The art of connecting with your audienceMar 3, 2019 - Marcel Odena
Tenacity, commitment, conviction, inspiration, devotion. These are indispensable words to do things in life in a regular and sustained way. Think for a moment about something that you have done continuously in your life: prepare yourself physically for a sport? study to get some certificates? do meditation? do yoga? learn a language? play an instrument? When there is tenacity, when in spite of being mediocre in that discipline you keep going, in the end the barrier of mediocrity is broken and you begin to dominate that discipline. But there is only one way to break that barrier: tenacity, commitment, conviction, etc.
The power of tenacity
Starting a discipline, a hobby and leaving it halfway through has happened to all of us. Many times we discover that it is not our passion, so it is absurd to persist in something that does not motivate us. But other times it is not the case, one thing motivates us but the friction to progress is so high that we get pushed back, and this is where the willpower has to be imposed to continue. Playing an instrument for example: how many of us have dreamed of playing an instrument? But god, the friction to progress is so high, you have to learn so many things to be able to play something fairly well that only if one has a lot of conviction, passion, devotion gets strength to be tenacious and endure. Let’s be honest, getting strength usually means taking time to practice. And taking time often means sacrificing other pleasant moments of our day: we may have to get up early, stop watching all those attractive series in order to spend more time to practice that discipline.
Being tenacious is an attitude in life. I do not think it’s an innate quality (although it could be the case), but I think it’s more of an acquired skill, that we learn. In my case, I believe that my main teachers in the art of tenacity have been my parents. We all need those great teachers, in the broad sense of the word, at our side, so when we are about to throw in the towel they encourage us to continue. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have that kind of teachers in life (what a luxury!), other times we will find ourselves alone along the way, but we will have references, people who inspire us, who we admire and who can give us strength to persist.
A reason. A purpose. An objective.
Doing one thing for a long time, on a regular basis, with a great deal of effort, without anyone asking us to do so. What for? Has the person who has been cycling regularly for 3 years has a reason? Maybe he loves it, maybe he has found that space that he needs to disconnect. Maybe he’s riding a bike to win a race? You can ask yourself your reasons.
The passion we feel for a discipline can feed the tenacity and also an objective that we have marked, either consciously or subconsciously.
My devotion to write in blogs
I discovered the world of blogging thanks to my brother-in-law in 2005, 14 years ago! I remember the situation: he said to me: “hey Marcel, I have discovered a thing called blogger that allows you to write and share things on the internet”. There I started blogging. I created my first blog and started talking about movies I had watched and books I had read. That blog still exists!, I’ll share it with you if you want to take a look: https://marcelaire.blogspot.com/
Then I stopped writing and after a while I continued writing in another blog for 1 year and then I closed that blog. Then I continued writing on my personal blog www.marcelodena.com, about professional and personal issues. Later on, working as a freelance, I created another blog called ppcdiscovery.com, and I wrote some articles about Pay Per Click (PPC). Along the way I wrote a couple of guest posts in a marketing school’s blog, where I taught some Google AdWords classes.
My commitment to write regularly
Years later, in 2015, ten years after my first blog, I decided to create my own digital marketing agency and started writing on the Magnetica Advertising’s blog. I started writing very irregularly in time until I spoke with one of my referents, Jeff Sauer, a well-renowned marketer and instructor. In a training session I asked him: “Hey Jeff, how are you able to publish every week?”. I still have the response etched in my mind: “commitment”, which is a word that I love. In that session Jeff challenged me and told me if I wanted to personally commit myself to the rest of the students in the course, and I did: I promised to write an article every week for a year. That conversation was in May of 2018 and since then I have been writing regularly every week.
My great teacher in the art of blogging
My great teacher in this beautiful and hard discipline of writing a blog has been undoubtedly Mark W. Schaefer. Although I have been practicing for many years, it has been with the reading of two of his books that I have the feeling of progressing substantially. Mark is for me a teacher in the distance, and yet I feel that, when reading his books, he is very close to me.
@Mark, thank you for your teachings and generosity in writing these books. They have been very useful to me.
