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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You Can’t Do All This On Your Own

To be good at what you do, you have to realise that you can’t do it in isolation.

When you create and collaborate with someone else you can generate 100 little solutions for others, rather than gunning for the glory of the ‘I AM THE INDUSTRY ALMANAC, AREN’T I CLEVER?’

There are far too many people that want to grab onto something and say ‘mine.’ Whether this is a company that is just publishing everything within it’s own insular four walls and no voices from outside, or the belief that thought leadership is ripping off a quote from someone else and claim as their own to an applause on LinkedIn. Lets just slow down.

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The Focus On The Singular, Not The Plural

People and businesses are striving to be heard where we are detached from everything else but puff our chests out to look good in front of others.

The focus is still very much on the singular (look at me), rather than the plural (let us make this better). We are all guilty of it.

Everything I have done is by associating with other people in order to build a rounder knowledge of how something works. The ability to share this and facilitate creates immense payback.

 

Fight, Fight, Fight

It is ok to acknowledge that we don’t have to know everything; sometimes it is good for others to ‘come down’ with us.

When I was at Leicester University, during the 90s, there was one evening where a friend and myself walked into beating from four other men.

Admittedly it was my fault. I provoked with the shouting across a road. Next thing I know we were being chased. I thought I knew the way home via the car park of Homebase but we came to a gate that was locked.

Whilst my friend managed to skip with only a kick in the back, it was three others and me. Whilst I don’t consider myself as ‘handy’, what I did was hold onto one of the men and brought him down with me; this meant that when kicks were being thrown, I didn’t necessarily take the full brunt. We shared the load for a few seconds. I think I managed to get up and run away.

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What does this mean in a business context? You need to bring others in with you and bring them down to your space/place in order to be stronger with the message you communicate. We don’t have all the answers, but we might have 100 little solutions, where others ‘come down’ with us.

 

The 100 Little Solutions

You need to associate with the best people within your world (rather than the world) if you want to create something that is unique and interesting to others.

I had no idea how to do a podcast, so I partnered with Ian Rhodes so we could find out together.

I wanted to publish a book, so I approached LID publishing.

I didn’t know how to put on an event, so I partnered with Matt Desmier for the Once Upon A Time theatre events.

I want to know more about the discipline of content marketing. I asked nearly 100 of the best marketers in the world today and the Talking Content Marketing series grew.

I want to find out how people can take control of the spaces they have ownership of, so I invite businesses that are doing this at the monthly You Are The Media Lunch Club.

When you find a teacher or a learning partner, you learn 10 times faster.

 

Moving From Beyond The Four Walls

Why learn new disciplines and practices that are relevant to your field? This is why people stick to what they know. It is far easier to talk about your business and what it does, rather than looking to solve problems that other people might have and then bring in the best people to solve it.

For instance, ExperienceUX are a company who specialise in UX research, they document how other brands are finding their way; have a look at their interviews. They are getting other brands to share their perspective, on their platform.

No one has the definitive answer to the problems within their marketplace and be seen as the oracle. However, you can create pockets of knowledge where you can propel forwards and bring in others to help shape and build. These pockets of knowledge are everything from the interview series that sits on your website through to the audio and video content that is published on a regular basis.

 

Aligning With Others

By finding different ways to communicate a message with a content marketing/owned media focus, I aligned myself with others. This has its roots in taking what Napoleon Hill demonstrates in Think & Grow Rich where you surround yourself with talented people (known as The Mastermind).

These are people who share your vision and are happy to participate. When you align yourselves with a host of smart minds, this is more powerful than one ‘battery’ as Hill explained.

Today allows ease of access to an audience than we have ever had before, so if others can understand what you believe in, it provides scope for new areas, such as taking the message from online to offline.

The key is not to have the answer to everything, but to have 100 little solutions that enables a better outcome for someone else. For instance, the Marketing Homebrew podcast has just started the 2017 shows (click here to listen). The plan for this year is to have more of a flow by breaking down the thirty-minute shows into three sections.

The first part of the show is what’s happening in the ‘big’ world of marketing in relation to what’s topical on an industry scale. The second is ‘our world’ and what’s relevant to Ian (Rhodes) and myself and ‘your world’ is intended to share the questions and work from the ‘homebrewers’ who listen to the show. Each week is not the definitive answer to marketing today, but someone listening may pick up the thread to an idea and hopefully progress (this is the 100 little solutions).

Back to ExperienceUX, they don’t have the answers to the industry, but by participating with others in the UX discipline, they are creating their own 100 little solutions. They have also just delivered their second UX Bournemouth meetup (Tuesday 21st January), where 100 people came to listen to a host of speakers.

 

Sharing What Has Worked, For You To Take On Board

When someone else can help contribute to your 100 little solutions it gives you a sense of belonging and encouragement to achieve something.

Ian and myself are still learning our podcasting trade, but this is what spurs us on in order to gain the recognition as solid podcasters. We will never reach the status of experts, we’d rather be seen as a useful resource to listen into each week.

If you are looking to find your allies and help create the small solutions for others, here is what I have found. This starts with accepting that you have to step out from beyond the screen and find others to magnify what it is you believe in.


Lead with enthusiasm – rather than pronouncing that you swallowed the book on your industry, you have to lead with your passion rather than just your professionalism.

 

You deliver (and do it again) – why would someone want to co create and participate with you, if all they see are a few sporadic blog posts? You don’t have to think that delivery is spending more on a Facebook campaign so people come to your homepage. Delivery is someone else acknowledging that you are present (and doesn’t binge on Sneaky Pete on Amazon Prime).

 

You have a defined voice – whether introverted or extroverted, it becomes easier when someone else can associate a voice. When you have a defined voice, this is what makes you stand out and build your own character traits. This then becomes the glue for someone else to collaborate with and easier to stand beside you.

 

There is a channel already in place – to build trust and someone else recognising that collaboration is worthwhile, there has to be a place where people can see consistency. This makes it easier for someone else to say yes. For instance, when I started the Talking Content Marketing series in 2013, I went straight for the jugular in terms of the most recognised marketers/content marketers in the world. From Joe Pulizzi, Robert Rose, Jay Baer, Chris Brogan, Mitch Joel and others, they are all here. This made it easier for others to say yes. If you want to know why they said yes, have a read of this article.

 

You create themes not goals – If I had a goal to become a leading content marketing practitioner in the UK, I would be left disappointed most of the time. Instead, I break things down into themes, this is where the small success are. These are to help businesses with a content marketing approach (what the business does), work towards businesses finding their own confidence (the weekly email and podcast) and highlighting the success of other business to make it easier for others to interpret (the You Are The Media Lunch Clubs).

