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Content Revolution: Telling a Better Story to Differentiate from the Competition

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Is there a difference between content marketing in England and the U.S? Find out what author and managing director of the ID Group, Mark Masters thinks in this interview with Byron. Listen in to hear their lively conversation on what elements make up great writing, what doesn't work in content marketing and other topics in between.

Byron:          Welcome back, everyone. I’m here with Mark Masters. Mark, welcome.



Mark:          Thank you for having me, Byron. It’s an absolute pleasure.



Byron:         Indeed. Listen to that energy, everyone. Let me footnote this by saying that [00:00:23 crosstalk], Mark, I had the opportunity to meet at Content Marketing World, and he has one of the most distinct, one of the most wonderful voices in all of sound, and that is [00:00:37 crosstalk] a big topic. You’re, of course, the author of ‘The Content Revolution.’ I want to ask you one question. There is a revolution going on there with content, but how is the revolution different on your side of the pond as it is on ours, Mark?



Mark:         This is the thing from being at Content Marketing World. It’s that I thought that there was a big difference between what’s going on in the US and what’s going on over in the UK. However, geography doesn’t come into it. What matters is what’s being bought in from board level. Board level now, I understand, is this idea of scalability to those people that… where it doesn’t work, and it’s the same right across the globe. Those people that do not get it will treat it in a slap dash manner, such as, “Right, we are going to create more content because we can. We’re going to write more book because we can.” That’s the difference. Now I’m understanding, from being at Content Marketing World, there isn’t a divide. There is not a divide between us geographically.



Byron:        Don’t you agree that we’ve just been inundated with too many assets to wrap our heads around? Even in the last 25 or 30 years, more is not necessarily better. How is the revolution shaping up in your mind? Is quality becoming the driver in your mind? I know you talk about that in the book.



Mark:         Yeah, it’s… Obviously, quality is key to all this, but where we are… All right, let’s look at it this way. We’re always told by HubSpot that, you know, we have to create more wins, create more wins to gain, but the whole onus should not be on more traffic. The onus should not be on more traffic, it should be on those people that understand what we believe in, what we stand for, to enable us to connect. Right? At the end of the day, Bryon, at the end of the day, all we want to be is better at business, and content helps us connect on deeper level with other people. That is the crux of it all.  



Byron:         You made an interesting--



Mark:          [00:02:33 inaudible] me off already. You’re getting it.



Byron:         I love this, and here’s a line that fits perfectly. You say in your book, in the introduction actually, “Content is now a vital tool-buying business process. Businesses need to become more useful, interesting, and entertaining to their audience.” Now, that is what I’m talking about. You yourself individually have an ability to entertain, and you do it with your book, and you do it with content. Don’t you think entertainment is really going to take over here? Isn’t that going to be the engagement factor that we’re looking for?



Mark:          This is a really important thing here, and I talk about this need to seriously entertain. Yeah? Right. So I do this stuff with a smile on my face, and whatever it is. I do my podcast that I do, and we sing, and everything else, and all the silliness that happens, but in order to do that, I approach this with a hundred percent serious effort, right. As long as people can see that I believe in something, and I do have conviction, and I have this relentless curiosity about the world, it makes it easier. However, the spin that we can do… Not the spin. The way that we approach it is how we entertain; it’s that we do this… because this is how we differentiate now. Rather than listening to podcasts, and we talk, and it’s going to be monotone, and we’re going to be talking and it doesn’t engage… This is the thing. So we started this podcast, right. We’ve got 15 seconds to keep someone’s attention. We’ve got another 15 seconds, so we better be blimmin good at, you know, how we do it. I see this role today that we have to play, and, you know, we have all these tactics, and these places, and these methods to do that. You know, we have… like what we’re doing now. You have your own radio show, so you have a right to your audience, to kind of look at these different areas to challenge, and to make people think, but really it’s this role, as well, to entertain. When we’re looking at the new [00:04:31 inaudible] that are coming out around now, where iTunes is automatically programmed into it. I mean, how do you… Do you see it? I mean, from the way that you would open the podcast? You know, we need to entertain our audience.



