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On Not Giving It All Away


Chris Butler: Welcome to the Newfangled Agency Marketing Matters podcast! I’m Chris Butler.

Lauren Siler: I’m Lauren Siler.

Julia Vanderput: I’m Julia Vanderput.

Chris Butler: And this is episode 11 and also the podcast debut of Julia Vanderput, who is sitting across from me.

Julia Vanderput: Big day everyone. I’m excited.

Chris Butler: So actually before we talk, Julia, can you give people sort of an idea of who you are and what you do here at Newfangled?

Julia Vanderput: Yeah! I’m a content marketing strategist here at Newfangled. I meet with clients monthly to talk about their content plan and see what they’re doing there and how their content is impacting their site, how it’s impacting their business, and talk about all the wonderful things that come with content strategy.

Chris Butler: Very cool. And you’re gonna be with us for the next two episodes. This one and the next one.

Julia Vanderput: Yes.

Chris Butler: Awesome. So it’s great to have you here at the table.

Julia Vanderput: It’s wonderful to be here.

Chris Butler: Very cool. So as we normally like to begin with sharing some things that we’re excited about, why don’t you go first Julia?

Julia Vanderput: Okay, well that one’s easy. I’m excited to be here.

Chris Butler: That’s kind of a cop out, actually.

Julia Vanderput: Yeah, yeah, well you know, I think it’s like your first time on the podcast you get to do that. This is my exciting thing. Definitely. For sure.

Lauren Siler: Okay, we’ll look forward to what you’re excited about for the next episode.

Julia Vanderput: Yes.

Chris Butler: Wait, is that actually your thing?

Julia Vanderput: Yeah.

Chris Butler: Okay, that’s cool. Then that’s what I’m thinking. I’m excited that you’re here.

Lauren Siler: We’re not crestfallen over that or anything.

Julia Vanderput: Well the thing is that I help my clients produce these podcasts, right? I mean, we talk about all these different types of content and how to produce them and I feel like actually being in here and actually doing it is I needed to do this. And so clients if you’re listening to this, I’m here, I know what it feels like, and so it’s a little strange cause first I hate hearing myself. I think we all kinda have that in the background, right? But it’s just nice to actually see what I’m asking my clients to do now.

Chris Butler: Well the good news is I’m gonna do as much in post-production to make you sound awesome. No, I mean, actually the nice thing about this set up is that there isn’t much of that to do, you know. I think we mentioned this in a previous episode but we began really, really quickly. Our quick start score on this podcast is probably like off the charts-

Lauren Siler: Seriously.

Chris Butler: In that we had a really crummy mic in a room that was not optimized for recording. Just to get us going so that we could build a habit of doing this and now we’re at a place where we have much more established set up and facility for this thing so we’re sitting at this table with the mics that are always here and we can just sit down and basically hit record and we’re good to go, which is nice.

Lauren Siler: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Julia Vanderput: Yeah.

Chris Butler: So Lauren, what are you excited about?

Lauren Siler: So I’ve got a personal thing and a professional thing. Last week Mark and I were out giving a talk to the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association, AZIMA, in Scottsdale, and that was really fun. It’s a networking group of marketers who came together and we did a talk on digital lead development mostly for agencies who were in the room. There were marketers from other organizations as well, but that was really exciting. It’s always nice and fun to get up on stage and kind of present that content. We got a lot of really interesting questions, good turnout, and just really enjoyed it. Really smart people, so that was exciting.

The personal thing is my Yeti mug, which I’m holding in our podcast studio today, which I have held on purchasing because I’m like “I don’t need this thing. I don’t need it.” But I love it. It’s wonderful.

Chris Butler: I mean you really do need it.

Lauren Siler: I kinda do.

Chris Butler: Now that you’ve held it in your hands.

Lauren Siler: I can’t-

Chris Butler: Can you imagine life without it?