 

Create a sense of unity – it is easier when you work with someone who has the same values. Every project I have worked on with someone else is where there is a shared enthusiasm. Who wanted to work on a project that took time, became laboured and no sense of momentum.

 

Never become distant (or what’s in it for me) – the whole purpose is to contribute and create a stronger force that is bigger than one person, the moment someone starts behaving distant, then the relationship is over. This is what I found with the publisher of The Content Revolution, but we are always learning.

 

Understand the history of your space – in order to have a clear voice, you have to learn as much as you can about the industry that you are part of and not just assume that everything is how it looks today. If you can understand how things were put together in the first place, then you can challenge it.


 

Lets Round Up

When you facilitate a different way to communicate, that you’re not familiar with (interview, audio, video etc) over time, it helps provide a rounder knowledge. When you do it with someone else (in partnership or invite to participate), you learn a lot faster.

Creating 100 little solutions acknowledges that you may not have the defined answer, but there is an option B, C, D and E to take on board. Sometimes, it’s not about the answers but creating the momentum for a different action.

 

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Why not trusting is a good trait to have (5)

There is a need to create a sense of belonging, more than ever.

It is possible today to build community, but the real responsibility is to feed that community.

If a business supports an initiative, it has to have a role to play; otherwise it is just thinly veiled PR chest beating.

A council cannot proudly promote community commitment when on the other side it is charging for the use parks and beaches (which my council in Poole are doing) or closing libraries where 8,000 jobs have disappeared since 2010.

 

Defining Audience And Community

When you have a pointed idea or a point of view and you don’t waver from it, you can find other people that have the same pointed view.

Building community, not just an audience, brings people closer together. This is not about collecting likes; this is the lonely walk for companionship.

In The Content Revolution, I highlight the difference between audience and community.


AUDIENCE – those people who have agreed to receive information from you ie. social followers to a subscriber. It represents a group of people with a common interest.

COMMUNITY – a continual dialogue that goes beyond a customer/supplier relationship, by moving to a level of caring. Your contribution matters alongside the participation of others. The experience belongs to everyone.


Community brings people together.

 

Putting The Wider World Into Context

audience and community

The recent BBC drama ‘The Moorside’ highlights this. It tells the story of nine year old Shannon Matthews who disappeared in 2008. It was later found that her mother, in a faked kidnapping, had hid Shannon. Sentenced to eight years in prison, Karen Matthews was released in 2012.

Rather than being about the story of the kidnapping it tells the story of a community that came together. For 24 days they bonded together, looked for clues, searched the local area and walked together. The community gave everything and contributed with one objective, to find a missing girl. You can now watch on iPlayer

The sense of togetherness was echoed throughout the Moorside estate and in the words of the vicar who helped during 2008, in an article in The Huffington Post, “I very much believe that if the same situation happened again, the same community spirit would kick in.”

The reason I am highlighting a BBC programme in a business context is that if there is a cause and responsibility set up, people will stand shoulder to shoulder.

 

It’s Going On

There are people around you that you would never have known before that are building their communities. From music and Ben Crowe in the Dorset countryside with Crimson Guitars through to Jimmy’s Iced Coffee and their Ride Club.

I am discovering and documenting how things are working with the You Are The Media Lunch Club. This is what I describe as my live blog.

This is where we move from audience (subscribers) and create community (an experience that belongs to everyone).

Have a read of this article for how everything works and why I do it.

It is a monthly lunchtime session (everyone gets lunch) where I highlight people and businesses who are building their audience via having ownership of the media that they have control or the practitioners that can give guidance ie. journalists, marketers.

This highlights the difference between audience and community.


AUDIENCE – the people who subscribe to the weekly You Are The Media email.

COMMUNITY – the people who come each month to be a part of the You Are The Media Lunch Club.


This is the main takeaway that I have found. I am the one who sets the agenda and the overall point of view focused on ownership (with an owned media/content marketing approach), but we talk together. I don’t talk at people, we share together.

People need to feel important and their point of view has to be valued and echoed. In the words of Seth Godin, “Connection and intimacy come from eye contact, from hearing and being heard, from an exchange of hopes and dreams.”

I am by no means there yet, this is something that is only starting to build momentum. Here are the things that I am learning from building this community. If you are looking to take this on board, here are eight key pillars to move from audience to community.


  • You have to be present (you show up)

If this was just a one off event or even worse a sporadic themed event that hardly ties in with what my business does, why should other people make that commitment too? I now realise that for people to give you something ie. time, they have to see that you are active.

 

  • You need a pointed idea

If the whole theme was a generic marketing message based on ‘how to build a strong brand to stand out,’ whist it may have attracted people during the early months, this would have then fallen by the wayside based on the generic angle.

By being focused on ownership and businesses controlling their own media, this allows direction for people to buy into straight away, rather than going around the business houses.

 

  • How you communicate is key

By building a community, there has to be a centre of communication. To some it may be an online forum, to some it may be a Slack group.

There has to be a core medium to address an audience. I am finding that community works when you bring people together. Whilst I acknowledge that geography limits people (would I say the same if this was in London?), what it does is encourage a two way flow on interaction and not waiting for someone else’s reply on Twitter.

 

  • There has to be something that you care about that connects

If you care about something and show it in a deeper context, this is what makes people say, ‘I’m in.’ When you care about something, it can build momentum. A lot of this comes from something personal. With the podcast and my writing, this is from within channels that I have control of that has enabled me to build audience, sell and build better customers. What is wrong with sharing this with open arms?

In a recent article by Mark Schaefer and reference to his latest book, Known and the people he interviewed, he states, “Every person told me about how their work had a positive impact on others. Everybody had a purpose besides just selling themselves, or selling a product. They had a deep sense of contributing to the world somehow.”

 

  • If you stay true, your community will find you

If you can be persistent and it is the point of view that carries you and not paid promotion, people have a path to follow. Sometimes paid promotion is like mowing a path to your door, which then overgrows and you have to bring the lawnmower out a couple of months later. Alternatively if you continually tend to it, kill the weeds, build a border, then you don’t need to make the quick solution that the answer has to be machinery.

 

  • You have to keep the fire burning

One of the most time consuming parts is to keep the logs burning. By this, you have to be completely on top of things and keep the community you are building regularly ‘prodded.’ By this I mean that people are contacted often or when another lunch session is on the horizon.

