It’s all one big story

Here’s a neat content marketing strategy.

What if, instead of endlessly publishing derivative works, you treated the month, the quarter, the year—the entire lifespan of your publication—as a serial, as an ongoing story? I’m talking complete with characters, exposition, plot devices and twists, climax, and denouement.

If you know your ideal customer, what’s stopping you from outlining his or her story, then writing that story over a set period of time?

Instead of writing something you think might be a good idea, why not, ask yourself, ”What’s my ideal customer doing right now? What’s she most concerned about? How did she get here? Where are they going next?”

Then start writing that story. Make it up as you go from the best insights you’ve got.

Show your customers you truly understand them.

Heroes & Villains — #showerthoughts

I’ve been working on a short list of gearhead villains for a few weeks. Just picking at it here and there when it crosses my mind. It’s a work in progress scratching the surface of the most common shit-heels I’ve come across in the automotive community over the years and how to deal with them.

A very simplified example:

The Poseur
AKA: The Idiot, Ricer, Bro-dozer

Lowest level crim. Talks a lot. Doesn’t know what he’s talking about most of the time. Easily defeated by ignoring, dismissal, correction (with proof), walking away.

New thoughts emerged in the shower this morning.

Who are the heros counteracting these villains?

Which immediately connected dots to the hero’s journey, a classic story structure.

I wonder how GBXM could adapt that model…

Personal Brands & Fabricated Authenticity

It wasn’t that long ago I was writing about personal brands. Embarrassing as that might be to admit, I will admit it. My gearhead friends gave me a generous amount of shit for it, too.

I deserved it.
But I like to think my heart was in the right place.

You see, about 10 years ago, the web was full of online communities. Millions of people were interacting with each other around their interests. It was engagement on a global scale. And it was almost always done from behind pseudonyms—behind screen names.

I saw the internet as a clean slate. A fresh start for anyone who wanted to leverage their expertise into a new, improved reputation. The internet was a brave new world. You can do that sort of thing where nobody knows anything about you.

You might say the idea of personal branding lead me to discover work life parallel. After all, what’s a brand if not a reputation? And what’s a reputation, if not what you do (and how you do it)?

Just a thought.