Segment 7 - Content Creates Authority
Strategically let's talk about it now and practically let's talk about it when I talk about content I really really think content is your key to authority and a lot of what we we're talking about in this more personal approach is building getting known you know I think almost all of you are solo preneurs so a lot of your reputation in the business reputation that you have is really your own expertise in your own reputation and your own authority on dh content is really the machine that is going to help you build your own authority how many of you like to write okay, so you know more than half of you which is actually although some of those were kind of alligator arm ish but you know, writing is one of those things that a lot of people I feel like it's a lot of work, they don't feel like they're good at it they're not confident if they're not in the habit of doing it. I can't tell you how many people tell me you know what, how bad they are at it. Andi it's one of those things that I rea...
lly have called it for years now kind of the master skill and I think that is very difficult for me to imagine somebody growing a business, particularly if they don't have legions of people working for them growing a business without really committing to a habit of writing as almost a daily practice and it has so many benefits beyond producing content for your business and that's why there were so many books over the years and experts over the years they've talked about this habit of journaling you know as as really a way to get so many you know and in fact a lot of people that advocate that don't ever do anything with those notebooks but put him up on you know they fill them up and put him up on shelves you know they never share him they never use him for anything practical because they know that the benefits you know far go far beyond the words on the page on dh I've you know these air benefits that I've listed that I've experienced in my business I think writing actually makes you better salesperson because it it forces you to kind 00:01:57.189 --> 00:02:00. of have to to organize your thoughts to communicate 00:02:00.77 --> 00:02:03. them in a way that makes sense in some cases to simplify 00:02:04.22 --> 00:02:07. concepts and content it makes me a better thinker 00:02:07.78 --> 00:02:11. I think because I have to constantly be looking for 00:02:11.28 --> 00:02:15. ideas looking for ways to take ideas and complex ideas 00:02:15.64 --> 00:02:18. and simplify I'm and simple ideas and make them bigger 00:02:18.75 --> 00:02:21. or or change takes something from another industry 00:02:21.79 --> 00:02:23. and apply it to my industry 00:02:24.62 --> 00:02:26. it makes me a better listener once you get in the 00:02:26.87 --> 00:02:30. habit of writing you will find that you start listening 00:02:30.65 --> 00:02:32. to conversations differently you start listening to 00:02:32.87 --> 00:02:35. the questions that your clients ask you with a writer's 00:02:35.84 --> 00:02:37. here. So in other words, you're thinking, in terms 00:02:37.99 --> 00:02:40. of you know, how could I turn this into a block post? 00:02:40.63 --> 00:02:43. How could I turn this into content, as opposed to 00:02:43.04 --> 00:02:44. what am I going to say next? 00:02:46.82 --> 00:02:50. Um it certainly will aid you and become a better speaker 00:02:51.01 --> 00:02:54. half the art of being a better speaker is having your 00:02:54.14 --> 00:02:58. thoughts organized on and in my case most of the presentations 00:02:58.49 --> 00:03:01. that I give end up starting out as a block post or 00:03:01.95 --> 00:03:04. to block post or four block post that get organized 00:03:04.48 --> 00:03:08. really into uh that then get turned into a presentation 00:03:08.73 --> 00:03:11. in fact when I get asked by a client I do a fair amount 00:03:11.53 --> 00:03:13. of speaking that is just you know, conferences and 00:03:13.79 --> 00:03:16. people asked me to come speak on a certain topic and 00:03:16.61 --> 00:03:19. in most cases I'll write a block post as my way to 00:03:19.74 --> 00:03:22. kind of get my thinking on you know, the topic in 00:03:22.35 --> 00:03:25. some cases I'm talking about topics I talk about you 00:03:25.12 --> 00:03:27. know frequently but particularly if I'm coming up 00:03:27.36 --> 00:03:29. with a new topic that somebody wants me to speak on 00:03:29.79 --> 00:03:32. I will actually write a block post because it allows 00:03:32.83 --> 00:03:34. me to really get some of those thoughts out allows 00:03:34.99 --> 00:03:38. me to kind of hear them being said by me it also allows 00:03:38.58 --> 00:03:41. me to get some feedback on dh that's one of the great 00:03:41.26 --> 00:03:44. things about the world that we live in today and producing 00:03:44.55 --> 00:03:47. this content for marketing purposes is that you know, 00:03:47.2 --> 00:03:49. people have the ability to share it to comment on 00:03:49.62 --> 00:03:51. it to do lots of things with it that really can help 00:03:51.85 --> 00:03:55. you get better at at the ways in which you express 00:03:55.23 --> 00:04:00. your ideas for me in many cases it helps me it forces having the habit on making it a priority it kind of forces me to create bigger ideas on dh there's no question that in in my case and I think for most business owners that really embraced this idea it really does enhance your authority now this term authority you know a lot of time has it's sort of a mixed bag I think for a lot of people because it you know, for a lot of people use it in marketing circles to to say you know that somebody that's a recognized authority on a topic or that you