducing water waste by 15% and via social media has reached 48 million people.

It is all about locking down for the long term based on the meaning you curate for others.

So, what does a Colgate saving water initiative have anything to do with you? It all comes down to aligning a belief with what you do (as a business) that can make an impact. In the case of a toothpaste brand it is water conservation.

This doesn’t mean that you have to find some political, social or ethical cause to attach yourself to, but a way that can complement what you do outside of what you sell, that can make a positive impact.

As a small business example, this is what Michael Grubb has done from Michael Grubb Studio (he is the June 29th, You Are The Media Lunch Club guest). He recognised the amount of wastage within his industry (he owns a lighting design consultancy) and set up an initiative in 2014 to do something about it. He created the Re:Lit project as a way to minimise the wastage of lighting products that normally end up in landfill, but to use for community projects throughout the UK. The issues his company now has is that it has grown to such a scale that it needs more support (click here to have a read of their plight).

Some things to think about when it comes to content being a mechanism to connect, rather than filling space:


  • whatever industry you represent, you can have a responsibility that other people haven’t recognised and where you can own the dialogue

 

  • you can connect with others far better when you have something to say, not just something to push

 

  • if there is an area that you believe in, you can become a trusted advisor

 

  • you can create high impact owned media experiences that can add value to your audience

 

  • if something is worthwhile it scales (whilst Colgate obviously had budget, the whole initiative is around conservation and being creative with it)

 

  • companies still throw themselves into creation without necessarily an understanding of who they are looking to connect with

 

  • communication can be seen as far more important than putting all the effort in content creation

 

  • to say more, you have to have something to say

 

  • doing work that matters, feels much better than doing something the way it has always been done (interruption, disruption and repetition)

 

  • resonance outweighs trying to convince. In the words of Bernadette Jiwa in a Talking Content Marketing interview, “the only way to differentiate ourselves from transactional brands that sells commodities at the cheapest price is to create meaning.”

Lets Round Up

Can you be more than a one-time thing? To do this you need to be ready for long-term consistency.

The reason this matters is you can have a presence at every stage of the audience’s journey. When you do this, you enhance your business/brand. It is better to be prominent with a point of view, than just product promotion. When you educate and have an active role to play, helps position you as more than a company that is selling products and services.

No one ever wanted to be seen as a vending machine that just put stuff out there and turned its back. When you can connect and make an impact with the long haul in mind, it puts you in a place where others haven’t even considered.

If you can find a way to differentiate from the heard and create a compelling idea and be consistently surprising from a core place, no one can come near you.

 

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allies are out there

When there is an active audience centred on building relationships, this is stronger than finding a stranger to put your content in front of other strangers.

This article is focused on finding those people who can amplify your content. This is about reaching out, not throwing money at others. Lets look at finding your allies.

It has been seen as a popular route over the past couple of years that for others to see your content, influencer marketing is playing a role that so many define as success, the ability for reach.

To read articles specifically that look at the role of the (micro) influencer, then I suggest Chris Lee. You can read a Talking Content Marketing interview or an article from City AM during March.

On one side you can look at grouping your allies to become a core network outside of your own business, or you can look at finding a network of materialistic and lifeless souls who are happy to take your money.

 

The Party Of Parties

The latter is exemplified by last months Fyre Festival fiasco. If you are not aware this was a festival in the Bahamas that fitted perfectly within the world of celebrity worship.

Guests would be flown and be part of a luxury festival with tickets up to $250,000. The festival was cancelled on the first day. The event was promoted by influencers of all shapes and sizes, from social to reality TV. However, it worked as it clearly drew people to buy tickets but who were left stranded on a remote island.

It was a massive slop bucket of greed where no consideration for a target market took precedence. It was all for the Fyre Festival (the brand) aim of association and being part of someone else’s reach. There was no respect for the community that Fyre wanted to serve and naturally build.

In a recent article from Edelman and their assessment of the festival, “The key here is that the brand must deliver, or else the influencers will look ridiculous and become very sceptical for future partnerships of a similar kind.”

By the way, if you want to have a look at the Fyre Festival pitch deck to investors, this goes beyond parody; click here to have a look.

 

Bringing It Back To You

So, how does this extravagant, failed festival in the Bahamas have to do with B2B marketing? Finding influencers to compliment your business all comes down to the responsibility you have for your audience and discovering the people who are happy to share and believe in what you do.

You can’t find people and treat them as an advert with legs ie. a person you don’t know well but you are happy to pay them to promote. However, if your feet are firmly rooted in the economics of advertising, then your messages will just be a one directional route of all the things that you probably are not.

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 09.20.45

As I have pointed out during January, trust has hit a pretty low point.

The Edelman Trust Barometer, particularly within the UK, has seen a sharp decline. In order to become trusted, we need to be associated with others who are credible and provide a reason for people to trust. As Robert Cialdini highlighted in Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion, “A well-known principle of human behaviour says that when we ask someone to do us a favour we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.”

I am a huge believer that if you can build a relationship with someone that isn’t wrapped in an agenda but they can associate a real purpose you believe in, this is where others can extend your message.

 

Bringing Others In As Part Of Your Influencer Programme

The You Are The Media | Strategy Day had a tick of approval by the local paper (Bournemouth Daily Echo) a week after the event (Friday 5th May). If the event can still be shared after the occasion, then can only be a good thing. I now have a reference from the paper that validates the purpose of the event to others. It was online as well as in print. I consider the Bournemouth Daily Echo as part of my influencer outreach programme.

find your allies

This started from building a relationship with Darren Slade, business editor, whom I first met in 2015 (you can read an article from 2015 on How To Work With Journalists). From the early conversations, everything has been consistent with Darren recognising the owned media/content marketing approach that I believe in. Everything shared is always from a point of value, rather than a place of promotion. I consider Darren as an ally, where we have a relationship built on trust.