Byron:         Here’s the problem with entertainment: some people suck at it, and I think the same is true with really writing. You know, we’re almost forced into this revolution, and to head out to the front lines of it without the proper weapons to be successful. How, in your mind, do you get those weapons? What are those weapons and how do you get them?



Mark:          Right. The weapons are, getting good at it, and it’s this relentless persistence. Right. Let’s look at this. I started this in earnest, 2012. When I say in earnest, I mean I started off writing every week; write, publish. So I kind of got myself... I trained myself. I don’t… Listen, Byron. I don’t want to use this analogy of training for the marathon, and all this kind of stuff, but I’m going to use it. It’s this idea that we’re training ourselves to go into the gym and everything else, and over time it becomes natural. For instance, by having a podcast, you start off and you are rubbish. You know, you’re a stuttering wreck. It’s the same when you’re writing. You write, and when we all start off, we’re rubbish, because we do not have our own voice. What I’ve managed to find over the years is now my own voice, and I do it… As I said, I do it with a hundred percent seriousness, but in a way that you’re looking to engage in, and to connect with somebody else; but it has to have a starting place. You cannot start writing… You know it’s… You know, we behave in the UK. You know, we cannot stray away, jumping to the riot in the next Harry Potter without having starting out a Mr. Men book. I love it. Straight away, I’m falling into English Stereotype by talking about Harry Potter and the Mr. Men books.



Byron:         I know, I know.



Mark:          We have to have a starting place, but we have to be persistent with it, and over time, we start to think, “All right, I’m not here for everybody, but those people that think I’m an idiot, think I’m an idiot; but those people that do are onboard.”



Byron:         There is a connection that happens with those that create great content, and those that read that great content. You tell an interesting story about Terry Fry, a barber that [00:07:07 crosstalk]. Tell us that story, and tell it how it relates to the content revolution.



Mark:          Which is interesting, right, because if you go to my… Right, I’ve got a photo on Instagram of Terry Fry. This is the way that, as a side note to what we’re talking about now, I wanted to use examples from everyday life. I may not be able to talk about Brian’s, because I have no relation to him; like Zappos and everything else that goes, and whatever, and I do not have the deep PUD budgets of Lego or Red Bull, but I can sure talk about people and what happens in my life. So, Terry Fry smack people away – fair enough for me to drop in. Terry Fry is the CEO of some huge conglomerate business in the pharmaceutical… in the… He’s not… Terry Fry’s a barber. Terry Fry’s Cuts and Hair, and Terry Fry is an old… Is an old? He’s in his late 60s, 70s, and he has been cutting hair for about 40, 50 years, yeah, in a town near me. I live right on the south coast of England, and the town near me is Bournemouth, and in Bournemouth, in the middle of Bournemouth, he’s at his barbers about 40 or so years, but the way that he does it is just with this old school charm. He’s a bit miserable, but he’ll talk to you, and he will talk to you, and he will never go down the cliché places of what you’re doing, where you’re going on holiday in the summer, or anything else like that. He talks to you, and you sit down… I can remember, you sit down with him and he tells you he’s going to tell you what kind of hair cut he’s going to give you. You may say, “Well, listen, I live in the days now where I wish I could have a fringe. It’s going,” but he would sit down, and Terry Fry will tell you what he’s going to do. He has this way that we connect, and I’d never go anywhere else, and I hadn’t seen him for a little while. I went back, and he had his book with him, and I took the photo of him with his book. It’s just… similar today, that what we’re trying to say, is this whole approach today that principles are still the same. All we want to do is work with people we get on with, and we know, trust and like.



Byron:         Mm-hm. That is the conclusion, of course, you reached, but how do you build trust? How do you become more likeable? Let’s look at your own writing. There’s a lot of writers that listen into this podcast, Mark and how do you create that style you have put forth, and how do you get these people to trust you and to like you, because they certainly do?



