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Digital Marketing

Hosting a podcast is great. You get to spend time with amazing people every single week. It builds audience, authority and trust like little else. But for a lot of people hosting their own podcast might be biting off a little much.

If that sounds like you then maybe showing up as a guest on some of your favourite podcasts would be a better route to building your profile online. If this sounds like you then stick around and I’ll tell you how to get on podcasts and how to be a great guest.

Podcasts are everywhere. If you don’t listen to podcasts then think of them as very niche radio shows. You’ll find them in specific podcast player apps for mobile, in Spotify or in the Apple podcasts app on your phone, tablet or mobile.

They’re listened to by people who really love the topics they listen to. I listen to lots of podcasts on all kinds of I love them because they go deep into the topics which I want to know more about.

The vast majority of podcasts are conversation based. Normally with a host and a range of guest experts. Hosts are always looking for new guests and for some you might be just the expert they’re looking for.

Being a podcast guest is a great way to build your personal brand online. Each episode you appear on will be around for a very long time with new listeners downloading and listening every single day. They are evergreen and often the number of listeners will climb over time.

The podcast host will have a lot of credibility with thier audience so by showing up as a guest you get to borrow some of that credibility. This is a real help if you’re feeling insecure.

Another really powerful benefit of being a podcast gusts is the long term SEO benefit. Each time you appear as a guest, the host will create a web page for your episode which will normally link back to your website. Ask anyone how to improve your SEO and they’ll tell you high quality back links are golden.

Lastly, the hosts do the work. You don’t have to write, film, edit or even get dressed if you don’t want to. It’s normally audio only which takes a lot of pressure off for most people.

So – Now you want to be a podcast guest – what’s it going to take to make it happen?

There are a lot of agencies out there who will set you up with podcasters but if you want my opinion – you should avoid them. I get approached by these companies every single day and in the last year have only accepted two guests from them. You might wonder why. It’s because if you can’t be bothered contacting me yourself then you’re not into my show.

I’m going to focus on two key areas next. Firstly how to become a podcast guest and secondly what to do when the hosts says yes. If you pick the right shows this will happen sooner than you think.

Securing a spot.

1 – Create a media CV or ‘One Sheet’.

This is a simple one page document outlining who you are, what you do, where your expertise are, the topics you like to speak about and some key areas which make you stand out. It can also include links to previous interviews or other media. I’ve included my own and bunch that I’ve been sent over the last year which you can download as an example.

The one sheet or media cv makes it very easy for the guest to see where you migt fit in and how they might shape an interview. Think of it as a really simple map to who you are and what you’re about.

2 – Make a list. Like any sales job you need a big list of prospects and a plan for you you’re going to approach them. But before all this – pick a few and listen to a few episodes of each. You’ll need at least a fleeting familiarity with the show before you try and connect.

3 – The approach. Most of my guests are drawn from my own network. Other hosts are just the same. If that sounds intimidating then it shouldn’t be. Becoming part of my network is easy. Connect with me on social media, hang out and chat a bit. Now you’re part of my network. Other hosts are no different.

If you want to be on someones show then first off, look on the hosts website and see if they have a preferred way of being approached. They might have a form or survey to complete. If they don’t then send them a short message asking if they think you might be a good fit.

Remember what I said about getting emails every day from agencies. You need to cut through this which is why it’s important you listen to a little of their shows. If your message looks to me like you cut and paste it then I’ll delete it without even thinking about it. Guard against this with some detail – but not too much. Keep it short and don’t be pushy. If you don’t hear back then feel free to drop a couple of reminders. If nothing happens then move on.

So you got your first yes. For many this is some scary stuff. I’m a confident host but even I get nervous before interviews. Here are my tips for making sure things go as well as possible.

1 – Remember it’s the hosts job to be in the driving seat. You take your lead from them. They’ll take care of you, that’s why they’re called the host.

2 – Make sure you have headphones. Some hosts are particular about this. Podcasts are recorded on multiple tracks, one for each person. If you don’t use headphones your audio can bleed over onto another track. Better safe than sorry, so make sure you have some. Even ear buds are fine.

