Just Create Something Already (Lessons Learned from my Favorite #CMWorld Sessions)

September 11, 2015
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One of the better marketing conferences I’ve attended, Content Marketing World delivered on a number of my needs (both personally and professionally). I think I most appreciated the emphasis on the word “content” in the event’s name and educational message. Under pressure to deliver measurable (sometimes instantaneous) results, marketers often eschew good content in favor of creating fast content delivered through a predictable process. 
 
Throughout the event, I heard several variations of the quality vs. quantity debate, and in my last session found someone who said we should have both.
 
A few of the my conference highlights included: 

 

>> In an expo floor packed with vendors servicing in-house marketing teams that need to manage their own content, I found a few hidden gems like VisibleThread, that automagically grades content for quality to suggest places you can easily improve your writing, and MyEmma.com, a more efficient way to build and manage e-mail marketing campaigns than the same old solutions we’ve used for years.

 

>> I got to see the Bare Naked Ladies in concert, and they rocked out a 90 minute set with some very specific entertainment they created just for conference attendees. Great show!

 

>> I met one of my son’s YouTube heros, MatPat, who has not only built up a couple of celebrity video channels and owns a burgeoning marketing consulting business for brands but also is a genuinely nice guy happy to take a minute to record a video for a fan.

 

>> John Cleese closed out Day One with with insightful commentary on the nature of creativity and what we can all do to stoke that creative ember within us. He advocated for the essential ingredients of “boundaries in space and boundaries in time” to maximize our creative potential. In other words, get away from distractions and block out time for things that stoke creative fires, such as meditation and play.

 

More than anything, I came away from the conference inspired to make more great content.

 

John Lee Dumas discussed his experiences creating a podcast with 1 million unique listeners that generates over $300 million in revenue per month. Using a uniquely spelled acronym for SUCCCCEESS, he outlined a framework for starting a podcast and keeping with it, urging attendees to follow their passions with discipline and determine. Three recommendations from his presentation rang especially true.

 

>> Start – If you want to “be” a podcaster, start podcasting. If you want to “be” a blogger, blog. You’ll never know what you can be if you spend all your time planning and no time doing.

 

>> Commitment – Dumas said, “Don’t start until you’re ready to commit to a frequency, a path, a mission.” Ask any “overnight success” rock band. The path to success is a marathon, not a sprint. Start doing something and stick with it until you figure out your own version of success.

 

>> Systems – Good systems reinforce commitment. Dumas said in 4 hours on a Monday, you could record enough shows to publish at least one per week for month. According to him, Systems lead to Consistency, and Consistency leads to Success.

 

In the last session I attended, Jay Acunzo said content marketers in search of prolificity should eschew the old quality vs quantity debate. For Acunzo, quantity begets quality. After all, practice makes perfect, right?

 

Acunzo recognized that many of us produce large quantities of low-quality content, something he affectionately calls reaching the “crapping point.” He said, “The crapping point is the moment at which no amount of technology or process can delay the inevitable: You’re creating too much content to sustain any semblance of quality. You’ve crapped out. Crap-o-la. Craptastic. Crap along if you feel like a room without a roof (#GetCrappy).”

Truly prolific creators, however, can push their crapping point back further and further without relying on automated tech wizardry. He lined out 5 key traits all prolific creators share. You can read them all in this fantastic post he wrote as a recap of the presentation. If you create content or work in any way with content creators, do yourself a favor and read this now.

I came home from #CMWorld with some good ideas for my company. I came home energized and excited about the content industry as a whole. Most importantly, I came home inspired to create.

I’d call that a pretty good week.

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