Mark:          Yeah. So this is where we start with, “Everyone today has an opinion,” and that’s where we fall down. Everyone has an “I believe…” Right? So I built a framework. My framework when I write is based around knowledge or facts. The facts experienced and then belief – and then opinion, sorry. So what I’ve managed to do, when I talk about this way of finding your own voice, it’s the same for all of us, and when you talk about this area of trust, trust comes from, again, this idea of persistence, and our neck on the line. I have tried this human cannonball approach by trying things out. I’ve tried so many things that have gone wrong over the years, and now what I’ve tried to do is hold my skills into the things that work; taking things offline, the events that I create, and looking at ways that trust is built around… you can build a community off the back of standing for something, and my whole thing I stand for is this whole thing of ownership; of how businesses can take control of the spaces that are theirs. That is built, as I said, within having the ability to, by bringing the facts to the table… We’ve got the biggest library in the world in front of us every day called Google. We bring in experience. A bit like I was talking about, by having my hair cut by an old man in a barber’s called Terry Fray, and bring in our opinion. You know, the ‘I believe’ aspect to it. As I said, within our online spaces, we are just jumping in, telling everybody how to behave. Several ways to do this. How to be a better business in 2017. As long as we’re backing it up via the facts, and the stuff that we’ve had experience by, that’s how we differentiate from everybody else. You know, that’s what the book was. It was to pull on all these things that I knew, and people that come into my world, and businesses I’ve worked with, and examples that are around that, people that are doing stuff, that are just owning their own spaces.



Byron:         When you look at your best work that you have created, whether it be a blog post, an article, you know, for yourself, for your own brand, for your company, what elements does it have that make it great?



Mark:          Right. Now, I guess there is the element that comes in, whereof humility, and this is the thing, I’ve never necessarily taken myself too seriously. There was a really interesting article from Quartz last week, and it was called the ‘Overvaluing Confidence’. You know, we’ve forgotten the power of humility. You know, a good example is that; just go to LinkedIn and all we’re just doing is telling everybody still how good we are and this whole thing of social status is still very prevalent today. The stuff that I’m proud of, that I put a foundation… or I guess for all of us, it’s very much to say is real humility. We cannot expect ourselves to be right about everything. You know, it’s the stuff that I… You know, I have an event in this theatre and I always take this belief that if I go down, everyone’s coming down with me. That I’m getting on the stage, and if I… This whole thing of confidence and trying something else, not by huge amount of risk, because then that becomes a stupid business idea to try to become too innovative, when you are kind of investing a lot of money in something where you don’t know if an audience is going to be appreciative. It’s this whole thing of looking for the truth. Yeah, of going out, and looking for the truth, and put in your own interpretation of it. Right. Very quickly. A lot of people say to me, in terms of… yeah, what’s already being said, a lot of people… I cannot find the space to talk about something in my marketplace because it’s already being said. That may be true, but not everybody… but no one has put your own interpretation to it and that’s how we bring in this idea of humility of just being normal with one another and this whole idea of how we… of, you know, this thing of being humble in a tech-driven digital world. Rather than telling me how brilliant my weekend has been on Facebook, sometimes let’s just put the breaks in a little bit, and just be a bit normal with one another. Oh, look at that. You’re getting me now, Byron.



Byron:         [00:14:14 crosstalk] You know, a lot of writers feel that they have an obligation to try to best express what a client is telling them to do. “Talk about my products, talk about my benefits,” you know. I read a blog post that’s really cool, and really deep, but it lacks the connection to the individual that the ghost writer is writing for. Don’t you agree, and how do you solve that problem? If we need to be more real, more human and more transparent about our businesses, how do we get a writer to express that? Do we tell them what the problem is? Do we tell them insights that are insane about ourselves? Do we have them infuse our brand and our personality into the work in some magical way, and if so, what is that magical way?



