18 Online Authorities Share Insights On Content Marketing For Business

18 Authorities on content marketing for business

Reboot Authentic is all about helping you get online, create your own market space, and sell smarter.

In a business climate in which so many have chosen to sell the same types of products and service to the same people in the same old conventional ways, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be noticed – online or offline. At the very least, you need to have a clear understanding of what makes you and your business unique, know your market intimately, and know how to sell to customers in a way that is meaningful to them.

There is another element to successful business that until recent years has been overlooked and dismissed by many. One that has turned into a very powerful tool for both online and offline businesses all over the world.

I’m referring specifically to content marketing and social media.

It is my opinion that virtually every business today should be utilizing these incredible online tools that we all have at our disposal.

I decided to ask some of the online authorities who I respect most for their opinions on the subject. All of these people have created amazing businesses and helped many people to achieve their dreams. Each of these 18 experts was asked the same two questions:

1. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who has yet to stake out their own market space online?

2. Do you believe that content marketing and social media are ‘the new normal’ for all businesses – or just for some?

I hope you get as much out of their answers and insights as I did…

Corbett Barr – ThinkTraffic.netExpertEnough.com    @CorbettBarr

bb_Corbett“Find a topic or market where there is strong demand that isn’t being met. Make sure you are uniquely able to serve that market and that you can see yourself committing to it for years down the road.”

“Not every business needs to (or is capable of) using content marketing and social media. I happen to prefer it, and think it’s an incredible way to grow an audience, but doing either content marketing or social media takes a ton of time and effort to learn and master.”

Michael Bungay Stanier – BoxOfCrayons.biz    @boxofcrayons

bb_Michael“Ask yourself: What am I up for? Because if you’re going to do this, you’ve got to fully do it. There’s no point in doing a half-arsed job. That just wastes your time and money”

“I think mediocre content marketing and social media will continue to grow. I think interesting, strategic and useful versions will be much much rarer.”

Leslie Samuel – BecomeABlogger.comInteractive-Biology.comLeslie-Samuel.com    @LeslieSamuel

bb_Leslie“There are more tools available today than there ever were before. This helps to make staking out your own market space easier in some ways. However, it also makes it easy to suffer from information overload and not take any action. My recommendation is to keep it simple. Choose the system you are going to work, focus on that system and spend all of your energy refining that ONE system. Instead of trying to do EVERYTHING well, focus on being the best at ONE thing, and expand from there.”

“I DO believe that it’s the new normal. However, it’s definitely NOT for everyone. Everyone isn’t willing to put in the time to learn a new system. Everyone doesn’t have the gusto to work hard at something now with no direct correlation between time spent and income made. You aren’t being paid $50/hour from the beginning, and that’s hard for some people to hold on to. However, if you are able to put in the focused time, effort and energy into building your system, you will reap the benefits later.”

Ashley Ambirge – TheMiddleFingerProject.org    @TMFproject

bb_Ash“Make it obvious who you’re there to serve. Alienate the wrong ones in favor of a strong connection with the right ones. Really–THIS WORKS.”

“Content marketing and social media aren’t the new normal–they’re the old normal. So if you aren’t doing even that yet, that’s saying something.”

Derek Halpern – SocialTriggers.com    @derekhalpern

bb_Derek“To build a successful website, you don’t need unique ingredients, but you do need a unique recipe. Meaning, you don’t need to come up with the “NEW” idea, but you should combine existing ideas into something new. As an example, when I started Social Triggers, the marketing blog space was overcrowded, but I differentiated myself because I talked about marketing + psychology. At the time, that was novel, and that unique positioning allowed me to grow.”

“There’s no such thing as a new normal. Just because I write content, doesn’t mean it’s right for EVERY business. That said, I do think it’s right for a lot of businesses—especially when they’re selling to people who are looking to learn how to do something outside the scope of your product.”

Josh Hanagarne – WorldsStrongestLibrarian.com    @joshhanagarne

bb_Josh“Get rid of the idea that by doing what someone else has done, done, you’ll get what they have. It’s just not how it works, not often enough to make it a good bet. Succeed or fail but be yourself. I’m not going to read anything that is obviously a watered-down version of someone else.”

“There are plenty of ways to succeed that have nothing to do with content marketing and/or social media. However, if you do content marketing well and you’re a whiz at social media, you’d be crazy not to add them to your business. If you do them badly, your energy would be better spent elsewhere.”

Mary Jaksch – GoodlifeZen.com – WriteToDone.com – AListBloggingBootcamps.com    @MaryJaksch

bb_Mary“Whether you’re staking out a market space online for your offline business, or you’re about to start an online business from scratch, you are faced with a great opportunity, as well as with some problems.

Your opportunity online is unlimited and there is no limit to your potential financial success because there is an endless supply of customers online.

The problem is that you need to get in front of your potential customers. You need to get their attention – and you won’t get in front of them with traditional offline marketing strategies.

You need to learn new skills when you go online. I’m talking about keyword research. Your road to success will be a lot shorter if you can find keyword phrases that have a high search volume (which means a lot of potential traffic), but where there is little competition. If you use keyword research for your website name, your tagline, and for everything you write online, you’ll be well ahead of the pack.”

“I do believe that both content marketing and social media are the new normal for businesses. Good content builds credibility online. The key difference between offline business and online business is that you need to create top content and give away a lot for free if you want to build a successful business on the Internet. Social media can be used to spread your message quickly. The great thing is that it’s not you who spreads the message. It’s your customers.”

Dan Waldschmidt – DanWaldschmidt.com    @DanWaldo

bb_Dan_WS“Forget about staking out a brand. Just be amazing. People will figure out who you are. This artificial emphasis on ‘transparency’ is just a distraction from what really matters — helping people.”

“Vibrant relationships are the norm for any growing business. The social media platforms that we have available to us now are fantastic ways to help build relationships with like minded people all over the world. So while the tools are new, the strategy is age old.”

Danny Iny – FirepoleMarketing.com    @DannyIny

bb_Danny“If you’re just getting ready to jump into the online world, the most important thing you can do to get ready is have a firm, clear grasp on your ideal customer. The Internet is huge and saturated in many niches – but you offer something specific and unique that is going to be a perfect fit for a particular type of person. Knowing who that person is, what they are interested in and where they spend their time online will eliminate many of the problems that businesses first face when they venture into online territory.”

“I think that it really depends on your business and the customers that it serves. If your potential or ideal customers are consumers of content and users of social media, then they are going to be used to interacting with businesses via those forums, and failing to make that available to them would be foolish. For most businesses, some element of content and social media engagement is critical, in my opinion. There may be some hold-outs, but for the most part, content and engagement online are what people expect when they are online.”

Laura Roeder – LKRSocialMedia.com    @lkr

bb_Laura“Russell Simmons has a book called “Do You!” and I love that phrase. It sums up what people need to do – take a stand, have a point of view. Give people something to connect with and latch onto.”

” (Conent marketing and social media are the new normal) Just for some – there are many many different ways to market a business. You can run billboards, you can sponsor small local events, you can buy pay-per-click ads, you can run direct mail campaigns, you can use only PR. Content marketing and social media marketing are excellent options for small businesses without a large budget – they can give you big national results with very little spending. But they aren’t the only way to do things.”

Steve Kamb – NerdFitness.com    @SteveKamb

bb_Steve_K“If you’re looking to create your own space online, I’d look at industries you are incredibly passionate about, and social groups to which you belong. Can you combine the two in a really really unique way to form your own niche? If you plan on entering a crowded industry, you HAVE to be different to stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to try something that doesn’t exist, and don’t be afraid to do things that might seem counter-intuitive compared to your industry leaders. Be different. Be weird. Weird is good. I promise.”

“I don’t know if they’re the new normal for ALL businesses, but these things are certainly becoming more commonplace these days. Now, just because most companies are using content marketing and social media doesn’t mean they’re using them properly! Far too many businesses see these channels as ways to advertise their products to the masses, instead of avenues to create meaningful dialogue with their most engaged (and thus potentially most vocal and supportive) customers. I think the companies that recognize this and invest a significant amount of time and energy into these engagements will be the companies that are going to be the most successful.”