Lauren Siler: It’s like an adult pacifier. I can’t not-

Chris Butler: It’s actually quite pretty.

Lauren Siler: Yeah, so it’s like a nice little … What is this, like sea foam green?

Chris Butler: I would call that mint or maybe yeah, maybe sea foam. It’s a popular color around here.

Julia Vanderput: Robin’s egg maybe? I feel like that’s the fancy name for that.

Lauren Siler: Oh, is it?

Chris Butler: Is it?

Lauren Siler: It’s like a little greener than a robin’s egg, though.

Chris Butler: Well, maybe it’s a robin’s egg that’s been in the sun a little longer, kind of? I dunno.

Lauren Siler: Okay, it’s starting to sound less beautiful you guys.

Chris Butler: No, it’s actually a really pretty mug.

Lauren Siler: Yeah, yeah. And I’m just adoring it. It was my little gift to myself from after the talks.

Chris Butler: So this episode is brought to you by Yeti mugs.

Julia Vanderput: Does it live up to the hype?

Lauren Siler: It is wonderful. It holds all types of things. I guess I always thought I didn’t need to spend that much money. It’s not that expensive, but I didn’t invest in an on the go mug, cause I’m not on the go that much. I dunno. But you don’t need to be on the go to keep your beverages very hot or very cold. It’s wonderful.

Chris Butler: That’s true. You need to just want your beverage for a long time to be hot.

Lauren Siler: It’s true.

Chris Butler: Yeah. That’s awesome. I’m envious of your mug, actually. My thing is actually a client thing. We have been working with an agency called Big Duck and they’re out of New York and they specifically work with non profits. We’ve worked with them for, I dunno, almost a decade maybe? We helped them with their previous site and now they’re revamping everything and sort of rebooting their marketing program with us. And the cool thing is that this time we’re not doing their site. They’re working with another agency named Familiar out of Brooklyn, but I’m working with them as a consultant to make sure that they understand what their strategic initiatives are and we gave them an audit for that.

Working with Familiar has been really great and that’s what I wanted to share is that these guys are super talented. The design is beautiful. They’re definitely doing things visually that really none of our agency partners have done before, which is really interesting and actually presents some technical challenges that I think are exciting to try and overcome, especially in terms of facilitating the marketing technology that we want to make sure that they have available to them. I’m really looking forward to being able to tell people to go to the new URL probably in a couple of months. But in the mean time, from behind the scenes it looks really great.

Lauren Siler: That’s exciting. It’s always nice to see cool, creative ways for people to creatively express the strategic foundation that we’re providing, you know? And yeah, to be able to do that in an effective way is always cool to see.

Julia Vanderput: And also to see them, a client that’s been with us for so long and how they’ve evolved and just seeing this next phase is super interesting and exciting to see because they’ve grown with us. We’ve grown with them.

Chris Butler: Yup. It’s interesting, I mentioned that in this particular case we are not doing the design or the development. That’s because, as we’ve mentioned many times on this podcast, we’ve sort of transitioned as a business to being involved primarily in that, in web development and some design, to mostly if not entirely at this point being on the consulting side. Consulting on the marketing practices, so you guys leading the content strategy who are doing work on animations, CRM, and web site consulting, and that means that we’re fully on the selling of expertise side as opposed to selling of tools and deliverables and actual implementation.

And that also means that the content strategy that we’ve been working with for the better part of a decade and a half is a little bit more sensitive now, right? We have to talk about what we do without giving it away. That was easy to do when we did a lot of development, you know? Because you can talk about strategic initiatives around development until the cows come home but you’re not actually giving away the development because it still has to get done.

Lauren Siler: Right.

Chris Butler: But when you are giving away an education, you know, we specifically say in our positioning statement that we’re trying to build systems and habits. It becomes a little bit more sensitive. That’s what we wanted to talk about today, Julia, while you’re here. So I’d love to hear what you guys are thinking about. How to draw that line between the amount of education we need to do to get people to understand that we’re experts in this field, but also not to give away so much that they don’t think they need us in the end.

