Bye-Bye Commodity Content (A Roundtable Discussion)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Benji Block hosts a roundtable discussion with James Carbary, Dan Sanchez, and Rex Biberston. We discuss how to spot commodity content, the power of asking better questions, and the work required to move from transactional to transformational content. 

Click here to check out the episode of Unthinkable by Jay Acunzo that is mentioned in the episode.

...accelerating value by proof analytics is the podcast for marketing, communications, sales and operations leaders who want to see their business value clearly and succeed, learn how leaders are closing the gap between creative work and business impact through raw conversations. Don't believe me. Check out the show for yourself from the CFO perspective it's value is what type of revenue generation earnings cash flow that is only adding to the growth of the, of the enterprise. You know, another dimension would be how our margins performing are we, you know, we're getting the right value by seeing margin expansion by creating products, services that are generating, you know that incremental value to the organization and I think from my lens, you know that it's monetary in many dimensions, right? It's not, you know, thinking about okay, what say from an employee perspective, other perspectives, but as a leader, as the finance leader, as you're looking to grow the revenue earnings and cash flow of an organization, it will only create more opportunities for your employees, for your suppliers, for your customers based on those services that you're creating. So to me that's how I view to be valued for more subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts. This is B two B growth Benji block here, your host and I'm joined by three men, I really respect and learn a lot from regularly excited to dive in today. We have James are sweet fish ceo. Welcome into the show James. Hello, Hello dan Sanchez, head of audience growth dan, Welcome into B two B growth. Thanks for having me and rex rex VP of revenue rex, thanks for for jumping on here, ready to go excited to be here. Okay, so here's why we're all here today, here's what I want to jump into. I've invited the three of you on to discuss content, specifically a phrase that if you're familiar with some of what's being posted on linkedin, we're talking a lot about this, but commodity content James, this is something you've been really passionate about, you're talking about it frequently, so I'll give you kind of first step back here to get us started when I say commodity content. What's the first thing that comes to your mind? Yeah, so I think the first thing that comes to mind quite frankly is a lot of content that I've been guilty of publishing in the past. I mean it's it's content that is produced to hit a quota or a checklist. It's content that doesn't have a strong point of view. It's content that really doesn't have, it doesn't have personality, it doesn't actually try to engage a human on the other side of it. It's been written for an algorithm and so as we've been thinking a lot the last 6 to 8 months around, you know, sweet fishes narrative. What's our story, You can't develop your brand story without first figuring out who your enemy is and I've struggled with this, I mean we've, we've gone back and forth a million times, like I remember dan, I mean when dan was leading marketing a few months ago, we've had some internal kind of like reorg recently, but like I remember having this conversation with dan a few months ago and it was like, is our enemy, what was it then? It was like people changing their mind all the time, that's being scattered. Like we've been all over the map with what is the actual enemy that we're trying to fight. And a few months ago, it was maybe a month ago, it just became really obvious to me, we've been I've been consuming a lot of content from J Kenzo and I've heard him talk about this idea of transformational versus...

...transactional content. And as we were, I was like, okay, there's something there, it's like so much content is transactional, how do we? And so we started playing with that a little bit and like, okay, what is it? Is transactional content or enemy? No, but you don't really know what that means when you say it, it was like, what about commodity content? And then it it kind of clicked into place and as I've been talking about on linkedin, if I'm being honest, I thought that I would get better engagement. Talking about it on linkedin, it's been okay, it's been decent, but the people that have engaged and commented on the, on the stuff that on my posts, talking about it had a visceral reaction to it. So it makes me think like, okay, we're on, we're on to something here because it's deeply resonating with people, you know, that something's popped whenever you write about something on linkedin and over the next few days, you hear other people using the phrase and talking about it in their content. And that happened as soon as I started talking about commodity content. So I feel like we're starting to strike a nerve. It just, we, we need to, we need to be a little bit more consistent talk about it a little bit more um to see like is this an enemy that that we can rally people around because it's certainly something we're against. But it's a whole, another question to decide, like, is this the enemy that we build in our story. And I think it might be dan. Where as you were part of these discussions like the last few months and then rex will, you know, you and I are kind of the newbies here, but so dan, like where have you seen this? Especially in the B two B space? Because it feels like it's prevalent everywhere, right? I mean, it's in every single channel because in every channel there's a marketer trying to game the system, right? And everywhere where you see a market or trying to gain the system without actually thinking about what people freaking want and what would be the most helpful to them. You're going to have commodity content, Benji, you just