Keep a list of the people that attend and contact them often. If someone says they’re not going to participated anymore, then leave them alone, no one wants to be pestered.

 

  • It becomes the value added, not the main business focus

The main business would not be able to operate if it was just on events alone, but what it becomes is the touch point that creates value for someone else. To see people writing notes and showing focus during the lunchtime sessions gives enormous satisfaction that people are taking something away.

The reason to do it has to be about doing something you believe in, not finding a way to collect money in the shortest possible way.

 

  • The duty is not to grow but to continually feed it

Whilst I have spent some money on paid promotion on Facebook, it only generated prompts for people to buy, who have already attended a previous event.

The objective is not to throw the net out as wide as possible to encourage strangers to participate, but to maintain those people who come and take on a responsibility to make sure the initiative is consistent and people will always take something new away (which is why I have a guest that relates to the overall theme each month). The path is for people to subscribe to a weekly email and the next step is to make it face to face with the Lunch Club. People have to be fed with topics and insights that are relevant, based on the reason why they subscribed in the first place.


Lets Round Up

There are ways to contribute to your own ecosystem that you have a responsibility for. The secret ingredients (I believe) are to continually create that links back to an overall theme, that becomes the weight to share and communicate.

People will quickly find out if something comes across as false or has no meaning to participate. The objective is for others to take notice, come onboard and provide the momentum to build their own responsibility and persistent with their own efforts. From writing more through to progressing with a seed of an idea, this is how a community works when it becomes a place to collate thoughts, talk and everyone to have a shared interest.

When you genuinely believe in something and you don’t waver, it can shine through. When people feel part of it and there is a means to come together and share, it is in a totally different place from putting across a point of view from you to keyboard, microphone or camera.

Sometimes it can be isolating when you write, record and publish. Why do everything on your own when you can create bonds with other people? If what you create connects with others, you have ways to divide up the message.

We join communities because they represent an extension of ourselves and a voice that is acknowledged. It is not about liking a product or service. It is about creating a sense of belonging.


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If you would like to be a part of the You Are The Media Lunch Club, it is the last Thursday of each month. The next lunch session is on Thursday February 23rd with co-author of Valuable Content Marketing, Sonja Jefferson.

Lets find out some new principals to live by, what defines content marketing success and how a business can grow an audience in increasingly crowded marketplaces.

Come and find out more here or you can book below.

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Why not trusting is a good trait to have (3)

Having a meaningful cause is a key trait to connect to an audience who will stand by you.

When it comes to an opinion, many brands and businesses are more focused on shouting about what they produce and drive attention to their own agendas ie. our business is better than the next option.

Marketing is not about having a souvenir that shows others ‘like’ you. What matters are not what time you posted or the new company video on YouTube, but what you care about.

 

Where It Was, Where We Are Heading

What do you care enough to say?

Traditional marketing was the catchy slogan, the scrounge for the made up testimonials section and putting the Twitter stream on the homepage. The way we are all heading is to ask ourselves, ‘what is real that resonates with someone else?’

The fork in the road though for many is why have an opinion when it could potentially divide an audience, jeopardise what people think of the business and equally affect revenue?

What is happening now are brands speaking up. Something we haven’t really seen before on such a scale.

 

It’s Happening….Right Now!

A case in point was last Sunday’s Superbowl, I’m not into American Football but I’ll get straight to the point. Politics surfaced not product benefits.

Budweiser told the story of their immigrant founder and his pursuit of the American Dream. Audi took a powerful stance on a world of equality. Airbnb kept their message very Airbnb with their clear #weaccept. This highlights the core of whom AirBnB target.

What AirBnB highlight is a continual cause (have a read here of an article that looks at building community behind a cause). It will be interesting to see if Audi can keep the momentum with their stance. Will they genuinely practice what they advocate on a continual basis, or is it just centred on an ad campaign to sell more cars? However, what these ads represented from last weekend is the personification of business.

I saw first hand a couple of months ago, an owner from a well-known brand make his stand.

Lush co-founder, Mark Constantine at a business lunch in Bournemouth, echoed his firm belief to remain in Europe. He stated that the climate in Britain was anti-business. His firm belief for the UK to stay in Europe was not just reserved for a room full of business people in a hotel, but is also on a very public scale.

What this example represents is whilst most business say that they have an ethical approach to what they do, there are now those that are becoming vocal about their beliefs. This takes things further than just having an approach ie. we deliver the highest quality service or we operate in a transparent and open manner.

 

Gain & Disassociate

A political or societal belief will encourage association, but it will also disassociate others. If you have a split, you massively engage with a portion of your audience and turn off from the rest.

To be heard, acknowledged and trusted, you have to stand for something. It is now about becoming something bigger with more belief and conviction.

Businesses do not have beliefs, people do. What we are seeing played in front of us all is making brands seem like human beings.

Let me highlight this.

Starbucks recently stated (in January) that they will hire 10,000 refugees over five years in response to Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees to the US. Chief Executive, Howard Schultz said that Starbucks, “will neither stand by, not stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new administration’s actions grows with each day passing.” The values that Starbucks have is opposite to what a new administration believe. This is a brand behaving like a person with core values on inclusivity, acceptance and equality.

Even retailers are collectively making their stand. Last week, two major US department stores, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, announced they will no longer stock any of the Ivanka Trump collection within their stores. Dwindling sales or politically stance? Is it a bit too much of a coincidence that the decision was made at a similar time?

It is always a huge risk to speak out, but a very brave one. If a business doesn’t stand for others and has the ability to become a voice that has further reach, what do they stand for?

 

Race To The Middle Or More Than That?

What about you?

If you don’t put your flag in the ground and have a cause, you just bubble around in the middle. It doesn’t have to be political but one where people can associate a clear message that isn’t just money off promotions and videos to make an owner look good.

As long as you are considered about the issues you support and can do it on a continual basis, today is not the time to sit on the fence.

As James Altucher says in Reinvent Yourself, “Don’t just gossip or talk to say words. Say words that are your reality, that are your pain, that express you.”

Whilst the middle is where many businesses reside and play the same game as everyone else with the same traits to pontificate and self promote, there are others that believe in creating their own cause that people associate with.

 

Share Interests, Bonds Formed (A Study)

When there are shared interests, this is how relationships are forged.

Scientists from the University of Southampton, Royal Holloway, University of London and the Institute of Zoology at London Zoo found that we align ourselves with others because we have shared interests and not because we like someone else the most.

