Ear Brain Heart 5th December, 2022

The busy person’s guide to authentic content marketing

Everyone’s vying for our attention on LinkedIn. So how can you stand out without simply shouting louder?

For content marketing expert Kate Clarke, the key is writing authentically, as yourself, for exactly the type of person you want to reach. So rather than creating more content or chasing the algorithm, it’s about writing, recording, or live-streaming what occurs to you that can resonate with the people you want to work with.

Key takeaways

  • Good writing starts by knowing the audience. Then bring in your values and your story.
  • Start your content creation journey with video or a live stream. From that, you can generate a blog post, a podcast episode, and more.
  • People buy from people they share values with.
  • It’s important to set boundaries when speaking with an authentic voice, so you can let people in… but not too far in.
  • Don’t be afraid of repeating yourself.
  • Some level of automation or scheduling is necessary to help busy people get their messages out. But remember to ask yourself “is this content valuable?”
    • This can also be hugely beneficial if you have a biological cycle that impacts how visible you want to be.
  • The best ways to bring people into the “know” stage of “know, like, trust” is to be visible. Buy ads (if that feels relevant), go to networking events, pitch to guest on podcasts, build partnerships.

George Kao’s three-step process for content development

  1. Start with informal content – something you can record while walking the dog.
  2. Take that piece and work it into something long-form, like a blog post or YouTube video.
  3. Combine the pieces that have worked best into a course or a book.

Links

Transcript

00:00:00Kate
Did you used to do radio then?
00:00:01Mark
No. Well, I've done some community radio.
00:00:04Kate
You've got a very radio voice,
00:00:06Mark
Thank you. Yeah, I can't turn it off.
00:00:12Kate
No, it's great. I love it.
00:00:13Mark
You're listening to Ear Brain Heart, an experiment in showing up. I'm Mark Steadman, and I try to be a good content marketer, but between getting in my own head, having too many ideas or getting bogged down in process, it's helpful to spend an hour with someone who can give me some sensible, actionable tips so that I can make good stuff for the right people without breaking my back.
00:00:40
That person is Kate Clarke, a content marketing specialist who works with people and organizations trying to do good in the world. Kate shares some super useful tips on creating authentic content iteratively. But we started by me getting a handle on where in the content development process kate sits.
00:01:02Kate
So with the work that I do, I don't necessarily do a lot of the writing cause I'm not a copywriter. I work with people. I like to, um, because everything that I do, I like to comment it from an authentic and an ethical point of view. And I work with a lot of health coaches and people who need to retain their own voice. So I very much encourage people to write their own stuff.
00:01:22
So there is, you know, the certain language and the certain words that you, that wanna pull through there. And, and I often will, you know, give people the confidence then to understand, you know, this is good, this is not so good. And lots of people do, they, they end up not writing necessarily for the audience. And they're not thinking about what emotions they're going through and what you know, and it's very much, this is what I do, and it's almost like robotic. And you have to kinda get people out of that, that, that, that robot voice and, and like, what are the emotions you're actually endearing to here? What are, you know, what are you trying to, um, what's the emotions that you are, you know, you're speaking.
00:02:11Mark
Do you find that there are sort of habits or. Things like that, that you have to find ways of, cuz you know, I, I, I have this as well. Um, that you have to sort of coach people around when, you know, are there crutches that, that people return to in their writing that, that you see sort of across the board?
00:02:34Kate
for sure. There's, like you say, there's, there's, people always will fall into the technical speak of what they're doing all the time. So, um, like lots of my clients, especially the ones that are very scientific in their approaches post, so like, you know, if you've got a health coach or a nutritionist and they're very much in that talking, in that scientific language because that's how they, that's how they've learned their trade. Probably through, you know, through, they've gone very deep on the science and it's actually getting people out of the science and talking on the level that somebody's gonna understand what an earth that means. You know, what does that mean to them? What does that, what's the outcome for them? Rather than, you know, if you do this one thing, it's gonna change your metabolic bio systems and blah, blah, blah. And,
00:03:27Mark
I dunno what those
00:03:28Kate
does that even mean to the, you know, you've got to write for people as if, I mean, I think in the, in the media world, they tell you to, um, to speak or write as if you are talking to your grandma or a five year old, right? Cause that's, you've got to go at the base level to kind of, to appeal to most people.
00:03:48Mark
Yeah. And, um, someone, uh, I, I work with in, in a another community has, uh, this thing of writing for the person that's in the supermarket queue. And so because you are, you have limited time and you've probably got, you know, you might be juggling a couple of things at the same time and then an email pops up and you're having a quick read of it just cuz you're bored for a couple of minutes your reading age. Has dropped because you've got a bunch of stuff going on, and so you wanna be able to use really clear, concise wording, short sentences and all that kind of stuff. Like I, I'm often in the, I dunno if, if you've ever used the Hemingway
00:04:26Kate
Yes. Yeah, I love
00:04:27
it.
00:04:28Mark
what, what, yeah. Like what as, as somebody who works in this area, what do you think of, of, of tools like that?