ran a marathon, Let me give you the ultimate example of commodity content to a marathon runner. I'm sure you ran across some, especially doing searches for how to run a good marathon time or how to run my first marathon. If you got two elliptical and the first answer was drink water, How helpful is that to you? How about 10 list tickles in a row, right? And they all say like, oh yeah, drink water and you're like, no freaking duh, I'm gonna drink some water. I'm running a marathon. How about something that is actually helpful, but the drink water thing and it'll give like 10 more things that are just kind of like, duh, like, have you ever gone and googled like creative dates with your wife and gotten a list of like go to a ceramic shop and throw a pot together. You're like, like, it's the same stuff every freaking time. It's commodity content. It's literally being produced for the sake of ranking without actually having a unique thing, without actually getting good content. Now. At one point it wasn't commodity content, right? No commodity start as commodity at one point, this was legit, but like, I just changed the batteries in my keyboard. Battery's probably used to be really cool. But nowadays I got this from all the, and it's like an off branded battery. It's a double A. It's a commodity, double A. Is a double A. I don't care what brands on it. They all work about the same, it's a commodity, it's everywhere. It's dispensable and that's the same way it's gone with most content. Yeah. What you said there for the sake of ranking, I think that's like a big contributing factor to a lot of the content. It's just like, is it long enough? And I think there's just so much that goes into, we want to rank higher rex was some of the other stuff that you're seeing maybe more from like this marketing angle where you're like, man, we are so guilty of commodity content, not maybe not just to fish, but like in general, because I know you see it all the time. Yeah, I mean every, every company I've joined, there's been some level of that, right. We've been...

...trying to accomplish this for the right reasons and kind of the wrong reasons. I think every marketer at some point in our career has been guilty of this, but also I think we can all agree that nobody wanted to do this. We didn't set out like I don't open my laptop in the morning and hope to write garbage that no one's going to pay attention to, right? That's not, that's not what I wish for, it's not what little boys and girls dream of when they say they want to be a marketer one day, that's not the goal. I see this all over. I think google searches like a really big one because you know, we think that the algorithm is telling us to hit a certain checklist. But really what google hopes is that it's producing the best content first. Unfortunately, I've worked with agencies in the past and I posted about this on linkedin. I feel really passionately that the challenge with outsourcing most of your content is that what they're gonna do is go search for all of your competitors who are already ranking or people who are competing for those key terms and they're going to mash up all those ideas and they're just going to reorganize them. They're going to reorder that content, they're not doing anything unique. Had a bad experience with this. When I was running marketing at my second startup, we worked with an agency, they picked a key topic that we wanted to go after several keywords, downloaded all the articles. I could see the work happening in google docs. They reordered it and when I read the output, they said, hey, are we good to publish this? And I said absolutely not. You cannot, it doesn't speak to anything unique about our brand and we have very specific takes, we had a very clear voice when you saw us talk on social, but if we were going to write a blog article that captures traffic and then people weren't gonna learn anything about us by reading our blog. What was I hoping for? What's what's the best possible outcome there that we tricked them into looking at something else from us and this should be where they feel that they identify with us is in our content. So this happens all the time, agencies are commonly guilty of this because it's the fastest way to produce that content. It's the easiest way to rank, but it doesn't represent the brand behind it, it doesn't create anything unique of value. I think so many marketers, Benji are so focused on how do I get someone's attention and so I can get somebody's attention if they search for this thing in google and I'm the first article that pops up, but then they don't think I've been guilty of this. You're like, okay, mission accomplished job is done. I got their attention. I ranked first, they clicked on the article and it's baffling to me how idiotic that thinking is. And I'm calling myself an idiot here. I've literally done this where I'm like, oh that's not actually winning, like what is the impression they have of you after consuming that piece of garbage that you just optimized to rank their or like I know we're talking a lot about google search, It applies to linkedin to like you can optimize around how to write a brilliant hook or a headline in linkedin and you can, you can get a lot of people to click see more in the linkedin feed and then your content says the exact same crap that everybody else is talking about and that's now the impression you've left on somebody is ah this isn't good, this didn't change my thinking. It didn't make me even think remotely differently about anything about my work and that's freaking hard man, because like, we're getting preached at by all of these thought leaders that we have to create lots of content, you gotta stay in front of your people, you gotta build personal brands for your team and they got to stay in front of everybody. And so there's this tension between, like, I have to stay in front of everybody all the time and I know I've, I've struggled with it, like I'm running out of ship to say like, I don't know what else to say, like I'm over here doing...