We change friends throughout our lives but the studies highlighted that cliques group people with common bonds such as politics, music, sport, and the same profession. We gravitate to those that believe what we believe.

Where brands and businesses have a shared interest that goes beyond a meaningless promotional message, this is where bonds are made between brand and person.

 

Having A Meaningful Cause

A shared belief creates a sense of kinship, even with a brand. For the first time businesses have become personalised to represent more than a brand but representing a person and becoming the value to someone else.

Mark Gracey owns a local digital performance company, Flavourfy, and is currently looking at the current traits of businesses when it comes to web security. I should know my website was hacked at the end of last year and was in a pitiful place with this site becoming corrupted. No ones wants to see a red Google page looking at them in the face.

having a meaningful cause
This image still makes me shudder.

I asked Mark why he was doing this?

having a meaningful cause“The decision to run a data security survey was twofold. First, it was about raising awareness in Dorset of the risks to reputation from digital marketing (e.g. website hacking, misuse of social media, etc.) and to address the perception that in Dorset we are just not switched onto cyber-security or data protection.”

“Secondly, it is a great vehicle from a marketing perspective, to help raise my profile as an authority and that my business is more than just another digital strategy consultancy.”

What I see from Mark is that when he has the survey results (click here to have a look and participate), this is information that he has gathered and has ownership to share the behaviour of others and to pinpoint where the solutions can lie. The longer term is to provide value to others and share where we are today, as opposed to the free 30-minute web appraisal as the weak sales foot in the door that was all the rage in 2009.

 

Lets Round Up

When there is shared interest, this comes from tapping into a place of higher importance.

We are seeing a movement from what people care about (such as Spare Chair Sunday from Bisto where they encouraged families giving a space round the table for the elderly), to core values. The connection with the examples highlighted in this article is that a brand is looking to align itself with someone’s belief system.

If there is association behind the cause you genuinely believe in, it goes beyond interrupting someone to come over to your way of thinking.

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Why not trusting is a good trait to have (2)

You have to align what you sell with the principals you have.

When you misalign what you do, it undermines the association others have with you.

The last thing you want is conflict where messages become messy and there is no connection.

When it comes to alignment, the ventures that you pursue have to match your mission.

 

The Athlete And The Chocolate Bar

This is something that Cadbury’s seem to have missed last week. They will be the Premier League’s next sponsor (currently Barclays). Premier League football from August 2017 will endorse high sugar confectionary.

Not the best choice for an athlete, but great for a boardroom of men in there 50s wearing suits.

Whilst this is a decision by Cadbury’s to ‘stay relevant’, it says more about market share and share price than it is about the relevance of the health of the nation and dealing with obesity in the UK (if a sugar fee chocolate bar is released, I will delete this post).

The company has its origins as a meaningful ethical Victorian firm, set up by Quakers. Cadbury’s values were founded in looking after former employees. In 2013, something changed from board level. The alignment went off the scale.

Long-term employees were given a gift each Christmas, as a small thanks for their service over the years. The owners then decided to scrap the gifts and since Christmas 2014, no more ‘thank you for the years of service,’ gesture. Not even a packet of Buttons.

Sport and food will always be a sensitive alignment for any brand. From McDonalds and Coke being Olympics sponsors, the door will always open for attack.

If Cadbury’s made a promise to invest in grass roots football and community initiatives, then that changes the balance. The connection has to be easy, rather than people having to dig deep.

What I am trying to highlight, from a business perspective, is what you sell and the alignment that you create from it has to be something that you are proud of and what others can easily connect with.

 

Finding The Links

On a personal level, the work I stand for is ownership and how businesses can build their own media brand by communicating to a targeted audience on a consistent basis. The You Are The Media Lunch Clubs are ways to validate this by bringing in others who are already doing this or endorse an approach of ownership and delivering a more compelling message. The message, at least, is consistent.

When your product and your message do not match up, it causes conflict. It doesn’t become believable.

Alignment is critical, as it is something that is with you for a very long time. This can become the bargaining power that becomes your heart pendant (where the other half is with someone else), where you are both focused on helping the same person.


For instance, this is where it doesn’t work when it comes to alignment:

  • An estate agent aligns itself with sponsorship opportunities for various local business events.

This is alignment:

  • An estate agent aligns itself with likeminded suppliers from the property ecosystem from removal companies to solicitors. They team up and the focus is on the customer and the process for the whole home moving experience.

Alignment is about others recognising something you genuinely believe in, in order to build trust. As highlighted in the Edelman Trust Survey, we are all at an all time low where people trust businesses. Have a read of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2017 UK article that highlights that business trust is at its lowest since 2012 and CEO credibility is at an all time low.

 

Authenticity And The Belief System

In an age where the content that people and businesses produce and distribute is what they want you to see, at least make it genuine to the thing that you believe in.

To have alignment with what you sell and what you believe in, you need to have some key foundations in place:


  • CLARITY. From the social posts to the ongoing content that is promoted and distributed, if it’s not clear, people are going to walk away. Can your main message live in one central place?
  • ASSOCIATION. In the various places where you are present, people need to make an association with your angle of attack and what you believe in.
  • LEAD. With a viewpoint or approach that is shared with others, it has to come from a place of conviction, rather than a short terms sales tactic.
  • CONSISTENCY. It becomes easier, over time when you can demonstrate an approach. A good place to start is recognising the one word you stand for (click here to how this works).
  • AUTHENTICITY. In a world that encourages businesses to be more transparent and open with others, being reliable is a valuable trait to have.
  • GUIDANCE. When others make an association, what you create has a role to guide and for people to come back to, knowing that what you produce is consistent, rather than an infrequent tick box mentality.
  • PARTICIPATION. To be seen as real, a company must realise that it must collaborate and encourage the participation of others.
  • CONNECTIVITY. When people make the association between principles and product, the strength of connection can be greater than just an association with a product ie. a garage that offers an MOT, to a garage that offers an MOT service after hours during the week as they understand that vehicles are in use during the day (this creates a service partner perception).
  • ATTITUDE. When a businesses takes an approach that goes against others within a marketplace and can do it consistently can define an approach.
  • PATIENCE. Building connectivity with others takes time. You need to be able to look at it for the long-term building that creates the equity.

In Marketing 4.0, Philip Kotler highlights that, ‘in the digital economy, digital interaction alone is not sufficient.” The way that we differentiate should not just be reserved to the confines of behind a screen it is every touchpoint that we present to others.