00:04:33Kate
Um, I think that obviously, you know, the true writer would say, oh, they're terrible. They're taking our jobs away from us. But from, from a, from a person that works with people that might not necessarily write, you know, it's not necessarily their, their first strength, you know, is writing. My job is always to encourage those people to do, to build the confidence to do this right thing for themselves. So things like the Hemingway and Gramley, they're, they're great tools to help people, you know, to give people the confidence to know that what they're doing is good enough.
00:05:11Mark
I think there's a, there's a wonderful thing. So there's, um, a, uh, YouTube, he was a touring magician for, for a long while, and then, um, uh, really leaned into podcasting and YouTube and, and he's, he talked for years as a magician about, and, and Penn and Teller talk about this, the idea that, um, the best magicians sort of show you how the trick is done, but you, you, and you'll, you might be able to do it to some level of competency, but that sort of delta is, is, you know, is, is what talent is. It's like, yeah, you could do it to a competent degree, but we make this look sort of effortless. And that's, that's sort of what that last, that last mile is. That's what that, that last bit of talent is. And I. I find it so much more satisfying to help people get to that 90% rather than trying to do the whole thing to actually show people, you know, you are a lot more capable to do this stuff than you probably gave yourself credit for. And these tools can sort of help us get, you know, get along that way.
00:06:09Kate
I agree totally.
00:06:11Mark
So what kind of things, when you are working with people on stuff like, uh, tone of voice and writing, like do you sit with them? Do you sit with, with clients and sort of get a sense of their tone of voice and then help them write for that? Or is it, like you said, really just focusing on not so much their tone of voice, but what the reader is hoping to receive emotionally and, and that kind of.
00:06:34Kate
Yeah, there's a whole process, right? So like. Um, with content strategy, it's, it's not just a case of, um, you know, writing a few blogs or creating a podcast or whatever. It's, there's a lot more preparation work to, I believe, to make it successful, and that includes, Really getting deep on your customers. So understanding your customer, doing the research, speaking to them, having a look, and using online tools to understand, you know, what are they searching for, what are they worried about? What do, what is the solution out there that they need? And there's a, there's a lot to understand there before you can, then you can then begin to put your stamp on it.
00:07:18
So, once you've kind of got that customer bit ready, then it's thinking about you and your business and what's, what's, what stories are important there that you need to bring out? What's the brand values? What's your mission, your vision, your what you want to be known for? And then you're mixing those two things together to really, um, you know, create the content that's gonna, that's gonna do the job that it needs to do, which is reaching those.
00:07:48Mark
And so when we get into this idea of content, um, what kind of things are you typically helping people, uh, create?
00:08:01Kate
So when I work with people, I do a big job on the the strategy side. So then once we've got into, well, your customer, this is what they want, this is, you know, this is what you wanna be known for. These are your, your values. Then it's what are the main themes that you wanna create content around that's gonna help you A, reach the right people and tell them the right stories.
00:08:26
So it might be reviewing their blogs, it might be giving them the confidence to get on in front of video. Like I always say, if you start with video doing lives or video, that then gives you a whole load of stuff to repurpose. Because if you've got a video, you can turn that into a transcript and then you can edit the transcript to turn into a blog. And then you've got, um, you've got some text that you can copy and paste into social media posts. So there's a workflow there that'll, that'll save you time in the long run if you start with a video or live.
00:09:00
So that's kind of like where I. Push most people, if they, if that's what's gonna bring them joy as well. Like there's the whole thing around, well, people really might not necessarily love video. They might prefer the podcast side because they don't mind, you know, being, having that voice out there, but they're not necessarily that comfortable having themselves in front of a camera.
00:09:21
Although I always say that most of these things can be overcome. Like if you, it depends, you know. What that fear really is. So getting down, you know, what is that fear of being on video and can we overcome it to begin with?
00:09:37Mark
That sort of sustainability aspect of creating content that, that sort of lights you up and keeps you inspired, um, that can. Yeah, that can be, that can be tricky if, I guess, if you don't have that, that real strategy in place from the beginning to say, well, these are the, the kinds of things that I, that I wanna talk about. These are the kinds of areas that I wanna help people with, um, and you know, that really, that should be the stuff that you, I guess, you most care about. And that gets you excited. Otherwise, well, what are you doing, I
00:10:11Kate
Yeah. And there's ways to make it easier as well. So, I always want to, like, I work with small business owners and it's, you've got to make their life as easy as possible to create this stuff. So what can you put in place that's gonna make it really easy? So having the strategy and doing the prep work, actually in the long run, it might seem like a big cost and a big time out late to begin with, but in the long run, when you come to creating stuff, you don't need to think about it cuz it's there. It's, you know, your content calendars, your ideas, your themes, you've thought about all of that. So the rest of it flows easier.
00:10:52
And then like, how else can you, you know, with accountability or productivity or tools or repurposing workflows, like all of these things that make it so much easier. So it does bring them joy.
