Having a guitar doesn’t make you a guitarist. Owning exercise equipment doesn’t make you fit. And the same goes for content marketing.
You may have a vision for achieving content marketing success. You may have the tools. You may even have the best teacher or trainer. Do you have the drive?
Easy is a four-letter word
You can play like Eric Clapton. You can have a body like Beyonce. You can dominate your market like Red Bull. Here’s what you do.
You work your ass off. It’s that easy.
Everyone falls for the easy myth at some point, with some ambition they had, but didn’t want bad enough.
Content marketing wanna-be’s are everywhere
Starting a blog’s no big deal. Get WordPress. Hire a freelance writer. Presto. Blog.
You say traffic and leads haven’t skyrocketed? Do some SEO. Try tweeting. Start an enewsletter. Now you’re a content marketer.
What’s so hard about it?
Let’s admit now the chasm between great content marketers and the overwhelming majority of wanna-be-greats is wide.
Most content marketers—business owners, marketers, sales people, even agencies—have heard the gospel. They read about how content marketing can boost business while slashing marketing costs. They’ve bought in. Sort of.
If content marketing were a high stakes game of poker, what they’ve really done is ante. When everyone shows their cards, they’re likely to lose.
To achieve content marketing success you have to create remarkably useful, unforgettably entertaining, and better-than-all-the-rest inspiring content. Then you have to keep at it, sticking to the plan each time out. Most companies can’t do it. Or even come close.
I should know.
I’ve helped many content marketers fail
Should I really declare such a thing? You betcha. I’m not going for subtlety here. This is my New Year’s resolution, revelation, and reincarnation.
So I’m not ashamed to tell you in the past four years, I have opened my business bank account and allowed more companies than you can count on one hand to deposit funds in it in the name of content marketing.
I helped several create much better, more exciting and customer-focused websites.
I helped some understand content marketing planning and content analytics.
I helped all of them start (or restart) their blogs. For some, I wrote and edited posts. For one, I developed a custom workshop to teach employees how to write for the blog.
I helped quite a few create eBooks, infographics and videos.
I helped a handful get started with social media marketing.
I helped get a few clients going with email marketing.
I helped some owners and executives power-up their personal brands.
I taught a few how to go forward faster with influencer marketing.
With all the free consultations I offered, I helped several figure out they shouldn’t hire me and a few others realize they shouldn’t do content marketing at all.
I wish I could have helped each and every one of my clients ascend to the highest heights in their chosen field on the back of epic content marketing. I won’t lie. It didn’t happen.
But I know why. And that’s the good news.
This shall be the full monty year
The reason why I helped so many companies do content marketing, but failed to realize the potential of the practice, is we tried this, we tried that, but didn’t bring it all to bear.
Content marketing takes commitment. From top to bottom. Across all divisions, and resources, inside and out. You have to put all the pieces in place, integrate them, and pledge allegiance to the effort not for months, or even a year, but for good. Content marketers are publishers. Successful publishers put strategic plans, effective processes and the most talented people in place and serve their audience the very best content. Again. And again. And again.
This is the year we recognize the naked truth. We admit, before we do anything, dipping your toes in the content marketing waters won’t work. It’s full monty time. The clothes (inhibitions) come off. You dive in.
You’ll find a lot of marketers swimming around. You have to go deeper than them. The treasure chest is down there. You won’t get to it by holding your breath.
Brands that are struggling with content creation are those not fully committing to the concept; content marketing is really an all-in proposition. Source: AdAge
~ Penry Price, VP-global sales at LinkedIn
Raise your hand if you’re ready to dive deep
If you suspect you need a content marketing consultant to help you, you do. There’s a lot to it. You’ll benefit from working with a pro. As ironic as it may sound, you’ll benefit from someone who knows what doesn’t work, the mistakes that sink ships, if you will.
So here’s the bottom line (it may take me a few lines to get to the bottom line).
This year I’ll work with serious players, deep divers, those aiming to kick some content marketing booty. You don’t necessarily need to hire me to manage or direct the whole shebang. You can talk to me about helping you with the research, planning, content creation, promotion, analytics or some combination.
But I don’t want to work with you if you’re thinking about trying content marketing. You can try content marketing, but you can’t succeed with that mindset. You’ll waste your time (and wish you could have your money back). I want to work with you if you want to succeed with content marketing.
I know content marketing. I write about it, teach it, and do it. If you want to do it, you need to do it right.
Want to take the leap? Click here if you’d like my help.
Great piece Barry. It truly is all about long-term commitment. It takes some courage, but the rewards are well worth it.
Arnie, my brother, my friend, you began preaching the “all in” mentality way before me. This really is your message and I thank you for it.
You are too kind.
Nice to hear the truth spoken even when it’s a little hard to swallow. I used to be scared off by Gurus who advised bloggers to write one or two posts every day. I knew I would never be able to stick to such a rigid regimen. But when I realized that writing interesting, quality content was far more important, I felt liberated. Besides, readers don’t want to be overwhelmed with too much stuff. Most people would rather wait for something more worthwhile.
Barry…this is your Jerry McGuire mission statement. I love it. You are so correct…most content marketing doesn’t fail because of a lack of quality (although there is that), it fails because it stops or is inconsistent. And that is the hardest thing…commitment.
Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing Joe.
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