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 analyticsis the podcast for marketing, communications, sales and operationsleaders who want to see their business value clearly and succeed, learn howleaders are closing the gap between creative work and business impactthrough raw conversations. Don't believe me. Check out the show foryourself from the CFO perspective it's value is what type of revenuegeneration earnings cash flow that is only adding to the growth of the, ofthe enterprise. You know, another dimension would be how our marginsperforming are we, you know, we're getting the right value by seeingmargin expansion by creating products, services that are generating, you knowthat 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, otherperspectives, but as a leader, as the finance leader, as you're looking togrow the revenue earnings and cash flow of an organization, it will only createmore opportunities for your employees, for your suppliers, for your customersbased on those services that you're creating. So to me that's how I view tobe 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 fromregularly excited to dive in today. We have James are sweet fish ceo. Welcomeinto 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, sohere's why we're all here today, here's what I want to jump into. I've invitedthe three of you on to discuss content, specifically a phrase that if you'refamiliar with some of what's being posted on linkedin, we're talking a lotabout this, but commodity content James, this is something you've been reallypassionate about, you're talking about it frequently, so I'll give you kind offirst step back here to get us started when I say commodity content. What'sthe first thing that comes to your mind? Yeah, so I think the first thing thatcomes to mind quite frankly is a lot of content that I've been guilty ofpublishing in the past. I mean it's it's content that is produced to hit aquota 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'tactually try to engage a human on the other side of it. It's been written foran algorithm and so as we've been thinking a lot the last 6 to 8 monthsaround, you know, sweet fishes narrative. What's our story, You can'tdevelop your brand story without first figuring out who your enemy is and I'vestruggled with this, I mean we've, we've gone back and forth a milliontimes, like I remember dan, I mean when dan was leading marketing a few monthsago, we've had some internal kind of like reorg recently, but like Iremember 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 thetime, that's being scattered. Like we've been all over the map with whatis the actual enemy that we're trying to fight. And a few months ago, it wasmaybe a month ago, it just became really obvious to me, we've been I'vebeen consuming a lot of content from J Kenzo and I've heard him talk aboutthis idea of transformational versus...

...transactional content. And as we were,I was like, okay, there's something there, it's like so much content istransactional, how do we? And so we started playing with that a little bitand like, okay, what is it? Is transactional content or enemy? No, butyou don't really know what that means when you say it, it was like, whatabout commodity content? And then it it kind of clicked into place and as I'vebeen talking about on linkedin, if I'm being honest, I thought that I wouldget better engagement. Talking about it on linkedin, it's been okay, it's beendecent, but the people that have engaged and commented on the, on thestuff that on my posts, talking about it had a visceral reaction to it. So itmakes me think like, okay, we're on, we're on to something here because it'sdeeply resonating with people, you know, that something's popped whenever youwrite about something on linkedin and over the next few days, you hear otherpeople using the phrase and talking about it in their content. And thathappened as soon as I started talking about commodity content. So I feel likewe're starting to strike a nerve. It just, we, we need to, we need to be alittle bit more consistent talk about it a little bit more um to see like isthis an enemy that that we can rally people around because it's certainlysomething 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 monthsand then rex will, you know, you and I are kind of the newbies here, but sodan, 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 inevery single channel because in every channel there's a marketer trying togame the system, right? And everywhere where you see a market or trying togain the system without actually thinking about what people freakingwant and what would be the most helpful to them. You're going to have commoditycontent, Benji, you just ran a marathon, Let me give you the ultimate example ofcommodity 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 runmy first marathon. If you got two elliptical and the first answer wasdrink 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, nofreaking duh, I'm gonna drink some water. I'm running a marathon. Howabout something that is actually helpful, but the drink water thing andit'll give like 10 more things that are just kind of like, duh, like, have youever gone and googled like creative dates with your wife and gotten a listof like go to a ceramic shop and throw a pot together. You're like, like, it'sthe same stuff every freaking time. It's commodity content. It's literallybeing produced for the sake of ranking without actually having a unique thing,without actually getting good content. Now. At one point it wasn't commoditycontent, 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 usedto be really cool. But nowadays I got this from all the, and it's like an offbranded battery. It's a double A. It's a commodity, double A. Is a double A. Idon'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 mostcontent. Yeah. What you said there for the sake of ranking, I think that'slike a big contributing factor to a lot of the content. It's just like, is itlong enough? And I think there's just so much that goes into, we want to rankhigher rex was some of the other stuff that you're seeing maybe more from likethis marketing angle where you're like, man, we are so guilty of commoditycontent, not maybe not just to fish, but like in general, because I know yousee it all the time. Yeah, I mean every, every company I've joined, there's beensome level of that, right. We've been...

