On analyzing your audience.

Psychologizing your audience doesn’t have to be some big ordeal. I can see how surveying would be interesting if you have a group of very loyal customers, or pre-customers helping you finding product-market fit. I would definitely ask them what kind of information they need. I think that’s the key, it’s not the content their WANT to see… it’s information they feel they NEED to succeed. Where are the gaps they see in front of them, standing between them and their definition of success, or the metrics they want to maximize. How can you help them fill this gap? Really, you’re looking to provide utility, utility, utility. I think where a lot of content strategies misstep is providing customer stories, or trying to demonstrate value without considering what their customers’ goals are and how they can help with that first.

Source: AMA with Camille Ricketts, Head of Content and Marketing at First

Love this advice. I’m pushing myself to take a step back when someone hits me with a content request and ask a few questions first:

  1. Who are we creating this for?
  2. What problem does this content solve for them? (And if we don’t have a good answer, what problem can we solve for them?)
  3. What goal does it hit for us?

And then we go from there. 🙂

“Branding” is not a singular project.

I know that “branding” is not a singular project. Being a brand is kind of like being a rapper. Not a lot of rappers are loved because of their name and their first album. People love rappers because they put together a body of work over a period of time that they continuously find themselves connecting with.

Source: Design Director Alex Center Got a Masters in Branding at Coca-Cola – 99U

I also really like the follow-up statement to this:

Every single thing you do, every album, every tour, every tweet, and every decision you make, amounts to people either loving you and wanting to be a part of your orbit or not.

Content marketers are not publishers.

Content marketers should never make the mistake of treating their blog like a true editorial publication. Here’s what I mean by that and why it matters.

Content marketing teams usually don’t have the people or the resources to operate like the New York Times, nor should they attempt it. Publications have missions. Blogs—at least ones run by content marketers—are ultimately designed to support other business objectives, i.e. make a return for the company over a long period over time.

Getting that return means approaching content with a refined strategy. You can get more for your money if you treat your blog like a continuously growing library of content. So few people read blogs in the same way they used to read a daily paper.

Courtesy of Jimmy Daly’s free five-day content marketing course. Emphasis mine.

#FoodForThought

What do you want to accomplish?

Knowing what you want to accomplish should help you determine which tasks are most relevant. This will take time and discipline. You need to stop hiding from discomfort and do the hard work. Which tasks matter most? Find out, and act on those. In doing so, you should see greater progress than you did when you were busy doing everything.

Source: Slow the fuck down

Counterpoint: When you’re just starting out, chances are you don’t know what you want to accomplish.

You gotta try different things until you hit that sweet spot of what you’re good at, what you enjoy, and what other people find valuable enough to pay you for.