know gets asked to speak at events or that is very influential you know in marketing circles but really for every business in every industry you know your level of authority is gauge not necessarily as compared to everybody else who's doing everything else but your business and and authority is really gauged on the fact that you're doing things people are looking to you as a leader you know, maybe even just in your town or in your you know specific industry and so when I use that term authority you know that's how I mean it that you actually raise yourself in many cases by by looking at content this way you raise yourself above your competitors really by actually being in a place of authority or being seen as an expert so now that I've got you convinced that you need to write let me give you a couple of tips on how to be a more productive writer because everything that I'm talking about is going to take time away from selling from working with your clients and so we want to make sure that we are as productive as possible first one and this of course your high school english teacher told you as well so I'm just reminding you one of the best ways to be a more productive writer is to read more I read I subscribe to and read some portion of one hundred blog's almost on a daily basis I read some portion of probably one hundred books ah year and again part of mine's occupational hazard I mean I you know I get asked to speak on these ideas to review books I do podcast 00:05:59.903 --> 00:06:02. with authors so I have ah you know maybe a higher 00:06:02.55 --> 00:06:06. need to consume that kind of content than you do possibly 00:06:06.36 --> 00:06:09. but I think that if you are going to for example I'm 00:06:09.57 --> 00:06:13. going to suggest in our final segment or our next 00:06:13.36 --> 00:06:17. segment that you that you think about block that you 00:06:17.34 --> 00:06:21. really become a serious blogger and one of the best 00:06:21.23 --> 00:06:23. ways to get better at blogging is to make sure that 00:06:23.72 --> 00:06:25. you're reading other people's blocks that you're following 00:06:25.91 --> 00:06:28. people in your industry you're following thought leaders 00:06:28.31 --> 00:06:30. that that can really help inspire you and help give 00:06:30.62 --> 00:06:31. you ideas. 00:06:32.72 --> 00:06:36. Keep an idea file something that I have done for years 00:06:36.15 --> 00:06:38. when I see something when I you know used to be back 00:06:38.93 --> 00:06:40. when I would get it in the mail you know I would get 00:06:40.91 --> 00:06:43. some of these direct mail piece or I would get a letter 00:06:43.79 --> 00:06:45. or something I've just stuff these things in a file 00:06:45.8 --> 00:06:48. for inspiration because I liked the headline because 00:06:48.86 --> 00:06:51. I like you know the way that they approach something 00:06:51.03 --> 00:06:53. I do that now you know using digital tools you know 00:06:53.65 --> 00:06:56. bookmarking tools and things but I keep pretty much 00:06:56.26 --> 00:06:58. any time I see something that I want oh I know that 00:06:58.69 --> 00:07:01. I want to come back to at some point or that you know, 00:07:01.14 --> 00:07:03. maybe I like the style I like the way they said something 00:07:03.68 --> 00:07:05. it doesn't always have to be that I'm going to write 00:07:05.34 --> 00:07:07. about that that topic get in the habit of keeping 00:07:07.97 --> 00:07:08. things 00:07:09.33 --> 00:07:12. this's this is probably the hardest one for some people 00:07:12.84 --> 00:07:16. and it's easiest one for some people be opinionated 00:07:16.07 --> 00:07:19. have a point of view right so if if we talked as we 00:07:19.56 --> 00:07:24. talked about earlier in this segment today that you 00:07:24.34 --> 00:07:26. had to really that I believe that you want to express 00:07:26.77 --> 00:07:28. here's what we believe you know here's our point of 00:07:28.68 --> 00:07:30. view here's our language well, you need to stay firm 00:07:30.93 --> 00:07:34. to that you need to actually it's okay toe actually 00:07:34.09 --> 00:07:36. polarize some people are actually turned some people 00:07:36.62 --> 00:07:39. off who don't always agree with your point of view 00:07:39.4 --> 00:07:42. and I'm not saying intentionally do that but I think 00:07:42.64 --> 00:07:45. that you want to express you know, here's what I believe 00:07:45.52 --> 00:07:48. now in some of your cases that you better back that 00:07:48.61 --> 00:07:50. you might want to back that up with some research 00:07:50.45 --> 00:07:53. for example right? But I think the key is that that 00:07:53.4 --> 00:07:56. you're you're not just riding no marketing fluff you 00:07:56.65 --> 00:07:59. know that you are writing content that says, hey, 00:07:59.29 --> 00:08:02. this might in some cases might not be what everybody 00:08:02.03 --> 00:08:03. believes that this might be a controversial point 00:08:03.98 --> 00:08:06. of view but here's I'm sticking to it 00:08:07.82 --> 00:08:10. right easily what I mean by that is that I think some 00:08:10.83 --> 00:08:13. of the best writing and where people get hung up is 00:08:13.55 --> 00:08:15. when they say I'm not a good writers they try tio 00:08:15.98 --> 00:08:18. you know, they try to copy this incredible prose or 00:08:18.15 --> 00:08:20. something right? Or they try to write more academic 00:08:20.51 --> 00:08:23. than they would actually speak just right like you 00:08:23.26 --> 00:08:25. speak in fact, if you really have trouble with this 00:08:25.87 --> 00:08:28. idea of getting, you know, one hundred words down 00:08:28.45 --> 00:08:30. what most most people are actually pretty pretty