Julia Vanderput: Yeah. Absolutely. And that’s something we hear a lot, right? Whenever our client brings this up I always kind of think of the difference between going to a friend for advice versus looking this up in a self-help book. A self-help book’s gonna give you a lot of interesting perspective. Maybe it’s gonna shift your paradigm and maybe you’re going to think of this problem in a different way. But someone who knows you well and knows your circumstances might give you better advice, I mean, advice that really applies to the situation that you’re in.

Lauren Siler: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, I think it comes down to the value of having a coach, you know? Being able to not only … I mean, there are a lot of really smart people that can go and kind of synthesize this information by reading it and then trying to apply it on their own, but that does require a lot of trial and error and I think to be generous enough with your expertise to demonstrate that you do know what you’re talking about kind of also inherently makes the case that you are the right coach to guide somebody through it and I think there’s inherent value in that. I think it’s important to have somebody kind of help make sure that you’re implementing these things in the right way and maybe even serving as a bit of a shortcut so that you aren’t stubbing your toe trying to implement things on your own.

Chris Butler: Right. Well there’s also, I mean, you can look at this issue in two ways. You can look at it in terms of our business and our content strategy, so our we specifically giving too much away and how do we walk that line. But also the issue of how do we coach our clients, right? They probably will have the same question at some point, so where do we strike the line? And I know from listening to how you all deliver that it’s obvious that we’re not giving it all away because as you all mentioned this word coaching over and over again, that speaks to a core principle in education where review is everything.

You teach something once, but really when you’re teaching it, you’re teaching it fifty more times because it requires that amount of review to be fully integrated because someone hears something the first time, a piece of it will click. They might have follow up questions. They need to integrate it. They need to try it out. Make mistakes. Be coached on how to improve. It takes a long time to fully integrate something that you’ve learned maybe six months ago. And that’s where the whole structure comes into play and that’s what you all do. But when it comes to number one, things that you are doing intentionally to make sure that you’re walking that line. I’d love to hear some of those strategies that you have for maintaining that coaching relationship but also if a client asked you about that, how to walk the line themselves, how would you advise them?

Julia Vanderput: Yeah, I think it comes down to really making sure that you’re coming from an education standpoint. You’re being educational and teaching them exactly what it is that’s gonna help them with their current problem and help them kind of give them an overview and a perspective of that problem they keep running into. But then you’re also kind of showing them what it’s like to work with you and your approach to things.

Lauren Siler: I think I tend to advise clients to be more specific than they initially want to be. And maybe I’m, I don’t know, I think there’s a lot of internal debate even inside of Newfangled on this. But I think that it’s more advantageous to demonstrate a clear understanding of your prospect’s problem and I think that that builds a level of trust between you and that potential customer that wouldn’t exist if you just write in a vague, almost defensive way because you’re trying to keep your arms covering your expertise. I think that the more specific that you are about what you know to be the issue at hand, what you know this person is coming and seeking education about, I think that builds trust and that builds credibility.

In terms of, I don’t know, specifics around implementation of ideas, I think that’s where it can get a little hairy because a lot of the agencies we work with, they have proprietary processes that they don’t want competitors taking on. And so I think it’s okay to be a little bit more vague around the how you would accomplish implementation of a particular strategy, but I err on the side of providing more specificity around the inherent problem itself and really understanding your thorough articulation of what it is and kind of reframing how the prospects should think about it.

Chris Butler: There are two things you said there that I think we should parse out that I think are spot on. One has to do with specificity, so we’ll come back to that. The other has to do with competitors. Because where we’re asking this question, on the one hand it’s about well, are we giving away what we’re trying to sell to our clients, right? And is there a point at which our clients could consume our marketing material and often think that “Well, we don’t actually need to pay for these services anymore.” So that’s question number one.