00:11:05Mark
I'm gonna ask a question that's, it might sound like a challenge and I don't mean it to, um, or maybe I do, I dunno. Um, but it's something that's been on my, on my mind as I think, especially as I look through LinkedIn and uh, everybody's now got the formula, like everybody knows how to do the LinkedIn post now, like everybody's doing it and we know what that is. Um, are we, are we, I don't think drowning in content, but are we sort of getting up to our necks in it at the moment? And what can we do to make our stuff a little bit more, not stand out cuz like then everybody's trying to stand out and then no one does.
00:11:51
But like, you know, does that, does that fear sort of resonate with you? That that sense of, like, we we're all trying to do, do content, we're all trying to do hashtag content. Um, how can we, or, or, or am I wrong about that? Is that just because of the circles that I, that I swim in?
00:12:08Kate
So I've worked in content marketing for, I mean, I've worked in marketing for 15, 16 years and I think content, I remember around 2010 11 content was really kicking off then. And it, it was, it didn't take long for us to already feel like we were drowning in content then. It was very much, you need to create content that stands out, otherwise you are just lost in the noise and that. I don't feel like that has changed an awful lot. 6, 7, 8 years maybe. I think the way that people consume content is very different, and I think that there is definitely more shift towards Micronesian, which helps you than reach the people you want to reach.
00:13:01
Like I guess in the old days it was very much a scattered on approach and everybody was just creating content that appealed to every. and that's very much changed over the years where it now it's very much how, how far can you really niche down to reach the people that you really wanna reach? And I, um, I do believe that there are ways to create content in a really authentic way, so that you're not following the formulas and there isn't a funnel to go down, you know?
00:13:47
I think yeah, and I think content is, is the way to do that. Cuz you re, you know, people will find you and be drawn to you a if you are saying the right things and you're saying, not just saying what they want to hear, but also you're saying the right things because it's what you believe. It's your values, it's what you stand by. And then you'll attract the people that also believe the same things as you. And that's, you know, where the micro nicheing comes down, I suppose, because you are nicheing down to your particular values.
00:14:19Mark
Yeah. Okay. That's, yeah, that's interesting. So it, it kind of makes me think, cuz I think part of what, what's happened for me is that, you know, I've, I've, I started my, in in sort of work, I think I had this idea of, I was a bit of an, an art, like a few, a few dashes of like punk aesthetic or sort of punk ideas. A few sort of slightly just like arty kind of things. And like, it took me a long while and, and like it, it, it's only been in very recent memory that I've really sort of embraced things like LinkedIn without kind. Holding it at sort of arm's length, like it's this, this thing that's going to like, like, like smoke that's gonna get into my clothes or something. And so I think I, I've probably become more aware of sitting and, and, and scrolling through LinkedIn and, and seeing, Yeah, seeing the formula, but again, I wonder if that's just part of having that particular, you know, mindset that like, it sees patterns, you know, very, very easily. Um, but that doesn't mean that stuff doesn't still resonate.
00:15:31Kate
No, this is it. I mean, I guess, people clinging onto the formulas because they work for a short while anyway, until they become formulas, like you say, and then they, then, then they turn into the noise, I guess. But they're resonating with the right people. So whatever formula they're using, if the message is authentic, if it's coming from the right place and they're reaching the right people, like no matter if it's written in a formula or not, it's going to, it's gonna resonate with the right people, if that makes sense.
00:16:03Mark
It. And it also makes me think the stuff that really comes from the heart is, cuz I wrote some, I posted something last week about, uh, a sort of business hippie festival that I went to and I posted a video of me jumping into a freezing cold lake and it, on, on the face of it, it was LinkedIn Formula 1 0 1. It was, uh, title, you know, like one line title, trying to sort of gauge and guess where LinkedIn is gonna cut off the title, um, and then a couple, you know, and, and then the video is, is there, and then you click through and there's this, this sort of, you know, long, longer post. But it got a big reaction from people because it was unexpected, unusual, emotional.
00:16:49
Um, and, and I think one of the other things, and, and I actually, this could be a fun scene to mine is. So I, I, I, at this business event, I was invited to give a talk, and the first talk I submitted was kind of quite, uh, not dissimilar to some of the things we've, we've talked about here, a little bit of like process and, uh, here's how to do with thing. Here's like, um, yeah, here's, here's an idea. Here's podcasting as a, as a thing you might wanna pursue. And the, the organizers sort of said, eh, it. What we do here, that's not the kind of thing we want. We want your story, and we get taught in different degrees. It's like this could be a tricky path to walk, because on one hand we wanna write stuff that resonates with our customer. We don't wanna just talk about ourselves, but at the same time, our stories often resonate and get us into that, what you were talking about, the sort of Seth golden idea of people like us do things like this. Um, and, and we, a good way of doing that is to be able to tell our story. Does that, does that make sense or am I sort of
00:18:01Kate
yeah, no, totally. I'm totally on board with the, you know, like people, but the whole people buy from people. Like that's not a new concept at all, but, People buy from people that they have shared experiences, values, personality with not, not shared personality. Cuz personality isn't necessarily shared cuz a lot of personalities tend to attract the opposites. But, but still getting that personality across through the story is important. So yeah, like the personal story.