good 00:08:30.9 --> 00:08:32. if I would ask you what you do, what you do that's 00:08:32.86 --> 00:08:35. different or how you could get me a result or if a 00:08:35.36 --> 00:08:37. client or a prospect were to ask you that you would 00:08:37.69 --> 00:08:40. have no problem going on for fifteen, twenty minutes 00:08:40.22 --> 00:08:42. about you know, the incredible things you've done 00:08:42.32 --> 00:08:43. or that you've been able to do or that you've seen 00:08:43.99 --> 00:08:47. people get or your methodology right so if you really 00:08:47.53 --> 00:08:49. have trouble getting someone's writing that recorded 00:08:50.18 --> 00:08:53. just talking teo to a tape recorder on dh then use 00:08:53.65 --> 00:08:57. a service to transcribe it use timers when I when 00:08:57.25 --> 00:08:59. I'm up against when I'm writing a book when I'm up 00:08:59.33 --> 00:09:02. against a deadline and I have to produce a lot of 00:09:02.24 --> 00:09:06. content I will actually I use a a method I actually 00:09:06.48 --> 00:09:09. use this all the time not just when I'm writing but 00:09:09.33 --> 00:09:12. I will actually set a timer on my computer for forty 00:09:12.49 --> 00:09:15. forty five minutes and I will know that I'm going 00:09:16.12 --> 00:09:17. I'm going to put my head down and I'm going to write 00:09:17.84 --> 00:09:20. for forty five minutes and I'll get up and do some 00:09:20.11 --> 00:09:22. you know take a break for fifteen don't matter from 00:09:22.01 --> 00:09:24. in the middle of a paragraph the middle of an article 00:09:24.58 --> 00:09:26. you know haven't finished the project I know I'm gonna 00:09:26.97 --> 00:09:30. have that fifteen minute break now I think mentally 00:09:30.07 --> 00:09:32. it does a couple things you know okay, I can write 00:09:32.08 --> 00:09:33. for forty five minutes as opposed to saying okay, 00:09:33.82 --> 00:09:35. I'm going to write for eight hours straight right 00:09:35.54 --> 00:09:38. so I know I can write for forty five minutes but also 00:09:38.45 --> 00:09:42. I know that it it kind of re energizes me to get up 00:09:42.15 --> 00:09:44. and walk around and go do something I'm 00:09:45.37 --> 00:09:47. kind of a nut I have these foam rollers in the office 00:09:47.58 --> 00:09:50. and all kinds of exercise equipment and stuff. And 00:09:50.44 --> 00:09:52. so like that, that would be my fifteen minute break, 00:09:52.79 --> 00:09:55. and it really makes me more efficient and effective 00:09:55.24 --> 00:09:58. as a writer throughout the day. This last one, I've 00:09:58.37 --> 00:10:01. borrowed from a somewhat famous understanding way 00:10:01.36 --> 00:10:04. quote that you might be familiar with its right drunk and at its sober. Now e don't mean that literally, but what I take from that is that a lot of times I will just I'll let something rip, I'll just write it, and if I had the luxury, you know, unfortunately, sometimes I'm on deadline and I you know, I I proof read it, and I send it out and hope that it was good, but what I try to do in most cases is to really just write it without thought, without judgment, maybe in some cases, without editing and then come back to it and it's amazing how like the words change and everything, you know, just kind of gets clearer in some cases. And so if you have that luxury, you'll be you'll be a more productive writer if you do that. The last part that I want to talk about really unjust general writing stuff is I never really write anything unless I have one or two or maybe three purposes for it and that's not the same as saying you should recycle everything I meant you know in some cases if I'm going to write a block post I'll very intentionally know that I'm going to write three or four block post maybe around that theme and I'm going to turn them into an e book or as I mentioned already I'm going to turn it into a presentation if I do a video interview if I do a podcast with somebody I know that I'm going to get that transcribed and I might actually take chunks of that and turn that into some other piece that I would use so think in terms of getting more out of your writing by by asking yourself you know how could I create you know, new mediums or new forms how could I slice this up into smaller pieces or put things together toe to make it in bigger pieces could I share one of the eggs I do all the times I'll be writing something else I'll say oh it was really kind of it I like that sentence I'll put it out on twitter so it just gives me you know something to share so it produces that content for me while I was in the moment of writing, hopefully it was actually something that people wanted to share and retweet and they thought was interesting, but a lot of times what I'll get from that is feedback, you know, people will comment on it or they'll say something back to me and I think, okay, I should add that to my block post, so so really, always kind of have those gears moving of, of multiple riding multiple uses for all the writing that you do. So I wonder from the internet were getting any anything anybody chai ming in on all this writing contest are writing advice that I've been giving us before we move on to kind of now the specific journey we had a couple of questions come in. This one comes from tough tootle in the chat room, and they say, how do you block educational content without giving away all the information in your books? Do you have to hold something back to make it worth the purchase? Now I know you have written books, but you're also putting out other content. How do you strike that balance? I really love that question because it allows me to be opinionated. You know I get asked that