...trying to accomplish this for the rightreasons and kind of the wrong reasons. I think every marketer at some point inour career has been guilty of this, but also I think we can all agree thatnobody wanted to do this. We didn't set out like I don't open my laptop in themorning 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 andgirls dream of when they say they want to be a marketer one day, that's notthe goal. I see this all over. I think google searches like a really big onebecause you know, we think that the algorithm is telling us to hit acertain checklist. But really what google hopes is that it's producing thebest content first. Unfortunately, I've worked with agencies in the past and Iposted about this on linkedin. I feel really passionately that the challengewith outsourcing most of your content is that what they're gonna do is gosearch for all of your competitors who are already ranking or people who arecompeting for those key terms and they're going to mash up all thoseideas and they're just going to reorganize them. They're going toreorder that content, they're not doing anything unique. Had a bad experiencewith this. When I was running marketing at my second startup, we worked with anagency, 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 topublish this? And I said absolutely not. You cannot, it doesn't speak toanything unique about our brand and we have very specific takes, we had a veryclear voice when you saw us talk on social, but if we were going to write ablog article that captures traffic and then people weren't gonna learnanything about us by reading our blog. What was I hoping for? What's what'sthe best possible outcome there that we tricked them into looking at somethingelse from us and this should be where they feel that they identify with us isin our content. So this happens all the time, agencies are commonly guilty ofthis because it's the fastest way to produce that content. It's the easiestway to rank, but it doesn't represent the brand behind it, it doesn't createanything unique of value. I think so many marketers, Benji are so focused onhow do I get someone's attention and so I can get somebody's attention if theysearch for this thing in google and I'm the first article that pops up, butthen they don't think I've been guilty of this. You're like, okay, missionaccomplished job is done. I got their attention. I ranked first, they clickedon the article and it's baffling to me how idiotic that thinking is. And I'mcalling myself an idiot here. I've literally done this where I'm like, ohthat's not actually winning, like what is the impression they have of youafter consuming that piece of garbage that you just optimized to rank theiror like I know we're talking a lot about google search, It applies tolinkedin to like you can optimize around how to write a brilliant hook ora headline in linkedin and you can, you can get a lot of people to click seemore in the linkedin feed and then your content says the exact same crap thateverybody else is talking about and that's now the impression you've lefton somebody is ah this isn't good, this didn't change my thinking. It didn'tmake me even think remotely differently about anything about my work and that'sfreaking hard man, because like, we're getting preached at by all of thesethought leaders that we have to create lots of content, you gotta stay infront of your people, you gotta build personal brands for your team and theygot 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'vestruggled with it, like I'm running out of ship to say like, I don't know whatelse to say, like I'm over here doing...

...my thing and it's working, but you canonly, 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, youknow, consuming a lot of jake Kenzo's content and his whole approach todeveloping, you know, content that's not a commodity is asking moreintriguing questions and because there are endless numbers of questions thatwe can ask as brands and there are endless ways that we can go about, liketaking our audience on a journey to find answers to those questions. He dida podcast. It might be one of my favorite podcast episodes of all timeon his show. Unthinkable And it was an episode called Leaving Expert Bill andhe talks to someone john Bernini who has actually become a good friend overover linkedin, I say good friend, I mean a good, a good digital friend, Ithink a few of us have been on his podcast, I'm sure we've had him on GDPgrowth in the past, but anyway, he was talking to john and john was basicallylamenting about this point of like john's content is very tactical, it'slike very like related to content marketing and he was like, I'm runningout of stuff to say and through this dialogue, J was basically walking himthrough well, like what if you just started asking more intriguingquestions. 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 reasonthe episode was called Leaving Expert veils because so much, so much of thetime we're trying to portray ourselves as experts as opposed to trying to leadan audience on a journey that we don't know the answer to yet. And I justthink that's a fascinating way to flip content on its head. I think there'sendless potential in that approach in that episode, J talks about a storyabout a guy his name is Andrew, I'm blanking on his last name, he's apublic speaker, but right after like right after the pandemic Hit Andrewstarted, you know, seeing everybody talk about, we've got to get back tobusiness as usual. We got to get back to business as usual. We've got to getback to business as usual. And Andrew asked a simple question, what does thateven mean? Like, do we want to get back to business as usual? Like, is thatsomething 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 yourthoughts 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 thisstuff. That one podcast you mentioned, everybody in this listening to thisepisode 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'sright. And I actually think it's it's ahead of the curve. I actually thinkthere's still actually there's room for expert ville. Like we should leaveexpert Bill, but I think like jay is playing a couple moves ahead of wheremost people are. And I actually still think like, like search for example,google is primarily dominated with articles that are not written by theexperts. They are written by writers who did an hour or two of researchscraped that did the best they could And good for them and wrote an articlein five and 8 hours. But like they're not even written by experts yet a lotof times, right? Or if they are they had they only had 500 words to get itout on a Forbes article. Right? And of course it can't be median in depth. Solike there's still a lot of room for good expertise, but in places likesocial less so in places like social and podcasting and even in some in alot of niches in Youtube, it's saturated like there's plenty of goodanswers there. So this is the next wave,...