The connection with what you do can help set the tone and encourage interaction. Whilst Cadbury’s would never conjure up a perception of a brand that was looking to help and encourage change, that is where the opportunity lies for other businesses.

Whilst Cadbury’s can now travel on the coat tails of the Premier League brand throughout the globe like a mouse catcher with cheese, there is an alternative. Instead of hunting for the next customer, a company has to be recognised as having clear intentions and to interact with a clear role to help.

Throwing everything at brand identity that is inherently false ie. the logo, the foiled logo on the brochure, the logo GIF that is on the website, the logo on rice paper on cupcakes, doesn’t mean anything to anyone anymore. Whilst a key requisite for traditional marketing and a way to interrupt and repeat, is that relevant today? Customers that are willing to make a deeper connection have places to look, interpret and make their own decision.

Customers are in a place where they can have closer relationships with companies, if they choose to. If a company has a number of touchpoints to interact and have that conversation it can drive action and advocacy.

Your beliefs and products should match if it is made out of love…..should have left this article for Valentines Week!

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does blogging work

After five years of blogging, looking back it is a medium that shapes character development and encourages deeper connectivity.

In short, it works.

Whilst five years of blogging in the grand scheme of things when compared to much more revered marketers and influencers is a small splash in a bigger pool, it has been something I have kept with every week (for 260 weeks).

I put my flag in the sand on January 19th 2012 (and this is my 473rd post) have a look at the first article.

What I want to share is how you can build momentum if you are looking to become more committed to getting your blog engine purring. It is also an answer to a question from someone else last week. It was a simple “does blogging work?”

Lets break this article into two sections:


  • How it works
  • Does it work?

How It Works

At the end of 2012, I was about to put this whole writing process in the bin. When looking at any interaction and analytics it was proving fruitless.

No one was reading.

Looking back now, I didn’t really have a defined voice but generic ‘how to’ articles that did not have a personal reflection or backed up with experience/the facts. Articles such as ‘how to win with the first impression’ and ‘how can you grow your business?’ had generic undercurrents that you can read anywhere, with limited thought.

To become comfortable, you have to be ok with being rubbish at the beginning.

What changed was trying to please search engines and started writing from a personal perspective centred on how the marketing discipline is changing. This is where the owned media topic started to take shape.

This has enabled an audience to grow through association, rather than being a stranger at the end of a keyword search.

On top of that a huge dollop of persistence went down really well.

via GIPHY

There are traits back then, that are true today.

When I started breaking down into a framework of fact, experience and opinion, this provided a structure for everything.

By being committed, helped centralise my thoughts, collate information and then interpret. Everything that you read is me, it was the same then, it was the same now.

 

This Is How You Can Find Momentum

First of all you need a plan.

What is it you want to accomplish? Is it to channel your own thoughts and to share them? Is it to build an audience to create a stronger network? Is it to find a way to connect on a deeper level with others?

There has to be a point of difference. Rather than being generic industry related articles, what hasn’t been shared is your version. This provides so much more ease when you know the responsibility you have and the space in the marketplace you are looking to build.

The companies that are successful with blogging are those with a specific focus on a niche. For instance, Farrow & Ball’s The Chromologist is centred on the role of owning colour, just as much as Perez Hilton has built his reputation on celeb gossip (pretty extreme examples from the spectrum, but I hope you get what I mean).

To be committed, you have to have an idea that sits within your marketplace that has the ability to grow.

It is easy to press the self promote button, but the core premise is to provide value to others. I have also noticed that what I have published is also a snapshot of where we all are.

It’s a scrapbook of thinking, looking and assessing what’s broken and how we make things better. From PokemonGo to Brexit, to AFC Bournemouth winning promotion to the Premier League to banal posts on LinkedIn, it presents a reference point for my thinking in real time and encouragement to share this with others (to have a response from someone else is a huge buzz).

 

A Framework You Can Use, That Seems To Work

To do this, here is a framework that I have adopted:


  • you become immersed in the world that you are part of, not the agenda you have, namely how it all relates back to how good your business is.
  • the ideas that occur, write them down. I use Evernote or a Moleskin (thanks Dan Willis). A good thought in a shower, is just a good thought in a shower, unless it is acted upon.
  • you put time aside each week. For instance, my writing starts on a Monday evening and will pick the second draft up the following day. I tend to have zero distractions, that means not watching the live Premier League game at 8pm.
  • I write like I talk, this makes the copy more conversational.
  • The drafts are in Word and then transferred to WordPress, when happy with the final edit (and spell checked).
  • a typical post is between 1,000 and 1,500 words.
  • The article is published late Wednesday/Thursday morning.
  • This is shared to my immediate audience first (they need to feel they get something before everyone else). These are the subscribers to the weekly You Are The Media email, where the article becomes the headliner.
  • The article is then promoted either four hours to a day later on Twitter and LinkedIn (in January I opened the ID Group Facebook page with the intention for some paid reach. To get some inbound, a bit of outbound can help).
  • I will personally reply to anyone that responds.
  • Monday evening….repeat with a new article.
  • Two weeks after the initial post it is syndicated within LinkedIn.

My biggest points to reiterate for you to find a rhythm are:

  • say something with your own stamp. So what if people think you’re wrong, as long as you can back it up with more than an opinion. For instance, if you are an estate agent, tell me how the local schools look on the Ofsted report, not bang on about #lovingwherewelive.
  • put time aside that is yours. Whether it is 30 minutes in the coffee shop to explore and delve into subject matter to a few hours at home during the week, make time that is yours. It has to be an enjoyable process.
  • write an idea down, don’t think you can remember it the following day.
  • promoting your content is just as important as creating your content. If you can build a core audience, this saves budget for reach.

 

The Source Of Income Bit

You cannot go into this thinking it will be a source of income by its own accord.

via GIPHY

If that is a reason, don’t waste your time. You will not make money directly from your blog. However it can become the thread to which other revenue streams can be created.

The blog is there for an audience to use as a reference tool and for you to be seen as a trusted resource by others. It is a way to validate what you believe in and acknowledgement that a website is miles better when it provides value to others rather than a post of the team away day.

Ask yourself, “whenever did a photo of a project delivered for a client ever challenge, entertain and inform others?”

 

Does It Work?

If this is the bit you skipped to, then shame on you. However, you’re here now.

If you are looking for a short cut, then stick to the get rich opportunities and the gaming the system type posts/once in a lifetime offers.