Mark:          This is the magical way. I used to think… I’ve seen what works and what fails. What fails is when someone effectively says, can you do my homework for me, yeah. You’re at school again and someone says, “Can you do my homework for me?” That homework is, as you say there, right, “We’ve just launched this new product,” or “We have something here that we’re pretty proud about.” Very short, brief, you get your bullet points, and somebody is there to express. Yep, and to take these points from the company. That is, again, a hundred percent product driven, right, and that that will never work, because that’s all somebody there is looking for. Again, the measurement there is based on reach, and it’s based on more traffic. However, what works… Is this a…? Right. This is where this whole content thing works. It’s when a company, when a client, takes on this approach that they want to learn as well. What I do... So say we have a client, we have a customer, if they sign up to ongoing content, what we do is we get to know one another a bit better. I now know what will work and what won’t work because if I spend time until I’m blue in the face trying to convince somebody that this thing called content marketing does work,  “Look, we find the thing we’re going to stand for, we’re going to build an audience off the back of it, and that’s going to lead to this, then we go to these different avenues,” what I find now that works is when people say, “Right, we’re in,” and you get people sitting around a table, and sometimes… Say we create a calendar of articles we’re going to create based on the thing that they stand for. Yeah, and we sit down and we talk. Say, for instance, a retail company may be looking at this whole idea of change in the industry. So we will have the topics we’re going to talk about and we sit around the table and we talk and people become open. Rather than just a word document going backwards and forwards for a few emails, you sit down and you talk and you record and I use what’s on my iPhone and we will record that way. That helps to create this train of thought and that’s how we open up. Again, by talking to people that we get on with and enjoy their company, that’s how we start to connect a little bit more deeper, that helps us create and write and produce work that we’re proud of, that starts to represent a voice of another business.



Byron:         I want to ask you about voice. I’m going to tell you something quite interesting. We’ve had--



Mark:          I’m ready.



Byron:         I don’t know what to expect when you hear this because it will be interesting. We have a free… Imagine at WriterAccess, you know, thousands and hundreds of thousands of orders have gone through the platform – almost a million now, actually – and we have a free ability for a client to leave a voice message to the writer that literally has an opportunity for them to talk to the writer, and not even have to get on a phone or schedule a call. Strangely enough, even though it’s free, no one does it. It’s fascinating to me, right. They just want to pound in the instructions in written form, pound in the key words that they want them to use. If it’s a big project, like a whitepaper, you know, or a branding exercise, a revamp of the website, they’ll schedule a call and want to get more interactive. Or, perhaps the writer will have to interview a product manager for a whitepaper they’re doing, in which case, once again, a conference call will be set up. I find that voice is something extremely powerful. Literally, the voice of your… your voice, for example, is extremely powerful. When I first heard it, you were screaming at people to come from the back of the room into the front of the room and you were doing it in a way that I think I described to you as ‘boarder line logical and insane at the same time’ because you were just almost hackling people to come down. “I’m watching you. I see you get…” It was just brilliant, right.



Mark:          [00:19:23 inaudible]



Byron:         That voice, going back to that voice. That voice is who you are, and don’t you think that that voice of a client that we’re trying to go straight for…? As you described it, sitting around the table, sadly, we don’t always have that luxury to sit around a table and, you know, talk about a blog post or talk because we’re just so pressed for time. Don’t you think we should be using that voice message system more and why don’t you think people are using it?



Mark:          Yeah. I guess we don’t because all the time we’re just looking, you know… are busy days, and we’re just looking for the quickest routes possible. You know, this stuff is really interesting though. I find everything that’s happening at the moment so fascinating. It’s like, you know, we talk… it’s like as we talk now, you the listener, you can tell the moments when we smile, and when we raise our voice and stuff like that. I think it’s just because of the world, and technology, and everything that we’re a part of, things happen quickly. Sometimes, that ability to make a phone call or leave a voice message, is somebody going to pick that up and respond to that. It’s always the way though, but it’s… You know, sometimes it’s a bit uneasy when you meet a new client, and this is the thing… this is the interesting thing that we’re coming to here. So the longer you get to know somebody, a customer, the more they start to trust you, and it becomes more rather than a client-supplier relationship, you do generally begin to build better customers. I’ve seen that [00:20:56 inaudible]. You do build better customers by this ability to… from my side, listen, I talk a lot, but everything else… but this whole ability to listen to one another, and to… which I mentioned before, this whole idea to empathize with somebody else, to show humility, and that is… You know, we’re all wired exactly the same at the end of the day, Byron, and I’m not just saying… Listen, I know at the end of the day, I’m not saying all this stuff with some altruistic approach because sometimes we do get caught up in this. You know, we’re all here to make money and pay the roof over our heads, and for you to enjoy that week, or two weeks in the Maldives, my friend. So, we all have to create but, you know, we need to do this stuff in a way where we start to become more opened because yes, we can build better customers off the back of it rather than just treating everyone as this factor and I hate that thing when it comes to content factory and that analogy is being used. You know, we can create better stuff. Come back to what we were saying at the beginning. Quality work, by understanding one another, and understanding the pain points, the beliefs and the things that get people enthused, that’s back to again, to understanding our own persona aspect; of understanding what makes somebody tick, what they enjoy and what they want to get out of life, in a way that we can make money. In a way that we can make money for our businesses.