question all the time and I don't hold anything back and I think that it's a mistake to unless you I've done some incredible research that nobody else has access to and you really are the only one on the planet that can provide this information and people should pay you for it I think for the most part what people want to do is they wanted you know I give everything away and every in every environment that I can because what I want people knows that I know what I'm talking about and some percentage of those people will say oh great I don't have to buy the book now or I can do it myself but those are people I want to work with anyway right I want to work with people that really value the advice that I'm giving and so I don't want to hold any of that back with the thought that they'd go that was just okay told us you told us what to do but he didn't tell us how to do it so maybe doesn't know what he's talking about right so that's my answer to it so it's not everybody's answer but but certainly that's my opinion that that I think you win more people buy really demonstrating that you do know what you're talking about because you know in the end most of the ideas that we share are not necessarily knew or rocket science it's execution I mean it's it's the person that can actually execute on the ideas that's going to win so you know even if you feel like oh michael competitors are going to steal all my ideas good news is they won't execute they won't do you know what what you know needs to be done a permanent playground has a question about timeline how much time should be spent exploring the ideal client getting to know them getting feedback before you start creating marketing tools like your website or social media block can you start doing client worked to gather ideal client info before there are marketing materials yeah, I think you absolutely had to answer that last part of it I think that there is that kind of given take and it's very dynamic when you're first getting started I think you want to have a hypothesis about who you want to serve I think you want to do a little research on who they are then s o that you could start creating marketing materials but there's there's no research like you know the real world and actually working with clients so I think you the key is you have to stay open to learning and ted discovering into analyzing what it is that you're doing because I doubt that there are many businesses that started that just immediately nailed who's here's who were going to work with and we're going to work with him for the rest of our life, right, it you sometimes have to grow into a different type of client or a different type of ideal client. And so a lot of times there will be this evolution that goes on, you know, in your thinking and in your growth that has to occur as well. So let's, go on with this content journey, then. So I gave you kind of the preamble doll that was, you know why you need to be writing, you know how to be a better writer and hopefully that kind of stoked, you know, some of your thinking about especially if you have hesitation because we have these needs, we have a need for content for awareness, trust, education, engagement on conversion. And so those are those air specific functions for content. So not every piece of content that we write is going to meet all of those of particular functions, right? So we need content that builds awareness. So your block post events that you might have obviously you're advertising. You know, these are the these are the forms of content that that let people know who we are on dh, that were out there and that we might want to talk to them and that they might want to check us out. We need content that builds trust, so very specific how to content that khun b in the form of a block post, but it might also be in the form of, say, an e book, or it may be in the form of a f ake you're some sort of question and answer interview, you know, people need to people really need to see that we know what we're talking about, obviously reviews, you know, from your customers testimonials third party article so I think you gave the example of a guest blogged post or aa lot of publications in a lot of communities, print publications remember those don't forget about those, you know, we talked so much about the online digital stuff, but a lot of communities still have really vibrant print publications and magazines, and so, you know, and most of those air now gone because they really can't afford to hire full staff of journalists, most of those have really gone to contributed content, so those could be great places for somebody to see, you know, that you're an expert. This publication asked you to contribute an article to that to that magazine over to that newspaper, so don't forget about those content, then, that educates e books are great for that. The newsletter is great for that. I believe holding workshops is a great place. Great way, too educate, depending on what your product or service is. Demonstrations, faa cues survey data that shows you know the results of your product or service. Although all of these air great tools that need to be part of your intentional kit of marketing, I'm sorry of content. One of my favorites is content from your customers there's I'll give you an example of a great way to generate testimonials in your business we use a tool called wu fu which is just a it's in the syllabus linked to its in the syllabus but it's just a form building tool just makes it really easy to build all these complex forms that do all kinds of things and have all kinds of fields and operators and conditional things that you could put in