00:18:37
Especially with the clients that I work with, because they're all healing others from the place of their own healing what they've been through. So that is very, very important for them to communicate that and to communicate that in a vulnerable and authentic way that doesn't feel like oversharing or doesn't feel like, you know, it's it it needs to feel right and feel good, and it's quite hard to actually. And I've been through this myself in the past year, actually being able to, to open up and let people in, but you know, still with those boundaries as well because you know, it's a business and you're not letting people completely into your life. It's not like you're opening the door and say, Hey, come in, you know, sit down and watch tele and have cup of tea with me. But you are, you're still letting them into who you are.
00:19:28Mark
one of the, the sort of ideas I've been playing around with at the moment is, is sort of bringing our, bringing our audience home. Um, and that doesn't mean that they can rummage through your underwear draw, but it does mean that they can maybe sit and have a quick, you know, have a coffee and, and, and, you know, maybe watch an episode of Pointless.
00:19:49Kate
Yeah, that's a good analogy. I like that.
00:19:52Mark
Um, and so yeah, I think that aspect of, of sharing, yeah, boundaries, I think is a, is a really important, important point there is, is being conscious of what you can share without being too guarded. But just, and I think if you are almost verging, I dunno how you feel about this, but like, if you are almost verging on that, like, is this maybe a little bit too personal? I feel like you've probably hit a good sweet spot.
00:20:18Kate
If it feels uncomfortable, actually it's probably a good thing, , cuz you are then coming out of your shell and your comfort zone and you're putting yourself in that position where not to be judged, but you are, you're probably gonna get some judgment, but you have to be strong enough to be, you know, to say,
00:20:38Mark
it on. When you are working with people, especially thinking about things like, uh, like, like videos and, and, and lives and things like that, are you finding that you have to work through people's vulnerabilities or work through people's, you know, do they have that, that sense of, of a little bit of, of fear of, you know, showing aspects of themselves?
00:21:04Kate
Yes, definitely. Um, I mean, I'm, I'm not a, you know, I'm not a coach myself, so I haven't got the skill or the ability to be able to push people. Through those, those boundaries or those fears. But I very much am a cheerleader and give people the confidence to know that they can do this. And if there are, if there are things that I can help them with and push them through, or, you know, just give them the, just, just that little nudge then yeah, like I do, I do do that quite a lot.
00:21:39Mark
So let's get into some, um, let's get into some process then. I'm, I'm, I'm a busy small business owner. I, I wanna speak authentically. I wanna do good in the world. It's important for me to, um, that, that my values are shared in my work and that I wanna work with, uh, people who share my values. So I need to communicate those, um, But, but I, you know, I, I've, I've got, I've got my client work, I've got, uh, other things in my life that I have to do. What can I do? What is the, what is the easiest way that I can start making some content that's actually going to hopefully move the needle? I know it's not gonna be a, a quick fix, cuz you know, we're not looking for that. But like, what can I start to do where I can, um, hopefully not, not break my back, but maybe start to see a little bit of traction?
00:22:35Kate
Yeah, so there's, there's obviously a few things. Start with, um, there's one thing I read a book by a guy called George Cow who wrote Authentic Content Marketing. He has a really good process of it's like three stage process of.
00:22:51
So stage one content is, um, really informal. You might shoot a video while you're walking the dog on just an idea that came into your head. And if you get into the process of doing that on a daily basis, you don't necessarily need to publish every video that you do. But just getting a, at practices, getting in front of the camera and speaking authentically about things that are important to. But also you're just, you are in the process of then of creating and thinking about, you know, if you are, if you're out on a walk. How can you actually record those daily thoughts and things that are gonna resonate with your audience? Maybe there might be some daily challenge that you've just overcome and you think, well, I can relate that to a business environment. So that story would be really good. So, What tools can I use to then maybe jot some of this stuff down, you know? So it's, it's thinking about how to integrate those thought processes in your daily, kind of, you know, life to make it easy to get your thought out. You're heading onto some sort of app or paper or whatever it is.
00:24:03
And then I think with stage two, it's then taking that content and then pointing it into something more formal, whether it be a longer form video or a blog or a podcast episode, or um, a YouTube video or whatever it might be that's your kind of your go-to content. How do you. Take the stuff that's worked with your audience, you know, that the casual content that's worked, that's resonated, and then taking that and, and making it into a bigger piece?
00:24:32
And then his third stage content is putting the stuff that, again, works well into either a course or a book.
00:24:40
Um, but that for me, just. I think is a nice process because at least you're starting small and it's a, it's a stepping stone, so you're starting small and you're thinking about the small casual bits of content that you can just put out there and see what works, and that just gets you on the ladder almost.
00:24:59
But then there's other things with, you know, the preparation work and understand your audience. So rather than getting into, you know, a big process, just DM a few of your old customers or existing customers. Ask them a few questions, you know, what worked for you? What didn't work for you? What would you have done if you didn't use my services? And understanding what the challenges were that they faced and how the solution helped them. And then, again, you can use tools such as Answer the Public. If you put your keywords in, it tells you what people are searching for. So it gives you an idea of where to start and what questions to answer to begin with.
