‘StopThinking About Your Content as Content’

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right HookAs a young associate at a large law firm, I remember a senior associate with whom I was working on a newsletter article tell me that we should provide enough information to clients to showcase our expertise but not so much as to educate the client to make his or her own decisions. It was obviously a self-serving endeavor that — in theory — could work, if clients read the article and called us, their lawyers, for more information or assistance.

At the time, nearly two decades ago, I derided this perspective. Having joined the practice of law after a short career in journalism, I naively thought the purpose of all writing should be to explain in a manner that adequately answered all of the readers’ questions.

Some time later, however, I realized that my mentor was right about the content we were creating.

If I only knew then what marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk now writes in his new book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. He says:

[S]top thinking about your content as content. Think about it, rather, as micro-content — tiny, unique nuggets of information, humor, commentary, or inspiration that you reimagine every day, even every hour, as you respond to today’s culture, conversations, and current events in real time in a platform’s native language and format.

In other words, think of content as a marketing tool. Just as many book authors never get rich from their writings but instead use them merely to reach an audience that might buy other services.

As Vaynerchuk says, this type of content marketing must be used regularly (“jabs,” by his analogy) before you eventually take your shot (the “right hook”).

Although, as Vaynerchuk knows and explains, the content marketing “jabs” can be delivered by any of numerous methods, I was intrigued to hear him tell author and blogger Michael Hyatt recently that e-mail marketing in particular is “very effective” for him.

Boxing analogies might not immediately seem appropriate for how to market professional services. But it’s obvious that frequent and regular delivery — of content or punches — can indeed be a winning combination.