Question number two is are we educating our competitors? And that’s really a big deal, you know? For instance, I know how you both work and it’s quite intricate in terms of the steps that you follow, the documentation that you provide, the systems that have been built, and your protocols are a whole lot more robust than I think anyone would think about who is just given an overview or a brief of what the service is. And the question is how much of that do you expose?

Lauren Siler: Well, I don’t think it’s as big of an issue as people think that it is. And I see this again and again because we are coaches to our clients so we provide a concept. We lay out a very clear road map on how to do something. But they still require counsel, significant counsel, on actually getting it right. They run into road blocks trying to do it on their own cause they don’t know how. Even when they’re paying us for very specific consulting around it, it requires conversation and it requires really deep, thorough expertise of somebody who’s done this again and again and again to help guide them through that process. And that’s when they’re hiring someone.

I think that the same is true for the clients. That these are the most marketing minds in the world, in a lot of cases, you know? They’ve done this again and again. They’re well positioned firms and they understand these industries oftentimes a lot better than the marketing manager at that company that they’re working with does. So that level of depth and knowledge can’t, in my opinion, is not really highly at risk when you’re thinking about exposing too much through your content strategy. I just don’t see it as a true issue that people are really gonna be picking up your latest blog or your latest white paper and suddenly they’ve got the level of expertise that you do. I just don’t, I don’t know. I mean, do you disagree?

Chris Butler: Not at all. I’m curious, Julia, what you have to say to that.

Julia Vanderput: Yeah, I mean, the reality is that anything you say in a blog post, it just won’t take in the context of an individual business, right? So you can shape your content without leadership as helpful as possible but ultimately it’s not gonna completely solve their problem if they just take it on their own. It might just, at most, give them a different perspective.

Lauren Siler: Yeah, I think that’s an interesting point. I mean, another way to summarize that is that you could write on your website about the common, like about your expertise, the common problems that you encounter that you know your personas are encountering, but maybe the line is that when you start to apply that strategy to the specific problem of a prospect, that’s when they need to be paying you money. Because it does, it changes. You do have to alter these things and customize them based on the reality of the prospect you’re working with.

Chris Butler: Yeah, that’s a great point. I was gonna mention that one thing that I’m really liking that I’m hearing from both of you is that approaching this issue with filtering out the fear, right? Because I think, you know, the defensiveness that you were talking about, Lauren, has to do with fear that you’re either gonna lose the client or lose the client to a competitor. You’re either gonna lose the client to themselves or to a competitor. And this idea, or that nugget of fear, I think, would come back to maybe a shred of doubt that you might have that what you’re providing is not actually of value, or there might be a confidence that’s lacking. And both of you are expressing that, ultimately, there’s the protocol and the systems and the approaches but then there’s the customization. And really, if you think about what that means, it’s the personalities that are delivering it. It’s your personal touch and the relationship that gets carried forward that is of value, ultimately.

Julia Vanderput: Right, right. And it’s interesting that you talk about that fear of maybe not knowing enough or not really thinking of themselves as thought leaders, because ultimately what I’ve seen with my clients is when you’re asking them to write about this topic that they don’t think about themselves as thought leaders when they’re done with it, when they’ve done the research, when they’re really put their thoughts down on paper, they’re like “Actually yes, I am a thought leader!” And that fear slowly goes away the more content they write. It’s an interesting mix there.

One of the things that we haven’t talked about is we’ve talked a lot about not giving too much away, but also it’s that balance of giving something away, right? We talk about this especially with gated content, because we want to give them something that’s gonna be compelling enough to give us the information that we’re asking, which is their e-mail address, and if they’re using progressive [inaudible 00:16:45] fields, all of that as well.

Chris Butler: Right, quite a bit more information, actually. I mean, typically, once somebody has filled out one form on a site to get maybe one white paper, the second one we’re asking something quite deep. It’s beyond their name and e-mail address. It might be some intel about their company. The obvious purpose being we want to vet and see if they’re a viable opportunity for us. But I think you’re right. I think there is an exchange. Looking at the other side of the coin, instead of talking about “Well, what are we doing that’s illegitimate,” let’s talk about the education that’s of value here and what that’s really about.