The moment it works is when you have some form of engagement (email or social) from a prospective customer, or someone from within your professional field of vision, that says ‘I enjoyed that.’ The ability to connect with current or potential customers where they acknowledge your point of view and belief system is a huge differentiator that you curated.

Whilst others encourage the collection of eyeballs, from more page views as a measure of success, traffic as a goal and to pleading others to visit another social page, that is different from the place you are currently on, are naive metrics.

This represents the pursuit of a popularity contest.

Whilst exposure is important, it represents a lesser part of a two-pronged attack:


  • nurture more meaningful conversations that can lead to revenue (80%)
  • increase exposure to bring more people to the space you have ownership (20%)

As I have highlighted you cannot make money from your blog, but if it leads to greater connectivity that grows a customer base and better customers that are in tune with your thinking and part of your web of wider activity, then I can guarantee that it works.

For instance, the You Are The Media Lunch Club is a monthly live blog. It highlights the topics that have been covered during the month and adds more relevance with each invited guest. The focus is what they have done to take ownership of a space to monetise and build.

Introducing work shops also allows people to track a line of thinking, rather than the very bold promotion of a session on Eventbrite where there is no online or offline footprint. This is an extremely risky strategy if you do not have a ready made audience and becomes a drain on time and budget, It all traces back to the blog that allows the development of further initiatives, built on the foundation from a particular viewpoint.

If you have just started, it will work. It takes patience and resilience. When the outcome is deeper connections, people having a better understanding of you and the ability to have others share and participate, can put you in a stronger position than organised groups and business networks that have been in place for generations.

Imagine creating your own network where you become the conductor of your own orchestra. Not you waiting for your moment on the clarinet.

 

Lets Round Up

When you create something that people want to read, that has its DNA in the marketplace you serve, it can attract people.

Whatever you create has to come back to the thing that your business stands for (have a read of the spark and framework article that explains in more detail). If you can do it consistency (this doesn’t mean every day), you can build deeper connections and conversations.

The distractions to watch another episode of Designated Survivor will always be present. If you can train yourself to shut things out and start digging in, it can become a platform that opens up a network you wouldn’t have if you just relied on a website that just sat there, dormant.

It can become the heartbeat and it can become the conversation builder, that you have complete control.

If you can pursue an idea and belief system, see where the wings will take you.

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edelman trust survey 2017

We will always have the ability to build trust. How we earn it is down to us.

If you can be transparent, genuine and authentic, what you sell becomes easier. You become stronger when people regard you as an open business that has connectivity and relationships at its core.

However, if you were to read the latest Edelman Trust Barometer 2017 (published 13th January), you could be thinking that the sky is about to fall.

This is an annual survey, conducted every year, for the past 17 years by PR colossus Edelman. The latest survey 33,000 respondents took part across 28 countries. 1,150 respondents were from the UK. This was during October and November 2016, so after Brexit and the US election.

You can have a look at my interpretation on the 2016 Edelman Trust Survey here.

For the first time, there is also a UK add-on, with 1,500 responses, during the final week of 2016 and the first week of 2017.

Its aim is to highlight the trust that people have in institutions, government, media and business.

 

Trust Is Now In Trauma

The common theme from this years report is that trust is in trauma. Then again are we just not gullible anymore?

Change is already here.

Perhaps time to read with one eye closed:

  • The majority of respondents from the UK (60%) believe that the institutions have failed them. There is little hope for the future.
  • People do not trust the government (26%) or the media (24%). UK business trust is at it’s lowest since 2012 (now 33%), but it is still the most trusted source of information. However, trust across the board has plummeted in a short space of time.
  • It is worrying is that the facts matter less and people are more likely to believe search engines (59%) than human editors (41%).
  • CEO credibility is at an all time low within the UK (down 12% from 2016).
  • Two in five people agreed that they would support politicians they trust to make things better, even if they exaggerated the truth.


The establishments that were in place to hold society together are now in tatters. No one trusts them anymore. What provided steadiness and knowing that our best interests were once being looked after has now crumbled.

edelman trust barometer 2017 uk

 

People Will Always Trust Others

However, whatever way you look at it, trust still exists. People’s capacity to trust others has not changed. The difference is that people want proof and make association before they commit.

A natural state of disbelief and incredulity is a good thing. It is up to us as businesses to take responsibility and to show evidence that what you are saying is true.

The latest report is representative of society that has given up on others that once led the way.

Fake news is a term we didn’t use until the latter part of 2016 and the spaces to interrupt and disrupt are heading to proportions we haven’t seen before.

Here is quick proof to show what I mean. Let me show the evidence that your space is getting interrupted without you realising it. If you visit unroll.me (full credit to Trevor Young for recommending this), it will tell you how many emails you are subscribe to. My first visit resulted in over 250 emails I had subscribed to and 99% I know that I didn’t subscribe.

 

A Good Value To Have

Not being trustworthy is a good value to have. It means that you don’t take things at face value and encouraged to question everything.

As businesses what this highlights is the responsibility to set out a clear vision by sharing, co-creating, connecting and demonstrating to an audience how everything pieces together. In the words of James C Collins in ‘Good To Great,’ “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

It all comes down to how we all evolve and instil a new discipline where connectivity and community becomes a caveat to build trust, whilst the others throw it away and focus on a transactional, not relational framework. Building trust is centred on not letting people down. A simple principal that can become overlooked.

Whilst the Edelman Trust Survey has taken a heavy deviation from anticipated hope to expected hell, this is where the opportunity lies.

 

Time For Small Businesses To Lead

It is the responsibility of businesses (no matter what size) to lead and to behave differently.

73% of people (in the survey) agreed that a company has a responsibility within their own communities, not just for profit for an obligation to create better economic and social conditions.

It is this response where businesses can take on responsibility set by their predecessors and the institutions before them. It is time to lead by showing evidence that what you say is true.

edelman trust barometer 2017 uk

Other businesses have hidden agendas and pretend to be the things that they are not. This provides the momentum to create a new treaty that sets the precedent for the future. Here are ten rules for the trustworthy business:

  • the web allows us to connect and build a digital community. We can also take the digital community and transfer this to a physical dynamic, where we can address groups of people with a shared mindset.
  • you can create a defined message that you act on, build and share with others.
  • don’t rely on what has already been said, share experiences that resonate with other people.
  • really understand who it is you are speaking to and how you can connect with the ideas and approach you have.
  • it is just as important to listen as well as talking.
  • from customers to the community you are part of, these are the people you nurture. Value is reciprocal.
  • a continuous and consistent dialogue becomes the foundation for all communication.
  • participation is always encouraged, not isolation endorsed. As an aside, a local event barred someone who had paid to attend as they thought they had an agenda (completely false though).
  • Play a beneficial role to others where empathy and standing shoulder to shoulder is endorsed. Ian Rhodes commented, “To do something unique isn’t about standing out. It’s about standing shoulder-to-shoulder.” Remember, people like us want to be with people like us.
  • Actions/content are continuous and follow a theme to what your business is all about to help you connect with your audience.