...this is the next generation. I stillthink it's going to take a couple of years to actually play out. So jay'sthinking is well well ahead of everybody else. I want to ask thefollowing questions walk me through when you say like ask better questions.What does that look like for your content creation because like I've alsoseen, I mean, people try the question like, well just pose a crappy questionto be honest as a way of engagement. But you're saying use questions and anddevelop really intriguing questions and then what are you writing long formcontent 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 developfrom from that framework. That's a great question. My immediate two centson 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 andasking these questions are pillar content. So like the episode we'redoing right now, like, let's start regularly talking about questions,intriguing questions that we don't know the answers to yet. Like how the helldo you create commodity content, not create commodity content when you haveto create content all the time? Like, you know, there's so much, there's somuch desire for attention right now and to get that attention with everythingelse, like screaming at you, where is that? And I don't know the answer tothat question, We haven't figured it out yet. There's still a lot of peoplethat don't know about sweet fish media. And so I think like talking about it inyour pillar content, letting that pillar content then shape the microcontent that comes out of it, which turns into the content that your teamis sharing on linkedin. So I think that's the flow of it, is you have longterm kind of pillar content channels, whether it's a live event, you do oncea week, whether it's something like this, where it's like, hey we know twoor three days a week, the three of us are going to jump on a podcast and andtalk about one of these concepts and then I think as you explore, way morecontent comes out of that because you start asking these other kind of theseother 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 ideationsession. Like that's where it was like, it's going like we're not, we're allsaying this is stuff that we can try right. Like let's all ask our bestquestion and see where that question leads, which I think is superintriguing rex. What are your thoughts? Yeah. So I went through an interestingtransition professionally for a long time. I co authored a book aboutoutbound sales. Like I, all my content on linkedin was about outbound sales orsales in general. And I felt a draw towards talking about marketing. Mylast company, we targeted marketers, but I also love marketing. I wanted totalk about it but I felt a lot of pressure to be an expert and guys, I'mnot an expert. Like I didn't, I didn't walk into my first marketing leadershiprole, knowing everything about everything about marketing and I don'tthink I'll leave my very last role in marketing knowing everything aboutmarketing. So I felt all this this pressure. But recently instead ofworrying about asking the very best questions I've been asking somequestions I've been more willing to admit. Like, hey, I don't actually knowbut what James mentioned and what we're talking about the questions lead tomore questions and those are such interesting. The second layer ofquestions 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 danhad this incredible answer. And it brings up 100 different questions abouthow do we think about interacting with other businesses and people andbusinesses and how do we think about the relationships that we have withvendors 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 gotsomebody'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 theirfavorite gift. It's like, okay, well...

