Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. You probably know the scenario that says a cat that may be simultaneously both alive and dead in the box.
In the past few years, for marketers, content marketing has become both alive and dead. Alive, in that the world on the whole is producing more content than anytime in history. And dead, in that we marketers are dropping the ball BIG time when it comes to regularly producing quality content to attract new customers, clients, and for lead generation.
For many of us, content marketing is effectively dead.
There are two reasons why content marketing could be dead for you:
1. You simply aren’t finding enough time to brainstorm and create quality content. (Like most people)
2. There is already so freakin’ much content in every niche on every topic, it seems wasteful to try to create yet something else in your topic range. (So, again, you don’t.)
Here’s the paradox though: Never has there been more content created than right now in history.
It’s not that new interesting content isn’t being created in every known niche. It’s that YOU aren’t as prolific a creator as other people who really get a kick out of writing and making videos or podcasts.
So what are we to do when we simply cannot or will not bring ourselves to the daily grind of content marketing?
Give up on all that potential traffic?
We use “content leverage.”
In our book “The Leverage Black Book,” Gina and I talk about how to use other peoples’ content in the same way we’d use content we created ourselves.
And one of the absolutely coolest things I’ve discovered since I’ve slowed way down on producing my own blog content on a regular basis is generating leads by piggy-backing on other content that’s better than anything I could ever produce in the first place.
There are a few ways to do it, but none is better, in my opinion, than Leadgrab.io.
This will get you out of worrying about (or feeling guilty about) not doing the content marketing you were taught to do. And it is very effective at generating leads or sales while getting you out of worrying about producing tons of content!
In fact, it’s even better, because the content you use to get attention in this way is usually far better than anything you or I would take the time to produce in the first place!
Remember to always look for the leverage points in your business!
If you are on some kind of long-term plan for success, you might be wasting time and resources getting where you want to go if you aren’t constantly on the lookout for leverage. Because there is always a leverage play to replace weeks, months, and even years of slow, hard work toward your income goals for your business. Always.
You just need to know what to look for and adjust your plan to seek out and cultivate leverage opportunities.
Leverage is everywhere. All around us, no matter what industry or niche we are focused on. There is always a play that can propel your business forward by great leaps and bounds if you develop the mindset of the Leveragist. Here is a list of leverage plays you should always be working from:
If you keep a running tally of opportunities to keep an eye out for and develop from just the short list above, you will give yourself the opportunity to land some leverage that can do the equivalent of weeks, months or even years worth of the daily work you’re doing now to build your business.
People who have large following on social media or who have a large subscriber list are always looking for ways to impress their followers and keep them engaged. It’s a big job and can be stressful wondering if you are keeping their attention or losing them to someone else who has a shinier “thing.”
Look for ways you can help someone like this out. They have two primary concerns:
1) keeping their people engaged and attentive and
2) keeping themselves in that spotlight as the “hero” of the story.
The most common ways to handle this are offering to give free, 1000% content, no-pitch education to their people. You can do this on their podcast, if they have one, or on a webinar. This is NOT a sales play whatsoever, so there will be no pitching other than giving your URL at the end. It should be an affiliate URL for the thought leader if you have an affiliate program, which you should.
This play has one big goal: to solidify a relationship with your chosen thought leader and set yourself up for reciprocation.
The key is to give something unusually valuable and unexpected. Something you’d normally charge people for. “True value sharing” is a leverage stunt that sets up reciprocation 99% of the time if done properly.
After this, the thought leader sees that you can bring the goods and trusts you to put in front of their audience again. Possibly something where you can pitch, or you and them do something together and bring it to their audience. The possibilities are endless but you must lead the charge.
This can be done small at first. Go to a peer who has about the same traction in the market as you and practice giving their audience extreme value. People must feel like they should have paid for the training or expertise that you shared. That’s when you know you’ve done the job. And it will not go unnoticed by your new leverage partner.
You will do things together in the future and it will equate to days, weeks, or months of your regular daily activities to grow your business in most cases.
The key to using leverage to grow your business is to wipe out as much time as possible standing between you right now and your biggest goals for your business. Bringing the outcome closer to you is possible when you think like a Leveragist.
In this short guide, learn how to cut the excess, ineffective junk from your marketing and get back to basics to pull your business forward.
(Hint: practically everything you’ve been taught about marketing is wrong.)
Marketers, bloggers, entrepreneurs of all kinds are trying to make it in the digital age. Drunk on opportunities to get targeted leads, and passed out face-down in the gutter on the info highway with fractured, overly complicated lives due to complex, bloated marketing plans. And here’s the irony: your readers, listeners, fans, and followers are desperate for “more.”
(But not more of what you’re currently giving them!)
Learn what that is, and you can bring your business back on track starting immediately!
(Understatement of the century!)
The information that you can compile in mere hours on how to market effectively on the web is endless, contradictory, confusing, and overwhelming. People desperately need a solution and that solution is NOT another complex 52-step sales funnel! With all the talking on the web, there are very few conversations happening. Conversations are now what people crave more than ever.
Social media is nothing but bits and bites of air-puffed, sugar-coated advertising masquerading as useful information. Its empty calories. A diet of information junk food (for any length of time) is going to have anyone craving protein, substance, meat on the bone.
Our target audience (in every single industry) is hungry for deeper, more meaningful content. Scratch that, they want to have a full conversation more now than ever before. And they aren’t getting it from the marketers who have been taught that they must chunk everything down into whatever can fit on a pinterest image.
We’ve been sold a bill of goods that says we must accomplish something impossible with email and social media alone. What we have today is a web full of great conversation starters (memes and snippets of information) with nothing to back them up. Where’s the beef? That’s what your audience wants to know. And that’s why your content marketing campaign might be falling far short of your goals.
“They’re all on social media and they demand content that is light, puffy, and easy to consume in 140 character spoonfuls. And if you can’t get the job done with that recipe, you are SOL.!”
Guess who propagated this outright fallacy? Was it the market? Really? No sir! It was us. Marketers made this up. Yes people got really excited for several years about social media and snippets of information. It made them feel like they were learning and doing something when all they were doing was providing the machines (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) with the fuel they needed to take over the web.
And now they hate it, but are still addicted to it. (The recipe for their recovery from this addiction is below.) People are waking up and there is strong evidence that they never completely abandoned the idea of having real conversations to the degree we all told ourselves.
WE wimped out. WE gave up and compounded the problem, thinking we were keeping up with change. We were, in reality, destroying our businesses. Human nature doesn’t change. We just have smart phones now. But Human Nature itself never changed in the process. So why are we marketing like it did?
Sound too simple? Well let that sink in. It’s time to create an “Ultralight Marketing Campaign” that eliminates distractions, fads, and meaningless steps in the prospect to buyer process in your business.
At the beginning of the Pacific Crest Trail on the border of Mexico and California each year there is a kick-off party. All the thru hikers (people who attempt to hike the entire length of the PCT – 2660 miles to Canada) gather to nervously exchange information, get tips, and seek advice from trail veterans.
There’s one very important booth you have to check out if you are a newbie. Its where trail vets rip into your pack and throw out all the junk you don’t need on your back during this exhausting, challenging trip of a lifetime. People have been known to drop off the trail in the first week under crazy, self-imposed burdens, when they were sure they were going to hike all 2600 miles just days before.
“My mission is to be that guy for your business. I’m your anti-sherpa.”
I don’t want either of us carrying unnecessary weight while we’re climbing mountains. You’re carrying an 85 pound pack on your back while trying to hike up and down mountains, and that’s not going to work for you even for one day longer. Where I teach this stuff is at Directions University with Dean and Founder Gina Gaudio-Graves (The “JV Queen”).
The Leverage Black Book is where you can unburdened yourself from the useless junk you’ve picked up along the way. And then you’re given the blueprint to become a nimble, quick, effective marketer.
(By the way, this is a 2-step article you’re reading now. This kind of thing converts really well. Copy my method and prosper. Get more killer intel like this here.)
…any of that crowding your brain on a regular basis? I bet you have a lot more than that flying around in your cranium at any given moment of your day, right?
Here’s a common scenario for most marketers. You strike out for a visit to your social media accounts with the purpose to share some great stuff and see what’s going on in order to make the rounds in support of your business. You prepare yourself to separate what you need to do from the personal stuff that will hit you immediately upon arriving.
You hit Facebook and check your page, and notice you have several notifications to check. It’s all mixed with personal interests and business.
