Archives for Doug Isenberg

‘Stop Thinking 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.

Build Loyalty with Information


youtility“We’ve always tried to build loyalty with people, and we can no longer rely on that technique. Now, we must build loyalty with information.”

Well said, Jay Baer.

That’s just one bit of helpful advice from the marketing consultant and self-described “digital pioneer” in his new book, “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype.”

Baer’s book is a testament to the power of content marketing, that is, providing customers or clients with helpful — not just promotional, self-serving — information. Baer’s guidance also reaffirms our perspective at cc:Clients — that educating clients with timely, relevant, easy-to-read news updates (via e-mail newsletters, microsites, blogs and news feeds) is smart marketing.

As Baer writes:

There are only two ways for companies to break through in an environment that is unprecedented in its competitiveness and cacophony. They can be “amazing” or they can be useful….

While being amazing can work, it’s difficult to do and doesn’t produce reliable, linear results….

What if instead of trying to be amazing you just focused on being useful? What if you decided to inform, rather than promote? You know that expression “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime?” Well, the same is true for marketing: If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.

I call this Youtility. Not “utility,” because a utility is a faceless commodity. Youtility is marketing upside down. Instead of marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship between your company and your customers.

Some law firms and other professional service companies traditionally have held back when it comes to providing useful, free information. In the past, these professionals feared that doing so might undermine their ability to sell their advice and intellectual property. But, as Baer points out, just the opposite is true: Providing “massively useful information,” for free, is a great marketing tactic that can lead to more, not less, business.

Happy 10th Birthday, cc:Clients!

cakeTen years ago, when we launched cc:Clients, “curating content” and “content marketing” were, if not unheard of, at least unpopular and untested activities for professionals.  Today, as cc:Clients celebrates its 10th birthday, we consider ourselves pioneers in this exciting and effective marketing strategy – and, we’re thrilled to launch the next phase of our service.

E-mail marketing that incorporates hand-selected news content for professional service firms remains the core of our business. But, because identifying the most relevant and highest-quality news online has become even more important as mobile and social media outlets are now commonplace, we have expanded the scope of our services to help law firms and others successfully market their practices.

Specifically, here’s what we’ve been working on lately at cc:Clients:

  • Our new logo reflects our new direction: Modern, simple with an emphasis on providing our customers with highly targeted, news-based content for use across a variety of platforms – e-mail, microsites, blogs, social media outlets and more.
  • Our new website also conveys the same message. While content always will remain king, a good-looking platform is one of its best tools, and we think our new website makes clear that cc:Clients is, like our own customers, dressed for success.
  • Our new products are an integral part of the content curating and content marketing services that we helped make popular. Now, not only are we providing e-mail newsletters for our customers with relevant and timely news content via our well-established Editorial DNA℠ process, but we’re expanding the vehicles in which this curated news can be conveyed, so our customers can reach their clients in numerous ways.
  • And, finally, our new director of sales and marketing, Carol Todd Thomas, will help us accomplish all of this. A tremendously experienced professional with more than 25 years of service to regional and international law firms, Carol knows what our customers’ clients want, and she’s ready to deliver.

We look forward to helping our current customers take advantage of everything cc:Clients has to offer, and we’re excited about growing our own business – just as we’ve helped our customers do so for the past decade.