3 – Have a decent microphone. If being podcast guest is something you’ve decided matters for you then spending a small amount of money on a micorphone is a good idea. The mic I use for my podcast only cost £50. ( Marantz Pro MPM1000U ).

Different mics work in different ways to read the manual and get used to getting the best sound from it.

4 – Prepare your environment. Turn off mobile notifications and your ring tone and put your phone somewhere you can’t see it. Switching to vibrate is not enough. Turn that off too. If you’re new at podcasts then a client call flashing up when you’re talking could really throw you off your stride.

Let anyone else in your environment know that your being interviewed and to keep the noise down where possible. Work with your host to find a time when you know you’re unlikely to be disturbed.

Don’t go nuts about soundproofing, trying things like climbiing into cupboards. Just avoid loud fans, traffic noise, rattling cables, construction noise and so on.

5 – Take some time to plan out talking points. Don’t come with a script or an agenda but do have a list of places you could go with a conversation. Over time you might have a list of stories or anecdotes which you can turn to but start simple. Once you’ve got it you can relax and let the host sit in the driving seat, knowing that if they ask you to take the wheel you have a couple of destinations you can turn to.

6 – Don’t try and pitch or worry that you need listeners to understand ‘everything’. Just let them meet you and focus on a couple of key points. Have one clear focus or goal for the interview.

7 – Don’t try to be bulletproof. Yes – being interviewed as an ‘expert’ but nobody expects you to know ‘everything’. A little vulnerability will go a long way towards building rapport with your audience.

8 – Have one clear goal and call to action for the interview. Most hosts will ask you something like ‘what are you promoting right now’ or ‘what action would you like this listnener to take next’. Be ready for this witha single call to action. Send them to one lead magent and one social media account. That’s it. The more you ask the less people will do.

9 – After the interview ask for feedback and for bonus points, ask for a referral. Most podcast hosts are connected to lots of other podcast hosts and we share great guests a lot.

Being a great podcast guest is easy. The tech boils down to a decent mic and some headphones. The rest is this simple. Make sure that you focus on the value for the audience – not on the value for you.

Don’t forget to download my Media CV examples. This includes my own one and several which have been sent to me over the last year.

I’d love to know what action you’re planning to take or which part of being a podcast guest makes you most nervous. Let me know in the comments.

Everything we do online generates data and as a marketer, this data is key to understanding where our efforts are working and where they’re not. Most people when they think of Analytics, assume that it’s all about visitor numbers today I want to show how we can take things a little further.

For a lot of people digital marketing is simply about showing up online. Thats fine but smart marketers want to see results. Results in digital marketing come back to what I previously called the ‘stupid, simple rules of digital marketing’.

They can be summed up as : Traffic + Conversion = Money ( + Retention = Growth )

If we’re going to take that seriously then we need to measure and assess our efforts at every stage. Where we see success we need to replicate it and scale up. Where we see failure we need to learn from it and avoid the same mistakes.

There are a lot of things we can measure and depending on your budget, there are some incredible tools. For the purposes of this post I’m going to stick to the five free tools every business owner should be using.

Google Analytics

Google analtics is the standard website performance tracking tool which should be installed onevery website. It provides all the information you could want about how your website is being used. In basic terms it provides information about visits, their volume, where people come from, what they look at, where they enter and leave your site. You can also set up conversion goal reports and track them as well.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook analytics and google analytics track and display much the same data. Google analytics can go much deeper but arguably Facebook’s version is a bit easier to digest. Both Facebook and Google analytics work by setting up a tracking code. In Facebook’s case it’s called the tracking pixel. You may wonder if you could just use one or the other. My advice is to use both because by setting up the tracking codes you’re collecting the data you’ll need later if you want to run retargeting ads.

Both Facebook and Google analytics have great companion mobile apps which make drilling into the data much easier and I highly recommend them.

Hotjar

Hotjar is a different breed of tool entirely. Hotjar has several functions, but two stand out features. Firstly it will record every single visit as a video. You can watch website visitors scroll, click, linger and complete actions of all kinds on your site. Think of it literally as having the opportunity to watch over the shoulder of every website visitor. You’ll very quickly start seeing areas of your site where people aren’t doing as you expect them. By then making some small changes you can change how they use your site.