00:25:45
I think some of the, the hardest bit is the actual, the productivity and the accountability bit. You know, it's, oh, I've opened my laptop, now I need to write a blog, and they sit there for an hour and they've not written a word. You know what, what can help them overcome those things so it's not wasting time as well. So if you've got all the prep work done, you've got some ideas to start with, but then, um, could you team up with somebody, do a co-working session?
00:26:14
I found a really good tool recently called Focusmate, which. And it's like a co-working Pomodoro tool. So you, you, there's a calendar and you can put in when you wanna do your session and you can choose 25 minutes or 50 minutes, and then it pairs you up with somebody and then you have like a, a joint co-working and you tell each other what you're gonna work on in that time and you just get it done. And it just overcomes that procrastination element. So, yeah, I think kind of like the productivity and accountability side is really important as well for not wasting time.
00:26:48Mark
Completely. I, I, I love this, uh, iterative process. This is, um, this this is entirely new to me. Um, and I love this idea of yeah, like taking an idea, just going from that, that real bare bones of like, here's a thought that's just occurred to me, um, while I'm out or, or whatever. And just. It's, it's like the minimum viable product of, of sort of, of a piece of content, of an idea and just going, Yeah, all right, here you go. Here's, here's something that I was thinking about, um, and then, in that true iterative, like agile style, being able to see what, what resonates. And then, okay, we can formalize this into, this can now be a blog post. It can be a podcast episode, like you said, uh, and then it's, it's the same idea.
00:27:36
Because you, I'm sure you'll know this, I don't wanna answer for you, but I'm sure you, you come across this question of, aren't I just saying the same thing multiple times and I'm sure you have an answer.
00:27:49Kate
Oh, Absolut. I absolutely do have an answer for that. Like people need to not worry about repeating themselves because if you think about most social media channels, I think the percentage of people that actually see the post is something like between five and 10%, and it's not always the same five and 10% because of the algorithm and because of what people are, you know what they're doing on a daily basis with their technology changes, what they see. It changes all the time.
00:28:17
So I mean, when I did my social media training, I'm going back eight, seven years, no, six years or so, and we were taught even then on Twitter to post the same thing every day at a different time, cuz people are online at different times. So somebody a different is gonna see that post and you do it every day for, I don't know, a week, 10 days.
00:28:40
And then, you know, you've got a rotation then of post that you're putting out, um, all the time. But there's so many different ways that you can repurpose and repost those things. So it doesn't always feel like you're just saying the same thing. So it's not just a copy and paste job. It might be you, you take a theme, you might write different words around it, or you might change the words around, or you might change the header or you might change the image or whatever it is you, you know. You can use the same thing and kind of tweak it slightly as you go.
00:29:10
But yeah. Like definitely repeating the same message is actually really important because, I mean, even in the early days of marketing, when we were taught about advertising, you know, having the same keyword or repeating the same message, it, it, it reinforces it in people's brains of what it is that you do and how that, how you do it. And if you're not then repeating that, then you're not reaching new audiences with new information, if that makes sense.
00:29:40Mark
Yeah, it's
00:29:41
like you, you, you
00:29:42
don't, you don't show an ad once, like,
00:29:45
you know, if you, if you're gonna buy an ad on Coronation Street, you don't just show it once and then they go, I advertised it, I told everyone about the thing. Uh, yeah, you, you, you, you know, even if it's the same people again, you still need reminding up to however many times it is that, that we need reminding of, of, of things. You know, we do e even if it is the same people, we still need to be told a few times before we're gonna take action. But like you said, it's yeah, that, that, that small window of the people who actually see our content, it's, it's constantly
00:30:12Kate
Yes, it is. Repeat, repeat, repeat. So, yeah, don't, don't be scared to repeat yourself, .
00:30:17
It's hard to get into that mindset, I think as a, as a content creator, cuz you're probably boring yourself with the same stuff, aren't you? But I guess, you know, like an actor practicing his lines, you know, you just, you just need to just do it over and over and over. And.
00:30:35Mark
Well, I kind of wanna like put on this thread actually, because I think about, so the, about June July last year, I recorded a video, um, on LinkedIn, sort of talking about my, uh, one of the new packages that I, that I was uh, developing is, um, helping people start podcasts. And I sort of happened upon this idea about, um, how messages move from the Ear to the brain to the heart, and it kind of almost came as I was speaking, like this sort of idea, and I kind of, I was, I was a little bit bashful about it and I was, oh, you know, cause it sounded a bit, I still wasn't sort of embracing my identity as a, as some kind of, uh, and I don't think of myself as this, but some kind of thought leader. Um, but that like being able to sort of inhabit that space of, of trying to, you know, knowing that I've got some experience, whatever.