The default approach is not to spend to be granted entrance (be seen in the newspaper), but to figure out a way to encourage interaction (that makes it easier to be featured in the paper).

If you are looking to find those people who can support your cause and align themselves, I now see a framework to have in place. Your allies are out there; it is a case of refining and building.

Here are some rules I now stand by, when it comes to those of influence supporting your cause.


  • You cannot think that reach is just from your shore, you need to find islands that can help connect back to yours.

 

  • Genuine relationships have to be built, not short-lived peripheral acquaintances.

 

  • You have to make an impression over an impression ie. you have to be seen as valid, rather than a the one trick pony centred on wanting to be seen by many.

 

  • By being seen in someone else’s space it has to trigger an action. For instance, I want people from my local area to want to come to the next Strategy Day, at the end of August. It has to resonate with the audience you are targeting.

 

  • If I wanted reach I would have paid Facebook/Linked a healthy amount each month, what I want is strength of connection. Coming back to you, how can you make the right people inquisitive and come to you (on your space) and trigger actions to subscribe, email and buy.

 

  • The focus has to be a long-term relationship/partnership (dare I say ‘friendship?’) and not a means to an end ie. sending a press release on email, standing back and get agitated that no one got back to you. For instance, I like to think I can share with Darren topics and a thought process that is of use to his audience who read the business pages of the local newspaper.

 

  • To make anything work with someone you have to work together. For instance, prior to the article being published I sent Darren a photo of one of the guests during the day (Trevor Young) as well as the main points that I took from the day. This is in a completely different space than a thinly veiled association where one is for monetary gain, the other is for reach.

 

  • Mutual beneficial opportunities can become the currency of success. For instance, I asked Darren, from The Echo, if he wanted to pop in and see how the day was looking and perhaps be a part of a conversation with one of our guests. That was the value exchange, someone of note to come and listen to.

Should You Start Thinking A Bit More About This?

There are people out there who serve the communities that you might have an interest in. Why not take advantage of this?

In an article that looked at the main points I took from Content Marketing World 2016, I highlighted that, “You could write the deepest, most thoughtful argument filled with data, evidence and opinion but if there isn’t anyone to help with distribution apart from a search engine, it is a pretty lonely ride.”

Whether this is someone who writes or records regularly, these are people who have an audience that can complement yours. This is not about people with followers of hundreds of thousands, but those who are active within the communities that they represent. There are creative people that have built communities around people who participate and listen. For instance, Crimson Guitars are influential within the guitar space so Absolute Music worked with them to share more detail on microphones. Ben Crowe (Crimson Guitars owner) is recognised as someone who can influence a potential sale of microphones for Absolute Music.

Participation with others is built on trust. When money exchanges hands it achieves a short-term goal ie. when the money stops, someone else stops his or her enthusiasm. Plus it does look a bit obvious when someone else is being paid, when they blast onto the scene raving and then suddenly stop.

If you are looking at fostering real advocates to share your message, you need to stop assuming that you will naturally find an audience that are waiting for you on Facebook.

 

Lets Round Up

You have to find a way to make an impact on someone else (they associate with what you say), the way you communicate (your consistency of message) and be able to persuade (they want to work with you and share their side).

Reach does not equate too much, if someone else sees a short-term benefit. However, when someone else can amplify your message to an active audience, it can create a long-term association that leads to better experiences for everyone involved.

When you take a responsibility to find people who can amplify your content, it is centred on consistency of your approach, where you have an obligation to the audience you serve.

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your voice

Your voice is how you convince people, rather than telling everyone you are different.

A clear voice is how you let people know what you stand for. It has to be consistent.

It is now time to do something worth talking about.

If standing for something is your mantra, your voice is how you communicate this to others with emotion and becoming memorable to someone else.

This was a key finding from last weeks You Are The Media | Strategy Day (which I will re-run in August). Whilst businesses need something they believe in to help build consistency, audience and alignment with what they do, they also need something that connects them to someone else. This is where developing a voice takes centre stage.

find your nicheFrom chatting to Margaret Magnarelli, Managing Editor and Head of Content, at Monster.com, their philosophy is to bring humanity to the whole job search process.

For example they wouldn’t take a lonely walk down the path of writing about redundancy but highlight every path that relates to the candidate journey.

Trevor Young, from Zoetic, joined us from Australia and introduced a framework built around V.I.T.A.L (visibility, influence, trust, advocacy and leadership). Again, it all stems from having a belief, sharing it and building an audience from a central place that you have control to build authority. In Trevor’s words those companies who leverage, “will be those that are in the best position to thrive in tomorrow’s increasingly complex, noisy and ever-changing world.” You can read a bit more about these five pillars from Trevor, if you click here.

During the Strategy Day, there was a common ground for everyone to adopt, embrace and action. People to recognise they need to have something to say that relates back to something they believe in. Once this is unlocked, then a whole new landscape takes shape (we all spent time on recognising how the voice can take shape). This is the ability to build an audience and create better customers. In the words of author Neil Gaiman, “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.”

 

How Voice Is Going To Dominate In The Next Month Or So

The importance of voice is going to start to ramp up a gear in the UK election as we prepare for polling day on 8th June.

The conservatives are looking at areas of stability, the economy and the Brexit plan. Labour have an eye on equality and childcare. The Liberal Democrats have anti-Brexit fixed and housing benefits. UKIP have their sights on exclusion in any form, shape and colour. Whilst, I would never take a walk down a political slant the point I am trying to make is that having a strong voice, enables people to know what side of the road you are on.

When someone has a clear message that has a real purpose, their voice has to be consistent. As I highlighted in the first article after Brexit, “If you don’t understand your audience, you will never have the ability to influence and take the lead.”

With the short political campaign that we are now about to step into, having a concise and clear voice that is matter of fact and to the point is more important than ever.

