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User: Michael Hartzell
Public Email: contact@michaelhartzell.com
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Latest Blog Entry: The trick to creating content

blog cartoon
The trick to content:
Don?t think.
Listen to the questions.
Answer them.
Done.

Those who think before they listen can get lost in the possibilities.
The deeper they think, the bigger the possibilities.
It?s not that they are wrong, but it quickly becomes a buffet of opportunities without focus.

So "think first" is not the mindset. It is "listen first" and "serve" which means you may have to Unthink.  Like those in this video: 

Adding inbound marketing to your plan is not an instant fix to anything but over time you will find it less and less necessary to "hunt".  

We spend our days doing things to make an impact but we also invest in marketing activities which are expected to generate revenue.

The tough question for many is: "Do we pay for marketing as a commodity or set of tasks? Or do we invest to achieve results?

There is risk with either but when paying for marketing tasks, it becomes no-impact marketing with little to show for it. 

Companies are selling services as a commodity ? this cash for that task - without concern for leads or revenue.  Like shoveling dirt, washing a car, delivering a newspaper.  It is a task, pay up.  

Your budget is perfect for your size of company but if you are buying tasks, I would save the money. It is too easy to let $500/month slip away as people feel like they are doing their job while making no impact.

We hope to:

Increase traffic to a website

Increase the number of calls

Increase the number of emails

Increase the number of new contacts via a form.

Or it could be you are simply hoping to lower the cost per lead.

On the  topic of budget:

Click here to instantly download an inbound marketing calculator.
It is very simple and will help you to think about how much you are investing now and what you are hoping to achieve with the investment in the coming months and years. 

On the other hand, you may not know your current cost ratios and work from the gut.  If so, you will soon begin to consider how to view your business differently or get caught up in the perpetual "work harder, work more, go faster" process.

Use the inbound marketing calculator to begin the thought process.  

Rules:

  1. We never do marketing activities and tasks or buy advertising just to fill a void.  
  2. We always have measures in place to understand effectiveness. 
  3. We don't buy advertising based on the availability or shininess

To do so is saying ?let?s put something on the sign because I should?.

Marshawn Lynch style "I am here so I won't be fired." and have nothing to say.

Don't like to write?

So you don't like to write or you enjoy writing but you have as much time to write as you do to read.  That is why you listen to audio books.

Which takes you to making video, podcast or having an online radio show.  

You may decide that you will use Linkedin Pulse, Slideshare.net, itunes, Audible, Amazon, Eventbrite with a five page website to act as a hub.  Within your system you will want pages where people can introduce themselves. Landing pages or product pages where they buy something.  Without connection there is just useless stuff that sits in the closet. Connection is mandatory and using online tools with in person contact offers a special synergy. 

Before we choose the mechanisms/tools, we have to get you talking to the world on a regular basis so they can get the benefit of you vs just a few you meet face to face.

Question for you now:

When you meet people face to face? your gift is:  ______??________

What do you leave them with?  Do you leave a business card and hope they remember you a day later?

Or do you offer something unique and special they will appreciate?  If you show up, smile, nod and leave without making their day with something valuable, then you are going through the motions and it will take more before someone says "I want to buy".

Once you have a mindset of offering something valuable with each contact, now you are ready to do so online.  

Here is the last tip (trick) for creating content easily:

Keep it short. There are no rules and if there are rules, they keep changing... which means they aren't truly rules. 

Use this as a guide:

  • Here is the answer to your question.
  • Here is why it is important.
  • Here is something you can do to take advantage of this new information.

For any of this to work well,  you have to care.

If you care, then you will listen. As you listen, you will want others to achieve success, be more and do more. You will care enough to get it done, even when you are "busy" because you know others will benefit from their awesomeness.

I am asked frequently "What can I do for you Michael?" I think I will begin to answer differently.  It will be something like this: "Please use your special skills and talents to empower others to be more and do more."

While there are a dozen "tricks" to create quality content that makes an impact, the calendar remains at the center of success. Everything is built twice. Whether you schedule three hours on a Saturday morning and block everything else out or send yourself quick emails with new thoughts every day, time is necessary.

Which means you must be willing believe that what you know matters. Open up to the possibility that someone is waiting for the specific information you know and while not "everyone" will rush to you with applause, a few will celebrate your insightful wisdom.

What do you believe? Do you care? Do you want to make an impact and change something or someone for the better?

...then you will reach out to me and ask for more "tricks".

Along the way we will keep the P-Triad in mind: "People, Purpose, Profit".  Purpose is great but it doesn't pay the bills. Connecting with people is awesome but connection without purpose becomes aimless chatter.  Profit is required or we will not sustain forward motion.

The most brilliant geniuses I know get lost in their own brilliance. There is a way to get the content done and it does make a difference. 

Ready? Contact me here.  Before you write, stop thinking... listen and then based on what they need and want, offer your wisdom. (In fact, this very blog article was inspired by someone with questions.)

P.S.

Don't forget about Grammarly. You will fall in love with it as it makes you look like a professor with your writing.

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Joined: 2009-10-29
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