...then the question is, why do I feel sostrongly about branded gifts and what's the right variation of that or who'sthe right target audience for that that would enjoy? And there's, I mean Icould go layers, layers, layers, deeper And that's been a powerful experiencefor me because I don't have to pretend to know the answer and give them thefive best gifts you can use this year or hey, you're 2022 plan isn't completewithout these 10 tips. I don't have to do it. I don't have to know it andpeople relate my content to marketing and they're having more conversationswith me about marketing and they're more willing to be open in sharingthoughts and advice and strategies about marketing, which makes me abetter marketer. And it makes the people who follow my content enjoy thecomments and learn a ton more than if I was just always putting the only idea Ihad about that question. Hey everyone Emily brady with sweet fish here. Ifyou've been listening to B two B growth for a while, you know, we are bigproponents of putting out original organic content on linkedin. But onething that has always been a struggle for a team like ours is easily trackingthe reach of that linkedin content. That is why we are really excited aboutShield analytics. Since our team started using Shield, we've been ableto easily track the reach and performance of our linkedin contentwithout having to manually log it ourselves. It automatically createsreports and generates dashboards that are incredibly useful to determiningthings like what content has been performing the best, what days of theweek we're getting the most engagement and our average views proposed shieldhas been a game changer for our entire team's productivity and performance onlinkedin. I highly suggest checking out this tool. If you're publishing contenton linkedin for yourself or your company, you can get a 10 day freetrial at shield app dot ai or you can get a 25% discount with our promo codeB two B growth. Again, that Shield app dot Ai and the promo code is B thenumber to be growth all one word for a 25% discount. Alright, let's get backto the show. It requires you, it's a forcing function, Benji to take the egoout 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 andgenuinely like trying to explore for an answer because you have to be able toacknowledge, I don't have the answer, I don't know to me, I see that isincredibly freeing, but we've been Programmed in marketing land for thelast 15 years, I mean more than that, I'm sure, but since I've been in thegame you have to present yourself as the expert, you have to have the answeror why? Why would somebody want to consume your stuff? You have to givehim an answer. And I've just found that it leads to like, it's like, okay, butI can't keep doing this forever, this isn't sustainable, Like I have gone, Ieven think about it right now, there's a guy that I've been following for thelast three or four months that I'm kind of tuned out on right now, his name isAlex, her mosey, I freaking binge, That dude's content more than maybe as muchas 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 festswith Alex or mosey, I've done it with Michael Hyatt. I've certainly done withGary vee, Gary V has probably been the longest and most most sustained becauseit was more storytelling, it was his vlog. He wasn't necessarily like, hehad the same 11 or 12 things that he would talk about all the time, but thecompelling nature of the stories he was telling, it's like you're justfollowing around this, you know, $100 million ceo and seeing his life thatwas compelling, I wanted to watch it, which I think teaches us somethingabout commodity content. But this idea that like even the most prolificcontent creators, for me personally, they have my attention for 23 monthsmaybe and I get through a backlog of 57, 10 years of their content, then theytap out because it's like okay, like I've learned from Alex or mosey enoughfor a freaking masters degree, it has changed the trajectory of my entirefreaking business because of what I've...

...learned from this man over the last twoor three months and I see this stuff on linkedin or I see a stuff on instagramnow and I'm like ma on to the next and I just think ah man, like this isfreaking hard, like how how are we supposed to like stay engaging, but Forthe last nine or 10 months, every freaking time I see a, every singletime I see an unthinkable episode pull up in my podcast feed from J Kenzo, I'mlike, yep, give me that because J is asking really compelling questions thathe doesn't know the answer to, and he's taking you on a journey to try tofigure out what the hell, how should we be thinking about it? And so he saidsomething on twitter, somebody was like, ah there's too many marketing shows,should should I create another marketing show? And I think jayresponded, he said something to the effect of so long as there are stillquestions to be asked and voices to be heard, there are more shows that needto be made and I was just like, yep, and there's always gonna be questionsto ask and so I am so intrigued by this because I'm like, this is like the wellthat it's like, you know, I'm a person of faith, it's like this is like thisis the well that keeps bringing life, like jesus is the water of life, Like Ican go and drink a cup of water or I can go get jesus in the same way, I'mlike, oh this is everlasting, like, I can go and drink from this well fordecades and decades to come because it's not an expert bill anymore. Ithere's always going to be intriguing questions and the question that rexjust asked about gifting, I'm super passionate about gifting too and I hatebranded swag, but he's right. As soon as he said it, I was like, you knowwhat? I probably hate it too much. Like I need to ease up on that point of viewand really explore, why do I hate it so much? Like what, what did somebody getme 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. Wecould do that for a month, we could do four or five different episodes likethis exploring questions around that one specific thing and other questionswould inevitably pop up and we'd have content for an entire month and thatdoesn't even freaking scratch the surface of all the things that peopleare asking related to B two B marketing, which is what our buyers care aboutwhen it comes to gift giving. The reason that we probably hate some ofthe 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 heartbehind it. There's no passion there. It's, it's the exact thing we'retalking about because so much of it comes back to mission and purpose, likedan you brought up earlier, my marathon training. The things that I read, therewas 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 mesomething like a trick that they learned while they were like, it'sstill drink water that's still the core message. But hey, this is how oftenthis is how long my sip was. This was. I, I tried these three methods and thenyou know what I mean? Like because they were being inquisitive and they wereasking a question, I was asking, am I drinking too much water at a time? Andyou know what I mean? That's starting to really get things rolling whereyou'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 youtold me early on when I first joined. Like perspective point of view iscrucial and I'd love to hear kind of, your take their, I think that's when itstops becoming commodity content. It's not just generic drink water, it'snuanced and the good answers always nuanced. Um, and that's how you cantell that article was actually written by someone who's probably actually rana marathon because most of them aren't...