 

Being More Than An Opinion

Having a voice that relates to what you stand for, becomes the catalyst to change and persuade others. It is not about someone shouting louder because they have more Twitter followers, but being able to deliver on a consistent viewpoint.

We are now immersed in a world where someone saying, “I believe…’ is a regarded as a trading currency of trust. An empty voice that is not backed up, just adds to the confusion, when people and businesses are looking to create a false sense of attention, but who do we believe anymore? To rely on a constant tirade of opinion is like walking the tightrope, to deliver the facts and experience provides the safety net.

To create a voice that is immersed in what you believe in and stand for, has to be supported by real life experiences and the facts. What you create becomes specific to you and how a distinct voice is created. A fact is used to illustrate a point and is then brought to life via an experience to validate an argument (click here to have a read of an example for what I mean).

 

Being Rubbish

The voice that you create reminds me of the public speaking contests I entered when I was at college with a group of friends. They were very bad.

I can remember they were topics that I had no interest in, which were ‘should schools wear a uniform?’ and ‘should all students be made to do volunteer work?’ If you don’t believe in something, you might as well copy it from somewhere else and hand it to be marked on a sheet of paper. I can remember I rehearsed trying to get the points that needed to be made with force but all I was doing was reading something parrot fashion. Whilst I shouted and probably punched the air and waved my arms about, my voice was just a tiny squeak that had no meaning. At the end I just sounded like everyone else, just louder. Lets just say that that extra curriculum college activity was very short lived.

The point I am trying to make is that when you believe in something, you don’t need a piece of paper as a prompt, you learn to communicate with conviction and mean what you say. If you sound like every other business and deliver what you think others should hear/read/watch (hello 75% of LinkedIn posts), all you become is the Ed Sheeran copycat act on Britain’s Got Talent.

 

Getting Your Voice Into Shape

We need to pay attention to the voice that we share and communicate. If your world revolves around a conveyor belt of retweets, sharing and liking, then the ability to carve a clear voice becomes a greater challenge than originally anticipated.

Here are some pointers to carve a clear voice that you have ownership of that lets people know your purpose.


  • to the point. If you can use less than 140 characters, that’s better than thinking you have to use the full quota. If you can discover and interpret a different story to the rest of your marketplace that gets straight to the heart of the matter (and always a starting point), you can redefine a category.

 

  • stay clear of using adjectives. An adjective describes what you do. It comes back to the product/service magnet that always pulls people back to beating their chests where what they do is seen as the point of differentiation. These are part and parcel of your week when looking at what someone else says about themselves ie. we are ambitious/creative/courageous/adaptable/fun/edgy. An alternative is to recognise the value that you provide not the product you represent ie. change, community, enterprise, togetherness.

 

  • find your side and then stick to it. It just becomes confusing when you chop and change from one tact to the other. If you are a personal trainer and you started the year with a focus on mental well being, why end the year dedicated to pure muscle building? You have to find the smallest eye of the needle with the longest thread. By this I mean the fewest words (I believe in one word) that describe your overall viewpoint. It is difficult to start with, but when you understand the value you provide for others, why waiver into places that people don’t recognise your strengths. Your voice can help others.

 

  • just because it’s trending doesn’t mean you have to jump on the gravy train. From seeing the roof explode with #pepsi last month, to more of #brexit this year, just because something is topical, doesn’t mean it has to resonate with you and your business. When the moment comes that fits your approach and can complement your voice, then you have a right to make a connection even more viable.

 

  • clichés and other ‘aren’t I/we noble’ efforts. No one ever carved a clear voice that resonated with others, that centred on telling others about how they are winning customers or striving to become the next David Brent on LinkedIn (see below).

your voice

  • the strive for a cause, that you can explore, but recognise that you might never make the top of the mountain. Over time you become confident with the role that you provide to your audience, in terms of providing insight. In a recent interview with BuzzSumo founder, Steve Rayson on Mark Schaefer’s {grow}, “You need to produce regular content that is helpful to your audience. However, to produce unique and valuable content you need to be an expert or very knowledgeable. Otherwise it is difficult for you to add value.”

Lets Round Up

When it comes to having a voice, everything is centred on communicating the intentions of what you believe in and how that aligns to what you do. This allows others to match that voice with an approach.

Over time people recognise the value you bring to a marketplace and you build your story through the ideas, themes and experiences you curate and communicate. Do this consistently, this is how you differentiate your business.

Do something worth talking about. You have the insight, knowledge and experiences that others can benefit from and need. You have outlets to spread from that you didn’t have before and privileged to have. Time to put it out there.

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something to say not something to sell

One of the toughest things for businesses is to take a deep breath and figure out the closing line isn’t wrapped around ‘buy me.’

The ability to connect with someone else, for many people, is either centred on building for personal gain (social vanity) or material possession (something to sell).

People take a step back when you have something to say, not something to sell.

 

Knock, Knock

I connected with someone locally last week on LinkedIn. It was someone I was vaguely aware of but did not know personally and certainly not familiar with. When the message arrived (and it was a personal message not a templated ‘I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn’ we are all familiar with), I clicked that button that put us both together in the same place. It wasn’t long after, until I received this message.

reply

Now, there is nothing wrong with it. He didn’t ask for anything, it wasn’t a forceful approach, but it was empty.

The message was centred on having a phone call and potentially work together. This is the thing that I have issue with. There was nothing in place or to share that would lead me to see what someone else believed in. Just because there was an approach, didn’t mean it helped us connect further. There was nothing that connected us.

When we get down to the nitty gritty, ‘WHO CARES!

Please don’t think I am using a LinkedIn intro as a way to throw someone else under a bus. Trust me, I did respond and asked for some more info to see if there was something there to open up that conversation. I was a cut and paste job that was used for the next person in the quest for personal gain.

This is the lesson for us all. You can send a blanket approach to everyone, or even show a motivational quote to be recognised as a Yoda like bastion of universal truth. Alternatively, you can have something to say that resonates with someone else. The feedback you receive from someone else is an indication of the idea you share and how it fits with them (and become enthused about).