Once you get back on track, you quickly post a couple notifications to your business fan page, feeling like you could have done a better job putting something more engaging up. But you still have G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so you repeat the process on those sites, noticing your time and level of interest in doing it “right” diminishing rapidly with each site.
You leave social media feeling like there was a lot more you could have done, more efficiently. With more focus and purpose. Well, maybe tomorrow…
Now you have to check email, return customer support requests, respond to emails from possible joint venture partners, check and see if you were approved to write a guest post on a big site you’ve been trying to get into for a couple of months, check sales notifications and so on.
After a good 30-45 minutes of this you feel like you have a good stopping point with several emails needing your attention later. Now, on to the blog post for this week. Or the podcast you need to record. Or the interview you are doing with someone today.
And that’s just the first few hours of your busy day!
The feelings we get in this always-on, always plugged in, never-ending fire hose of information overload are of fatigue, helplessness, even hopelessness. At the end of any given day, we can feel like a soccer ball that was kicked around by Team Internet with no actual control over our own direction in business and in life. Indeed, if you aren’t focused, you’re letting your business, your personal communications, and all the sources of information and lists of “To-Do’s” dictate your every move.
It all leaves us with a sense of being out of control and lost. With little sense of accomplishment, other than a lot of “busy-ness” happened.
If you aren’t making enough sales, the business isn’t cranking along the way you thought it would be, and you feel like forward progress just isn’t happening the way it should, then you are in good company.
Most of humanity is trying to grapple with this relatively new phenomenon of digital information overload.
Overload to a degree that has only existed in the last .5 seconds of human history. And that’s just people who have nothing more than an internet connection and a couple social accounts. Add to that starting, running, and growing a business, and you have a cocktail of confusion, distraction, and digital A.D.D. that can cripple any entrepreneur if not dealt with.
Becoming an information overlord requires that thing you are desperately seeking when you feel out of sorts and like outside forces are in control of your time and energy rather than you. Focus is key, and there are tools and tips that will help you become more focused and feel in total control of your day. This will improve forward motion of your business in very big ways if you take it seriously and nip the distractions with the following tips…
Place specific time limits on things that tend to get out of control if you let them. Like social media. Set one time per day, or smaller chunks of time per day, to spend in total on social media. The constraint will make you focus on important stuff more so you can fly past the cat videos without a second thought. Set aside another time(s) during the day to be social just for fun. (This is important too!) Use an egg timer or the timer on your phone to make sure you only spend the allotted time and no more!
Keep up on your craft on purpose rather than on a whim. Don’t read emails, articles or other material pertaining to your continuing education unless it is during a self-designated time to do so. You can’t absorb information as well “on the fly” or while multitasking. The nagging feeling that “I HAVE to read that article on funnel marketing! It’s so important!” does not serve you well while you are doing other things that are also important. When you file that article away to deal with later, you can forget about it for now and consume it without being distracted when the designated time arrives.
Follow the tips below for everything you do, so that your calendar starts to fill up with specific times for doing everything in your business and personal life. (Account for free time, thinking time, and other less structured times as well!)
The feeling of control and lower stress is immediate here. VERY gratifying and satisfying just to get this step done. Live in it for a month and adjust as you see fit. Make a time and place for everything and drop it all on your calendar for BIG peace of mind!
Use calendars and reminder apps and anything else you wish. Stick with the ones you like, get rid of the ones that don’t serve you well, and you will find yourself in control with a system that helps you stay on track and focused. Try to get over the neat factor of a new tool or app and really make it prove its worth and value to your information overlord system. If it is more “neat” than helpful, ditch it. Tools only work if you use them regularly and they become a part of your “why” for doing this rather than just the “how.”
The biggest reason I feel we don’t stick to things like this is that we don’t take a “selfie” of our situation while we do new things and NOTICE how they make us feel. You should feel like things are in control and moving along the way they should. Notice that feeling when it happens and “Lock It In” as a practice rather than something like a “diet.” The only way you can lock things in is to pay attention to how new processes make you feel. If they feel wrong, adjust them. If they feel right, make a mental note that you are locking this feeling in. Doing this, you will succeed in making a real habit rather than a temporary correction.
