Love Your Work, Love Yourself
This morning was perfect for coffee on the back deck as the sun came up. It was perfect to catch up on reading some industry news in the quiet before the day became full of emails, ringing phones, inevitable discussions of home add-ons and home improvements, and finally a whole bunch of work that, oddly enough, I look forward to doing.
There was one thing that stood out to me while reading this morning. It was a rather small, but powerful, quip on Twitter, and it read “marketing is nothing more than making sure something doesn’t die, so why are you so serious?”
That is why I love content marketing. Other than being a standup comedian, I don’t think there’s another profession where your personality can be so prominent in your work. Of course there are times that call for seriousness, and Lord knows I’ve shown the fun side of myself and my work at the worst possible professional moment, but truth is, we all have, and we all live, and we all move on. And yes, I’ve been told to quit having so much fun at work before. After the stun wore off, I looked at my boss and said “that’s kinda like asking the Pope to quit praying so much. Why would you do that?”
So, whether you’re a serious work ‘til you drop type, a happy go-getter, a fun socialite who craves group interaction, and whether you own your own business or work for someone else, let yourself come out in your work or else you will never live.
Live life you wonderful you,
It was a Friday night, late fall or sometime like that. It was at least dark. We were sitting on the couch watching the TV in what we called the sun room, which is now the kids’ play and craft room. It was the sun room since three of the four walls were all windows which let all the sun in on sunny days but let a good bit of heat out during chillier dark nights. That’s important to know since I believe it played a large role in naming my company, Sawfish Online.
As the wife would tell you, when the temperature drops, I tend not to put on more layers, and I certainly won’t turn up the thermostat and watch the dollar bills flutter up and out of the chimney. No, I do the manly of manly things and that’s grow a beard and drink scotch.
This particular night, Birdy (the pre-Sam Birdy) was playing on the floor. We were sitting on the couch watching some mindless TV – I vaguely remember an Alaskan airplane show or something (I always wanted to be a pilot). The wife was getting bored (she never wanted to be a pilot) so she started talking about the content marketing and SEO company I started to develop earlier in the year while on vacation at her parents’ house in Venice, FL.
If you look in the history books, or Google, you’ll find that Venice, FL, was once the sawfish capital of the world. Well, I didn’t know that at the time. Pure coincidence, honestly. I know it as the shark tooth capital of the world, which to me, means there’s a lot of pissed off sharks swimming off the beaches of Venice, FL.
However, this fateful night of airplane shows, pizza, scotch and sawfish came tumbling together to the perfect, yet highly imbalanced, ball I call Sawfish Online. How, you are still wondering? Easy enough. Birdy has a bath toy, this hard rubber – almost plastic feeling – sawfish with a real saw for a snout on it. She got it on her first trip to Venice, FL, I believe from grandma who found it in a thrift store and gave it to Birdy as a bath toy gift. With a total length of about a foot long, this thing is a nasty one. No kidding, it’s probably from the early 1980s or even the 1970s before anyone really cared if their kids hurt themselves with toys.
So, my wife asked what I wanted to call my company. I didn’t know. I was only thinking of getting myself another glass of warmth and cheer. I said “I dunnnnwooo.” Then she pointed at this cool print of sport fish from the Gulf of Mexico hanging on the wall. I stared for a few minutes and finally had a solid lock on the sawfish that was somehow dancing around. That moment, with the tail of the toy in her firm grasp, Birdy then whacked me right in the hand with the snout of the sawfish. Everything coming together like that, how could I not choose Sawfish.com for my company name? The wife said, “that’s terrible. How about something like SawfishOnline.com?”
Feeling a little chilly,
What is Content, Really?
It occurred to me while sitting in the barber’s chair when Scotty, my barber, asked me what I’m doing these days and I said content marketing, coaching and consulting. When he asked what content was, I realize not everyone knows what the basics of websites are – they just know they need one for business.
So I started to explain content, and it wasn’t as easy as you think. I know content. I sleep it. I pour it on my cereal in the morning, yet, it wasn’t cut and dry answering the point-blank question. The dictionary has some pretty vague definitions of content, and I could take the easy way out and say content is anything that delivers information such as copy, images, blogs, videos, etc.
