Editor's Note: Joe wrote this article a few years ago, but we report it in case you missed it (or in case you'd like a refresh) on what makes a great seller of content.
Napoleon Hill is one of the most influential authors of my personal and professional career: Napoleon Hill.
Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich classic was first published in 1937. At the time of the 82nd edition of this book, Mr. Hill's lessons are still of great relevance and relevance. 'a great value.
I had the opportunity to dust off my copy of Think and Grow Rich (from 1960, with stained dog and coffee pages) during a holiday break. With regard to content marketing, I have noticed points to remember that most business marketers simply do not appreciate. In the book, 15 powerful chapters are useful to all, but seven chapters were relevant to content marketing . Here are quotes from the seven chapters with my notes for each.
Warning of Joe: The book is extremely chauvinistic. If you read it, get ready for it.
"All that the mind can conceive and believe that it can achieve."
You can talk about all that content marketers must do to attract and retain customers – content strategy, content documentation, content integration, etc., but desire is the number one. Wherever I travel, I hear the objection – most marketers simply do not want to be THE informational resource of their customers and prospects – they do not want it enough . They talk about content marketing as a chore … as a checklist of tasks to be done during the day and not as an essential service to customers, essential to the survival of society.
Look, you compete not only with your competitors, but also with the media, Google, Game of Thrones and other distractions in your customers' lives. To be THE resource of choice for them, you must want it more than anything or anyone else . This is never easy, but it is much easier for small businesses run by enthusiasts. In simple terms, there is little or no policy to manage, and an agent of change can act and change things.
To be THE resource of choice for your customers, you must want it more than anything or anyone else. @joepulizzi Click to Tweet
In large companies, there must be a content marketing champion who really wants to be the best and has enough leeway to experiment and possibly even fail repeatedly. Most large companies are not willing to do this, which is why small businesses have the ultimate opportunity to do content marketing.
Give your #contentmarketing champion the latitude to experiment, says @JoePulizzi. Click to tweet
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"Faith is" the eternal elixir "that gives life, power and action to the impulse of thought!"
Willingness is one thing, but believing that you can be the information expert of your sector is another. When we created Content Marketing Institute, we were convinced that we would be the informative resource of our sector. It was indisputable. It was only a matter of time, energy and persistence.
Rarely do you see this kind of faith with companies other than the media. Corporate brands should take a page of media companies in this regard . When I worked at Penton Media (a large B2B media company) and met with the editors of our brands, they undoubtedly thought that their brand was the leading provider of information in the field. It was not a problem … it was right. This is exactly the kind of faith you need to be the expert in your field.
3. Specialized Knowledge
"General knowledge, whatever its quantity or variety, has little use …"
One of the biggest failures in content is lack of specialization. I see HVAC companies blogging about the city festival. I see manufacturers creating articles on best practices in human resources. It hurts to see that.
To be an expert in your industry, you must first define the problems your customers and the niche sector you will cover that will make a difference in your business and in the lives of your customers. Think about the laser . Think of yourself as the specialist magazine of your sector. Cover that. Be the expert in this area. If you are a big business, you will need separate content strategies for distinct audiences, and not a large-scale initiative that will not affect anyone.
Do not forget that if your content is addressed to everyone, it is not for anyone .
If your content is for everyone, it's not meant for anyone, says @JoePulizzi. Click to tweet
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"It has been said that man can create whatever he can imagine."
As Hill says, ideas are the product of the imagination. For content marketing to work, you must become an idea factory, not a content factory. Just as news outlets cover the news of the day, you need to cover the news regarding your sector. Take the content you have and think creatively about narrative concepts – visual, textual and audio – in a new and compelling way.
Be a plant of ideas, not a plant to # content, says @JoePulizzi. Click to tweet
The best way I've seen this work for brands is to do something creative and again at least once a quarter . Robert Rose calls this a "pillar" content – which has a major impact on the industry and withstands the test of time. This could be a book, an infographic, a documentary, etc., that works in conjunction with the regular content you produce (blog, e-newsletter, podcast, etc.).
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5. Organized planning
"Align yourself with a group of people in sufficient numbers for the creation and execution of your plan …"
Do you need to employ employees for your content creation efforts? Yes.
Do you need to use clients for your content creation efforts? Yes.
Do you need freelancers and external partners for your content creation efforts? Yes.
My friends, there was no way to become the leading content expert in your area . That said, if you have the ability to use resources from a number of areas, internal and external, do it. Brands that work properly have a content manager (leads the content strategy), a publisher (monitors the process), content creators (internal and external), content producers, and content listeners.
There is not only one way to be the leading content expert for your industry, says @JoePulizzi. Click to tweet
At the present time, we are in the midst of a revolution in the marketing department where the marketing department is beginning to look more like an operation of publishing . As a marketer, you must not only recognize this trend, but also begin to operationalize your storytelling for the future, including developing a business model that generates direct revenue from the content you create. (Note: Robert and I discuss this topic in our book Killing Marketing.)
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"Procrastination, the opposite of the decision, is a common enemy that must be defeated."
In the book, Hill described hundreds of some of the most prosperous people in the world. Each of them used to to make quick decisions and change them slowly, if and when they were changed . The book states that people who fail to negotiate are, without exception, used to make decisions very slowly, if at all, and to change them quickly and often.
Taking quick decisions that dictate and change them slowly is the type of mindset you need to bring to your content marketing approach.
"Will and desire, when properly combined, form an irresistible couple."
The main reason why a content program is not successful is its shutdown . I saw brand after brand start a blog, an electronic newsletter, a video series or a series of podcasts and stop after just a few months. Content marketing is a war of wear. It's a process. Success does not happen overnight.
#The content marketing is a war of attrition. Success does not happen overnight, says @JoePulizzi. Click to tweet
The marketing mentality of content marketing must stop.
When we started our content marketing strategy in 2007, we had fewer than 1,000 total visits in the first six months. We now have more than 200,000 subscribers. Persistence is key .
If you want immediate results, put all your money in an immediate and direct response. If you want to create an annuity of information that will pay for years, if not decades, in a kind of content marketing approach.
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You can hear Joe's great insight in his new presentation at Content Marketing World in September. Register today. Use BLOG100 to save $ 100. In the meantime, you can learn more from Joe by subscribing to his random information letter.
Cover image of Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute