We’re really excited about this month’s award. Chris Brogan is a genuine 24 carat content hero – the real deal – and we’re thrilled that he’s joining our list of inspiring Valuable Content Award winners. There’s so much to learn from Chris and his approach. His books, videos and podcasts are brilliant, his website is a masterclass in clarity and clear calls to action, and every Sunday morning his newsletter speaks to thousands yet makes each and every one of us think he’s sitting down next to us having a chat over some obscure herbal tea.
I’ve spent the last 8 weeks working on one of Chris’s online community courses, Mastering The Digital Channel. It’s been a great experience and a huge learning curve. We’ve made changes to the way we do things here at Valuable Content as a result of the course (starting with our newsletter) and there are more changes on the way.
The number one thing I’ve learnt? An understanding of just how crowded the digital channel is, and that what makes content resonate is not slickness but humanity. (And a whole heap of very practical and do-able stuff about how to make what you do online feel real and human, so that you can build relationships with more people, and your business can fly.)
I caught up with Chris to ask him about the course, and about his winning approach to marketing with content.
Q. How does your Mastering the Digital Channel (MDC ) learning community work?
A: “The learning community is the best part of the course. People can connect and help each other with the lessons and/or other projects as they apply to the learning material. Lots of friendships and collaborations have come from this.”
One of the most useful and easy to apply things you taught me was the ‘B Strategy’. It’s a brilliant approach for sharing content and governing your online strategy. Can you say a bit more about it?
“In short, the B strategy is to:
- be helpful
- be human
- be interesting
- be everywhere.
Lots of people are creating and/or sharing content just to check a box. If it’s not helpful or interesting, then people could care less.”
Q: What type of content do you share?
A: “Personally? I share stuff my friends have created, or I share cause information, or I share stuff that might give people a far afield perspective from what they’re otherwise consuming. I will never be in an “also ran” category.”
Q: What results has this brought for your business?
“Content is the life blood of communication, awareness, and potential business”
A: “I get consistent new growth in my social outposts and then in my crown jewel, my newsletter. The newsletter gives me the lion’s share of my business.”
Q: Example of some content that has worked really well?
A: “I just wrote on “the state of social media marketing” where I trashed most everyone’s approach. That’s doing really well and that only came out a few hours ago.”
Q: How do you manage the content creation challenge?
A: “I have no challenge. I create every day. I make audio and video and text and whatever every day. Content is the life blood of communication, awareness, and potential business. That’s like ringing the phones for sales. I do it without fail.”
Q: Other content challenges?
A: “The biggest challenge MOST people face? Being boring and stale.
How to avoid that: stop reading your competitors’ materials. Go way outside your vertical.
I’m reading stuff by farmers and scientists and mixed martial artists. You can rest assured that what I learn from that is rarely what someone covered in Mashable.”
Q: What’s next for you and Human Business Works?
A: “I’m launching a digital magazine and related products that cover the personal business revolution. I want to report on the curriculum for the future of business. The magazine will have apps and other related products that will help people navigate this new minefield.”
Q: What one bit of advice would you give to someone wanting to improve their digital presence today?
A: “Be the most human you can be. So few people believe this is good advice, so you will stand out. : )”
Thanks Chris, there is so much to learn from this. Many congratulations on your Valuable Content Award. Your badge is on its way.