I guess this is the response I wanted…


Dear Mark,

You wanted it, you are getting it! Both barrels!

I have a blog that I publish as my main activity bit.ly/wow

Here is a talk I did last year, that was recorded, not the best sound quality, but hope you get where I am coming from bit.ly/biggerwow

The thing I believe in is centred on enterprise and how small business owners can find more time, live a happier life, do the things they want to do, all by being a bit more structured.

I saw some of your work and really see a fit. Plus we are both in the same region. What have we got to lose?


 

Backing Up What You Believe In

Yepic failou cannot approach and make that sale in the quickest amount of time if you have nothing to say and cannot back it up.

For instance, the Pepsi fail from this April, if they had taken a stance over the past few years on documenting social unrest and putting the spotlight on movements and protests that made societal change, would we all have looked at their advert differently? When you set an expectation and then behave in a different way, credibility and trust comes crashing to the ground.

I highlighted in an article during March that you, “cannot just inform other people and not align this with what you do. This result in failure.” Whilst we need to become better salespeople, to enable others to make a commitment they have to understand the principals that you stand by and the sense of meaning that you create.

When you curl up in a ball and ask for the generosity of someone else with nothing in return, it can lead to eventual failure.

 

Putting Things To A Working Test

In order to see if what you have to say resonates, you have to put it to the test. If what you share aligns with what you say/share, then you move to a much stronger place of authority.

When it comes to testing, here are some ideas for you to take on board.


  • when you connect with new people on LinkedIn why not get them to see what you truly believe in beyond the intro template (for instance, I ask people if they would like to join the You Are The Media email community)
  • can you keep momentum that doesn’t steer into trying to sell something else from your company in a limited time frame
  • can you monitor and measure the articles that people are reading (via Analytics) to then gauge the development of popular topics
  • if you feel uncomfortable with a topic, then even more reason for you to write about it (for reference, I was unsure about sharing a message from someone on LinkedIn, it became the centre point for this article)
  • by having something to say, does this add humility to your business?
  • by keeping track of a flow of opinion/ideas/views/experiences, is this equating to stronger community growth ie. more sign ups per month
  • can you start to move social media away from a point of direct selling, but a point of difference based on a viewpoint, alignment and value to someone else’s timeline
  • can you become comfortable with exploring and if someone pulls you up on a spelling mistake, that is the least of your worries

The reason you stay interesting is when someone else is always interested.

 

Three Forces That Will Always Be In Play

There will be three forces that will always be pulling you back to the dark side of pure product promotion. The forces that you have to manage and focus on will always be:

Consistency – the more you create with a viewpoint in mind, the greater the ability for someone else to trust you. If you start to wobble and you start losing a persistent approach, it becomes easier to throw something out there that comes back to selling product. When you lose regularity (it may be one solid article per month), you lose a rhythm.

Alignment – you have to have synergy between what you sell and what you believe in. You do not want conflict where the message you create and share has no connection with someone else and what it is that you do. It is easier when the pull takes you to social channels to merely promote, rather than being brave with you own slant on a subject matter that has relevance within your industry.

Audience Focus – when you become an authority within your marketplace, you become a point of reference for others. Other people who have subscribed and continually engaged helps to build an audience, that leads to better action. The pull will always be to looking inwards, rather than putting the microphone to others. Remember, the value is about the audience, not you.

 

Lets Round Up

Having something to say, not something to sell is when you have the ability to communicate to others and build an audience around your core beliefs.

The disconnect is when you look for vanity or something to sell. This is where trust falls to pieces. The way to sell is when you build a business that doesn’t affect your values and you communicate from this.

The false charm has no place, today’s relationships are centred on empathy and building a message that people want to be part of and want to come back to on an ongoing basis. When you have something to say, your products and services can change people for the better.

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Why Content Marketing Isn't For You

You can’t try and undo poor choices, with one good choice. Sometimes it’s better doing nothing, rather than being grounded in constant mediocrity.

I am writing this article as the You Are The Media Strategy is on the horizon (27th April) and putting together the whole day agenda. A quandary I am looking to get to the bottom of is why people treat a content marketing/owned media approach as just an alternative form of marketing? To many businesses, it becomes a short-lived tactic (to draw attention to a product/service), rather than the strategic pulse for a business (to build an audience that has lifetime value).

Basically, if this is an approach I believe in, get enthused by and see it working from others, then why do companies see it as a siloed exercise that they think that still sits in the advertising pigeon hole or the branding in-tray?

 

The Mother Of All Examples

Probably the best example of this is an experience from January 2015 that I documented. During a meeting with a company on whether they should invest in social media, everything came down to one simple question I will never forget, “Can Twitter generate us a further £150k extra income?” Yes, this was an actual question and you can read the article here. The whole focus from this three year ago entry is the persistence of businesses with a myopic product centred vision that uses social media purely as a channel to just sell.

Even last month I highlighted those companies where a content marketing approach would not work based on moulding everything together into three pillars, ‘care,’ ‘rhythm’ and ‘knowledge.’ Click here to read that article.

However, I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly why it won’t work for companies, until the past week.

I have been receiving emails from companies who would like to participate in the You Are The Media Lunch Club. The whole format is lunchtime sessions that highlight businesses that are taking advantage of the changes in distribution by bypassing traditional media to build an audience they own. The emails I have been receiving are either those who are using it as a PR move for their own gain, have no defined voice/viewpoint within their marketplace, or just creating content because they feel they have to.

This is where there becomes the dissection between what should be a business strategy but rather an additional marketing strategy. The ability to create and distribute, can just become an empty gesture, that doesn’t contribute to anything.

