It feels like a 20-round fight. ding, ding ding.
As a marketing professional, it often feels like I consistently battle to prove the value and worth of quality content – whether it is a great image, a brilliant piece of writing, a riveting podcast, a slamming video, or a white paper that doesn’t bore you to tears.
I’m not complaining – anyone who knows me knows that a challenge is what I love most – so bring it. Tell me to just send an email or deliver a webinar. Oh – wait — that is content too. I guess it’s true that I discriminate against the aged methods of marketing, like email. Funny, I remember learning how to attach a document to an email just sixteen short years ago. Who would have thought it would become so tiresome and stale?
The Three-Legged Stool
The idea behind content is threefold, you’ve most likely heard these before.
- Quality – why produce or distribute bad content, why attach your name to it if it isn’t good?
- Educational – teach your community or industry something new or better.
- Engaging & Entertaining – if they don’t stick around to watch, read, listen? If no one shares it? If they don’t click through? make it entertaining.
It’s all about purpose and making sure you understand what the purpose of your content is.
Breaking it Down
I was once called a content whore. I guess I am just that. I love to read. I love to write, I love when thought process comes together. I love to produce anything that ignites thought and changes minds. Bottomline? I love to engage and entertain, and that is exactly what good content should do. It should entertain enough that the consumer is compelled to finish reading, watching, listening. If they don’t finish the consumption, the effort was wasted.
I see poor effort everyday – it is definitely easy enough to produce boring, stale content that neither inspires nor inspires a call to action. That type of media is available at every turn. And perhaps I have produced crap, too. But this is not a game to me, it is my livelihood and I am driven to consistently produce. And produce quality.
I have figured out why I feel so strongly about this. The truth? Producing content saved me. Literally. It saved me (personally) financially and psychologically – during the darkest times in my life and career. And I saw what it could do for a company needing visibility, hardcore branding, and intensive growth. It brought me back from ruin and it helped me find me. This isn’t just about blogging, this is about unwrapping a delightful package of information and unleashing it on a waiting world – whether it is your territory or your department – there is someone waiting to hear what you have to say, your perspective. Trust me.
I discovered that I knew more and could do more because I did more – I worked at it, and I continually work at it now – incessantly. And it is open and honest. It is true. I have written and shared so many dark truths – why? because they are mine to share. They are my thorn bush.
I am not an expert, but I am passionate and brave and that can
trump beats knowledge on many levels.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Oh Eleanor, if you only knew how often your words pounded in my head when I was dragging and didn’t think I could do any more. Thank you.
The secret I share is that we work in a time of consumer-driven content. They seek it, they find it. Produce what they want, distribute it to where they are.
Lack of talent or “this just isn’t how we do things” are lame excuses – the consumer of your product or service is demanding information. Information that you should be giving. If you don’t give it, who will? Your competition? You bet.
What do you know? Are you willing to stretch out of your comfort zone to share the unique knowledge and skills you possess? Are you prepared to run a demo on your own or deliver a briefing? Are you prepared to wrap it up in engaging entertainment? If not, the buyer – your buyer – will go elsewhere – the buyer needs to know that you know your business. They need you to at least like your business. Do you? and Do you?
Take the risks you think you cannot. Say and write the things you dare not. Be the sponge you tell new employees to be. Knowledge only comes to those who seek it. I don’t think I’m done seeking. Are you?
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