The two books to which I refer are the following:
- “Born To Blog”, Mark W. Schaefer y Standford A. Smith
- “Known”, Mark W. Schaefer
“Born To Blog”, Mark W. Schaefer y Standford A. Smith
This book gave me a much wider field of vision than I had in the art of writing in a blog.
If I had to highlight one thing in the book I would highlight that fantastic description of the types of articles that can (and should) be written on a blog. In short, they are:
- Evergreen Content: these are eminently technical articles, articles of the type “How to do …”, articles that explain how to do something, how something works, etc. Until reading this book, I had not realized that most of my articles were of this type.
- Identity type articles: these are articles in which we somehow position ourselves with our vision of the industry, we express what we think about practices in our sector. They are no longer as technical items as the previous ones but more of opinion. These articles help to transmit our identity.
- Articles about “People“: these are articles that have their focus on some person or personality. More than talking about a technical issue, the focus of these articles is to talk about someone related with our industry. They can be articles related to some of the company’s workers, interviews with people in the industry, etc.
- Bread & Butter” type articles: I like this expression, these are easy reading articles. Reading a “bread and butter” article has to be like the act of smearing bread and butter in the morning and eating it.
In the book each point is developed with ideas of topics to be addressed for each category. I do not want to do more “spoilers” so if you want to deepen I recommend that you read the book. Here you have the link to the book in Amazon.
“Known”, Mark W. Schaefer
I have just finished reading this book and I liked it a lot. In it Mark explains the keys to excel in any discipline, and therefore be “known” (recognized) in your industry.
Again, I do not want to do many spoilers, I’ll just mention what those 4 keys are. At first they seem very simple, but for me it was a bit difficult to assimilate them and have them internalized. The book helps a lot in that sense, for how well it explains everything and for the dozens of examples it mentions of people who have managed to be recognized for their work. These are the 4 key elements to be known:
- Space: It is the area of interest, what you decide that you are going to focus on. For example, you might decide to talk about marketing issues, but perhaps it is too broad to be able to stand out. Can you narrow the theme? B2B marketing? Can you narrow more? What do you master that you can highlight?
- Place: In what medium are you going to make your interest be known? Are you going to write in a blog mostly? Do you better prefer the video as a means of expressing yourself? In the book, there are examples of different people who have applied their “space” to “places” that were not crowded, some of them have found their space on Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, etc.
- Content: the moment of truth is here, and the interest you have has to be transformed into pieces of content. If you have chosen to write in a blog, then you have to make blog posts. If you have chosen to make videos of 5 minutes, then you have to publish them. It must be quality content. Your content must provide value to your audience. I like Mark’s quote: “You have to be superior”.
- Audience: The meaning of everything in the end is to create an audience that values your content and accompanies you along the way. All the examples described in the book of people who have achieved recognition have something in common: they have gradually built their audiences. Why? Because convincing people to follow you requires perseverance and commitment, requires that they trust you to become followers. And of course, until you have shown that you are able to be regular and publish extraordinary content, many people do not follow you. On another hand, It takes time until you find the people that resonates with what you are talking about.
These are 4 points that fit in 4 words, apparently very simple, but it requires a calm reading of the book in order to assimilate each point.
Here you have the book “Known” by Mark W. Schaefer on Amazon if you’re interested.
To you, thanks for being there
I want to finish this article by thanking you for being there, for accompanying me on this trip, for doing it together. I know that I have relatives who follow this blog, many with devotion despite not understanding some technical articles. Thank you all!.
I know that I have colleagues who read the articles and tell me that they like them. They tell me that these articles help them learn things about B2B marketing, PPC, Hubspot, tracking leads. Thank you very much to all of you!
I know that we have followers of Magnetica’s blog that I do not know. I hope that one day we can meet, so you can give me feedback. Thank you very much too!
And we know that there are many people who enter and leave the blog on a daily basis, they look for an answer and some of the articles in the our blog are able to answer it (I hope so), and this also makes us happy. Thanks also to you!.
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