 

One Healthy Choice Amongst A Barrage Of Junk Doesn’t Count For Anything

When content marketing is looked upon as marketing collateral production, it is the equivalent of having a burger and chips. When asked ‘what drink?’ the reply is ‘Diet Coke.’ Just because you have made a string of unhealthy decisions, doesn’t mean that one vaguely ok choice is going to make everything ok.

Taking things further, many businesses still treat a content marketing/owned media approach as a listless exercise. It is the equivalent of going on a gluten free diet during the week and then when the weekend comes it is ‘wheat-ahoy.’ Saturday lunch is at Subway, the three pints during the evening are followed by Cornflakes for breakfast and a visit to Pizza Express in the afternoon.

If I had to explain this in a two minute video, it would be the Butterfield Diet Plan (you try your best and then revert to what you’ve always done).

It works like this:

1) You start disciplined.

2) You then roll back to the world of treats. In business terms, it becomes easier to bang the drum with something to sell, rather than something to say.

You Can’t Lapse Back Into Bad Habits

Businesses have to stop looking at content marketing as an approach that takes them back to exactly how they used to behave (product based messages). This was where marketing was seen as borrowing eyeballs from an array of spaces to drive interest in a product.

You cannot attempt a new approach that lapses back into hold habits. This all comes from looking at everything a different way, but where the content you create (from text to audio) becomes an immediate function of the business to build an audience and not as an afterthought, where the focus is a self sense of grandeur. It is the audience that provides ROI, not the chasing of eyeballs from a Google Analytics check-in.

 

Creating & Nurturing A Media Property

Businesses have to start thinking about the role they play within their marketplace and create a media property off the back of it, with the intention to build audience and ultimately a stronger customer base. A few blog articles won’t achieve anything. Blogging isn’t the income generator, business is. It is the ability to create a business goal that links back to your reason for being, where consistency is grounded.

The focus for businesses is still very much on product, not the audience.

The Content Marketing Institute have this month (April), released their B2B Enterprise Content Marketing report. This relates to companies with 1,000+ employees (and over 2,500 companies were surveyed).

Two of the areas of note, from the report, come back to this whole notion of starting something but slipping back into old habits. 45% of enterprise marketers do not have an idea what a successful marketing programme looks like. 38% have a documented marketing strategy to understand a new path to follow.

Why Content Marketing Isn't For You

By not having any direction, has a knock on effect. The stagnant success is related to a lack of strategy (65%) and success is predominantly recognised as collecting page visits from strangers (83%) as opposed to building an audience (a mere 37%).

Why Content Marketing Isn't For You

Whilst this report relates to larger enterprises, it highlights an overall picture for content marketing today. The lack of direction for businesses where there is the magnet that draws them to sharing the core brand message, whilst fighting against delivering a consistent message to an audience who want to consume and interact.

 

Are You In Or Out?

It comes back to the diet. You are either all in, or you are never going to see any noticeable results. It’s a bit like me at the moment, where I go to the gym and when back home look at a shelf of Easter Eggs and ‘I’ll just have the one stick from the Twirl.’ If I keep on like this, I am not going to see any health benefits.

To advance a practice, you can’t just dip your toe in whenever you feel like. Pressing the ‘publish’ button has the same effect as finishing a spinning class. You feel like you have achieved something, but it becomes forgotten about as soon as it’s over. The only way you start to see results is when you are consistent.

Being mediocre will hurt you more than doing nothing. If that is the bottom of the barrel, so where is the hope?

To become tuned in, takes in a whole disciplined effort, but to start seeing change is when you:


  • recognise the role you play within your marketplace and what you stand for
  • understand the audience you are targeting and lean into them
  • cut back on the plethora of messages and find one key message to target
  • find a story that is different from the competition that others can relate to
  • become consistent over a prolonged period of time
  • create value that goes outside of the products and services you promote and sell

Lets Round Up

Empty gestures stand out like a Pepsi can handed as a peace gesture to the establishment. For businesses to achieve longevity within their marketplace they need to recognise the value creation from content and not as a two month, ‘lets give it a go’ approach.

When you start to shift the focus from the product that you sell, to the audience that you can grow and associate with, this is where the owned media approach comes into fruition.

You cannot treat an owned media approach as separate entity from your business strategy. When it sits at the core of what you do and how you communicate, there is an all round sense of brand health that goes beyond two weeks on the treadmill after you have demolished the Easter Eggs and feel bloated.

For something to work, the biggest injustice you can do is think that one good choice (the focus on an audience) amongst a circus of poor decisions (repeated product messages), is going to result in a prize.

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connection

To stand any chance of someone buying into you, there has to be a connection to the very heart of what you believe in.

This advert has its origins in the Pepsi advert. I apologise, it has become the easiest marketing bandwagon to jump on in 2017. However, there is something central to the core that relates back to us all.

I know there are many articles on why it nosedived and the ‘lessons learnt from the Pepsi ad’ angle, but on reflection, it all comes back to having a product and approach that is believable for someone else to connect with.

Whilst Coca Cola created harmony in 1971 with their, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke,’ it was the flipside of kinship in 2017. Whilst one was from a clifftop of faces of different colours, shapes and ethnicities, the other was from a city of unrest where a can acts as a protest peace offering. A privileged reality TV star became the beacon for a generation in which the resistance was strong, but from a brand who has never stood for rebellion.

connection

With the advert lifted and wiped off the face of YouTube, it comes back to a simple premise of being real and making a connection with your audience.

What makes things strange is that Pepsi introduced their new content creation studio in 2016 where PepsiCo president Brad Jakeman stated that their aim was to, ‘foster deeper connections with consumers.” Their latest effort couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you get found out for being false and going way off the mark for who you are, you are castigated.

This also happened in February when Waterstones were criticised for opening three high street shops that had the appearance of small independent bookstores that had no branding or link to the shops origins. If Waterstones had been upfront then the damage could have been a lot less. Again, if you try to pass yourself off as something that you are not, your whole business looks dishonest.

Both Waterstones and Pepsi represent companies whose stories just didn’t connect, so people turned their backs.

