The Art of Breaking Out with Craig McBreen







May 2018
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My guest, Joe Pulizzi and I start out talking about his home town, Cleveland, Ohio, and  the song Cleveland Rocks by Ian Hunter, Harvey Pekar and other Cleveland luminaries. We talk all things Cleveland and I can't help it. My last visit to Cleveland was over 20 years ago, so I'm a little bit fascinated with this town's turnaround.

And sorry, I know it's March, but I couldn't resist asking Joe about the Cleveland Browns and his opinion of party-boy quarterback, Johnny Manziel. This interview was recorded just before the Superbowl, so football was a topic ;)

Then, at last, we get to marketing and his book Content Inc. So we talk about the little guy (small business owner and solopreneur) and how he can get traction online. We talk about why Joe—a guy who usually focuses on enterprise business—wrote Content Inc. and worked to focus on the little guy. And how he reverse engineered the model of each individual featured in the book. They all went through Joe's Content Inc. six-step model (the six steps are listed at the end of this post).

Joe takes us through his six steps, first emphasizing the importance of finding your sweet spot (and starting with why) and finding a business that feeds your passion. Turns out that Andy Schneider (aka The Chicken Whisperer) has a lot to teach your average small business owner about breaking out online. We discuss how Andy grew this brand through content marketing and Joe describes an easy exercise to help you start to find your sweet spot.

We then talk about developing a brand around a niche (which leads to a discussion on how the heck do you pronounce "niche" anyway?) It turns out that finding a niche within a niche might be the way to go. His strategy is about saying no to certain things and focusing your resources and attention on one area. Most successful brands and media companies started this way.

Next we explore Mark Schaefer's Content Shock message and Joe's thoughts on content saturation as an impediment to breaking out online. Joe makes a case for it being easier to break out today because there are little to no barriers to entry. Joe's lesson: There is more content sure, but if you're focusing on the right niche and pain points, maybe it's easier to break through today.

We dive into a real-world example of Marcus Sheridan and River Pools and Spas (dive in. Ha ha, get it?), the importance of creating an audience first and then being consistent, consistent, consistent, and "building the base" vs. being everywhere.

After that we get into RedBull Media House and what they are doing with their amazing success and its value to Red Bull. Turns out they started with one type of media–a print magazine. If you want to break out, you should start with one type of media as well. This leads to a discussion on the live streaming phenomenon, why this spreads some people so thin, and why it'll never work for you if you don't first find your sweet spot, put your own personal spin on it, build the base and be consistent.

The Chicken Whisperer made it because he started with a very simple base and slowly grew his own little media empire from that.

Next we discuss monetization. Joe reemphasizes the importance of building audience first, and keeping a narrow focus. He even uses the example of John Deer (the largest media company in the farming industry) and how their successes where incremental.

At the end of the interview I ask Joe what a typical day is like for him and how he stays so productive. This includes the importance of goal-setting, daily review of goals, and OUTSOURCING! Review goals, plan, give up control of what you can't handle and… break out.

My final question is about breaking out and what "showing up" means to Joe. You'll love what he has to say about this.

Joe Pulizzi's Six Steps to Content Marketing Domination (The Content Inc. Model).

1. Find your sweet spot
2. Content tilt
3. Building the base
4. Harvest audience
5. Diversification
6. Monetization

Questions I ask:

  • You’re in the enterprise world. Why did you write a book directed at Solopreneurs?
  • Why do most people fail to build and effective online brand?
  • What is the secret to drill down to profitable niche?
  • What mistakes do aspiring entrepreneurs usually make when it comes to developing their online niche?
  • What is a typical day like for Joe Pulizzi? How do you stay so productive?

What you will learn:

  • The big trends for 2016 are… are you ready?… Print and Email ;) Seriously folks.
  • Joe has a goal of writing a book every two years.
  • Even a great content marketing plan often takes 6-9 months to break "radio silence."
  • To go big you have to go small (and specifically answering the hard question—is your venture "niche enough?"
  • The importance of focusing on one content type and one platform to success.
  • The importance of reviewing your goals daily.

Links mentioned in the show:

Direct download: Episode_41Joe_Pulizzis_6_Steps_to_Content_Marketing_Domination.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17am PDT