Byron:         You know, we had… I see a breakthrough in your chapter six, when you sort of get into building your media company. I’ve been saying for a million years now – it seems like it at least – that forward thinking companies need to think like old-school publishers; gathering ideas, developing stories and publishing a steady stream of content that engages their readers and keeps them coming for more. It’s a simply concept but don’t you think net-net that that’s really what’s happening with this revolution? Don’t we need to really become a media company? Don’t we need to entertain our customers? Not across the board, we can’t do everything for everybody, but don’t you want to find a little slice of the pie that you can own from an informational media perspective that people look to you for information on? You know, something not related to your business, by the way. Like, you know, WriterAccess really knows all the goofy holidays in the course of a year. I’m going to go to their blog, because they’re always talking about them and they have their cool calendar. I’m not suggesting we would do that but don’t you think it’s that simple? Don’t we want to own a sliver of the media pie that is unique to us and reflects our brand and our personality, to educate and inform and to sell without selling?



Mark:          Very much so, because it comes… when we talk about this whole idea of a media company, it’s this ability to have a point of view, and to distribute that on a consistent basis to a targeted audience. For instance, I send out, on my side, an email every Thursday morning, 9 a.m. GMT. 9 a.m. GMT, comes back to this whole idea again, of training ourselves, of becoming this thing of repetition; of becoming good at something. That’s what this whole idea of a media company is and that’s what a media company does. You know, it’s in front of an audience, people know when they’re going to received it. It’s like, you know… You know when a Chris Brogan is going to be sending out his email. You know it’s going to be every Sunday that he’s been doing for years and that’s the opportunity that presents it to us. I do like this idea of owning particular days of the week and that’s what we do. It’s that we put this in front of other people to build a dialogue. That’s what this whole thing of… this whole thing of… we’re becoming a media… where we become a media company. It’s that we are creating, we’re building a network where we create content that people that want to engage with. You know, you were touching upon here, we’re not here for everybody, are we? You know, there’s a small slice of the pie of people that want to get to know us a little bit better and likewise. You know, I thought I had to be everybody’s friend when I started off. I started my business in 2007; 2007, 2009. I thought, I had to be everybody’s friend, everybody’s pal. I’m just realizing now I was just in the middle of the road, stood for nothing, just trying to be everybody’s friend. The secret was, find an aside of the road, run into it quickly and stick in there. Otherwise, at some point, there’s going to be a juggernaut that’s going to be hitting your head off.



Byron:         Mm-hm. Tell me about tools for success. What tools do you use? What do think is… what are the tools we need these days to be successful with content marketing, and content creation particularly, which is what we’re focusing on here?



Mark:          My best particular tool get down to nitty gritty doing stuff. My thing was… My thing that I used. Okay, I still write a lot. I still write a hell of a lot. So I use Evernote. It’s just such a close part of me because we have all these brilliant… Same of all of us. We have these brilliant ideas in the shower, and then we get out, and then it’s just gone. All they are is just right there, then forget about them. So the tools that I use is that… Well, I will use Evernote and whatever that’s on the Mac, or the phone, or whatever, the sourcing tab. When I have these ideas in my head, they do go down on paper. You know, it was a brilliant thing at Content Marketing World last week. I was just using it constantly. So then, that let me stop, that when I was in the airport at JFK, the other week, I just wrote down everything then onto paper. So, my tools that I use… Everything kind of stems, circulates around using Evernote. Okay, and then my biggest tool now that has helped me in terms of a sales perspective, as well as a terms of an engagement, has been the email. The email, to me, is such a valuable tool in terms of sending… As I say, I send consistently, every Thursday, an email, the looks, the tons of stuff I’m talking about every week, the interviews that I’m having with other people, and you know, the whole 80-20 kind of rule, may be a little bit to sale stuff that’s coming on in terms of events, workshops, seminars, whatever and that to me is such a key tactic that has helped transform my business. It makes me present in front of my audience on a particular day of the week, because I know… I’ve had people that was on holiday the other year, and I wasn’t able to send the times that I said I would, and people were emailing me asking if I was okay. It was about 1 o’clock in the afternoon. It was again, this whole thing of persistence, repetition, finding a rhythm, so that all for me, the email to me is such a powerful space for us all to utilize better that moves us beyond selling products and telling people about who we are and what we do.