To enable others to want to buy from you, you have to connect in a way that is believable.

Take for instance, the activity from Red Bull. Everything they do is by associating themselves with fearless people, teams and events. The owned media approach is seen from taking control of sports teams ie. New York Red Bulls, RB Leipzig (in the German Bundasliga); owning a TV channel, annual soapbox race and events that they can call their own. The connection to Red Bull is one thrill seeking, entertaining 100 mile an hour, rollercoaster ride of adrenalin. Everything connects (something that Pepsi haven’t done).

How can you become part of someone else’s life that goes beyond the products you sell?

One of the problems that we all face is how we use social to self promote and use as an advertising channel rather than a place of actually being social with each other on a deeper level. IPG Megabrands-owned agency UM, released their ninth ‘Wave’ global social tracking survey in February. The survey was conducted amongst 52,000 people in 78 countries.

When compared to seven years ago, people are now 40% less likely to see social networks as a place for fun and entertainment. People are also 30% more likely to see them as spaces to promote themselves. There is so much content, that we are now editing to be heard and acknowledged. Sleeves rolled up, this is serious business, balls to connection, lets promote!

Almost 50% agreed with the statement, ‘I feel overwhelmed by the volume of things available to me online.’ Whether we represent brands or individuals online, there is acknowledgment that we are in the equivalent of the swimming pool with a wave machine and someone has just pressed the ‘on’ button so everyone swims to the red boundary so they get the full force of the wave.

The magnet is forcing people to feel the benefit with everyone else in exactly the same space, rather than looking to control the waves in a more natural way.

The reward is there for companies who can be on the same wavelength with others, as opposed to competing at the same swimming gala.

Looking at the mistakes from the big brands, it can help us make sense of how we build a rapport and an audience who are willing to stick with us, and they know exactly what it is that we stand for.

Whilst marketing goals are driven by numbers and showing an increase of X against Y, lets make things even easier. From the #epicfails shown by others, the biggest goal for a business today in an attention saturated world is centred on something far simpler. Find an audience where you are recognised as interesting, compelling where connectivity becomes the glue that ensures people don’t drift away.

There are an abundance of paths and channels to reach your audience and to recognise what they want and your responsibility to provide and deliver. When you can deliver, other people will help share your message. This all comes back to being real, rather than the quickest route to being ignored.

You have to live what you believe in and become comfortable with it.

This is what AirBnB did in November 2016 by introducing their community guidelines. It was a way to connect a shared ethos as well as a declaration of zero tolerance. It is also a way for a company to unify others behind a belief where a sense of belonging is created. This is seen on the AirBnB blog where the whole approach is based on sharing and encouraging to discover and utilise a space for other people to participate within.


Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the reasons for people to want to get to know you and your business a bit better? What is the one word that you stand for, click here to read more on finding this and uncovering the power of a direct relationship.

 

  • Can persistence be something that you can attach to and over time people will share your message?

 

  • Can you continually build, that no matter what offer or new extension to a Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn service you have people who will stick on your side as you have built a bank of goodwill and truth?

 

  • How can trust be built over time? Is it by longevity? Is it just by showing up? Is it giving your own stamp on things? No one ever built trust by taking a, ‘it’s all about me’ approach.

 

  • How can you earn connectivity with others? No one linked on an emotional level by thinking they can produce that one heavy paid for Facebook ad and watch people form an orderly queue. There has to be ways to get behind that ad and bring a real person to the front.

 

  • Are there ways you can take things on one to one, more emotional level? While you think you need to appeal to many with the click of a ‘send’ on Mailchimp, there are times to speak to one.

 

  • Can you create for some and not for everyone? When you focus on those where you have the ability to connect, it provides greater reason for them to share your story.

Having something to connect with, is about being real, not pushing a product to others via the beautiful people. People don’t want something that is impersonal, they want to know that the money they spend with you has a sense of purpose to it.

The ways that we stand out is to find those bonds that connect us to others. Whether that is to entertain, be on a level with someone else or come from a place of authority, the time that someone spends with you, has to leave them saying, ‘I get it.’

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Copy of Copy of Why not trusting is a good trait to have (6)

When someone else is drawn to you, it comes from a place of personalisation and being grounded in what you believe in and the enthusiasm that sits alongside.

Lets look at making connections more relevant by tuning into what your audience are intrigued about and your point of interest/belief.

Drawing people to you beyond what you create is a missing ingredient when it comes to encouraging a content marketing approach. Whilst you can look to pull the wool over someone’s eyes with click baity headlines, unconvincing company videos and ‘18 ways to’ dullness, it’s not going to be sustainable in the long wrong.

You may even have your customer personas nailed to a tee and there personalities are so precise you feel like you’ve found an extra Crème Egg at the back of the fridge. However, this is not enough if your audience are not drawn to you.

 

Right Time, With The Right People

To get people to come to your barbecue, what you create comes from a place of wanting to spend time with the right people and they want to spend the time back. People don’t buy from bold headlines or intense persona mapping; they buy from people they can rely on where the content is delivered with them in mind.

The You Are The Media Lunch Club has been highlighting since last summer, businesses that are managing to build their audience with a consistent content driven approach. What I am seeing are companies that understand who their audience is and the role they serve and then lean into it.

During the lunchtime session (last week) with Ali Carmichael from ExperienceUX, one thing that stood out for me was the belief that everything the business does is founded on the principals of UX.

They do not want to be led astray to become a fully blown agency ie. seeing a project all the way through and effectively becoming a design and web build entity where they are swimming with a myriad of other companies. By having a defined personality, people know they are flying for the flag for UX in the south and they do it from a place of sharing. They haven’t gone back on the values that have been in place for 10 years.

 

No Meaning, Just Noise

Havas Groups, Meaningful Brands study (2017) that consists of 300,000 people from 33 countries worldwide shone the light on the fact that 60% of people believe that the majority of content created by companies is just noise and has no meaning to them. As the study highlights, content created is, ‘poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver.’