...my thing and it's working, but you can only, like, you talk about that so many times and it doesn't keep resonating. And so the thing, the big unlock for me that's been massive this year is, you know, consuming a lot of jake Kenzo's content and his whole approach to developing, you know, content that's not a commodity is asking more intriguing questions and because there are endless numbers of questions that we can ask as brands and there are endless ways that we can go about, like taking our audience on a journey to find answers to those questions. He did a podcast. It might be one of my favorite podcast episodes of all time on his show. Unthinkable And it was an episode called Leaving Expert Bill and he talks to someone john Bernini who has actually become a good friend over over linkedin, I say good friend, I mean a good, a good digital friend, I think a few of us have been on his podcast, I'm sure we've had him on GDP growth in the past, but anyway, he was talking to john and john was basically lamenting about this point of like john's content is very tactical, it's like very like related to content marketing and he was like, I'm running out of stuff to say and through this dialogue, J was basically walking him through well, like what if you just started asking more intriguing questions. And instead of positioning yourself as like I have the answer, I've made it to the top of the mountain and I know the answer and the reason the episode was called Leaving Expert veils because so much, so much of the time we're trying to portray ourselves as experts as opposed to trying to lead an audience on a journey that we don't know the answer to yet. And I just think that's a fascinating way to flip content on its head. I think there's endless potential in that approach in that episode, J talks about a story about a guy his name is Andrew, I'm blanking on his last name, he's a public speaker, but right after like right after the pandemic Hit Andrew started, you know, seeing everybody talk about, we've got to get back to business as usual. We got to get back to business as usual. We've got to get back to business as usual. And Andrew asked a simple question, what does that even mean? Like, do we want to get back to business as usual? Like, is that something we should aspire to? Not saying we shouldn't, but I don't know. Let's go on an exploit to figure that out. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts down because your approach to content creation is very much from it. Like be a student. So I don't know. What are your thoughts around all this stuff. That one podcast you mentioned, everybody in this listening to this episode needs to go and listen to that J Kenzo episode, Leaving Expert Bill, It changed me plus one to that in the best way possible. I was like, he's right. And I actually think it's it's ahead of the curve. I actually think there's still actually there's room for expert ville. Like we should leave expert Bill, but I think like jay is playing a couple moves ahead of where most people are. And I actually still think like, like search for example, google is primarily dominated with articles that are not written by the experts. They are written by writers who did an hour or two of research scraped that did the best they could And good for them and wrote an article in five and 8 hours. But like they're not even written by experts yet a lot of times, right? Or if they are they had they only had 500 words to get it out on a Forbes article. Right? And of course it can't be median in depth. So like there's still a lot of room for good expertise, but in places like social less so in places like social and podcasting and even in some in a lot of niches in Youtube, it's saturated like there's plenty of good answers there. So this is the next wave,...

...this is the next generation. I still think it's going to take a couple of years to actually play out. So jay's thinking is well well ahead of everybody else. I want to ask the following questions walk me through when you say like ask better questions. What does that look like for your content creation because like I've also seen, I mean, people try the question like, well just pose a crappy question to be honest as a way of engagement. But you're saying use questions and and develop really intriguing questions and then what are you writing long form content based on that? Are you posing those questions to your audience? What's the type of like back and forth that you guys think is going to develop from from that framework. That's a great question. My immediate two cents on it is I think you build your content strategy at a high level around like, okay, our, our live events, we're going to be taking people on this journey and asking these questions are pillar content. So like the episode we're doing right now, like, let's start regularly talking about questions, intriguing questions that we don't know the answers to yet. Like how the hell do you create commodity content, not create commodity content when you have to create content all the time? Like, you know, there's so much, there's so much desire for attention right now and to get that attention with everything else, like screaming at you, where is that? And I don't know the answer to that question, We haven't figured it out yet. There's still a lot of people that don't know about sweet fish media. And so I think like talking about it in your pillar content, letting that pillar content then shape the micro content that comes out of it, which turns into the content that your team is sharing on linkedin. So I think that's the flow of it, is you have long term kind of pillar content channels, whether it's a live event, you do once a week, whether it's something like this, where it's like, hey we know two or three days a week, the three of us are going to jump on a podcast and and talk about one of these concepts and then I think as you explore, way more content comes out of that because you start asking these other kind of these other questions that come up, I don't know, what do you think we should do? So that's, that's my take rex. It's almost an ideation, it's an ideation session. Like that's where it was like, it's going like we're not, we're all saying this is stuff that we can try right. Like let's all ask our best question and see where that question leads, which I think is super intriguing rex. What are your thoughts? Yeah. So I went through an interesting transition professionally for a long time. I co authored a book about outbound sales. Like I, all my content on linkedin was about outbound sales or sales in general. And I felt a draw towards talking about marketing. My last company, we targeted marketers, but I also love marketing. I wanted to talk about it but I felt a lot of pressure to be an expert and guys, I'm not an expert. Like I didn't, I didn't walk into my first marketing leadership role, knowing everything about everything about marketing and I don't think I'll leave my very last role in marketing knowing everything about marketing. So I felt all this this pressure. But recently instead of worrying about asking the very best questions I've been asking some questions I've been more willing to admit. Like, hey, I don't actually know but what James mentioned and what we're talking about the questions lead to more questions and those are such interesting. The second layer of questions are really interesting. So recently I posted on linkedin, like, hey, what's what's your favorite gift you've ever received from a vendor dan had this incredible answer. And it brings up 100 different questions about how do we think about interacting with other businesses and people and businesses and how do we think about the relationships that we have with vendors and what we call them and how we relate to them. Like that's powerful. And then on the other side it was I said don't mention anything that's got somebody's logo on it because in my head I was thinking that's just garbage. But in reality there are people who mentioned it because that was their favorite gift. It's like, okay, well...

...then the question is, why do I feel so strongly about branded gifts and what's the right variation of that or who's the right target audience for that that would enjoy? And there's, I mean I could go layers, layers, layers, deeper And that's been a powerful experience for me because I don't have to pretend to know the answer and give them the five best gifts you can use this year or hey, you're 2022 plan isn't complete without these 10 tips. I don't have to do it. I don't have to know it and people relate my content to marketing and they're having more conversations with me about marketing and they're more willing to be open in sharing thoughts and advice and strategies about marketing, which makes me a better marketer. And it makes the people who follow my content enjoy the comments and learn a ton more than if I was just always putting the only idea I had about that question. Hey everyone Emily brady with sweet fish here. If you've been listening to B two B growth for a while, you know, we are big proponents of putting out original organic content on linkedin. But one thing that has always been a struggle for a team like ours is easily tracking the reach of that linkedin content. That is why we are really excited about Shield analytics. Since our team started using Shield, we've been able to easily track the reach and performance of our linkedin content without having to manually log it ourselves. It automatically creates reports and generates dashboards that are incredibly useful to determining things like what content has been performing the best, what days of the week we're getting the most engagement and our average views proposed shield has been a game changer for our entire team's productivity and performance on linkedin. I highly suggest checking out this tool. If you're publishing content on linkedin for yourself or your company, you can get a 10 day free trial at shield app dot ai or you can get a 25% discount with our promo code B two B growth. Again, that Shield app dot Ai and the promo code is B the number to be growth all one word for a 25% discount. Alright, let's get back to the show. It requires you, it's a forcing function, Benji to take the ego out of it. Like you can't go into content creation with this approach, right? Like asking really compelling, intriguing questions and guiding people along the way and genuinely like trying to explore for an answer because you have to be able to acknowledge, I don't have the answer, I don't know to me, I see that is incredibly freeing, but we've been Programmed in marketing land for the last 15 years, I mean more than that, I'm sure, but since I've been in the game you have to present yourself as the expert, you have to have the answer or why? Why would somebody want to consume your stuff? You have to give him an answer. And I've just found that it leads to like, it's like, okay, but I can't keep doing this forever, this isn't sustainable, Like I have gone, I even think about it right now, there's a guy that I've been following for the last three or four months that I'm kind of tuned out on right now, his name is Alex, her mosey, I freaking binge, That dude's content more than maybe as much as I did with Gary V, certainly more than I have with a lot of other people, but when I think about the content creators that I've gone on binge fests with Alex or mosey, I've done it with Michael Hyatt. I've certainly done with Gary vee, Gary V has probably been the longest and most most sustained because it was more storytelling, it was his vlog. He wasn't necessarily like, he had the same 11 or 12 things that he would talk about all the time, but the compelling nature of the stories he was telling, it's like you're just following around this, you know, $100 million ceo and seeing his life that was compelling, I wanted to watch it, which I think teaches us something about commodity content. But this idea that like even the most prolific content creators, for me personally, they have my attention for 23 months maybe and I get through a backlog of 57, 10 years of their content, then they tap out because it's like okay, like I've learned from Alex or mosey enough for a freaking masters degree, it has changed the trajectory of my entire freaking business because of what I've...