there so that your form can do lots of crazy things in terms of gathering information and then you could embed that form on your website so we use this tool where we actually ask people ah single question after they've purchased the product from us on a scale of one to ten would you prefer on a scale of one to ten how would you refer our business to your friends? Neighbors and colleagues are for this experience to your friends neighbors and colleagues came exactly how he worded and so people just have a very simple you know they could marco one through a ten if they marcus seven eight or nine or ten it actually sends him to a page and says, you know awesome you you know you must be happy with this tell us about your experience or you know, would you what would you say if you were going to refer us to a friend so it actually automatically kind of captures or has the ability to actually capture referral if it says or a testimonial eso if they say if it's ah they give us a a four through six I can't remember exactly what the scale is it sends him to a page automatically that says hey we we want to do better than that you tell us where we let you down and it gives the ability to give us immediate feedback if it's zero through three it sends them to a page that actually sends a text message to somebody says hey, we got you know really bad review let's figure out what's going on and what we found is that not only were we able to collect testimonials you know, customer content you know pretty quickly through this process we also found that you know in some cases we sell products online and services online some cases they just didn't get the password you know, their spam filter you know, kick so they had a bad experience that we can fix really easily so it actually serves a couple functions for us over the years and I think many of you you're a local business have the opportunity to do this over the years I've had more than you know, probably a dozen businesses hold these video testimonial parties so you know, once a quarter, however, once a year you hold this kind of client appreciation party and you bring in a film crew probably won't find anybody's professionalism folks here creative live but you bring in a film crew student you know somebody with a video camera on you give people the opportunity to talk about their experience you know what? What is your business meant to them or done for them and you want to sweeten the deal a little bit give him five minutes on camera to just talk about their business and give him that clip to so that they then have content for their for their business if you're doing it to be to be environment but everybody I think today should be collecting photos from customers you know using your products or services or endorsing your products or services and certainly any customer that you feel has been happy and that's willing to give you a testimonial create a case study or a success story from that certainly you know adding video is one of the components another one of my favorite categories here is other people's content and sometimes people raise their eyebrows when I say that but actually being seen as a person who finds the good stuff you know filters that aggregate sits and says hey here's five great articles from some people that I trust that I think you ought to be reading can really be a great resource you know, I talked earlier today about how people are drowning in information well, if you're that person is subscribing to one hundred blog's like I do I provide actually a great service I think to my followers and to my emails subscribers by actually putting out that content in a digestible forms so I go and I say here are five articles and that's what I actually do in our newsletter now and have for a number of years where we will write some of the content but well also just point out other people's content and people you know, some people that the question I always get asked there's well gosh you know well people care that you're you know sharing their content well if you share their content give a link back to their site give them full attribution and you're not sharing the whole content it's justa nab strack to get somebody interested in it why would they care again? Give him attribution give him a link back to it on dh people will actually thank you for in fact it's one of really the great is really one of the best networking tools these days if you want to get links back to your content on back to your site is to be sharing other people's content there's some great tools also that allow you to kind of curate tools like storify and and scoop it are these tools now that allow you to say okay, I want to write on a topic and so then you actually go out there and find all the content or you actually get to picket. But you go out there and find everything that everybody's written. It could be the wall street journal, new york times or just a gn individual blogger. And you can bring all that content into one page. And it kind of gives you the ability to create these curated, topic specific content pages. So could be a great way to actually bring together a bunch of content that you then kind of get the credit for sharing. We need to think in terms of this publishing model, as kind of a your entire body of work. I've said in the numerous times, you know, you can't wake up on monday and say, what should I block today? A. Cz, you're content strategy, because it just doesn't really scale. You have tohave, ah, full plan that says here the year, the foundational topics that we should be writing about, you know, the major themes or keywords and here's our editorial calendar for that.