Hotjar will allso aggregate click, scroll and mouse movement data and provide you with heat maps which help you understand even more about how your website is being used. When I show hotjar to clients, they get excited. I think you will too.

Leadfeeder

Leadfeeder is, again, doing something different. Without going too deep into how it’s doing it, Leadfeeder provides reports on the actual businesses who visit our website. Every day you can log in and see a report of the businesses who visited your site, which pages they visited, if they’re a repeat visitor.

Leadfeeder is intended to allow those who sell into larger businesses be more effective in their sales prospecting. This can work really well when combined with a social media outreach program coupled with some social selling strategies.

Bitly

Bitly is traditionally used as a link shortening tool and it’s realy handy for that. It became popular through twitter due to the restrictions on the number of characters you could use in a post. If a blog article you wanted toshare had a long title then it might not leave you space to say anything about it.

Bitly solved this problem by converting long titles into short ones. But it has a trick up it’s sleeve for people who regularly share content on social media. Lets say you share one of your blog posts on several social media platforms. You’re going to want to know which social media platform achieved the most click throughs to your content. Bitly provides reports on this for every single link you create.

These five tools form the foundation of a solid performance benchmarking suite which can, and probably should be used i every business. They’re all very easy to set up and in every case available, albeit in cases, with some limitations, for free.

Most people are familiar with the idea of a sales funnel or a sales pipeline. In order to see sales you need a lot of people to enter your funnel because many opportunities will fade as they pass through. To see sales you must have a funnel of some kind, even if it’s a simple one you didn’t really plan out ahead of time.

So what moves people through the pipeline is a process people often refer to as conversion. But what is conversion really. It’s a process of motivation or giving people a reason to move through. There are a lot of tactics for helping people find that motivation and online one of the most common is referred to as the value ladder.

Simply put we need to stop viewing the sale at the bottom of the funnel as the be all and end all. What we need to start doing is looking at the journey through the funnel as a series of trades and not one big destination trade. We trade ‘through’ the funnel.

Funnel processes can be complex and often very esoteric with a lot of moving parts. It’s a whole area of digital marketing which could fill a library and what I’m about to describe is a highly simplified example of how this could be applied in any business. How you apply it will be specific and probably different.

Top of the funnel

A) At the top of the funnel we find the first trade on the value ladder. We are trading something we value for something the customer values. At the top of the funnel this won’t be money, but attention. The value we offer is content.
B) We might invite them from our public content to go deeper with us for something they further value in the form of a useful document or template. For this we’d trade for a customers email address.

Middle of the funnel

C) In the middle of the funnel our prospects are more committed. As we now have their email we’re in a dialogue – as long as we actually use the email.. It’s well known, but little understood that 70% of online sales are driven through email so giving value to the prospect in their inbox matters here. In this stage of the funnel we want to trade for relationship.

D) Can we offer trials, experiences, samples, testimonials, confidence, evidence. This might be through webinars, personal video messages, demonstrations. At this stage of the customer journey we need to be specific and creative.

Bottom of the funnel

At this stage of the funnel we know they are very interested in what we have to offer. They’ve enjoyed the journey so far and now know us quite well and hopefully trust us. Some of them will convert but many will be put off by price but in order to discover this you’ll need to attempt that final trade. At this stage we’ll need…

E) Proposals, Onboarding processes, Up Sells, Cross Sells and potentially Down Sells ( for those people the price put off but still love you. )

A solid funnel process is the foundation of successful digital marketing but it’s very often skipped over by agencies because is takes a lot of time to work through with a client and it often needs that client to rethink their business model for the online world. For example – I see ads online all the time which clearly have no sales funnel attached. All they do is shout from the bottom of the funnel and probably achieve very little.

When an ad has a funnel process attached and you know what to look for it’s obvious. It’s never hidden because the ad is actually offering something of real value. The value at the top of the ladder is the big tell take.