...learned from this man over the last two or three months and I see this stuff on linkedin or I see a stuff on instagram now and I'm like ma on to the next and I just think ah man, like this is freaking hard, like how how are we supposed to like stay engaging, but For the last nine or 10 months, every freaking time I see a, every single time I see an unthinkable episode pull up in my podcast feed from J Kenzo, I'm like, yep, give me that because J is asking really compelling questions that he doesn't know the answer to, and he's taking you on a journey to try to figure out what the hell, how should we be thinking about it? And so he said something on twitter, somebody was like, ah there's too many marketing shows, should should I create another marketing show? And I think jay responded, he said something to the effect of so long as there are still questions to be asked and voices to be heard, there are more shows that need to be made and I was just like, yep, and there's always gonna be questions to ask and so I am so intrigued by this because I'm like, this is like the well that it's like, you know, I'm a person of faith, it's like this is like this is the well that keeps bringing life, like jesus is the water of life, Like I can go and drink a cup of water or I can go get jesus in the same way, I'm like, oh this is everlasting, like, I can go and drink from this well for decades and decades to come because it's not an expert bill anymore. I there's always going to be intriguing questions and the question that rex just asked about gifting, I'm super passionate about gifting too and I hate branded swag, but he's right. As soon as he said it, I was like, you know what? I probably hate it too much. Like I need to ease up on that point of view and really explore, why do I hate it so much? Like what, what did somebody get me that puts such a bad taste in my mouth and then how can I not do that? But not completely throw out the other stuff? Let's go on an exploration. We could do that for a month, we could do four or five different episodes like this exploring questions around that one specific thing and other questions would inevitably pop up and we'd have content for an entire month and that doesn't even freaking scratch the surface of all the things that people are asking related to B two B marketing, which is what our buyers care about when it comes to gift giving. The reason that we probably hate some of the branded swagger's because it was just commodity. I mean, like ultimately, like, it's just just like every other thing we ever got, there was no heart behind it. There's no passion there. It's, it's the exact thing we're talking about because so much of it comes back to mission and purpose, like dan you brought up earlier, my marathon training. The things that I read, there was articles that brought up drinking water that did hit me in the wrong way. But there was also ones that hit in the right way because they told me something like a trick that they learned while they were like, it's still drink water that's still the core message. But hey, this is how often this is how long my sip was. This was. I, I tried these three methods and then you know what I mean? Like because they were being inquisitive and they were asking a question, I was asking, am I drinking too much water at a time? And you know what I mean? That's starting to really get things rolling where you're like, oh yeah, we've covered this topic, but not in the same way. It's point of view, it's perspective, right? And dan. That's something you told me early on when I first joined. Like perspective point of view is crucial and I'd love to hear kind of, your take their, I think that's when it stops becoming commodity content. It's not just generic drink water, it's nuanced and the good answers always nuanced. Um, and that's how you can tell that article was actually written by someone who's probably actually ran a marathon because most of them aren't...

...there just kind of hashing out ones that other people maybe had rehashed before and then it just becomes rehashed. Rehashed. It's funny just to go back to branded swag. There have been times where I've purchased branded swag Because I was such a big fan of the company that I was like, I will gladly pay $45 for a polo with this company's logo on it because to me, this company and this logo means more than Nike to me, I don't care if nobody else knows the logo. I do right? So it's kind of like, what's up with that? Why do we do that? And that, that speaks right there, that speaks right there, dan to what jay talks a lot about about being their favorite. Like he showed this story in an email, I shared it with our leadership team probably four or five months ago, but he was like, any time the conversation around favorite Disney movie comes up, I don't care what anybody says, Nobody is ever going to tell me that that, that a Goofy movie is not the greatest Disney movie of all time. And he goes into the story about why it's his favorite. It's because it's super nostalgic. And when he was in college living in this house with a bunch of people that all all their names starting with J just like him and you know, gets into, I mean just, it's masterful storytelling. But at the end of the day, it's like, it's my favorite and you can't change it because it's my favorite and if we as brands start trying to create content that is our buyers favorite. It doesn't look like doing short term hacky trying to manipulate algorithms. Like I say that like it's a negative thing. Like the next question I was gonna ask, y'all is how do you create a higher level of content content that is asking questions instead of proclaiming expertise? But then how do you get it in front of people? Like the reason we started gaming headlines on linkedin and and gaming things on google and it's because we want to be where the people are like we we want to get the stuff that we're trying to put out into the world in front of as many people as possible and I think there's a disconnect in the people that are really doing some good work. Like I know that there's not as many people listening to jay is unthinkable show as there should be. And I'm like, but this is like the greatest stuff and B two B marketing right now, but we're consuming and this is not at all. I'm not even gonna say names because this isn't to bash other people, but like we're seeing other types of marketing content flood our feeds that's not nearly as substantial or like doesn't have the sustenance that what jay is talking about. So it's like, how do you create content that really does have sustenance that like can change people's thinking and challenge what they're currently doing and do it in a way that actually meets them where they are so that they can see it and and have an opportunity to engage with it, but I don't know, I'm curious dan with you building the audience growth product, curious rex if you have any thoughts on this, but like, I think that's the thing, we've got to try to figure out as we continue to explore commodity content. It's like, how do you create non commodity content, but also get it in front of as many people as you can. One of the reasons why I think jay is a few years out is partly because of that. His message is resonating with a very select few who can think ahead and see where he's at, but most people aren't there, it's like trying to catch a wave, but you're, you're a few feet ahead of this. Well, right, he's ahead of the swell, he's not writing the current swell in versus Gary V road, the swell of social media in and find it pretty much perfectly right. And now now Gary v is ahead of the swell and like the web three point oh thing. And that's, I mean, I guess not even like the swell has been building and like there's a lot of hype around that. So he's writing, he's writing that as it's picking up, it's just early versus JJ is ahead of the head of the game when it comes to...

...asking questions and I actually think like, you don't have to, like, you haven't arrived when you start asking questions, you can start asking questions from the very beginning because you don't know crap in the very beginning? So you might as well just start asking questions. How do you do this? Hey people who have been here for five years, how do you accomplish X. What is X? Right? And then you just keep asking questions. And the thing, the thing where it starts to become movement changing is when you have all the expertise, you've kind of learned all the all the possible ways of doing something and you have essentially mastered the craft instead of pretending to know the answers than leading with questions is such a better way forward. But by the time, you know everything, you know what things have been answered and you know which things haven't been. You're much better position to ask. The one question that everybody is wrestling with or the the few, there's probably a few big ones in the industry, like in marketing. I think like this is one of the reasons why we were even considering this as a as an enemy for us rather than commodity content was distraction. You spoke about it at the very beginning, there's a reason why we considered that is because it's a widespread problem across marketers. Too much distraction trying to pursue too many endeavors at one time. I think you even Wrexham Benji, you just did an episode on this right distraction. It's a freaking huge problem. It's not what we're going to villainize but it's still something we need to be asking questions about because it's a it's it's a problem for our for all marketers more than most departments rex What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear your take. Yeah, I was going to share a little bit of why I think we're all trying to game the algorithms and we're trying to to trick the systems into what we what we want as the outcome, which is a lot of people seeing something that we've produced and ultimately, you know, if we're if we're thinking like marketers who care about revenue ultimately want them to then engage and we want them to buy and that's but there's not a clear path. So one of the things that I've noticed with a lot of the content that we're talking about, let's let's pick on google search for just a little bit, let's talk about SEO optimizing, right? And you know, one of the reasons that we try and game the system is because our entire distribution plan is google, our entire plan. The only thing we think is going to happen is that google is going to pick it up, right? We talked about it like that, but we don't have an email list, we're gonna share it to that we expect this to deeply resonate with. We don't have a linkedin network that we're gonna share this with our top five influencers who are going to really care about this and they're going to distribute it. But then you look at companies like gone, one of my favorite examples of a brand that I will go by their swag. They literally put up a swag shop and was like, yeah, you know what son of a gun? I'd probably buy one because they resonate with me. But way back in the day when chris or lob was their director of marketing, he's now over sales, he would send us hundreds of people and he would send us all notes though. People he knew were deeply passionate about sales and he would say, hey, we just posted this thing about this kind of controversial topic about the things never to say on sales calls, Would you take a look? Yeah. You know why not? So the question is, are you using the channel for distribution? Is that your only way to play there? And would you be confident enough to share it with your audience with your network with a friend? Would you do you have the confidence in the content you're creating? And this is a question reflective of myself. Like, do I have the confidence in the content I create? That? I would send it to a friend and say, hey, would you comment on this? Hey, I'd love to get your perspective on this because I know you'd say something unique here. I've been doing that more lately? Where I've been very guilty in the past of like, uh yeah, I'm not gonna send this to someone, I hope linkedin picks it up because I wouldn't send that to my friends because it's just not that good, right? I don't want to share it. So it's the question of what's your distribution plan? It's the question of how confident do you feel in it that you would actually share this with the people you care about and who should care about the topic? I think those are two of the biggest issues around commodity content. We're just, we're relying too much on other people doing the work and we're not putting in a plan and doing the work on the other end. If you don't want to proof read...

...your own content, somebody mentioned this in a comment on one of my linkedin posts. Like she said, one of the reasons I know I'm creating commodity content is I don't even want to proof read my own stuff. That's so true. So good. I'm like, that speaks exactly to what rex is saying here, but we've we've programmed our minds to think that even though we don't, I think it's that good, we've optimized the crap out of it and it's going to, you know, and some platform is going to make sure that it gets in front of a lot of people, but it's like we're not thinking that very next step if it does get what I want, google ranking this article because what does that, what do them people think of our brand when this is their first exposure to it. This article that looks like Abbott wrote it and it has zero personality. It's not helpful. It's just an amalgamation of the other seven articles that they also like popped up on google for the things that they searched for and I don't know, marketing gets way more fun when you start thinking about like when somebody does engage with this, is this going to be their favorite? Like could this be potentially be their favorite piece of content that they consume today? And I think if you can stack and like over and over and over again, consistently deliver someone's favorite piece of content, you become a brand where it's like, I want to buy their swag because these guys get me like, I don't care what you, I don't care what anybody else says, they're my favorite and that, that's what I want to start doing for our customers is like helping our customers figure out how can you create your audiences favorite content and and it's, it's going to be freaking hard man. Like this is not, this is not an easy problem to solve. And and here we are saying like we've made it to the mountaintop, we know how to do it, you just ask questions like how do you, maybe we figured maybe in six months we're like, ok, we're inadequate. Like I don't think that's gonna happen, but there's all kinds of stuff. We're gonna be like figuring out on our journey to figure out how to create, you know, more more resonant stuff, stuff that is somebody's favorite because we're trying to figure it out along alongside hopefully a lot more people, the more and more we talk about this. I'm curious and I know we only have a few minutes left here chris walker for anybody listening to the show. They probably already listened to, you know, demand gen, lie or stated Manchin. He has seemingly done the exact opposite of what we're talking about here. He's not, he's not asking a lot of questions. He's making a lot of proclamations and they're really good proclamations. I think he's got 25,000 people listen to his podcast. Everything he puts on linkedin seemingly turns to gold. He put a nine minute linkedin video up the other day, I had like 11,000 views was like, what the actual hell? Like this seemingly can do whatever the hell he wants and it freaking works. But I find myself tagging rex or dan or sending a text message to bill, like, oh my God, think like look at this because this stuff really is good. So like why is that working when we're sitting here over saying like, don't be the expert don't make proclamations, like what chris walker is doing, okay, I gotta tap it for one second and then I want dan's take too. But to me, I feel like it's exactly what we've been saying this entire conversation because there's space in anywhere that you're doing, what you're doing with true heart and passion and you actually know why you're doing it. You can thrive in any of these. It's not like everyone needs to move the question asking. It's the people that feel and resonate with that, which I really resonate with. We need to ask better questions. And so that would be something that would really work for me as someone who already loves interview. You know what I mean? Like already loves thinking through what's a better question, What?...

But if you have something to say and you can say it pretty firmly, there's still space for that. There's always gonna be space and content for the person that comes along that's like, you know what? This is the best way we want to hear that kind of stuff. We want to hear someone make a proclamation and defend it and back it up. Like with data or numbers or here's a case study. Like we still want that. It's just not everyone should be doing it because not everyone has the experience that he has, not, everyone has the like that all plays into it. So it's not, this will never be a one size fits all and we all start fumbling when we all think it is that like then we're all, we're all just ranking for search and then what we're all screwed because we're all just copycats and we're not filling the lane that we know we should be filling, that comes back to mission and purpose so much. But in marketing again, you're looking at everybody else and then you get caught copying. So dan, what are your thoughts, man? That's just like the first thing that came to my mind. I think your answer is right, Benji, like there's just so many nuances and if you hit a lot of the right points the right way, like chris has, then it's going to resonate, it's going to do well. And I still think he's, he's riding the wave expert bill hasn't left yet. There's still plenty of room for good expertise and he's, he's an expert answering something that in a way that nobody else had quite addressed and came counter counter to a lot of popular beliefs, which just creates momentum because now you have people fighting with you over, which just creates attention, it's just fantastic. But I don't know, I'd, I'd wager to say that uh, in three years he's gonna be asking more questions. That's exactly what I was thinking is. I'm curious to see in 123 years I was thinking one year, but I think three years probably more accurate. Is he still going to have the kind of attention that he has now and maybe, I mean I think you, you see, you see other types of content that constantly pull up in my feed from other creators, it's not nearly as good as his stuff but they're still like and it seems like a little bit more sustainable but because chris is so in the weeds, not in the weeds. I think he's intentionally engaged on a deep level with some of his customers so that he keeps his finger on the pulse of like what is actually working and what's not working. And I think he's very intentional in doing that. And so I think by seeing that it's going to feed him like he seems to consistently have a new point of view every 3 to 4 months and I think he's intentionally designed it that way so that he does and we have over the years. I mean we've we've talked about P. O. V. Discovery for seasons of time. We've obviously talked about content based networking for a long time. We talked about doing original research on the back of your podcast. That was something we were all talking about for for a while because we're practitioners of the craft. We are constantly learning new things about it. And it's like as we learn it like hey we made it to the top of the mountain, we figured out that you can produce your own original research just by asking three simple questions at the end of your podcast interview or we figured out that you can create a better episode by asking one of three different P. O. V. Discovery questions at the beginning of your episode? Like but the thing that's been frustrating to me is like man do I just do we just have to keep coming up with those points of view Like And I get like I guess every 3-4 months we'll we'll think of something else but like I just like this other way so much more. And are there more things that we're going to figure out about B. Two B podcasting? Yeah of course like we're figuring out a lot as we go but I think to your point Benji it's like there's never gonna be a this is the only way I really like question asking, exploring, guiding along a journey, asking questions that people haven't asked before or haven't necessarily thought about but that I for sure don't want to proclaim that that's the only way well I'm gonna wrap us up here this...

...conversation. I feel like we could easily go for quite a bit longer. We'll probably have to have you guys back on so we can continue this, See the evolutions that continue to happen. But instead typically what I do, I take notes on my white board and I read the things that I I learned from the guests, I gotta say I'm walking away from this one with just two questions that I want every listener to ask themselves. One I want you to ask is this for attention or for transformation Is the stuff that you're posting is the content that you're producing this week. This month as you're thinking about 20, is it all about attention or is there a level of transformation? And then second, I love the question that we were considering, do I have the confidence in my content to send this to a friend and say, Hey, what do you think about this? Because that's another really, really helpful question as we're making content to be thinking about, Do I have the confidence in my content to send this to a friend and say, what do you think about this? Thanks guys. James rex dan. Excellent insights, Absolutely. Such a fun conversation and thanks for being on B two B growth today. Hey, if you haven't subscribed yet, do so on your favorite whatever podcast platform you're listening to this on right now, you can connect with all of us on linkedin. We would love to chat with you about marketing, business life and keep doing work that matters. We'll chat against one of the things we've learned about podcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, really well actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted a friend to tell them about it. And if you send me a text with a screenshot of the text you sent to your friend, meta. I know I'll send you a copy of my book, Content based networking, How to instantly connect with anyone you want to know. My cell phone number is 40749033 to 8. Happy texting. Mm hmm.

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