Businesses are still regarded as the main source of trust, so there is opportunity to act on this. The majority of people surveyed want better social conditions. Educating is part of social responsibility. Whether this is writing, audio or video, the tools are in abundance.

This is how you can differentiate by taking a responsibility where other people can acquire skills. Whilst making a return is key to being in business, there is also a role to take the lead of self-development, whereby connections are made and trust is built.

 

Lets Round Up

From looking at the Edelman Trust Barometer at another angle, the lack of trust is a good thing. It’s now time for a clean slate, we’re all on an equal playing field, and lets see who can grab the momentum.

We have all become a lot more thick-skinned and seeing through the bull**** is a quality that should be championed.

So, what’s the answer if trust is now hitting the floor? Those companies that can build an affinity with others are in a far greater place to grow momentum.

Lets stop the top-down, ‘you’re lucky to be working with us’ approach and discover a new way to flourish built on experience, delivery, co-creation and proof.

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right-course

Changing direction has to be a path taken in order to stay true to what you believe in.

You can either carry on regardless or make tweaks and refinements to make something better. ‘Developing gradually’ is key. This is also the definition of ‘evolve’ in the Oxford dictionary.

Developing gradually comes down to having a purpose to what you do and a focus on whom you do it for.

Even Darwin’s theory of evolution in his book ‘On The Origin Of Species’ in the 19th century, has truth today for businesses that are looking to build their owned media space.

Darwin stated that organisms alter over time as a direct result of changes in physical and behavioural circumstances. This allows organisms to adapt far better within its environment to help them survive.

This is true in today’s business world. We can apply old models of communication and become meaningless or we can adapt within the marketplaces we are part of. The wise head of modern marketing, Philip Kotler in his latest book, Marketing 4.0 highlights that ‘consistently communicating brand identity and positioning in a repetitive manner – a key success factor in traditional marketing – may no longer be enough.’

 

Changing A Podcast

The Marketing Homebrew podcast is having a mini hiatus at the moment and Ian Rhodes and myself are scheduling new shows from February.

We have had to work out and figure where we want to take the show and think deeper about whom we create it for. There has to be a reason for someone to listen each Friday.

 

Attachment-1 2

 

If you haven’t listened, 2016 was focused on 48 shows centred on our Growth Schedule. The intention was for people who were looking to create something new. It was to give confidence for them to take control of the media that was theirs.

We had created four central elements (preparation, process, results and review) and broken this down with key themes from each element.

homebrew learning

However, that was 2016 we need to move on.

This year is our third year of the podcast and has to be better than the previous two.

One thing that we lack are more people raising their hands and saying “I’m here.’

Our purpose is that we provide direction and assurance for marketers (or anyone responsible for selling a product or service).

Ian and myself create Marketing Homebrew for others; we are effectively an audio brewery. Anyone that consumes we want them to take away creativity, courage, confidence and to be challenged (Ian gets full credit for the four ‘c’ framework).

The point I am trying to highlight is:

  • to build momentum you need a purpose for what you do
  • to gradually develop you focus on who you do it for

Let me break this down:


PURPOSE – Marketing Homebrew becomes a weekly podcast resource that helps others to become better marketers.

FOCUS – anyone that has a responsibility for marketing their product today, lets show what works, businesses who are doing it well, what doesn’t work and observations from what is happening today.


According to Ian, it’s about creating an affinity with our audience. I asked what he wanted out of the podcast. Ian explains, “To do something unique isn’t about standing out. It’s about standing shoulder-to-shoulder.”

“That’s context. An understanding of the challenge your audience faces, recognising the value of your perspective upon that challenge and then facing it head on. It takes creativity. It takes courage. It takes confidence.”

“That’s what I want to see us accomplish through the Marketing Homebrew podcast in 2017.”

“Kinship.”

Proof Of Taking A Change Of Course

The need to change direction is clear from others that have chosen a new path.

Since 1977 to two years ago the decision to buy a Pot Noodle was everything about ‘a change is as good as a rest, and I’ll have a rest.’ It’s cheap (for a dinner) and whilst the equivalent of heated crisps, there was at least a sense of preparation whilst I was at University. This meant boiling a kettle and added variety to a side of scrambled egg on toast.

It seemed that 10 years ago, no one liked Pot Noodle. According to Marketing it was the UKs most hated brand (second was QVC).

Then Pot Noodle recognised they needed to change direction.

to-build-momentum-you-need-a-purpose-for-what-you-doto-gradually-develop-you-focus-on-who-you-do-it-for

In 2015, what was an easy snack for lazy students became a message centred on people who were busy. The slant focused on people chasing their dreams rather than daydreaming and the Pot Noodle:You Can Make It activity began.

Pot Noodle even scratched the surface by taking the role of a content brand by helping launch the career and dreams of others. An unknown rapper called Raylo who provided the music for one of the Pot Noodle ads and was signed up by US label Ultra Records.

For years the message of being lazy and a quick snack paved the way for targeting ambitious young people. A change of direction happened from changing the message and a focus on a core audience of 16-24 males. It is now the UKs most popular hot snack with a 47% market share.


PURPOSE – become the heart of youth culture where people are driven by their dreams and not cutting corners. Success is the key, not the epitome of a deadbeat week.

FOCUS – target a specific audience (16 -24 year old males) to generate a loyal following and exclude a mass audience. Activity is currently centred around their #YouCanMakeIt message

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-12-24-06


From the development of a podcast to Pot Noodle achieving a sizeable market share all comes down to the evolution of an idea. If there is a corny link between the two, I guess it’s to serve an audience in a way that satisfies them.

Here are six key points when it comes the role you play and the responsibility you have to build market share:

  • Create something that you want other people to be part of and feel associated with. This is in a totally different space of asking others to share your story.
  • Market what you truly believe in by selling the means and not just the result. The world is still full of get rich quick motives and gaming the system, why not build a community around a cause and share the journey with others.
  • You can’t do something the way that everyone else does it. You can still exclude markets and achieve a significant market share.
  • The answers are not always in front of you and in the easiest place. Finding the answers are when you create something with an audience in mind.
  • There has to be a reason to invest time and effort in a channel. Central to that is the ability to build community, otherwise it just becomes self conceited posturing.
  • Experiment to find out what works, but it always has to lead back to what you believe in and the strategic focus for your business.