00:31:30
Um, and that sort of, that idea stuck around and it's now more and more central to the work I do. And so I was able to iterate on that idea. It's now the name of this, of this podcast. Um, but it, it's over the year, starting as, as a, as a video and then going into a few of things. It just, I followed that thread and I understood, as I started to talk about it more, I understood more of what it meant. So I think, although I'm kind of, yeah, I'm saying the same things., Our messages go from the ear to the brain to the heart, but there's other things around that that are interesting and that I discover as I'm working with people about what that means. Um, and so these, you know, yeah, there is that, that fear of saying the same thing, but actually, with that iteration, you might discover and learn more stuff about the thing that you already thought you were an expert on
00:32:27Kate
Yes, 100% cuz then your the message evolves as well. Cause you're not necessarily then repeating yourself. Yeah, like you say, you're learning from the feedback that's coming back from people. And then you, you, you know, it's this idea of, the more you do something, the more you learn and the more it, it, it evolves. And it's like, unless you are putting stuff out there, and having that kind of courage to, to create content and put it out there, then without that feedback, it, you can't evolve it. So you have to kind of get it out there in order to evolve it in the first place.
00:33:10Mark
What is the primary thing that gets into people's, it gets in people's way of starting. You know, stage one, sort of the, the informal content. Is it the ideas? Is it the shoving a camera in their face? What, you know, what, what are you finding?
00:33:28Kate
I think there's definitely never one thing. It depends on the person and yeah, sometimes it is they're terrified of being visible and being on camera, and, or they just, they haven't got comfortable with their own story, and it's that vulnerability element of what will people think. And especially on LinkedIn, I think if they've changed careers, then you have a lot of people within your LinkedIn that know you from another life maybe, and you may be a different person then and you hadn't been through the healing and all of the other things that you've been through in your life, and you still have this element of, well, what will they think of me? And who do you think you are? And you know, that kind, you have to overcome those things as well. So yeah, I think it's always, it's always different depending on the person.
00:34:22Mark
Well, once people have, have sort of got going. What are your thoughts on things like automation
00:34:29Kate
that's a really good question. Um, Because I, as you've probably guessed out, very much standing, the authentic box of all marketing should come from an authentic place, but you have to be realistic about what you can achieve as well. So I think some automation is not necessarily too damaging. I think. I, I, I don't, I don't think, I think, you know, when you get really automated stuff and you can, you can just see it, can't you? It's so obvious when you get automated emails, you know, if you sign up to something and then you get 10 emails and they're all following again a pattern that they've been told, a formula, and you can see it and it puts you off straight away. You're just like, oh, I'm already bored of this person telling, you know, on email five, and I've seen this process and this pattern, and this formula before. Um, but you know, I think having a, having a welcome email, um, a welcome email sequence actually is, is really good if you do it the right way and you, you know, you, you're still talking to people and you do it at the right time. So if they sign up on your, on your website, then definitely an automated welcome message saying, hello, thank you. This is what you're gonna expect from me, blah, blah, blah. But don't overdo it. You know, don't send them a message every week, but send them a couple more just as a reminder of, well, this is what I do, or this is a blog that I wrote on this thing that might be really interesting to you right now. I don't necessarily think that's too damaging, especially if you're being useful and it's valuable to the person that you're sending it to. And it's not just a series of sales, sales, sales, sales, emails.
00:36:27
Um, and with social media like scheduling or save you a hell of a lot of time and you can still schedule and not necessarily, it doesn't always have to feel like it's a scheduled, automated message. You know, you're still writing that content from the right place and it's still useful and valuable, so. But I think scheduling is a massive time saver for small business owners.
00:36:53Mark
There's also, and this is something I'm, I borrow, I'm borrowing from Justin Welsh, who is, um, one of these like content marketing guides for people who want to create, uh, businesses around their creativity. So, you know, people who wanna write newsletters that have paid subscribers and ads and all that kinda stuff. Um, and there's a thing that he talks about which I think is valuable here, when we talk about this iterative process. Because I kind of where, where automation might play in and I think it can still be authentic is, if you have a few ideas that are jumbling around in your brain, what's to say? You can't record a few videos while you're out.
00:37:42
You know, I've got a canal that I, that I sometimes walk and, um, I might, you know, I, I could have four or five little ideas that I'm thinking about and I could record a separate video for each one. And then rather than post each one in sequence, I can, I can sort of post one and then I've got that strand that then I can iterate on.
00:38:01
Um, and then I can, as I start to build up this sort of little, uh, this stream of, uh, informal video to podcast episode or blog post or even email newsletter issue. I can potentially sort of start to fill my content calendar up so that I'm not necessarily always talking about the same thing day in and day out because I've now got a few ideas that I'm working at different points.
00:38:30
Does, you know, does that kind of make sense? Cause then it means, it's not like, well today I'm, you know, all this week I'm going to be talking about what microphone to buy. It's like, well, that was an idea that I had. But then also there's a thing about, uh, how to treat your room or what to do with your voice. And I can really start to mix and match those ideas, um, without it feeling too, cause they've still come from a, from an authentic place. But it just means that you can potentially juggle sort of a, a few ideas around at the same
00:39:01Kate
So like batch creating, like yeah, that's gonna save you so much time, especially, and men don't have this as much as women, but women from a monthly point of view. Maybe it's with the moon or with their cycles or whatever, they have times of the month where they don't wanna be visible and they have times of the month where they actually do and they wanna get out there and be sociable.
