Credit: Roy Luck
I learn by listening to others tell their stories. I learn a lot when people give details of their successes and failures. That saves me a few iterations and unhappy clients.
My local church networking group is struggling with providing the most valuable information for job seekers and networking business people. Introductory elevator speeches have become typical and almost have the opposite effect. I’m not learning anything new that I can share with others. We all get used to positioning our labels and revealing what others might want to hear or what might help us sell.
How about we add a gear to that short statement? “I’m a web project manager.” Now, instead of what I do, how about here’s what I’ve done. “This week I helped build a website that helps this client speak to these people. It has this one great feature. Google it, discover it and try it out.”
Give others something to do, something to imagine. Let them visualize what you do instead of trying to memorize your label.
Inspired by Ahava Leibtag and her wonderful Creating Valuable Content Checklist
You tell great stories about your business every day. Make them so good and interesting that your customers will repeat them for you. Before you build fresh content or before you deploy it from your content inventory, ask yourself if you have these tools?
I originally wrote a post – Content strategy for personal branding checklist – organizing content strategy by tasks. Your content strategy builds valuable organic content (text posts, photo galleries, storytelling video, audio/podcasts, etc.) so that people can discover awesome things about you and your company. View the Content Strategy Checklist for the overview.
Building your personal or company’s brand with content strategy means introducing yourself with content that tells people exactly what you’re passionate about. How do you tell great stories consistently?
Research the best places to find your content, build content hubs to anchor your content, create unique, nimble and usable content, then curate and share your ideas.
Hope this takeaway is helpful.
Download the Content Strategy Toolbox
Photo from The Library of Congress - Build the right content hubs. They will be your anchors.
Build your personal brand with content strategy. Introduce yourself without a business card or resume with content that tells people exactly what you’re passionate about. Tell me a story. Your content must be three things to tell your brand’s story effectively:
Research the best places to anchor your content, build content hubs to anchor your content, create unique, nimble and usable content, then curate and share your ideas.
Introduce yourself in social media, listen, ask advice, and comment on others.
- Calibrate (Practice engagement, build your tribe)
- Realize usability (How do I read, act on content)
- Keywords (Note how people search)
Place your content online where people will find it.
- Build the right content hubs (Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn)
- Become an active member of groups and networks
- Use analytics for benchmarks (Insights, Hootsuite)
Build different kinds of content for different people.
- Unique stories (background detail, anecdotes)
- Quick and nimble (brevity, people scan)
- Usable info (thank you, I’ll be back)
Weed and feed. Give your precious content life.
- Revise and improve (How can more people discover this?)
- Share and circulate (Does my idea mesh with others)
- Keep building (Don’t stop creating)
What would you add to this list?
The Library of Congress
You want to break the ice, gain information, and meet someone for a one-on-one discussion. Social media provides an opportunity to produce a ‘warm call’ and collect basic information on a connection before your first conversation. Thanks to social media you will never again waste time nattering about the weather or looking for visual clues to a build a conversation.
A Google search provides a quick summary of LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, Twitter and YouTube channels, blogs posts and comment threads. You’re golden, unless you skip this step.
Five things to avoid doing in a first meeting
- Call someone by the wrong first name, repeatedly, even after they have handed you a business card (with their name on it).
- Accept a business card (and pocket it) without looking at the card.
- Claim that you’re familiar with their blog and that you’ve read their blog . . . and then ask them what they write about.
- Be mystified by a term that was discussed in an introductory email and found in multiple blog posts and tags.
- Talk a lot. Listen a little.
Cold calls are out, ‘warm calls’ are in – if you actually use them to your advantage.
It’s on. Tell me a story.
Before my eyes glaze over from one more Spam blog each and every one of you is tasked with creating content that will thrill and impress. Only content strategy and solid web writing can save us now. We need to explain ourselves in gleaming detail so that we never have to stamp an envelope holding a résumé ever again (sorry postal service, it’s over – next!).
College (or soon to be) graduates, displaced workers and soon-to-be-displaced workers need to create great content that reveals their background, expertise and passion. Don’t farm out your story. Create your content cache, and in an era of user generated content, share your great ideas on social media channels.
Congrats Tippingpoint Labs on your new media agency. You understand that there is a wave of over 6,000 new blog posts (every 10 minutes), 1 billion YouTube videos and more than 1.5 million pieces of Facebook content (every day). But it’s the solid content that muscles its way to the crest of that wave.
The field is crowded – with junk. The bar is not that high for just mediocre. But we aspire to so much more.