Even if an approach is proving successful, there is still the need to evolve and take a step back.

 

Lets Round Up

With the podcast, the adjustments that are being made, they are not huge. What is being encouraged now is the ability to measure more and to generate feedback. The risks aren’t significant, it’s just about creating a better podcast for people to listen to and take things away from to apply to their business.

For all of us, business is not continually stable. It fluctuates, it gets wobbly, people fall off, people become irrelevant, people maintain a balance. We have no control over where things are heading within our marketplaces. However, if we can create, control and communicate that ties back to our overall business objective, then you become two steps ahead of everyone else.

If you don’t adapt and evolve an idea, you don’t grow. If you don’t grow you don’t become a key resource to others.


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wanderlust

When you become the source within your marketplace, it all comes from finding a content tunnel that is yours to fill.

If someone cannot talk with real purpose and have an original slant, then it’s just the same as everyone else. Nothing is different, it gets lost.

We are on a constant journey to skill-up and recognise what looks good in the eyes of someone else.

However, the original intentions of a purpose can get lost, when you are not the source.

 

The Life Hack I Bet You Never Knew…Until Now

what-everyone-else-does-may-not-be-right-1

I discovered during the Christmas break that you can keep an aluminium foil roll always in its box, rather than reams flying out so you can rip a sheet.

This is how I have spent my life, pulling more than I needed to shred off.

My brother in law, told me there are two perforated tabs on the side of the box that you press in. This keeps the roll firmly in place.

That’s it, two pieces of card that you push in.

It keeps the whole roll in the box. Did you know that?

I have been doing things the wrong way and over the years have been extremely wasteful. That was the only way I thought you tore off kitchen foil. A key point here is that you can’t simply think you know ‘what works.’

What I am trying to highlight is that businesses spend years doing things the way they expect things to behave (we take to LinkedIn to tell everyone how noble we are, to the video on how professional we look). However, there is always a purpose to using the medium in the first place. The kitchen foil box had a function, but the world just grabbed and pulled.

 

We Stick By A Method We Think Is Right

When it comes to a content marketing approach, many businesses take the ‘just pull’ method. By this, I mean adopting old behaviours with the objective for top of funnel awareness and building leads by any means necessary.

The proof is from the recent Content Marketing In The UK report, from the Content Marketing Institute, where the main goals for businesses in 2017 are brand awareness and lead generation. The focus on building an audience that you can address (and save money) gets lost.

become the source

Instead of looking for acceptance and throwing the net out to everyone, it all comes back to the source.

Taking on board a content marketing approach is centred on providing something to someone else that they thought they might not need. When it provides value, it becomes difficult to go back to the old ways of behaviour. From now on, I’m pressing in the tabs on the kitchen foil.

 

Becoming The Same As Everyone Else

This is where we all are.

It is easy to become the same as everyone else and talk about the same things in order to build awareness/acceptance and leads through the funnel, we all just fall into this big cavern and the wheels keep on rolling.

We all get used to the way that everything should behave. We fill spaces with self-promotion, interrupt channels with nothing compelling and nothing to lead the way for a marketplace, or a community.

This is where you need a content tunnel to fill that is currently empty. It is the space that is not chartered by others, but you can attract others to fill it with you.

Be the tabs on the side of the foil box so when people discover you, things become so much easier that other people think that once they’ve discovered you, there is no turning back.

It’s about changing behaviour and building a relationship before someone needs you. In the words of Jay Acunzo, ‘it’s never been easier to be average, but it’s never been harder to be exceptional.’

The sides on the foil box represent that ‘aha’ moment, it’s the habit changer. Coming back to you, how can you inspire people to buy something that they didn’t know they needed?

Mark Schaefer, highlighted in a recent article that the connection we can make with others, helps position businesses as a beacon. He states in an article where we need to ignore SEO “you need to earn a sustained emotional connection with your audience by being original and interesting, not by being common. If you ignore SEO and focus on creating content that is your own and exceptional, you become a beacon.”

So, how do we make this sustained emotional connection where people didn’t know they needed you? In 2017, you have to go beyond just leads and awareness and find your content tunnel.

 

Five Pillars That Make The Tick Box

Here are five pillars to think about, to start filling your own content tunnel for a niche audience that will join your side.

Here is how to make that connection and others to recognise you and your business as a trusted source.

  • Embrace the power of subscription. Subscriber growth is essential for a content marketing approach to work. By this, I don’t mean more likes and followers, but people who are willing to impart their email to receive information from you. Building your audience is key.
  • Set your expectations with someone else. What time can you own from your audience? I set my time as a Thursday morning with my You Are The Media email. If you can become consistent by taking control of a day/time, you become remembered by someone else (and not a fleeting email or one that is just sales noise). The more frequent you become, the less opt out rates.
  • Make an attachment with a person. Rather than a generic message from a company, ensure your audience learns through a person, not an info@ address. This is what Crimson Guitars have built their business around and Ben Crowe’s approach to having the perfect guitar.
  • Find a consistent hook. Rather than thinking everything revolves around customer personas, is there a particular theme that you can deliver on? This becomes so much easier than focusing on customer wants, that can become limiting by narrow topics linked to what you do. For instance, Farrow & Ball’s The Chromologist blog has a hook on colour. For further reading, find out the one word that you stand for article.
  • Commit to a format, then repeat. We all become bogged down by being lured to try everything. I found that the best way is to find a channel, then become consistent with it. Five years ago I posted my first blog article on January 19th, 2012 (here it is), I have posted every week since. You have to own a format and become relentless with it. Over time, as you build your voice and audience, then other channels become the next natural step (after the blog, I started podcasting in January 2015 with Marketing Homebrew).

It is time for people and businesses to stop contributing to the information overload and start having real meaning to an addressable audience.

 

Lets Round Up

Creating content that resonates comes back to becoming a source, that once found, people won’t go back to their old ways of behaviour.

The habits that we form, may not be the best habits.

There is always a source to come back to where the focus is on creating value for someone else, that they associate themselves with what you do and the role you serve.

If you can become relevant to someone, before they need you, you are in a far greater place to be held in higher regard than the others in your marketplace vying for the attention that you have already gained.