00:39:21
So working with those cycle. Um, is weird. I don't really know how it works for men, hormones and, and all of the rest of it. I believe men are more of a 24 hour cycle, so maybe there's a time of the day where you wanna be visible, you don't wanna be visible. So yeah, like creating that content when you are, you're most creative and you are, you want to be, you know, you feel excited to do it is very important.
00:39:46
So yeah, I think that's, that's a really good point that you can still do it from an authentic point of view, but it can still be pre-recorded
00:39:55Mark
We, we touched on the idea of funnels earlier, and I, I kind of wanna loop back into that because yeah. I just, I just wanna, I just wanna see if I just say the word funnels and then what happens.
00:40:06Kate
Oh, I hate funnels.
00:40:09Mark
yes. I thought, I thought that's, I thought if I pulled on this thread, that's, that might be what? Yeah.
00:40:14Kate
um. From a, from a, you know, marketing, like back in the day, you know, when I first started I did my CIM, um, post-grad diploma in marketing. And it's all about, it's all about the funnels and it's all about, you know, you get people at the top and work them down. And to a certain degree, I still believe from an, from an awareness phase, you still need to reach a bigger audience, and reach as many people for, for, for people to know who you are. So that no, like, and trust from the start, you have to reach more people so they know who you are and where to find you.
00:40:55
And then kind of once they're in your world, then it's nurturing those people. So you, you are in a sense working through a funnel, but it's not a, here's this one person. We're gonna move him from here to here. Then we're gonna move him from here to here, and then he is gonna buy you. It's very, it, it's in my world or my point of view, my opinion, it's more fluid than that. It's let's get out to as many people as you can, build that trust and, and bring them into your world. Then how can you nurture them, make them feel special, and make them understand who you are and what you do, and how you're gonna help them. And then, yeah, give them ways to buy stuff from you and.
00:41:40
And you still have to use your marketing to, you still have to sell to people. Like no matter how authentic or ethical you want to be, you still, you still have something to sell. You still got, you know, you still got to pay your own bills, so you still need to, to then move people into that, that buying stage, as it were. But yeah, from that kind of mass funnel marketing. Yeah, it just makes me feel really icky.
00:42:10Mark
Every time I hear someone say the word trust, um, a little light just goes on in my, in my head and, and my heart because, um, that's sort of at the center of, of what I'm about and what I'm, you know, what I try and do. Um, so it just, it always makes me very pleased when, when people talk about that sort of authentic trust because, um, you know, it's, when we talk about no, like trust, like, the, you know, the work that I do is, is, is at that, that last mile? It's at the, the, the stuff between, um, like, and trust, you know, it, it can't help you with the no stage. Um, which is a shame because, well, it's not a shame, but it's, it's one of those expectations that has to be managed with.
00:42:55
Uh, and I think just as blogging was back in the day, I think there was for, for a while, if you had a blog or if you had a podcast that was novel, that was in, in itself, sort of newsworthy, uh, and enough to, to make people pay attention, but now everybody has access to create, uh, a blog or a podcast or a YouTube channel, whatever, then that is no longer a novelty. And so we have to work a lot harder at that know, stop at that know stage. Uh, and I think once you've got in between know and like, it feels like the rest of it actually comes a lot easier.
00:43:30
what are your thoughts around getting, you know, in, into that sort of know stage if, if we want to, you know, talk about in, in these old school terms, like the top of the funnel, um, what are your sort of thoughts on how we, how we do that work?
00:43:45Kate
Yeah, so when I'm looking at kind of marketing strategies, and I, you know, like content, specialize in content because it, I believe content is the way to help us build long term authentic trust with our audience. And in, in order to reach more people, then I guess, you know, you start with who is your customer and where are they? Where are they? Where do they go? What's their behaviors and what do they, where do they go for this information? Where are they going to find these solutions? So, you know, it might be, um, ads on Google if they're going to Google and searching for stuff. I mean, it depends on what it is. So what you use to get out there and, and can generate that reach, depends on obviously what it is that you're doing and providing.
00:44:45
Um, but networking, doing talks, podcasts, partnerships, like how can you partner with somebody so that it's a win-win where you can both reach each other's audience where there's a mutual. synergy. Um, it's exploring all of these different things. Obviously what you have to be very mindful of what you are capable of as a small business owner, pulling yourself in loads of different directions.
00:45:16
Um, and it's not scatter on in the sense that you are still be in targeted. You still got a strategy, you're still targeting the right people, but it. A bit of, uh, scatter going in the sense of you've got to try different things and see what works, but yet, like getting out there and talking to people.
00:45:41
A lot of this stuff doesn't necessarily work in isolation either. Cause you've got to think like a person will see your brand or see you maybe 10 to 15 times before they, they even enter into your world.
00:45:54
So, oh, I've seen that person before. Oh, oh yeah, she was on that podcast. Or I heard her on the radio or, you know, It starts to then come together and build that credibility and that trust element so that then you're bringing them closer to you. So getting out into the world as much as possible that is physically able with the budget, that time that you have.
