In an interview last week, there was a question about consistency. For years, I’ve talked about consistency in frequency as being the most important thing to building a content-first business. For example, this enewsletter goes out every other Thursday and has for almost two years now.
But in actuality, there are two parts of consistency. Let me explain.
Growing up, I watched the NBC-hit show Cheers every Thursday about a bar in Boston, Massachusetts. One of the main characters was Norm Peterson. Everyone loved Norm. So much so that when he entered the bar all the other patrons yelled out “Norm”.
Why did everyone love Norm?
Well, first, because he showed up at the same time, every day. To be loved, you have be present.
But second, Norm always had something interesting to say. Every. Single. Time.
It went like this.
Norm: “Afternoon everybody.”
Everyone in the bar: “Norm!”
Bartender or Patron: “How’s the world been treating you?”
Norm: “Like a baby treats a diaper.”
To be great, you have to be consistent in two ways. First, you have to show up. Second, you have to be interesting. Every. Single. Time.
We just interviewed Anthony Fasano for the next edition of my book Content Inc. Anthony has built an amazing Content Inc. business called the Engineering Management Institute.
Anthony says it this way:
“Consistency in content publication is absolutely critical. First of all, consistency, in life, is critical. I mean, if you go to the gym once a month, it doesn’t help you. If you go multiple times a week, it helps you. If you eat well once a month, it doesn’t help you. The same thing goes with content. If you do a podcast every so often, whenever you get the creative itch, you’re not really helping anyone because it’s just too random. There’s no strategy around it.
You have to force yourself to do it because otherwise you’re not going to get into a rhythm. Your audience is not going to be feeling that they’re getting the value on a consistent basis and you won’t build channels where you can impact and influence a lot of people and help a lot of people.”
Well said sir!
My first draft of Content Inc. is due October 15th to McGraw-Hill Education. We’re in high-gear now and have finished most of the interviews.
During the interviews, when we have time, we ask each entrepreneur when they knew they made it…or better said…when they knew they wouldn’t have to go work for someone else anymore. What was the moment?
Almost invariably, the timing seems to be between five and seven years. That’s five to seven years of consistent publishing in a particular niche until they generate enough money to become financially independent or financially free. Listening to some of these stories almost makes you want to cry.
I remember almost every single second of my moment.
I was just about to walk out onto the stage at Content Marketing World 2011. This was our first conference. The initial goal was to attract 100 to 150 marketers to come to Cleveland to learn about the practice of content marketing. That year, 660 people showed up from a dozen countries. It was a miracle.
When I looked between the two large curtains from backstage, I just stared at all the people. That was the first moment I really believed this thing was going to work. I could not believe that 600-plus people came to Cleveland, and actually paid money in the process. I could not believe that the sponsor hall was so jammed that we had to open up more exhibit space in between floors.
I started to put my outfit on, a full-length orange NASA jumpsuit (see picture above). My wife Pam came backstage to wish me luck before I headed out. Nothing was said. She started to cry. Then I started to cry. We embraced.
“We did it,” I said.
It was just her, me and best-selling author and speaker David Meerman Scott. I don’t know if he felt uncomfortable or honored or what, but we shared that little moment with him nonetheless.
Jeff Gargas, one of the owners of Teach Better, tells his moment like this:
“We had two days of a conference with three nights of networking, and after day one, we’re networking, we packed this restaurant bar full of way more than we thought we’d have there. We had built this audience of people that had never met before except for online, who were now in a room feeling like they were family who just hadn’t seen each other for a few days. And we’d built this brand that just was so welcoming, so warm, so loving and caring to everyone that comes into it, that it was just a moment of such pride where I felt like it doesn’t really matter what happens from here on. We did this, we’ve changed all these people’s lives, and that’s pretty amazing.”
Have you had a moment? If so, I’d love to hear about it.
Facebook Doesn’t Deliver
Last week we learned a couple of things about Facebook.
First, Facebook announced that they would ban new political ads one week before November 3, 2020 (U.S. Election Day). Why? It seems that many of the ads have been actually discouraging voting, as well as some that are incredibly misleading.
Posts that attempt to deligitimize the results of the election or legal voting methods, such as voting by mail, will still be allowed but will be labeled with more information about voting, Zuckerberg said.
Second, Facebook (and Twitter) formally confirmed that a group of Russians (tied to the Kremlin) have created (another) fake news website. Apparently the initiative is Pro-Trump.
The interesting aspect about this Russian involvement is that they are hiring American freelancers to do the writing (at about $75 a pop). Both ruthless and brilliant.
My thoughts? Facebook is becoming the epicenter of division in the United States. Even other governments know this. The company is having a challenging time stopping fake news, and even when they know about it they don’t move fast enough. On the ad side, they are spineless. There new initiative will do nothing to stop the flow of misinformation.
Outside of talking about Facebook in this newsletter and on our This Old Marketing podcast, I’m doing the following. First, for U.S. Labor Day, I did #NoFacebookMonday. At least it felt like something. A number of others participated (thank you!)
And from now until the end of the year, I’m going to be on Facebook only one day per week. Then I guess we’ll see.
It’s a huge and growing problem. I feel it’s going to get worse. What else can we do?
The following was an excerpt from Joe’s newsletter. Only subscribers receive the full version.