- Playing with a blog idea we have at Prospect Builder (my new gig)
- Blog “A” for the A to Z challenge
- Blog “B” for the A to Z challenge
- Blog “C” for the A to Z challenge
Let’s see if I can pull this off even semi-successfully.
Let’s begin with the usual theme of posts in this blog, content marketing.
Every time I type or think this, I immediately start humming the Jackson 5 in my head. In sales, ABC has meant “Always Be Closing” ever since at least Glengarry Glenn Ross (I’m not in sales; I’m assuming this has been around longer, I just wanted an excuse to insert the video here).
When it comes to inbound and content marketing, you do want to close. If you’re marketing a mass market/consumer type product, then you want to use your marketing to lead directly to sales. If you’re passing leads along, you do want those leads to close. We’re marketing not to be altruistic, but to improve sales.
But, being as intense as Alec Baldwin is – in your face, pushing, always on – is as or more likely to turn customers off than to result in a sale.
We’ve been playing around with “always be connecting” and/or “always be conversing.” I kinda like “always be talking” but ABT just doesn’t sound quite right. Always be connecting is nice, but sounds too much like the arguments for social business five years ago – go online, connect, and magic will happen. I’ve connected with enough folks online to believe that magic can and does happen online, but when it comes to scale . . . dunno, this one doesn’t feel quite right – like the metric could be Facebook likes (which is my favorite semi-bullshit metric example).
Always be conversing sounds better, because you want to be talking and informing and interacting with your customers. Conversing is just an odd formulation of conversation or converse (great shoes) and chatting is too . . . ephemeral of a word to support the weight of strategy. You chat with your neighbor, the person next to you in the checkout line, or your co-worker on Skype. As the carrier of a concept for marketing, always be chatting leaves something to be desired.
Anyway, we’re still futzing around with this. But, when I decided to make the leap and attempt the A-Z challenge, I thought, WTH, throw it in here.
On to A – Z, which is to write a blog post/day beginning with A and ending with Z on the last day of April, skipping Sundays. As usual, I’m late.
A – Ass
What a marvelous word. Depending on context: it’s what Jesus rode into Jerusalem on, the part of your anatomy you sit upon (unless you’re really good at yoga and can sit on your head), a vivid description of a person. Asshole. Ass hat. Assmunch. Asinine. Ass kisser. Kiss ass. Kick some ass. Ass burgler.
In grade school, I remember giggling when we had to read it from the Bible. As I got older, I learned to use it in any number of combinations to more fully express my opinion. As I’ve grown older still, I’ve grown lazier, generally relying on a generic “asshole” or “what an ass” when using as a cuss word.
Then there is, of course, ass as anatomy – and a delightful piece of anatomy it is. And, we’ll just leave it at that and leave the remainder to conversations one has over beers.
B – Beauty
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” “Beauty is only skin deep” Anyone else remember these from when you were young and thinking, “Bullshit, ugly is ugly.”
While I’ve always believed in a good amount of gray in the world, I do miss some certainties of youth.
Beauty. Ugliness. Both are in the eye of the beholder – and the culture that has shaped the beholder. Fat. Thin. Muscular. Emaciated. White. Black. Yellow. Brown. Tan. Round face. Fat head. Pointed or square chin. Long hair. Short hair. No hair. Big ass. Small tits. And all of the various other configurations that we come in, someone will find you attractive.
And that’s just physically. If you’re lucky enough, you figure it out early enough that the surface layer is only a layer – and the thinnest one at that – of what makes us who we are. It’s the beauty – or the ugliness – on the inside that matters and really makes us who we are.
I’ve found over the years that I still like to look at attractive chicks. I’ve also been slightly horrified to discover that the age of what I find attractive has steadily aged along with my years – I’m taking this as a sign of maturity. I’m much more quickly turned off by a shitty attitude than I ever used to be from anyone that most folks would agree on as “attractive.”
Looks really don’t matter all that much in the long run (though I do believe that a mutual level of physical attraction is needed for a successful romantic relationship, though that’s perhaps a post for another day). I find myself more attracted (not the right word, but it’ll do for now) to inner beauty than ever before. Crap, maybe I am growing up.
C – Content
Good content makes me content.
I always knew/expected that my career would involve words – writing them, sharing them, arguing with them, making points with them, and trying to change opinions with them. I don’t think I ever expected to what extent that would be.
My professional life revolves around content – and has for 20 years. Whether magazine, webinar, ebook, blog post, or infographic; my job has been to create and/or edit pieces of content that educate an audience. In the past few years, using content to move folks to a desired action has been added.
“Just” attempting to educate folks was hard enough. Doing the reading and research. Finding people who knew what they were talking about – and could be trusted not to bullshit too much (or sell their point of view). Assigning. Editing. Seeing through to design. All of the different moving parts to juggle were hard when the goal of a piece of content was to explain “the topic at hand.”
Now . . . egads. Adding the extra elements of social and marketing your own content and moving folks along a course of action to the need to continue to educate an audience and I feel constantly slightly (hahahahaha) behind.
While I’m still getting used to writing as much as I need to (one of the reasons I’m doing these writing exercises), I love the opportunity to learn new things weekly – if not daily (I had no idea until last week how much electricity is required to keep server rooms cool for all of the information we’re creating and storing these days). I’m learning how to write better – blogs (for work and pleasure), headlines and titles, landing page and Web copy. The best part – it never ends, I’ll always be able to get better. And hope I do.