When you build into your digital marketing a well constructed value ladder you change the game online. You don’t need to ask people to buy through your marketing. You get to be the guy who wants to give value. If you can have people move towards your value then the funnel processes will take care of the rest.

Before we get too deep into personal branding let’s explore how work, customers or sales come to us. It’s almost always in one of a small number of ways.

First, it can come through referrals. For a lot of people referral sales is all they get. People recommend you and you get a call or an email. Referrals always feel nice because they come with a strong social signal and they convert into sales really well.

Then there are inbound sales. These are the sales which come to you as the result of advertising or content marketing.

Lastly, there are outbound sales prospects. These are the people you or your company actively reached out to. In many businesses, this is where they focus because it’s traditionally felt to be the easiest to control and predict.

This isn’t a post about sales – but personal branding. I want to show you how you can start putting distance between you and your competition across all three channels with a small investment in your own personal brand.

We all kind of know this deep down. Anyone who’s job it is to bring new opportunity into a business will be familiar with networking events of all kinds. Some even go deep into referral marketing and join groups specifically for that. All these things are right, but they don’t scale well and they’re time-consuming.

I know people who go out for lunch all the time, eating with different people every day. I don’t know about you but I don’t have that kind of time but instinctively we know that if people know who we are and what we do then opportunities will flow to us more easily.

So, how can we take that principle and amplify it? How can we scale personal branding outside of the traditional small business network?

Traditionally people would use things like TV ads and in the US it’s very common to see small business owners faces on the side of billboards. But again that’s expensive and not really very scalable or sustainable.

So what is a personal brand? First of what is a brand? Branding is often summed up as “..what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. So to build a strong personal brand we need to achieve two things – at scale.

1 – People need to know who we are

2 – People need to know what we’re about

The first is fairly easy. Visibility is essentially very simple. You need to go where the eyeballs are but the difficulty comes when you realise that when you have the eyeballs you need to say something.

What do you want people to say about you when you’re not in the room? You get to decide. We want people to understand our values, ethics, experience, integrity, our mission and our story. We also what them to understand the features and benefits of our products or services.

That’s not going to happen by accident. You’re going to need to show up where people are and express yourself – and you’re going to need to do it on a one to many basis.

You can do this through writing, speaking, video, audio. These are your options. You can get creative about it but these are the basic elements. Start exploring ideas like speaking at events and not just attending, making short videos like this one and posting it on social media regularly, guesting or hosting podcasts and not just listening. These things will go much further to build your brand than crap posting on social media like everyone else in your space.

For a lot of people, myself included, this is some scary stuff. Most things worth doing are scary. Rejection sucks but you can’t have all the advantages of a strong personal brand without understanding that you will not be for everyone. You can’t have a strong attraction without an equally strong opposing force.

Building a strong personal brand will help your business. High profile people are high profile, not because they love the attention or the occasional criticism, but because it works. They get in front of more opportunity than the rest of us. People are magnetically drawn to people they see as high profile.

A strong personal brand will positively impact inbound sales, outbound sales and referral sales. Instead of being one of many, you’ll be ‘the one’ among many. Every prospect takes a journey on the road to becoming a customer and your strong personal brand becomes a powerful beacon on that journey which can draw them powerfully in your direction.

Before I get too far into this topic let’s explore how customers come to you. In an ideal world a decision is made in the heart of your prospect to take action on a problem you solve. At this moment they know – you are the one to fix it for them. It never happens like this.

At the beginning of the customer journey, an impulse is triggered to take the first steps on a journey towards fixing the problem you solve. The journey starts but might not end for hours, days weeks, months or sometimes even years.

As marketers ( and as a small business owner that’s you ) our job is to try and influence the journey so they find their way to us. Often the most important element which is overlooked is the time the customer journey often takes.

The impulse to fix the pain point or solve the problem often doesn’t convert into a sale immediately. The pain might need to build, the immediate problem which caused the pain might have subsided and return later. In addition, the prospect might educate themselves, undertake some research or simply take some time to shop around.

Real world sales professionals now this. It’s why they have small talk, work to educate the prospect, let them try things out, offer demonstrations, regularly keep in touch with prospects. In short they ‘nurture’ the prospect.