In the 2015 Meaningful Brands report and amongst 19,000 British consumers, 94% responded that they wouldn’t care if a brand completely disappeared. If you are not relevant, why should others care?

This is the challenge, whilst you maybe able to identify who your audience is and have the ability to deliver content through the medium of your choice, you still have to be engaging for them to actually be bothered. You need to become the magnet that draws people in, not just by what you say, but how you do it.

This is what I am seeing with getting to know the companies who participate in the Lunch Clubs, no one has pretended to be something they are not. The businesses we talk to are personalising their area of confidence to an audience who warm to them.

Lets look at it this way, no one wants an invitation to their neighbours barbecue, when the food is perfect, the cheese for the burgers are more than Dairylea slices and the tubs of coleslaw are as deep as bargain buckets. It is tough when all your neighbour wants to do is tell you about how long it took to prepare the barbeque, their Spotify playlist and the new extension that is happening next year.

The point I am trying to make is that you can’t go heavy on substance (and reasons why people should warm to you) when it has no interest to someone else.

 

When A Connection Is Made

What people want is acknowledgment that they are ‘one of us’ and what is created addresses the frustrations, pain points and hopes for someone else.

This is about real people, making real connections with others. Lets highlight three quick examples.


Untitled design (55)This is what Tarryn Poulton has done with PCOS Diet Support. The entire programme is formed from her story linked to diet and health that led to her having two children. The people who watch her videos and read her articles, know that they are reading from someone who has created content for them.


Untitled design (56)This is what Michael Grubb does when he addresses his audience. His company is a lighting design consultancy, Michael Grubb Studio and their message comes from a place of sharing how we use space and also how wasteful companies are when it comes to lighting. This enabled the company to stand for a cause by setting up the Re:lit Project to take lighting that would have been used for landfill but for an extended life. It is the frustrations and hopes that makes things personal and for their audience to make that connection.


Untitled design (57)This is what Ben Crowe from Crimson Guitars does when he addresses his audience with his tutorials on how to build guitars. Every video is from his workshop in the heart of Dorset and has an air of authenticity about them. It is from a person who has dedicated years to a craft and now has the confidence to demonstrate his realness within digital channels.


These examples highlight people who represent an engaging side to their business. They become the magnet that draws people in as they are talking and sharing from a place of conviction and belief. In the words of Seth Godin, “Being a leader gives charisma. If you look and study the leaders who have succeeded, that’s where charisma comes from, from the leading.”

You shouldn’t feel obliged to make a comment on social media just because there is a hashtag that is trending (hello #Pepsi and their awful self indulgent protest ad this week). This carries no substance to a cause and what you believe in. How are people going to connect when you become detached looking for a quick win of accreditation from a stranger?

 

Being Personable

Being personalised also means being personable. The examples that I have highlighted all come from a place of tuning into a discipline and there is a receptive audience. This means you have to sound with soul and meaning. Find that cause to challenge and have an opinion that sits beside it.

People are fed up with irrelevant content. According to customer identity software provider, Janrain, and their Online Personal Experience Study 74% of respondents (over 2,000 people) get fed up with websites that provide content that has no relevance to their interests. On the other side, people are ready to trust. 57% were ok with providing personal information as long as it is for their benefit.

This is where the opportunity lies. If you can become relevant and personalised you stand a greater chance of winning the battle over short-term dependence on acceptance.

How do you want to make people feel?

 

Ways To Draw People In, Without Being Creepy

Here are some pointers to thin about.

  • When you send an email newsletter send it from a person and not a cold info@ or enquiries@

 

  • Segmenting your audience makes things a bit more tuned in. For instance, it would be a waste of time sending an email that is targeted for a local event to those people who subscribe to the You Are The Media email who live overseas. This means messages are more narrowly targeted.

 

  • When someone responds and addresses you, reply back. From the comment on a LinkedIn post, to a reply to an email, if it is from a place of genuine interaction, rather than a cul de sac of, ‘great post,’ the gate is open to interact.

 

  • Show an interest in others and the world around you. If that means showing up in their spaces where you have the ability to draw in audience from someone else’s circle that may not be familiar with you, then the opportunity is there.

 

  • Every place you are visible, talk like a person, not a flat press release that no one is going to read and instantly forget about. If a person is reading it, why talk to them in a patronising way?

 

Lets Round Up

When you have a persona that is unconvincing, you come across as fake. If there are no breadcrumbs to at least piece together to understand your approach and belief system it comes across as gold digging for personal gain.

When people become hooked on to your side and from the people I try and get to know a little better and how they do it, I see one thing stand out. These are businesses that are sticking to their guns that know their audience, and can express themselves in a captivating and sincere way.

In a world that is encouraging you to delve further into AI and automation, to stand out is for you to be yourself, be difficult for computers to do what you are good at and turn it up another notch.

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consistency of message

You have to look beyond being told to ‘be just great.’ The ability to build audience is about sticking with doing something that not everyone else is doing within your marketplace.

However, it is not just about being consistent with creating content, but consistency with an approach.

The two-sided LP of consistency of message and approach is the focus for this article.

 

Right Content At The Right Time

When you have the ability to communicate the right content to the right person at the right moment and comes back to what you believe in, it sets the precedent. This is in a place of far greater depth than being told of a ‘system that can differentiate you from your competitors to make your business more profitable, in less time, with less effort’ (this was a sentence from a seminar I saw being promoted this week).

Finding shorter routes that lead to growth, could have been true fifteen years ago, when the ability to create, publish and broadcast was reserved to a few media channels. Now everybody has a chance. This means everybody has the opportunity. You just can’t cut corners anymore. You have to tune into being consistent with a message that is relevant to someone else. If you can do this, you have the ability to generate a commitment from others.