...there just kind of hashing out onesthat other people maybe had rehashed before and then it just becomesrehashed. Rehashed. It's funny just to go back to branded swag. There havebeen times where I've purchased branded swag Because I was such a big fan ofthe company that I was like, I will gladly pay $45 for a polo with thiscompany's logo on it because to me, this company and this logo means morethan Nike to me, I don't care if nobody else knows the logo. I do right? Soit's kind of like, what's up with that? Why do we do that? And that, thatspeaks right there, that speaks right there, dan to what jay talks a lotabout about being their favorite. Like he showed this story in an email, Ishared it with our leadership team probably four or five months ago, buthe 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 goesinto the story about why it's his favorite. It's because it's supernostalgic. And when he was in college living in this house with a bunch ofpeople that all all their names starting with J just like him and youknow, gets into, I mean just, it's masterful storytelling. But at the endof the day, it's like, it's my favorite and you can't change it because it's myfavorite and if we as brands start trying to create content that is ourbuyers favorite. It doesn't look like doing short term hacky trying tomanipulate algorithms. Like I say that like it's a negative thing. Like thenext question I was gonna ask, y'all is how do you create a higher level ofcontent content that is asking questions instead of proclaimingexpertise? But then how do you get it in front of people? Like the reason westarted gaming headlines on linkedin and and gaming things on google andit's because we want to be where the people are like we we want to get thestuff that we're trying to put out into the world in front of as many people aspossible and I think there's a disconnect in the people that arereally doing some good work. Like I know that there's not as many peoplelistening to jay is unthinkable show as there should be. And I'm like, but thisis like the greatest stuff and B two B marketing right now, but we'reconsuming and this is not at all. I'm not even gonna say names because thisisn't to bash other people, but like we're seeing other types of marketingcontent flood our feeds that's not nearly as substantial or like doesn'thave the sustenance that what jay is talking about. So it's like, how do youcreate content that really does have sustenance that like can changepeople's thinking and challenge what they're currently doing and do it in away that actually meets them where they are so that they can see it and andhave an opportunity to engage with it, but I don't know, I'm curious dan withyou building the audience growth product, curious rex if you have anythoughts on this, but like, I think that's the thing, we've got to try tofigure out as we continue to explore commodity content. It's like, how doyou create non commodity content, but also get it in front of as many peopleas you can. One of the reasons why I think jay is a few years out is partlybecause of that. His message is resonating with a very select few whocan think ahead and see where he's at, but most people aren't there, it's liketrying 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 versusGary V road, the swell of social media in and find it pretty much perfectlyright. And now now Gary v is ahead of the swell and like the web three pointoh thing. And that's, I mean, I guess not even like the swell has beenbuilding and like there's a lot of hype around that. So he's writing, he'swriting that as it's picking up, it's just early versus JJ is ahead of thehead of the game when it comes to...