Getting someone’s attention in the first place is expensive. If you invest in any online activity at all.. Things like ads, social media, content marketing of any kind, it all cost money. And if by some small miracle you actually get someone to your website we can assign a cost to them. If they don’t convert into a customer there and then – it’s money lost.

This is where remarketing or retargeting ads come in. Remarketing ads are a special subset of online ads which are only shown to people who have already visited your website. There are a few things which it’s important to know about remarketing ads which make them very special and for the small business – very exciting.

1 – They are only shown to people who are known to be on the journey which could lead to you. Qualified prospects.

2 – They are graphic display ads, not the text-based ads you see in search. They can appear wherever you see ads online, Magazines, Youtube, Facebook, Blogs. Most sites which display ads draw them from the Google ad network and partners.

3 – The only cost to you is when people actually click on them. Most people don’t. In most campaigns I run, the costs are in the low double digits per quarter. These campaigns are seen by thousands of people.

The real benefit of remarketing ads is that they work with the customer journey in a powerful way. They’re triggered right at the start when a prospect passes through your website and then for the next two weeks or two months ( you get to decide ) they see your brand everywhere they go.

This works powerfully in the mind of the prospect so that when the time comes for them to act the chances of them converting in your direction are much, much higher.

All of this assumes you’re not doing any other form of advertising. If you do nothing else – run remarketing ads. But – if you are running any other kind of ad where you’re effectively buying traffic then you must add retargeting into the mix.

Retargeting amplifies the value of every visit. It turns what would have been one brand encounter into, potentially, hundreds over time and the majority of that visibility is actually completely free because people only tend to click on the ads when they are ready to buy.

Like any powerful tool, it’s open to abuse. There are settings available in both the Facebook and Google ad platforms which you can use to prevent overwhelming your audience.

As you can imagine this topic can go deep. There are all kinds of retargeting tactics you can use based on user behaviour but in this post, I just wanted to give you a peek into what’s possible.

If you do set up some retargeting ads let me know. I’d love to see them.

In this post, I want to try and put you in control of things a little. There are a lot of people with a vested interest in making digital marketing as complicated as possible. The more complicated the problem seems to be the more they can charge for fixing it. So, as an industry, marketing people benefit from making things complicated.

Every day I’m asked things like.

“Should I do search engine ads?”

“Should I use Linkedin?

“I’ve been told I should use Facebook ads”

“Someone said I should use mailchimp”

“I think I should rebrand, what do you think?”

“Should I use a social media manager?”

“My website isn’t generating leads, I’m building a new one.”

Those are all good question but it’s what comes next which causes business owners problems. Eventually the person asking those questions is going to end up on the phone with someone who provides those services. What do you think will happen next?

Business owner : Should I advertise? Ad manager : Hell yes.

Business owner : Should I be on Linkedin? Linkedin trainer : Duh..

Business owner : New website? Web designer : How deep are your pockets?

…I could go on but I hope you get the point.

We trust experts to help guide us but the complexity of digital marketing and the diversity of skills means that most of the time people operate in specialist silos and niche agencies. This leaves the business owner vulnerable and often exposed to very heavily biased for commercial reasons and also because of their narrow, albeit deep, range of knowledge.

There will be two kinds of people reading this. There will be ‘client side’ or business owners or those responsible for a businesses marketing and there will be ‘agency side’. So a word to the agency side.. I’m not having a pop at you. This post is for you as well. I work with a lot of agencies around the world to help them implement the crazy simple formula which I’ll go through in a moment.

What I’d like to offer is a formula so simple that anyone can understand it. It’s the formula I turn to with every client, every day. It drives every project and every conversation. It’s the compass which drives strategy and delivers reliable and predictable results.

( I do have a complicated version of this, but that’s a whole different thing ).

The stupid simple digital marketing framework.

Traffic ( Or Audience ) + Conversion ( Leading to sales ) = Money

That’s something everyone can understand, but interestingly most businesses I work with have the whole thing completely out of balance. Because they don’t know about this simple formula they try and fix every problem with more traffic. Traffic is great, but if nobody is converting then what’s the point of more traffic?