00:46:20
But yeah, trying out a few different things. So partnerships are really good partnerships. I always say try and find synergies and partnerships and how can you do like joint discounts for each other, or, uh, you get on each other's lives or do live interview or do podcasts together, or, you know, whatever it is. So, team up with people that have got the same audience.
00:46:42
But in, you know, with me as a content marketer, I might team up with a copywriter or an SEO specialist or whatever it, you know, whatever it is that are also targeting, um, or wanting to help and speak to coaches and health and wellbeing people. Um, yeah. Does that answer the question?
00:47:00Mark
Yeah, completely. Um, Completely cuz it, it, it's, it's the, it's a lot of this stuff. It's like, we all know this but we don't always do it. And we think there's, there's some other, but there's no, no. It's, it's, it's getting you, it's getting your face out there. It's getting you, it's, yeah. It's, it's being visible. It's being, uh, audible. Um, and, and yeah, and, and just, and finding those opportunities. um, yeah, to collaborate or to to, to Guest or to speak. Like, it's, it is just the, the legwork of, of finding those opportunities and then, and then turning up.
00:47:35Kate
Yeah. And you know, you never know what opportunities are gonna are gonna present themselves unless you're out there with your head above the sand, you know, looking for them. So yeah, getting out and speaking and doing networking and speaking to people is, you know, you just never know what's gonna then come into your world.
00:47:56
Events. I didn't even mention getting out and doing events. Events, you know, although I work very much from an online content and all of that. But events always come into the mix, especially from that reach point of view.
00:48:09Mark
You can't be. And, and as someone who's, who's enjoyed over the, the last sort of couple of years being able to attend events that I wouldn't necessarily or definitely wouldn't have been able to access, um, uh, otherwise, it's still only watching video. Um, the, the real stuff is those moments where you just bump into someone or you are sat next to someone and you just spark up a conversation and they, and they say, well, you know, like, I've got no use for your services, but I know this person you should absolutely talk to, or Have you considered this thing? And it, you know, it might lead somewhere, it might not. But those moments of serendipity are far more easy to create or to make space for when you're out in, in the physical world. And I think that, you know, the last couple years that's been, that's been scary, especially if you are introverted, but that is where the opportunities, uh, live, I think in the, in those unexpected moments.
00:49:07
So this has been, this has been wonderful. Uh, and I'm gonna go off and, and, um, and, and, uh, take some informal ideas and see where they go. Where should people, where should our listener, um, how should our listener connect with you? Find out more about, uh, what you do and how they can work with you, please?
00:49:25Kate
Yeah. So, um, obviously if you go to my website, which is Kate Clark Marketing Clarke with an e.com, you can join my newsletter, which comes out every two weeks, and you'll also get a free, um, repurposing checklist as well for signing onto my newsletter. Uh, you can find me on LinkedIn, uh, that is my main platform. I am on Facebook and Instagram, but I tend to have most conversations on LinkedIn. So yeah, please do come and find me and connect with me on LinkedIn and I'd love to have conversation. Um, you know, I love talking to, I love talking to business owners no matter where you are in your journey. Just finding out about different businesses and yeah, connecting people up with, you know, what they need as well. Like, I'm a, I'm massively into networking and, um, yeah, just love learning about new people, which is also interesting, isn't it?
00:50:18Mark
It is, and that's one of the things that I'm rediscovering as, as I'm editing, as I'm. A lot more editing work is, um, re I'm like listening to these conversations and, and just, it is, it's, it's that that that real privileged moment of just pulling up a chair and being like, listen, I'm not here. I'm not here. You, you carry on, and just being able to eavesdrop on the conversation and, uh, and get these, get these things that, that, uh, I get to learn about and discover, uh, that I, you know, probably wouldn't, you know, these are the conversations I wouldn't necessarily seek out, but like once I'm in there, it's like, oh, wow, that's fascinating.
00:50:51
And we, we never even really got to talk about, um, repurposing from a sort of, from a, like a, a process view that much. But I'm, I'm, I'm really, yeah, I, I, I love this, this notion of, of taking that idea, uh, and, and just, and sort of chipping away at it and making it a little bit more formal that feels like it's a different view on repurposing than just like, record your YouTube video sat in front of your, your, uh, auto queue. Put that out as a podcast, write it up as a blog post. Like there's, there's something more there that rather than repurposing just raw content, you are just repurposing the, the actual nugget of an idea. So I'm, I, I'm very grateful for that.
00:51:34Kate
Yes, no problem. It was an absolute joy to speak to you today,
00:51:38Mark
Massive thanks to Kate Clarke. You can check out her newsletter along with links to everything we talked about on your screen now or at earbrainheart.com. If you enjoyed this chat, please share it with someone who needs to hear it. Just point them to earbrainheart.com or show them how to follow the podcast on their phone. Take care of yourself and I'll be back with you again very soon.
Load full transcript

Ear Brain Heart

A discussion with creative, purpose-led entrepreneurs and change-makers using their powers of persuasion for good. Through weekly discussions, I explore how we can combine creativity and compassion in our marketing.

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify