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No time to create content? Follow Jay Baer’s lead

OK, I know what you’re thinking. He’s writing a post about a significant industry thought leader in hopes of landing a RT or share.

I would have been guilty of that charge…5 years ago. Now: I could care less if Jay reads this post (no offense Jay, if you do in fact read it).

What I do care about (and continue to be astonished by) is the way Jay creates, curates and distributes content on a daily basis–better than almost any brand.

In fact, I think brands could learn a TON from how Jay creates, curates and shares content. I mean, I’m sure he would love it if you would pay for him to tell you how to do this, but really, you could learn a whole bunch just by WATCHING what he’s doing.

More importantly, let’s look at the way Jay creates and curates content in as little time as humanly possible:

Get in your customer’s inboxes–DAILY

Jay Today

Jay’s “e-newsletter”–One Thing–is smart. He sends a daily email to subscribers that’s made up almost entirely by other people’s content. Oh sure, he sneaks in his own stuff–usually right at the top, but it’s usually full of 3-5 posts, events and reports/studies by Jay’s partners, friends or sponsors. This way, Jay is in front of you every day with useful and relevant content (sure, it’s a bit salesy sometimes, but he does a nice job of not over-playing that)–content that is mostly created by OTHER people. Many brands struggle to create content that would sustain a daily e-newsletter–but, like Jay, could you CURATE content to get that steady stream going instead?

Use EVERY SECOND of your free time to create content

Jay recently unveiled a new outpost to his content empire: #JayToday. It’s a short, three-minute video where he shares a quick-hitting piece of advice, and promotes a few sponsors. But, that’s not really all that ground-breaking on the surface. What IS smart about this approach though is how Jay is almost always (appears) to shoe-horn it into his day in some way, shape or form. So far, from what I can tell, he’s recorded these #JayToday videos from: a busy street in Fargo, an airport lounge, many conference rooms in whatever building he’s working in that day, and potentially his backyard. The lesson? Jay most likely didn’t have time to add ANOTHER content piece to his plate. But, he knew he could knock out these 3-minute videos no matter where he was, with the right technology (his phone). So, the next time that client tells you they just don’t have the time to create content, point them to Mr. Baer’s #JayToday series.

Create content where others do the majority of the work

Social Pros Podcast

I’m very jealous of Jay’s “Social Pros Podcast”–mostly because I really wish I had come up with that idea first. So simple, but so brilliant (real pros doing real work in social). But, from a content creation point of view, what’s extra smart about the way he set the podcast up is his guests do most of the work. Sure, he has to find and schedule them. Sure, he has to craft a few questions for the interview itself. But, for the most part, the content the guests bring is the main attraction. I’m guessing Jay does maybe a half hour of prep for each show–that’s not all that much considering what he’s getting in return (awareness, and a chance to get to know all these guests he’s having on his show, who by the way, are all potential clients). Really, really smart.

So, I don’t want to hear that you’re too busy to create content. Everyone’s busy. The better response would be “content isn’t a priority for me.” Because believe me, if Jay Baer has the time to create a content empire like this–your client certainly has the time.

Why does the marketing media continue to ignore Gen X’ers (and focus on Millennials)?

I get it. Millennials are the best thing since Harrison Ford flew the Millennium Falcon (wait, Millennial friends, you do know who Harrison Ford is, right? RIGHT?).

I get it. Your generation will comprise 99.9% of the workforce by 2025.

I get it. Your generation shares more, consumes more and is more digitally savvy than any other generation. Ever.

I get it. Your generation features legends like Kelly Osbourne, Johnny Manziel, Jennifer Lawrence and that guy who founded Snapchat.

I get it all. And I’m sick to death of hearing about it.

reality bites

And, more importantly, I’m tired of hearing about it from the media–specifically, the MARKETING MEDIA.

I’ll admit, I’m also sick of it because I’m a Gen X’er. And I’m tired of our generation being overlooked.

After all, why is there so much marketing focus on the Millennials (ages 18-33, roughly). Doesn’t the Gen X generation (ages 34-49) have more current buying power?

Aren’t we the ones in leadership roles–or, at least, very close to taking over leadership roles for our Baby Boomer masters?

Aren’t we the ones who will lead this country for the next 10-20 years?

Aren’t we the ones who are managing Millennials in the workplace right now?

Then why do Millennials continue to get all the attention from marketers and marketing media?

Now, I realize I sound very much like a jilted older brother here. I completely acknowledge that. I actually feel similar feelings that my oldest son feels day-in and day-out (“Dad, why does SHE get so much attention?”).

But, I still don’t understand, for the life of me, why marketers (and again, the marketing media) continue to ignore us.

We earn more money than Millennials (OK, outside of Mark Zuckerberg).

We’re in positions where we can make purchase decisions for our companies (and will be for the foreseeable future).

And, despite reports to the contrary, we’re more digital savvy than  you give us credit for.

So, you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t apologize for feeling jilted.

In the meantime, I’ll be sitting on my couch, listening to Def Leppard, counting my pennies, and waiting for that apology letter…

Talking Points Podcast: The evolution of employee advocacy programs

My friend Kevin Hunt was flying solo on this week’s Talking Points Podcast. And it’s too bad, because it’s a topic I’m very interested in and would have loved to participate in (darn meetings!).

Kevin was at the first-ever 2014 Employee Advocacy Summit in Atlanta where he had the chance to chat with Chris Boudreaux, founder of SocialMediaGovernance.org and Susan Emerick, strategic advisor at Brands Rising.

If you work in employee communications or are even remotely interested in employee advocacy programs for your company, this shortened version of the podcast is worth a listen. We’ll be back at full strength next week :)

SHOW NOTES – September 18, 2014

The 2014 Employee Advocacy Summit


“The Most Powerful Brand on Earth”


Chris Boudreaux



Susan Emerick



Challenge: Can you put your phone/computer away in meetings for ONE WEEK?

I’ve been testing a new tactic lately. It’s called “listening.”

Here’s my strategy. When I go to a meeting, I sit down, take out my pen and paper, and, you know, listen to the people talking in said meeting.


It’s a groundbreaking approach, I realize. But, it’s one I intend to stay with. You see, I’ve had it with people (including myself, mind you) who are constantly checking their phones or laptops in meetings.

Laptop in meeting

According to a recent survey, 41 percent of marketers multi-task in meetings. Almost half! That’s insane, my friends.

Let’s think about this logically for a second–and from a business perspective.

You’re invited to a meeting within your company–most likely because you have a vested interest in the project being discussed, or you need to contribute something to the meeting.

You accept the invitation and make a decision to attend the meeting.

You attend the meeting, but you bring your laptop, promptly open it and monitor email during the entire course of the meeting (I tend to think this is fairly common among those 41 percent mentioned above).

You may even RESPOND to an email or two during the meeting.

Sure, you ask a question or two during the meeting. You even contribute, when asked. But, for the most part you’re trying to do two things at once. And, I would even argue you’re most likely putting more brainpower toward the email than you are toward the meeting.

Here’s why this is a bad idea.

1) It’s hard to do two things at once. Oh sure, I know some people have it all figured out. You can chew gum and rub your tummy at the same time–good for you! :) But, in all seriousness, your brain isn’t wired to focus on multiple things at once. Something will slip. Eventually. (Side note: Apparently, I’m not alone in this thinking: Clay Shirky recently demanded his students put away laptops during lectures–and lays out his case as to why pretty eloquently here last week).

2) The meeting organizer asked you to the meeting because she wanted your brain in the room. Not 20% of your brain. Not 40% of your brain. 100% of your brain! You owe it to your employer to fulfill that obligation.

3) You may miss a chance to shine or contribute. Since you’re paying more attention to your email machine, you most likely will miss an opportunity to contribute new information to the conversation–or, better yet for you, to shine in front of our colleagues by adding insight that could potentially turn a project around. Remember again: THIS IS WHY YOU’RE IN THE ROOM!

Now again, I’ve been just as guilty of this in the past as those 41% mentioned above. But, I’m stopping that practice effective today (officially, I started on Sept. 1).

And so far the results have been noticeable:

1) I’m contributing much more. I find myself (surprise, surprise) much more engaged in the discussion and actually feel much better at the end of the meeting knowing I contributed fully.

2) I’m finding additional ways to add value for my clients. By listening more intently and NOT multi-tasking during meetings, I’m able to uncover hidden gems of information I can then use to deliver more value for my clients. Not that this wasn’t happening before–I just find it happening more often recently. I credit that 100% to my NOT multi-tasking during these meetings.

3) My meeting notes are more valuable. OK, so I’m one of 5 people left who take hard copy meeting notes (I’ve come full circle on this), but those notes have proven invaluable in the days following meetings. I’ve referenced back to them many times–often to find information I use in planning docs, content and  summaries. If I were multi-tasking, these notes would be haphazard at best.

So, the no multi-tasking strategy is working well for me so far. Now, I’d like to issue a challenge.

Try NOT multi-tasking in meetings for ONE WEEK.

Just one week.

See if you can do it. See how it turns out. See how it impacts your work life. You might be surprised how more engaged you feel–and how little you actually miss by not having your computer or phone on in meetings.

Please report back with your findings.

photo credit: j@ys0n via photopin cc

4 ways I’d sell this year’s MIMA Summit to my boss (if I had to)

OK, so I’m going to write this post like I would if I were trying to sell my boss on sending me to MIMA Summit. Because, realistically, that’s what I hear a lot.

Full disclosure: I’m on the MIMA board of directors, so it’s in my best interest to get as many people to Summit as possible ;) But, in reality, this has been a great event historically and I think many people in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area would agree with that sentiment. In fact, I’ve heard from many people that Summit is the best digital event in the Upper Midwest.

MIMA Summit

Back to the sell job–because I want you to go! Here are four I would sell my boss (if I had one) on this year’s MIMA Summit:

I will expand my knowledge base

This year, you’ll learn about wearable technology, marketing automation, design, paid media strategies and much more. As usual, there’s almost something for everyone at Summit. And, this year’s theme (internet of things) is a topic on everyone’s mind these days. And while the keynote speakers might not be household names like Guy Kawasaki, they’re absolutely leaders in the internet of things sector. Here’s your chance to really beef up your understanding of that space.

I will hear from national speakers–for a reasonable price

Maybe one of the biggest reasons I got more involved with MIMA is they were one of the few organizations in town bringing in national, well-known speakers on a regular basis. Chris Anderson, Jane McGonigal, Nate Silver for example. I mean, the list goes on and on. In fact, this Wednesday we’re bringing a leading developer from Sony Playstation to town. MIMA may be one of the only orgs in the Twin Cities that’s doing this routinely–and you’re going to see it in spades at MIMA Summit.

I will have the opportunity to nurture–or start–our recruiting efforts

There’s a reason the recruiting firms in town are some of our sponsors at Summit. Smart firms/leaders know that since MIMA Summit is a digital marketing reunion of sorts, that this is a great place to nurture relationships–especially if you’re seeking new talent. Now, I don’t hire talent, but I will tell you I hear about who’s looking and who’s happy a lot at Summit each year. And, keep in mind, Summit tends to attract those “over-achiever” types–you know, the types who are going to be senior VPs in 7-10 years? Yeah, you’ll find those people at Summit typically.

I will hangout with my colleagues (and get smarter by association)

I was involved with PRSA for years. And, as part of that involvement, my favorite event of every year (and really, still is) was the PRSA Classics. For those outside the Twin Cities, this is our version of the Silver Anvils. But, it’s really much more than that. It’s a PR reunion, of sorts. I see people at Classics each year that I don’t see all year long. It’s my one chance to catch up with them. And I take full advantage. It’s really the primary reason I still attend–especially now, when, as an independent, I would never really submit an entry. MIMA Summit is the same way. It’s the Minnesota interactive community reunion. Your chance to see EVERYONE in one spot for one day.

So, hope that helps you sell your boss. I know it’s an investment, but I believe it’s worth it. And, I think after really evaluating your options, I believe you will, too.

For now, I hope you’ll consider attending. Register today and you’ll get in for just $500 for members and $650 for non-members (after today it bumps up to $600 for members; $700 for non-members). When you think about what you get–a full day of rock solid content, learning and networking–I think that’s a heckuva deal (and I’d say that even if I wasn’t attending as a board member).

Hope to see you there…