...asking questions and I actually thinklike, you don't have to, like, you haven't arrived when you start askingquestions, you can start asking questions from the very beginningbecause you don't know crap in the very beginning? So you might as well juststart asking questions. How do you do this? Hey people who have been here forfive years, how do you accomplish X. What is X? Right? And then you justkeep asking questions. And the thing, the thing where it starts to becomemovement changing is when you have all the expertise, you've kind of learnedall the all the possible ways of doing something and you have essentiallymastered the craft instead of pretending to know the answers thanleading with questions is such a better way forward. But by the time, you knoweverything, you know what things have been answered and you know which thingshaven't been. You're much better position to ask. The one question thateverybody is wrestling with or the the few, there's probably a few big ones inthe industry, like in marketing. I think like this is one of the reasonswhy we were even considering this as a as an enemy for us rather thancommodity 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 problemacross marketers. Too much distraction trying to pursue too many endeavors atone time. I think you even Wrexham Benji, you just did an episode on thisright distraction. It's a freaking huge problem. It's not what we're going tovillainize but it's still something we need to be asking questions aboutbecause it's a it's it's a problem for our for all marketers more than mostdepartments rex What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear your take. Yeah, I wasgoing to share a little bit of why I think we're all trying to game thealgorithms and we're trying to to trick the systems into what we what we wantas the outcome, which is a lot of people seeing something that we'veproduced and ultimately, you know, if we're if we're thinking like marketerswho care about revenue ultimately want them to then engage and we want them tobuy and that's but there's not a clear path. So one of the things that I'venoticed with a lot of the content that we're talking about, let's let's pickon 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 becauseour entire distribution plan is google, our entire plan. The only thing wethink is going to happen is that google is going to pick it up, right? Wetalked about it like that, but we don't have an email list, we're gonna shareit to that we expect this to deeply resonate with. We don't have a linkedinnetwork that we're gonna share this with our top five influencers who aregoing to really care about this and they're going to distribute it. Butthen you look at companies like gone, one of my favorite examples of a brandthat I will go by their swag. They literally put up a swag shop and waslike, yeah, you know what son of a gun? I'd probably buy one because theyresonate with me. But way back in the day when chris or lob was theirdirector of marketing, he's now over sales, he would send us hundreds ofpeople and he would send us all notes though. People he knew were deeplypassionate about sales and he would say, hey, we just posted this thing aboutthis 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 youusing the channel for distribution? Is that your only way to play there? Andwould you be confident enough to share it with your audience with your networkwith a friend? Would you do you have the confidence in the content you'recreating? And this is a question reflective of myself. Like, do I havethe confidence in the content I create? That? I would send it to a friend andsay, hey, would you comment on this? Hey, I'd love to get your perspectiveon this because I know you'd say something unique here. I've been doingthat 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 Iwouldn'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 distributionplan? It's the question of how confident do you feel in it that youwould actually share this with the people you care about and who shouldcare about the topic? I think those are two of the biggest issues aroundcommodity content. We're just, we're relying too much on other people doingthe work and we're not putting in a plan and doing the work on the otherend. If you don't want to proof read...

...your own content, somebody mentionedthis in a comment on one of my linkedin posts. Like she said, one of thereasons I know I'm creating commodity content is I don't even want to proofread my own stuff. That's so true. So good. I'm like, that speaks exactly towhat rex is saying here, but we've we've programmed our minds to thinkthat even though we don't, I think it's that good, we've optimized the crap outof it and it's going to, you know, and some platform is going to make surethat it gets in front of a lot of people, but it's like we're notthinking that very next step if it does get what I want, google ranking thisarticle because what does that, what do them people think of our brand whenthis is their first exposure to it. This article that looks like Abbottwrote it and it has zero personality. It's not helpful. It's just anamalgamation of the other seven articles that they also like popped upon 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 somebodydoes engage with this, is this going to be their favorite? Like could this bepotentially be their favorite piece of content that they consume today? And Ithink if you can stack and like over and over and over again, consistentlydeliver someone's favorite piece of content, you become a brand where it'slike, I want to buy their swag because these guys get me like, I don't carewhat 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 ourcustomers figure out how can you create your audiences favorite content and andit's, it's going to be freaking hard man. Like this is not, this is not aneasy problem to solve. And and here we are saying like we've made it to themountaintop, 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. LikeI don't think that's gonna happen, but there's all kinds of stuff. We're gonnabe 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'retrying to figure it out along alongside hopefully a lot more people, the moreand more we talk about this. I'm curious and I know we only have a fewminutes left here chris walker for anybody listening to the show. Theyprobably already listened to, you know, demand gen, lie or stated Manchin. Hehas seemingly done the exact opposite of what we're talking about here. He'snot, he's not asking a lot of questions. He's making a lot of proclamations andthey're really good proclamations. I think he's got 25,000 people listen tohis podcast. Everything he puts on linkedin seemingly turns to gold. Heput a nine minute linkedin video up the other day, I had like 11,000 views waslike, what the actual hell? Like this seemingly can do whatever the hell hewants and it freaking works. But I find myself tagging rex or dan or sending atext message to bill, like, oh my God, think like look at this because thisstuff really is good. So like why is that working when we're sitting hereover saying like, don't be the expert don't make proclamations, like whatchris walker is doing, okay, I gotta tap it for one second and then I wantdan's take too. But to me, I feel like it's exactly what we've been sayingthis entire conversation because there's space in anywhere that you'redoing, what you're doing with true heart and passion and you actually knowwhy you're doing it. You can thrive in any of these. It's not like everyoneneeds to move the question asking. It's the people that feel and resonate withthat, which I really resonate with. We need to ask better questions. And sothat would be something that would really work for me as someone whoalready loves interview. You know what I mean? Like already loves thinkingthrough what's a better question, What?...

But if you have something to say andyou can say it pretty firmly, there's still space for that. There's alwaysgonna 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. Wewant to hear someone make a proclamation and defend it and back itup. 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 theexperience that he has, not, everyone has the like that all plays into it. Soit's not, this will never be a one size fits all and we all start fumbling whenwe all think it is that like then we're all, we're all just ranking for searchand then what we're all screwed because we're all just copycats and we're notfilling the lane that we know we should be filling, that comes back to missionand purpose so much. But in marketing again, you're looking at everybody elseand then you get caught copying. So dan, what are your thoughts, man? That'sjust 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 theright points the right way, like chris has, then it's going to resonate, it'sgoing to do well. And I still think he's, he's riding the wave expert billhasn'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 quiteaddressed and came counter counter to a lot of popular beliefs, which justcreates momentum because now you have people fighting with you over, whichjust creates attention, it's just fantastic. But I don't know, I'd, I'dwager 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 wasthinking one year, but I think three years probably more accurate. Is hestill going to have the kind of attention that he has now and maybe, Imean I think you, you see, you see other types of content that constantlypull up in my feed from other creators, it's not nearly as good as his stuffbut they're still like and it seems like a little bit more sustainable butbecause chris is so in the weeds, not in the weeds. I think he'sintentionally engaged on a deep level with some of his customers so that hekeeps his finger on the pulse of like what is actually working and what's notworking. And I think he's very intentional in doing that. And so Ithink by seeing that it's going to feed him like he seems to consistently havea new point of view every 3 to 4 months and I think he's intentionally designedit that way so that he does and we have over the years. I mean we've we'vetalked about P. O. V. Discovery for seasons of time. We've obviously talkedabout content based networking for a long time. We talked about doingoriginal research on the back of your podcast. That was something we were alltalking about for for a while because we're practitioners of the craft. Weare constantly learning new things about it. And it's like as we learn itlike hey we made it to the top of the mountain, we figured out that you canproduce your own original research just by asking three simple questions at theend of your podcast interview or we figured out that you can create abetter episode by asking one of three different P. O. V. Discovery questionsat the beginning of your episode? Like but the thing that's been frustratingto me is like man do I just do we just have to keep coming up with thosepoints of view Like And I get like I guess every 3-4 months we'll we'llthink of something else but like I just like this other way so much more. Andare 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 yourpoint Benji it's like there's never gonna be a this is the only way Ireally like question asking, exploring, guiding along a journey, askingquestions that people haven't asked before or haven't necessarily thoughtabout but that I for sure don't want to proclaim that that's the only way wellI'm gonna wrap us up here this...

...conversation. I feel like we couldeasily go for quite a bit longer. We'll probably have to have you guys back onso we can continue this, See the evolutions that continue to happen. Butinstead typically what I do, I take notes on my white board and I read thethings that I I learned from the guests, I gotta say I'm walking away from thisone with just two questions that I want every listener to ask themselves. One Iwant you to ask is this for attention or for transformation Is the stuff thatyou're posting is the content that you're producing this week. This monthas you're thinking about 20, is it all about attention or is there a level oftransformation? 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 helpfulquestion as we're making content to be thinking about, Do I have theconfidence in my content to send this to a friend and say, what do you thinkabout this? Thanks guys. James rex dan. Excellent insights, Absolutely. Such afun conversation and thanks for being on B two B growth today. Hey, if youhaven't subscribed yet, do so on your favorite whatever podcast platformyou're listening to this on right now, you can connect with all of us onlinkedin. We would love to chat with you about marketing, business life andkeep doing work that matters. We'll chat against one of the things we've learned aboutpodcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, reallywell actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted afriend to tell them about it. And if you send me a text with a screenshot ofthe 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 wantto know. My cell phone number is 40749033 to 8. Happy texting. Mm hmm.

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