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As marketers we all want to be seen and heard.  We want people to choose us, our products and services.  We want to connect with people and stand out.  But it’s hard. 

There’s a lot of noise online. Everyone’s shouting and cutting through that seems like an impossible task.

One answer to this problem is to turn up the volume.  To add to the noise with more and more content but this just leads to burn out. And for our audience it leads to tune out.

This post assumes two things.

1 – You actually care about your business.

2 – You are actually into whatever you do for a living.

Creating content without a plan often feels like trying to push water uphill.  It’s not fun and that shows in how it connects with your audience.  

This week’s podcast goes was Pascal Fintoni. Pascal spoke about the three qualities of great content marketing.  A previous guest, Mike Kim, talked about his personal branding trinity.  

In this post I want to show how by combining these you can discover both the map and the compass to great content marketing with much less resistance.

Pascals three qualities.

So Pascal spoke of three qualities of great content marketing and I’ll expand on them here a little.

1 – Be curios. The quality of curiosity is important because by sharing your curiosity, by taking people on your journey with you allows you to flip from creator, to documentor.   

You simply need to record what you’re thinking about, working on, learning about or discovering.

By taking the role of the researcher you generate great content as a by product of your activity instead of it becoming an additional activity.

2 – Be helpful. Sharing your discoveries and helping other people see your world through your eyes allows you to connect your curiosity with others who are on the same path.  

Become a tutor or a way finder, helping others who are’t as far along the particular road you’re on as you are.  Be a friend or companion, tutoring and sharing what you know.

3 – Be present.  Posting on social media gets you seen but it doesn’t build relationships.  Posting on social media is like turning up at event. Some people might see you but they won’t engage with you.  Engagement is where relationships are built. 

Give a little thought to how many platforms you publish on.  It might be none or it might be *all* of them.  If you’re active on many platforms you can’t hope to be fully present on them all.  Decide on where you’re going to spend ‘quality time’ and then make sure you do.  

This can be expanded out into Facebook and Linkedin groups.  Simply dabbling in them takes time.  Decide on where you’re going to be present and then make sure you schedule time do be there.

Presence is about having conversations.  Too many people forget good manners on social media.  Don’t be the guy who does the social media equivalent of drive by networking.  Don’t be the guy who sprays business cards into everyones pocket but never asks about you.  Take time to get to know people.

As the old saying goes.  ‘People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel’. Take time for people on social media and you’ll amplify the effect of qualities one and two tenfold.

Small business owners get very bad advice when it comes to content marketing and social media.  Social media calendars, post templates and all the other hacks will only take you so far ( and that’s not far. ).

These three qualities offer a really useful map. They make it easy to visualise a landscape and make sense of things.  You can imagine yourself there but without a compass it will be hard to navigate. 

The three circles of personal branding.

Mike kim spoke about this on the podcast and it really sunk in for me.  Imagine an old school ver diagram or three intersecting circles.

1 – What pisses you off.  

What makes you angry about your industry, service, customers, competitors, lack of knowledge, what you’ve learned.  Simply put, what pisses you off about whatever it is you’re into.

2 – What breaks your heart? 

Who needs what you have? Who needs to know what you know? Where is there a right you can wrong.  

3 – What problems do you solve?

What are your expertise and how can you help? What skills do you have?

The point where each of these three intersects is where you’ll find your superpower.  It’s where you find the magnetic north of your personal brand.  It’s where you’ll find your *mission*.

If you’re using your imagination then you might be worrying that this compass of the three circles might actually get a negative reaction.  And you’d be right.  I guarantee it.  

You can’t get a strong positive reaction without an equally strong negative.  Polarising an audience isn’t a tactic I’d advise of to’s own accord, but here it’s a by product.  A polarised audience is one which is reacting and as personal branding legend Chris Dicker says, “ need to market like a magnet – to attract the best – and repel the rest.”


If you want to stand out online, and I’m sure you do, then it comes down to working for it.  You need to be truly into what you do because you can’t fake passion.  More than that you need to make time for it.

Garry Vaynerchuk wrote that every business should be 80% whatever it is they do for money and 20% media company.  Everybody wants you to delegate or subcontract that 20%. You can’t. It won’t work.  You need to take responsibility for your own content mission.  

About Bob Gentle

I work with businesses of all sizes on digital marketing, host the Amplify digital marketing entrepreneur podcast and work with entrepreneurs to help them amplify their business online.