Byron:         You talk about recognition and familiarity equals trust. What do you mean by that, and then how does that tie in with you and your email strategy?



Mark:          Yeah. This is the thing. When we look at this idea of familiarity, so people know. People know when they’re going to receive, when they’re going to get it as well. This whole thing around trust is just from people understanding the stuff that we believe in. I ask people that I work with [00:28:06 inaudible]. I guess now, quick little thing now, just take a look, what is that one word that you believe in? It cannot be an adjective. It cannot be an adjective that says “We are in innovative, we are new, we are bespoke.” We find that one word that we… that we find that one simple word that we believe in, whether it’s ‘change’ – like they say, I talk about side, is ownership, whether it’s authority, whether it’s this whole thing of enterprise; whatever it is. So people become familiar with this particular term that you stand for. Do it over and over again. In the channels, you create your little world, where my world, where everything centers around is the website, and all these little pillars of activity that happen all around it are just as important, help us over time to build trust, for people to make that connection, understand the stuff and the perspective that I give. Again, take stuff that’s already being said, that’s already that’s out there in the big wide world, but it just puts my own interpretation to it.



Byron:         Another formula, once again a tie-in. “Specificity plus frequent practice equals success.” What do you mean by that?



Mark:          Oh my goodness. You know, now that you mention… my goodness. It’s like I’m turning things to a math formula.



Byron:         It’s a math… You’re formulaic.



Mark:          Oh, my… I’m kind of rough in my own back as well, Byron, or there’s specificity [00:29:29 inaudible].



Byron:         What do you mean by ‘specificity’? “Specificity plus frequent practice equals success.”



Mark:          Yeah. So right. Specificity in terms of that space in the market place that we believe in, yeah, and if we can cut through the noise, yeah, just get to the… rather than kind of list the cause and everything half of the time, we understand the point of view that we believe in and you do it on a regular basis and over time, when I look at success, yes, it does mean profitable action. It does mean there becomes more customers and I also love the idea that your customers that come on board become better customers because they are seeing your perspective that you’re giving. They love this idea in your warm little barbeque that you’re having every week. They’re coming over, and they’re seeing the stuff that you’re doing, and you do create this level of warmth that they’ve got this acknowledgment that you have their back in your marketplace via the areas that you believe in. It’s a win-win for all of us. I love the idea that you have clients to understand the thing that you talk about and that gives them the element of trust and warmth that they have confidence. They have confidence in your approach within your marketplace. What a great formula!



Byron:         I love it. Love your energy. Keep it going. I have one final point that I want to make and ask you about. So, for some time now, I’ve done a couple webinars on this and then some speaking gigs. I talk about the importance of great content, and how to create it and what are the elements of great content. I had this little formula that I picked up on from your younger days when I used to eat the Rice Krispies, that’s the cereal, and there was tagline to it and it said, “Snap, crackle, and pop.” Or it was the--



Mark:          Yeah.



Byron:         Right, and so I have this thing going, and to me great content really has elements of snap, crackle, pop. So, content snaps when you have a great headline and it leaps off the page and quickly gets your attention. Content crackles when it touches your heart or it has some sort of trigger that you can connect with personally and, therefore, it pops when you read it and it stays with you long after it passes by, or you share it, or heaven forbids, you actually take action on it. Do you think that that formula is appropriate? Do you think that we need to strive for “snap, crackle, and pop” with all the content we create as a guide?