One thing I wanted to mention and get your thoughts on is something that we’ve referenced in other content, which is Blair Enns’ sort of promotional, educational balance. Blair Enns of, he as a sales consultant always recommends that his approach trickle down to content marketing in the form of having one part promotion for every three parts education, right? And that you could look at in terms of individual pieces of content, like maybe you send out three educational e-mails and one needs to be a promotion, or it could be a balance within the e-mail itself, which the approach we’ve taken. So it’s kind of like a cocktail recipe, right? You know, if your e-mail is like 70% educational content, it’s a totally appropriate for there to be that 30% nugget that says “Hey, just remember, we do this for a living. This is what we get paid for, and then you can pay us for it if you need it.” You know, that’s ultimately the message that you want to strike and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Lauren Siler: Yeah, absolutely. I think that there is a balance that’s important to strike. That it’s okay to tell people what to do and it’s okay to tell people that you’re in business, and remind people that you’re not running a charity. You’re not in the business to simply just provide your best education on things and that’s the end all be all. I think when done the right way, especially if you are investing time in developing expertise and presenting that expertise on your website in a really thoughtful, accessible way, it does make complete sense to try and make sure that people have an easy, clear way to learn more and to actually get in touch with you and work with you.

Chris Butler: I had a client once who felt, well I could sense that they were squeamish about content marketing. I think a lot of our clients who even work in the marketing space, there’s something about marketing that still carries a stigma. And they’re squeamish about it. And I point it out to them that content marketing, in the end, if done right, is actually more altruistic than education purely would be because in our society, education costs money. In order to go to a school and get an education in something, you typically have to pay for that. I mean, we have public schools, but once you get to the advanced level you’re paying to be there. And you’re paying quite a lot! Content marketing you’re not paying for it.

Lauren Siler: Right. Yeah that’s an interesting thought.

Chris Butler: If the be all and end all of it is for someone to understand whether or not they should take advantage of a service or a product, there’s no problem there, right? But if the idea that education purely would be more altruistic is ridiculous because actually in that scenario you’d be paying, for every piece of information would be transactionalized around money, and that’s not how content marketing works. So I think-

Lauren Siler: I like this!

Chris Butler: I think it is an important [crosstalk 00:19:48].

Lauren Siler: Yeah, absolutely.

Julia Vanderput: I really like, I mean, that makes so much sense but we hear that all the time and it actually speaks to what I’m going to recommend toward the end here for following up on the site. Yeah, the idea that content marketing is slimy in some way is not true, you know? So I like thinking about it that way.

Chris Butler: It’s based around, I think, a fundamental distrust that people have that you can’t sell something honestly, right? That all sales are actually trying to con somebody into buying something that’s of less value than you say it is. And that clearly is not true. You can’t do content marketing if you don’t believe in the value of your service or product. It doesn’t work, right?

Julia Vanderput: Absolutely.

Lauren Siler: Yeah. And to Julia’s earlier point, to follow that line of thinking and to do it well then you actually need to be presenting information that’s specific enough that it is of value, that you can make the case that I’m providing true education. And that means not having fear around demonstrating your expertise in a specific way. Cause if you’re just writing in vague generalities, if you’re not writing to your positioning, you’re not writing specifically to the problem of your prospect, then the value of that piece is significantly diminished and then your content marketing might become or really start to feel slimy.

Chris Butler: So I think we’ve given people a pretty decent prep talk around this issue, but I’m curious, are there any specific things that if somebody’s listening and they’re thinking “Okay, I’m down with this concept. I feel much better about it now. But what should I do specifically now with this knowledge.” Is there anything that comes to mind for you all?