It’s a little like trying to shoot water through a keyhole and with a water gun. Not much goes through. Using a fire hose will improve things a bit, but if you really want results you need to open the door. Conversion tactics focus on improving the rate at which traffic converts.

Let’s explore some of the marketing tactics on each side of this equation.

Traffic ( Audience ).

The traffic side is the equation is actually fairly obvious. That’s why people focus on it so much. It includes things like SEO, Ads, Youtube, Blog, PR and Social networking among other things. This side of the equation is about discoverability. It’s about getting eyeballs, connections, visitors and attention.

Conversion ( A result )

If traffic is about the first encounter then conversion is about the relationship. The impulse which led to someone stepping into your world will likely not have them reaching for their wallets right away. Every website visitor or social contact will be on a sliding scale of need for the value you’re offering. The important thing to remember is that the scale slides – all the time.

Things which impact conversion are, design, brand, trust, lead magnets, relationship building, opportunity. I know that all sounds quite soft but it’s why tactics like sales funnels, email marketing, remarketing ads, email list building and marketing work so well. Using a simple blend of technology, tactics and simple psychology you can quickly bring the conversion side of the equation into balance.

Understanding this equation is important for business owners. It puts them in control and gives them a way to start weighing up where they should be investing time and money next.

If you come from a traditional advertising background then it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all that matters are eyeballs. If those eyeballs are targeted OMG mission accomplished. With digital that approach is just plain weak, but as so many traditional agencies jump on the digital bandwagon it’s also become pretty standard.

I hope this helps. If this is something which you’ve found useful then I’ve put together a simple PDF checklist of things to consider on both sides of the equation. I kind of self assessment / roadmap which you can use to work through your own situation. I hope you find it useful.

As someone who’s business revolves around social media, I have a lot of gratitude for all the various platforms have to offer. But it’s not just me that’s grateful. Vast fortunes are being made by the platforms and their advertisers.

These fortunes are made ‘in theory’ by providing you, the ‘consumer’ with the content you like, as often as possible. They do this so you’ll stay on the platform as long as possible consuming and being ‘influenced’ by as many ads as possible.

For most people, social media is ‘leisure’. It’s a recreational use of time. This is as true of Linkedin as it is Instagram or Youtube. Using leisure time for leisure activities is fine – it’s a free country. But this is business and leisure has no place in it.

The way most people use social media is as consumers. They open the platform and start scrolling. It’s intentionally addictive and it’s easy to lose hours once you start. That’s not happening by accident.

Most business owners will have heard the call, “You need to get on social media” and then jumped in and what happens? They get caught up the fast flowing warm and entertaining waters of ‘Scroll River’. Time passes and they achieve nothing.

They are consumers. And consumption is not helping you as a business owner in any way. It’s killing your business.

If you want social media to work for your business you need to treat it like a loaded gun. With care, respect and the understanding that it can blow your foot off ( from a productivity perspective ) with just a momentary lapse of concentration.

When you work with a gun, loaded or not, there are working practises to keep you safe. So let’s look at a few basic practises which will allow you to take charge and start participating and stop consuming.

Being intentional about how and why you open any app or site is the first place to start. Opening any app just to see what’s happening is against the rules.

Practise 1 – Don’t open apps without a very good reason.

The platforms all make this hard. They tempt us with notifications and it’s hard to know what notifications are baiting us and which matter. Open the notification settings on every app and platform and turn as many of them off as you can handle. The only notifications you need are :

Someone is sending you a message.

Someone is engaging with your content.

Everything else is a distraction so turn it off.

Practise 2 – Create. Don’t consume.

The only very good reason to open a social media app or site is to contribute. To post content you created. If you are on social media for business then you don’t need to scroll. You need to create content ( away from the platform ) and then post it for ‘others’ to consume.

Practise 3 – Engage with people, not content.

Social media and social networks give us a big clue as to what can work really well. Be sociable. But do it on your terms and be intentional about it. Set times for it that same as you would for booking networking events or meetings.

DANGER : You could easily take rule three as permission to jump in and waste your time again. These practices need to be worked through in order. Get your content game on first.