 

The Responsibility

This is Ben Crowe (1)

I met up with Ali Carmichael, co-founder of Experience UX last week. Ali is the guest for the March You Are The Media Lunch Club (Thursday 30th March). Experience UX provide value outside of what they invoice. They have a quarterly event (and 2017 dates are already booked) and they have their UX Insider online interview series.

From offline to online, consistency is helping Experience UX build their audience and become recognised as the UX resource within the region.

What was interesting was how Ali described what is now happening to the business. Ali highlighted, “We have a responsibility for others and a need to deliver. What we want to be is a place for others to take from and realise that they are not the only ones trying to make sense of how the UX discipline is shaping. We are finding out too.”

What Ali highlighted here is being consistent with an approach, not just content creation.

Being consistent with delivery advocates an authentic and credible persona both online and offline. In Ali’s words, when you have a ‘responsibility for others’ highlights the ability to be in control and lay the foundations and not for others to run amok with the gate open. Something that Google have recently faced with their current ad debacle. Over the past week, brands such as Pepsi, The British Government and Johnson & Johnson have pulled out of advertising on YouTube. This is because banners appear over videos posted by extremist groups. Whilst Google have apologised, it highlights a prime example of a brand with a transparency problem, plus unease of advertisers fuelling the fake news fire. It also further highlights the lack of trust between consumers and business as highlighted by the Edelman Trust Barometer survey from February.

 

Consistency of Approach

When you provide someone something they actually want, it allows a relationship to form.

I highlighted in my last article the importance of tailoring your message to your audience. The message you deliver has to be curated for the medium you are using and the person who is active within it. This is all about creating with someone else in mind, rather than creating what you want him or her to see/hear/read.

It is about connecting with someone during the day in a way that is different from how the rest of the world operates. For instance, I was walking through the middle of Bournemouth last week and was approached by people from Virgin, three charities, to PureGym all looking to take away time. It becomes noise that you switch off from, with others pushing products.

That is the same for many businesses who put their own agenda first and look to sell from it. To everyone else, it just becomes background noise. This is why their needs to be consistency of approach, where someone else sees something worthy of spending some time with and there is a value exchange.

Everything has to tie back to an approach that is consistent in every place that you reside and the person who is spending some time.

Whilst you will never have the budgets the likes of Amazon have, it is the approach to present information in the way that you want it, rather than the one size fits all approach. From ‘more items to consider,’ to reading reviews of what you are considering to buy, the whole approach is consistent with who you are and what you want.

How to showcase your consistency of approach when you don’t have Amazon sized budgets:

  • Engaging in conversation on social channels, rather than leaving every opportunity left with a closed door
  • creating a two-way response from something that is sent to others ie. newsletter and then taking it one to one when some replies back
  • Instead of chasing everything, you work with others who reflect your principals. They are consistent with what you believe in
  • Everything you share and say ties back to your centre of gravity ie. your website, that cements your approach
  • You create for other people in mind, not just search engines or likes
  • Stick by something that you believe in, that isn’t necessarily covered by others within your marketplace

 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What do I believe in that is sustainable and not a two month ride that blows out of steam before the summer
  • Who can come along for the journey (the audience)
  • Where do they prefer to hang out ie. social, email, website, video, audio
  • Is there a space that isn’t served that I can explore within
  • Can this motivate my audience to participate with me
  • Can I see my message transporting not just online, but offline?

 

Consistency of Message

From the consistency of an approach (centred on a belief) comes the consistency of a message.

tailoring your message to your audienceLast week I highlighted reading the Jack Daniels advert on a tube station platform. It was a short story, not just an advert and this is one thing that the brand has been consistent with for decades.

Lynchburg, Tennessee does exist! Every message that I have read or seen always comes back to a narrative about how Jack Daniels is made, the process that goes into it and the people who make it. It is this consistent story that consumers tune into as a believable brand.

A consistent message is something that doesn’t detract. For instance, have a look at my early blog articles here. From generic business articles, the message is now concentrated on businesses having control via an owned media approach to build an audience who care and will buy. This has to be consistent in every place I am visible in order to build familiarity and trust.

Showcasing your consistency of message when you don’t have Jack Daniels sized budgets:

  • When you say that you are going to show up, show up. If you have a sign up form that promises something from you on a day of the week, deliver it
  • Become committed with an objective to be a better writer, presenter, speaker with an outcome to grow influence
  • Whilst you might think that all areas of your industry have already been covered, have the guts to showcase your approach and the way you look at the world
  • There is a fine line between communicating consistently and being consistently noisy, pick what you believe in and stand on that side of the road
  • Make sure everything joins up and over time can help make the jigsaw puzzle piece easily together. You don’t need to jump onto video because someone told you to, it is better to have a clear point of view that you can shape over time within a channel you are prepared to jump in and be able to swim within

 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I getting led astray (because I heard that Snapchat was good) from one place to the other and spreading myself too thinly?
  • Can I put time aside each week to become better at one thing?
  • Is there a space within the marketplace that I can start to lean into?
  • Are there channels I feel more comfortable in than others?
  • Who else supports my point of view and where are they ie. from authors to other business owners
  • Can I keep the momentum with this over a period of time and ready to roll up the socks and start digging deep for the long term?

To make an impact on others you have to show a commitment, rather than thinking that just publishing is the answer to building an audience that you have ownership of.

 

Lets Round Up

You will never build traction if that super slick corporate video is placed on YouTube and you stand back and believe that an audience will gather round with a standing ovation. They won’t! If there is no consistency from an approach and message, it becomes a waste of money, where the only mantra is dry product promotion.

You have to find the right people who are allied to your cause, this helps build audience, rather than sitting in isolation and looking back at something with fondness of the day you brought a film crew in.

Consistency of approach and message comes from a place of sharing real experiences, where you can act with knowledge, fact and influence. This is how you can reach out and bring others to your realm. They will see the benefit of having someone who is on their side.