Lessons from My Debut as a Public Speaker

Be careful what you wish for because it just might happen.

This is something I’ve been repeating to myself ever since I started on this journey. Setting your intentions and letting the universe know about those intentions lead to results.

Before we go any further, you should know that I have intense stage fright. I’m an introverted writer, and the second you put me in front of people, I get tongue-tied. Or worse, I get overly chatty, and not always in a delightful way. (I even snort).

At the end of 2016, I told a few close friends that I wanted to add “Speaker” to my list of titles. I submitted proposals to a couple of conferences. I received a few lovely rejections, which I fully expected. Thanks to the incredible group of people who have been my support system this past year, I got my first speaking opportunity at this year’s Content Marketing World as part of a panel for a session on Leveraging Content to Elevate Community.

I was going to be a speaker at my favorite conference!

I WAS GOING TO BE A SPEAKER. (more…)

Lean Content Marketing Tips for Startups

When it comes to content marketing, you don’t need a full newsroom or a large budget to be effective. Whether you’re an enterprise-level organization or a startup, a lean content marketing strategy can take you a long way.

I had the pleasure of speaking at Seattle Startup Week 2017 about building a content team, creating a content marketing strategy that goes the distance, and getting to know your audience – on a budget.

When it comes to statistics around content marketing, my go-to resource is The State of Content Marketing from CMI and they didn’t disappoint. Here are the numbers I focused on at the beginning of my presentation.

  • 68% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it.
  • 70% of people would rather learn more about a company through articles rather than an ad.
  • 75% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing

These numbers alone prove that content marketing is here to stay. The methods and the platforms may be evolving, but at the heart of it, great content marketing builds trust, loyalty, and engagement.

So, if you’re a startup or a small business, where do you begin? (more…)

Introvert’s Guide to Surviving Content Marketing World

(I wrote this post right before heading to Content Marketing World in 2017. Lucky for us, the community and the conference are consistent in their amazingness , making these tips evergreen.)

It’s that time of year again – the orange takes over, excitement fills the air, and we all descend on to Cleveland to attend Content Marketing World.

It’s no secret that Content Marketing World has a special place in my heart, along with the entire CMI team, and the incredible people I’ve met over the past three years.

But it can also be overwhelming. I’m an ambivert and conferences where I am “on” all the time for 4 days straight can take a lot out of me. My energy gets zapped once the adrenaline wears off, especially if I’m not practicing self-care throughout the conference. Over the past few years, I’ve gotten a lot better at preserving my energy in order to survive the week as an introvert.

I want to share a few of those tricks with you. I also reached out to the #CMWorld Slack Community to get their input.

So, here are a few ways you can survive Content Marketing World as an introvert. (more…)

Content Marketing Lessons from My Unexpectedly Viral Tweet

On July 31, I got a news alert. Scaramucci was out as the White House Communications Director after 10 days. I don’t know why but the first thing I thought of was avocados. So, my very first tweet that had the link to the news article had that reference.

I even thought it was funny enough to post as my Facebook status that morning, which received a lot of engagement. I was going to go on with my day. I needed to get ready for my flight.

Then, I got hit with a couple more ideas to post on Twitter. After all, the entire internet was on board. This was the creative relief we needed from the onslaught of, well, reality. So, I tweeted out a few different references. I used different hashtags. I sometimes referred to him as The Mooch and other times, used #Scaramucci.

A couple got likes. Some retweets here and there, but nothing major.

Until.

This was actually a throwaway tweet. I just kind of posted it as I thought about it and then posted my favorite, which had a Game of Thrones reference. I thought if any of my tweets that day got any traction, it would obviously be the Game of Thrones one.

To my surprise, it wasn’t. It was my ‘throwaway’ tweet that resonated the most with people for some reason. It was even included in a Buzzfeed News roundup.

I said RIP to my notifications and got ready for my flight.

My one “viral” tweet reinforced what I’ve been telling my clients about content marketing and social media all along. So, here are my learnings from my 24 hours of internet fame.

You have to be flexible with your content

Once you have a content strategy and editorial plan in place (and for the love of coffee, please have these in place), what you put out into the world cannot be repetitive. You won’t know what resonates with your audience until you’re putting out content that actually resonates with your audience. This means that you have to be flexible enough to play around with the wording and types of content you’re releasing into the world.

While it’s important to have a consistent voice, that doesn’t mean your voice has to be rigid.

Hashtags don’t guarantee exposure

I really thought that this tweet would be the one that got the most engagement. I was using multiple references, and #GameofThrones is still relatively active on Monday mornings.

As you can see, I was wrong.

Numbers don’t tell the whole story

My viral tweet received over 153K impressions, but what does that mean? Not much, to be honest. It means that with over 900 retweets, it made its way in front of a lot of eyeballs on Twitter, but I only got a single follower from it. 87 people cared enough to click over to my profile to learn more about me.

When you’re asking your social media manager or content manager to create viral posts, are you thinking about the implications? Just because something strikes a chord with your audience doesn’t mean it’ll lead to money in the bank for you.

Want to break down the actual ROI of content marketing? Jay Baer has a great formula. Spoiler: It involves actual math.

Don’t squander the first impression opportunity

My tweet had nothing to do with the content marketing and strategy services I offer. The audience it would drive to my profile were most likely not my target customers. But what if one set of eyeballs belonged to a small business owner scrolling through Twitter between phone calls or while eating lunch? My pinned tweet when I woke up that morning was a general post about the services I offer, linking to my website.

After the tweet picked up traction, I quickly drafted another tweet that I pinned to the top of my profile:

Cheesy? Yes. But potentially effective.

It was an unexpected experiment that was fun while it lasted. That’s the thing about content marketing and social media. Not everything will be a home run.

Amplifying your voice through the noise requires planning, tenacity, and a whole lot of flexibility.

Have you ever had a tweet go unexpectedly viral? What was your experience like?

 

Oh, by the way, are you going to Content Marketing World this September? I’m speaking about leveraging content to elevate your community with an amazing group of professionals. We’d love to see you in our session! If you haven’t registered yet, you can use BERRAKBIZ100 to save an additional $100!