Practise 4 – Learn the Ad tools.

Getting some basic orientation on how the ad systems work on a couple of the platforms can really give you some super powers. Most of the platforms are great value from an advertising perspective and more effective than any other kind of advertising you can buy.

Social media platforms spend millions hiring psychologists, biologists, designers and all kinds of nerds just to find ways to make you keep the apps open a little longer.

This can work for your business by making sure your content is there for people to consume. But it can far more easily work against you by sucking your time and your attention.

Success in social media marketing depends on the four practises I’ve outlined above. They’re a set of disciplines which for most people just don’t matter. But for a business owner, they are critical to success.

As Gary Vaynerchuck said ( and I know I say this a lot ). Every business should be 80% whatever it is they do for money and 20% media company. Time is the most valuable thing we have and with these practises I want to help you save as much of it as you can for creating great content which helps you cut through. Not fooling yourself into thinking that you’re active on social media.

If you follow these practises you’ll very quickly discover your social media superpowers.

If you’re a bit like me then you probably have a lot of imposter syndrome, comparison issues, and low self esteem. No – just me? I doubt it. When it comes to content marketing, especially where you run a small business where you could say the personal brand is more important than the company brand, people second guess themselves a lot. This second guessing often leads to content marketing being completely abandoned.

Skip reading and watch this? ☝️

For a long time, I’d react jealously to what, from my perspective, was mediocre content being put out by others. I think this is a common experience. What was interesting was that what I viewed as mediocre content was clearly working for the people putting it out.

Not everybody is like this but a lot of people are. It’s funny, almost a paradox, that we see poor content going out and working, but when we create potentially better content suddenly it’s not good enough. It makes no sense – but it’s a real experience.

  • Does any of this sound familiar?
  • “Everything I have to say has been said before.”
  • “My life, work, experience, environment, personality isn’t as interesting as other peoples”
  • “Who would be interested in what I know”

This is all compounded when we look at platforms like video or podcasting where we’re actually at risk of being judged on our appearance or how we sound. It can all be pretty overwhelming.

I had a client a while ago in the IT space. In our first meeting, he told me about a competitor and showed me his Linkedin video’s, podcast and effectively gave me a tour of a pretty well put together content driven personal brand. “I want you to help me do that” he told me.

The competitor wasn’t really talking about anything amazing and a lot of the time it wasn’t even business related. He just expressed himself online. He made videos frequently and was more focused on showing up than showing off. His business was booming.

My client point blank refused to produce any content. He hyper-focused on the detail of everything and put out absolutely nothing. He had more experience, a bigger team, better resources but would second guessed everything.

Now – this isn’t just about my clients. It’s also been a big point of resistance for me over the years. I think this is probably one of the single biggest things which has held me and my business back. It might be doing the same for you.

I recently interviewed Jeff Goins on my podcast. Jeff is awesome and inspires me in so many ways but he dropped a David Sivers quote which I’ve reflected on a lot over the last couple of weeks.

“What’s obvious to you is amazing to others”. 👈Let that sink in.

When I started working with groups of small businesses, more as a coach than as a consultant I started to realise that this was true – in more ways than you would expect.

It’s almost a cliche to say that we often worry too much about what other people think of us. But in marketing, a lot of business owners worry about the wrong things. They worry about what people, who are not even the target audience will think. Competitors and peers for example.

Who is your content marketing actually for. It’s for the people who need YOU. So why are YOU holding back?

You are amazing for the person who needs the value you offer. Not for the person on the left or the right of that person. Stop second guessing everything.

I’ve been observing this a lot since I first became aware of it. There is so much that in others we find amazing but we fail to apply the same measures to ourselves. We see as amazing things like knowledge, experience, location, curiosity expressed and humor when others express it. We need to have a little confidence that when we express ourselves those same rules will apply to us.

If you don’t show up online then one thing is for certain. You will not win online. If you do show up online and give yourself permission to be amazing for someone – then you will start the journey which can quickly lead to the kind of wins which can transform your business like my IT clients competitor, and for that matter – my own.

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