There is nothing really new in the tips above except for maybe #4. We all go through cycles of being more or less organized and in control of our time and destiny. The cycles are usually the biggest problem to tackle, because with a system you cherish and follow, there won’t be any more cycles. There will just be your life, business and personal, running smoothly with a system you created to suit you perfectly. Locking it in is the key to getting off the “I need to get organized” treadmill and making order, efficiency, and effectiveness part of your life instead of something you do once in awhile before falling back into old habits.
What are your favorite tips for getting and staying organized and focused? How do you currently manage the massive influx of information in your daily life? Let us know in the comments below!
Question 1: How do I get lots of search engine rankings so that at least 1/2 of my traffic comes from search?
Common Answer: Buy an SEO course and learn how to do something that took real SEO experts years to learn, then work your ass off for quite awhile before you see this goal come to fruition.
Better Answer: Forget about learning SEO or hiring someone for an outrageous sum of money. The people who already score for the search terms you want, already HAVE the attention of the audience you want to get in front of on search. Use their rankings and their influence and stop thinking you have to compete with everyone in the world for everything you want. You don’t. And you don’t need to know more than a couple hours worth of very basic SEO.
Question 2: How do I build a big following on social media so that I can attract more targeted visitors, leads, and hot prospects to my products/services?
Common Answer: When you wake up in the morning, begin thinking about everything you’re going to post on social media, then spend a massive amount of time on social media, every day, trying to build your following on your wits alone. Just putting out great content should do the trick! That, and a good year’s worth of hard work on top of taking care of your clients and other duties as an entrepreneur.
Better Answer: There are people who have already done this. They have the followers, right this minute, that you wish to have “one day.” They have all that attention you seek, now. Right now. You could be getting mentioned by some of the big thought leaders in your market right now if you hadn’t bought into the lie of “hard work and great content.” Don’t be redundant. Go where the conversation is already happening, where the action is right now, and do whatever it takes to get those bright lights to shine on you. Then you’ll have your big, targeted, engaged following on social. Quickly, without all the pain and suffering of one-at-a-time social media follower-building.
Question 3: How do I build a big list of subscribers that is responsive, targeted, and perfectly matched to what I offer?
Common Answer: (One of many similar types of answers) Become really good at Facebook advertising. Spend the time and money it takes to make mistakes and finally drill down to a profitable campaign. Run the traffic through an exquisite funnel, after spending a nice chunk on a course on funnel-building and marketing, and you will have your targeted subscriber list.
Better Answer: Someone has already built the exact list you seek to build. They are responsive subscribers. Active. Engaged. And they are buyers. Why would you try to build your own list by becoming yet another sort of expert in another professional field (such as paid advertising) when you can build your list by big chunks of targeted subscribers at a time for free? People with lists of subscribers that you’d love to get in front of WILL mail for you, if you give them the right reason to. It’s not because you have an affiliate program; they don’t care. It’s not because you ask nicely; they don’t care. Only when you do something genuine, something helpful, and of great service to them will they find a reason to mail about your latest genuinely badass free offer. And many times they won’t even ask for an affiliate link, kickback, or commissions if you take the time to master the Art of Leverage.
Question 4: How do I attract an engaged, loyal readership for my content?
Common Answer: Create really, really, really great content. Then put it on social media. People will love it, click to read more, sign up to your newsletter, and buy your stuff.
Less insulting, far more effective answer: The people you want to attract are already reading really, really, really great content on other keystone websites in your niche. They are loyal and engaged. And they go where the creator of that content tells them they should go. In this case, they should be telling their readers how great you are by sharing your stuff with them. If you don’t have thought leaders with well-read blogs recommending your stuff, you’re losing the game. This is the only way to quickly build your own following and you don’t do it any other way. Not paid ads. Not “build-it-and-they’ll-come.” Nothing else gets you a loyal fan base of high-quality readers faster than people who can move the exact crowd you want right to your doorstep. And with not much more than a wink in your direction.
If you want to learn everything there is to know about the Art of Leverage for internet marketers, bloggers, consultants, authors, local business, and service providers, stay tuned. Starting this week and throughout the summer I will be unveiling some very cool intel and resources that will shed more light on what I know about leverage.
Do you like common-sense marketing that’s easier and far more effective than all the BS you’ve been told so far? Then be sure to subscribe to keep up on very valuable free, smart marketing intel coming your way!