But what is content really?
Content is your story. It’s your fingerprints to your business that says this is all mine. Whether through words or images, your content connects you with individually unique and different people throughout the world. Content is the very fabric of your website and the information that delivers your message. It’s the most important thing you can focus on besides your business itself.
Look forward to our next blog when we look into and explain SEO
Content marketing is a pretty crowded field which is why Sawfish Online spent last week and this weekend developing and tweaking a new approach to better serve customers in the form of content coaching and consulting.
Yes, we still do all of the content creation and marketing we’ve done, and we still do it well, but we have listened to clients explain their needs and realized in-office or online coaching of business owners and marketing teams is a productive way to empower businesses in the online world. Sawfish Online follows up our coaching programs with consulting sessions to make sure you stay on track using the information learned from our coaching.
Of course, if the work turns out to still be too much for you, we can come in and help out like always with your content and marketing pieces.
Whether it’s consulting, coaching or creation, call Larry at (630) 414-7545 or email him at Larry@SawfishOnline.com to learn more about how Sawfish Online can help your business and improve your website content.
Many of us remember that Forbes magazine headline “Content is King” a few years back. Everyone scrambled to make sure they had tons and tons of content on their websites, and it gave a lot of us content professionals some pretty good job opportunities. Things have changed somewhat, though.
Content isn’t really king anymore. It’s more like the queen – still crucial for your website and to your company’s success, but a step down in the hierarchy of ultimate importance.
What’s taken content’s place?
Context is how you can target your specific audience while simultaneously gaining a larger audience. If your website is selling automotive services, don’t just sell your services, but have content that sells tires, suspension components and whatever other items you sell with your services. By doing this, you’re not only reaching your targeted audience of those who need auto service, but you are also reaching out and serving individuals who are looking for new tires, new struts or new wipers. By adding a more tailored “how,” “what” and “why” context to your content, you’re providing a more specific explanation of all the services you offer.
If you're wondering if your content has context reaching your targeted audience, give Sawfish Online a call and we can help sort it out in a manner that is easy to understand and easy to action.
Creating Content Before Design
The biggest mistake when creating a web site or updating a current site is putting the design ahead of content. All too often, all of the initial effort goes into making the site look spectacular, which of course is important, but a spectacular looking site with poor or no content is much like creating a shiny package without knowing what will go in it.
Many times Directors yell “Go!” and the designers take off in one direction while the copywriters go in another. What happens then usually costs time, money and even customers as the website looks as if it was created by two different teams that had no idea what each other was doing.
If your content, your ultimate message, is created first, customers will understand immediately what you, your site and your company is all about. They will be engaged. Customers will read your site and watch videos. Heck, they might even buy something – at least they know what you are selling them. If design is top priority, customers might look at your site and think you have great designers on board, but what does your company do? Instead of learning and becoming informed, your potential customer is wondering why they are even on that page. And guess what? When a customer hits a page, and it’s a bad experience, they will leave and probably never come back. That’s money out of your pocket.
Of course, creating content first isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Some tips to help are:
1. Keep your eyes on the prize. Staying on target with your company’s marketing mission will help in creating content that engages, inspires and ultimately triggers conversions.
2. You can always trim or add according to the final design. Nothing in life is permanent including design, words, image size, et al. What is created can be changed, moved, resized or axed while still delivering your marketing message.
3. A Content Strategist can help. Copywriters, designers and creative directors don’t always have the same vision – or even speak the same language. A Content Strategist can be the one to keep all parties involved on the same page, communicating needs and wants in a language that everyone understands. Put simply, a Content Strategist keeps all teams in tune with each other.
Sawfish Online provides content strategy along with content creation. We have copywriters, marketing strategists and designers who have learned the hard way on the right way to create and brand company’s websites.
Visit us at www.sawfishonline.com to learn more about how Sawfish Online can help your content, strategy and SEO.
Larry is a content marketing professional, an experienced copywriter, avid fisherman, amateur sailor, teller of kinda funny jokes, pancake connoisseur and an overall OK guy who founded Sawfish Online.