Mark:          Do you know what I learned? That’s a very important word that you’ve picked up on here. It’s having a guide; it’s having a framework. You know, as silly as it may be when you talk about this related to a breakfast cereal, it’s very similar. You know, when we talk about this word ‘content marketing’, lot of people, it kind of still goes over people’s head, but if we look at this idea of perfecting what we know, it starts to change. Coming back to what you’re saying here about creating, you know, a guideline, a framework to work to, it was… you know… it was what Monster are doing, where Margret Magnarelli from Monster are doing. They’ve broken something down similar with their ‘how, now and wow.’ You know, this framework for all the stuff that they write and the content they create on a consistent basis, is based on the how area of how they are informative. The now aspect that looks at, you know, the news jacking kind of aspect to everything, and then the ‘wow’ are those infographics, and those jumping on board with the tweet and everything else. That’s how that and this ‘snap, crackle and pop’ formula kind of works, because it gives us… We all need direction. You know, we cannot live in a world now where we still say, “Become the best answer for your customers,” or we’re looking at the whole thing that talks about “Create great content.” You know, in your eyes, it may be brilliant, deep, thoughtful content, but does it mean something to somebody else. I do like the idea where you’re talking about here that you put something in a very easy to interpret framework.



Byron:         Mm-hm.



Mark:          That’s it’s easy for us all to apply.



Byron:         Yeah, and let’s take the ‘pop’ for example. I mean, we need to be looking at tools like BuzzSumo to go look at, well, what are the headlines that people are snagging? What is getting shared and passed around, because chances are, those headlines are the driver for that traffic. You know, there… it’s very hard to get people’s attentions and I think that, you know, we need tools, but thank you for the follow up on that. You conclude with, of course, empathy being one of your big conclusions, along with honesty, equality, creativity, something people can relate to but talk with me about empathy because I get a feeling that is a gift that you have that maybe not everybody has. What do you mean by empathy and how do you keep empathy of the target audience in the back of your mind when you’re writing something?



Mark:          Yeah. Right. So empathy is this ability to understand on how somebody else is feeling. Yeah? That has helped me. What that’s done is it’s helped me. My audience are people that will understand, again, personas. Understand who our target audience is, and that may help in terms of somebody… Like, my target audience are those people that understand that the world is a different place than what we were in four or so years ago. You know, best place for that I would say is [00:35:10 inaudible] control or delete, really. This shows the kind of overview at how the world is different, but do not necessarily know how to apply that within their business. Which is fine because that’s the way that we’ve always been taught from education, everything else, is to sell. So when I come back to what you say about empathy, is the ability to understand those pain points, those things that are difficult for somebody to comprehend. That’s what I’ve always try and do. I’m not trying to [00:35:41 inaudible] myself or anything else but it’s to understand by being open, and reading, and digging deep, and experience it from wearing the shoes of somebody else. Yeah, and that puts yourself in someone else’s position, which comes again, all the way right full circle from where we were, and where I started in blogging, which would have been, “How to plot on a brilliant event. Seven things that you need to look at when you want to look at Facebook ads.” Really? That is what everybody else is doing. It’s being done to death, but if you’re trying to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and position – in someone else position – you know, that takes the box off our empathy. That’s what makes us more intelligent, and that’s the link between ourselves and our audience.



Byron:         Two final questions. Wow is right. Wow is what I say just about every time you say something, Mark. So good for you. Tell us answers to two final questions. Who would you like to get a hold of you and how can they get a hold of you?



Mark:          The best questions. If anybody wants to get… we’ve gone over 20 minutes. Right, very quickly. Anyone wants to get in touch via Twitter, it’s at MarkyMasters. The business is the ID Group. The book is the Content Revolution, and yeah, it’s out there [00:36:57 inaudible] in the big wide world, and be nice to connect and to… and so… yeah. The other people that are there or whatever to chat and everything else. It’s Mark at the ID group as well, and I do reply. I am not some automated robot that only will get back to you on a Wednesday afternoon.



Byron:         Well, you’re packed full of ideas, and chalk-full of energy. So it’s been a pleasure, of course, of chatting with you again, and I look forward to the next.



Mark:          Pleasure for having me. Thank you, Byron.



Byron:         Right on. Thanks for tuning in, everyone. We’ll see you next week.