Julia Vanderput: Shoot us an e-mail.

Lauren Siler: Shoot us an e-mail? Is that what you said?

Julia Vanderput: Yes. Get in touch with us about our content program.

Chris Butler: Yeah, let’s assume maybe there’s some clients out there who are already working with us and they’re thinking “You know what, this sounds great. I can’t wait to talk to Julia and Lauren again about this or any of the other strategists here, but is there something specific, something that you find yourself telling clients all the time around this?”

Lauren Siler: I think it comes to releasing the fear. Like what I would say is that thing that you’re scared to write, go ahead and do it. Pretend that this was a non-issue. Pretend that you could wave a magic wand and competitors weren’t an issue or people learning from this and not actually doing business with you wasn’t an issue. If you had the freedom to write the most educational content that you could think of around your prospect’s problem, what would it be? Actually ideate on that for awhile and think about what those topics would be. Release yourself from that fear.

Chris Butler: Right. Here’s one practical that I’ll leave the listener with, and that is that I think that, you have one as well?

Julia Vanderput: I do, yup.

Chris Butler: Okay. I think that many people who experience the fear are afraid of either exposing process and then being rendered obsolete as a result or exposing results and those results being found wanting, right? And another way to alleviate that fear is that what I tend to tell people is that people don’t buy process in our line of work. They’re interested in it. It definitely helps with reassurance. But nobody buys that because what they really are assuming is that if they’re ready to buy, you’re the expert. You know how to do what you’re doing. They are buying results, which puts a lot more emphasis on how you expose those results, how measurable are they.

And so on the one had I just want to just say look, make sure that when you’re writing about your expertise that you elevate the results that you have. But beneath that, I guess my practical takeaway is find consistent measurables. Find consistent ways of actually measuring your impact. It doesn’t always have to be quantitative. There are really practical ways of measuring qualitative results, but they need to be consistent and you need to expose that. So if you’re worried about exposing process then fine, because no one really wants to buy that in the first place. That’s a luxury. They want to buy results. And so that’s the practical I’d say is expose your results and make sure that they’re actually defined.

Julia Vanderput: Yeah. Absolutely. What you pointed out there with exposing results is all about evidence, right? And we have to remember that people are not on your site just for the educational component but also to really see what it’s gonna be like to work with you and does it work? I mean, does partnering with you, is it gonna end up well for them? Is it gonna bring results in, right?

The other thing I wanted to bring up is we talk a lot about this is marketing content, marketing content, marketing content. Sometimes it’s helpful to just sit down and think well, this is a conversation. How would I explain this concept or this topic to a friend? To someone who works in an industry. Maybe I’m talking to them over coffee. Maybe it’s not a new business conversation, it’s just a natural conversation. What does that look like on paper? And just write it out.

I think a lot of times people come in thinking oh I gotta think of this persona and I gotta think of what the evidence is, and that can be really helpful for some writers, but for some writers I think just thinking of it as a conversation can be super helpful in just getting that natural voice out there.

Lauren Siler: Yeah, and there are tools to help with that too. I mean, in my latest article on the site I opened it by talking about the phenomenon of the blinking cursor on a blank Word document and how that can be paralyzing. So one of the ways around what you’re talking about could just be to record yourself talking about it. Like to your point, if you’re going to explain this to a friend, just turn on the voice memo on your phone or something and just record yourself explaining that concept and getting into it, and that can be one way to get over the hump of the paralysis that comes with formulating a formal content marketing piece in some way.

Julia Vanderput: Yeah and I think that that could be kind of a good way to also strike that balance, because you would never go into the details of what that person’s issues are. You would really keep it big, right, and talk about this concept in a way that is education but isn’t going into too much of what your approach would be, should they partner with you.

Chris Butler: You know, a word that I keep thinking of as I listen to you both talk about this is intimacy. And I think at the risk of sounding a little touchy feely about this, I think that is a really important component of how to deliver these types of services. When you’re offering expertise, and especially in the form of guidance, ongoing coaching that someone’s paying for, building intimacy with that person is really what’s gonna carry the trust. I mean, the evidence based is what gets them in the door in the first place. That’s what gets them to commit the first time. But they have a chance or a choice every other month that they work with you to stop committing, to leave, to stop working with you, to jump ship, or to say this isn’t valuable anymore. And the glue is really intimacy. Building that relationship with somebody. Listening between the lines to what’s really going on. Thinking about how to re-customize on the fly what you deliver over and over again and I think that’s something that’s not practical but it’s something to think about. How do you build intimacy with your friends and family and how can you provide that to a client?

Lauren Siler: It comes down to really building understanding and thinking of these people as people and not as the client that I have to impress in this moment.

Julia Vanderput: Absolutely, yeah.

Lauren Siler: And we talk a lot about that as coming at it and just remembering that this is a person whose relationship with me I really value and I want to invest in that in an authentic way.

Chris Butler: Yeah. Well this has been a great conversation. As we like to usually wrap up, let’s give the listener some gifts. Do you have something to recommend that somebody follow up on and take a look at?

Julia Vanderput: I do. It’s actually an earlier episode of the podcast. The Agency Marketing Podcast season 1 that’s gonna be episode 4, Don’t Forget That Content Marketing is Marketing. Cause I think that’s a really interesting discussion on how to connect your content to the services you actually offer, and so it’s a nice connection to what we talked about today, cause it’s all about how to talk about what you do without giving out the magic secret sauce. And just so that the listeners know, whenever we talk about this content, there’s gonna be links in the transcript. It’s one of those things I want to always point out. It’s so funny cause I produce these podcast episodes and there’s always something that I wish I would say and I’m actually on here. I feel like I could do a whole podcast episode on that: things Julia has always wanted to let you guys know. So there’s links. There are links in our transcript for these content items that we’re bringing up and talking about.

Chris Butler: Yeah that’s great. I haven’t mentioned this in the past but this is a labor of love that involves lots of people here at Newfangled and Julia has been behind the scenes since basically day one. She makes sure this gets transcribed, she edits the transcription, she gets it on the site, she adds links to the things that we say we’re gonna link to but don’t. So yeah, you’ve been providing a lot of really valuable service from the beginning.

How about you Lauren, what do you got?

Lauren Siler: I’m going to recommend an article that I published to this site in September of last year that’s called “It’s Time to Stop Considering Your Marketing SPAM.” This is for the squeamish marketers who are listening to this podcast and trying to determine whether or not they should invest in content marketing and what the makeup of the messaging of their content marketing strategy should be.

Chris Butler: Great. Similarly, I’ve got an article that touches on this theme as well from back in 2015. I wrote an article called “We Got So Deep Into Content Marketing That We Forgot To Actually Mention What We Do.” And that was a quote from an agency principal that I was speaking to. The article is about, as Julia referenced, meaningfully connecting your expertise to services. So the content marketing that you’re talking about, what form does that take into your services and making sure they connect?

And the other thing I wanted to mention was another article that came out a year later called “Scenes From The Marketing War Room.” And that was just basically a behind the scenes narrative of when somebody complained about our content being too promotional. And what I wanted to talk about in that, and what that was really all about is that balance of when do you talk about what you’re selling and when do you talk about something in the abstract, your expertise in the abstract? And this particular person was complaining because I had written a post that talked about why we had made a shift as a business and what that really meant for what we offer. And I thought that was an entirely, and I know that was an entirely appropriate use of our content marketing, but this person objected. It was a great platform on which to talk about Blair Enns’ one part promotion to three parts education.

Anyway, thank you both for being here.

Lauren Siler: Thank you.

Chris Butler: And for the listener, please find us on iTunes and give us a great rating and we’ll see you next time.

Julia Vanderput: Thanks for listening!

Lauren Siler: Thanks!