Benny Hsu – GetBusyLivingBlog.com    @Benny_Hsu

bb_Benny“Find what you can offer that people will be willing to pay for. You may be passionate about something, but if people aren’t willing to pay for it, it does you no good.”

“I believe social media is almost a must these days. If you look at all the big companies, they focus so much on social media. Social media connects you with your customers by showing a human side to your brand. The main focus shouldn’t be on selling. Content marketing can be beneficial as well. If you can write something of value, they may share it which can spread your business. Social media and creating content are both free so when you’re starting out, experiment with different types of content or messages to your customers and see what works well.”

Srinivas Rao – TheSkoolOfLife.com – BlogcastFM.com – SrinivasRao.net    @blogcastfm

bb_Srini“Don’t try to copy something because you’ve seen it works for somebody else. Everybody has certain strengths and by catering to those strengths they’re much more likely to be successful.”

“I think that content marketing and social media are absolutely the new “normal” for all businesses. But there are very who few that seem to truly get it. What I think content marketing enables companies to do as add a human touch to their brands. It gives the customer an opportunity to feel like they’re dealing with a person rather than a company. If companies can really embrace that, I think they’ll get far more value out of social media.”

Jonathan Mead – PaidToExist.com    @jonathanmead

bb_J Mead“Don’t compromise, no matter what. The crazier you think your idea is, the more likely that it’s actually worth doing.”

“I think social media — yes, absolutely (is the new normal for business). More people are finding businesses through Yelp and the recommendations of their friends on social media than ever. But content marketing isn’t relevant for a business like local farms, or bike repair shops. Sure, anyone can find a way to try to leverage content marketing, but there’s definitely a spectrum of effectiveness that spans across different types of businesses.”

Mars Dorian – MarsDorian.com    @MarsDorian

bb_Mars“The most important aspect is your positioning. Our web world is soo crazily crowded and competitive, it turns attention into a rare resource. You need to stand out online if you want to get business. And you stand out by creating your category that you can dominate and get known for.”

“I’d say it’s more important to first create something incredible enough to create word-of-mouth by itself. Too many businesses “slam on” the social media & content marketing on their average ideas and products without worrying about creating something remarkable in the first place.”

Matt Cheauvront – LifeWithoutPants.com    @mattChevy

bb_Matt_C“Focus internally first. Focus on your process. The service your providing. The product your selling. Make it great. Make is outstanding. So often I see folks focusing on what’s around them – and how they can stake their claim in the market – before focusing on making an outstanding product/service. More often than not – when you really, truly believe in what you’re selling – people will take notice. And most importantly, it will be that much easier for you to believe in and sell yourself.”

I do see this as becoming the new normal. The mantra of  ‘if you build it they will come’ is false. While building something great is a critical first step – what’s equally important is that you’re active and involved in building conversation, engagement, and awareness around your product/service. Get people talking – then take an active role in the conversation. Approachable, aware, engaged brands are the ones we remember and what to do business with.”

Caleb Wojcik – PocketChanged.comExpertEnough.comThinkTraffic.net    @CalebWojcik

bb_Caleb“Get started today. The Internet is not going anywhere and if you don’t at least have some sort of ‘web presence’ then you could even be looked over for a traditional offline career these days. ”

“I think that content marketing and social media are vital for almost every kind of business these days. That being said, make sure you are doing them for the right reasons and you commit to doing them correctly. Don’t just do it to do it.”

 Alexis Grant – AlexisGrant.com    @alexisgrant

bb_Alexis“Having an online home isn’t for everyone, but it IS becoming increasingly important. Think about the first thing you do when you’re considering buying a product or working with a company or getting involved in an organization or project — you look them up online. Your online space is your opportunity to lead people to the information YOU want them to read about you, rather than just letting them find whatever pops up in Google. Having your own market space online is one of the best ways to make your own luck.”

“Again, the same approach doesn’t work for anyone, and it really depends on your goals. But content marketing is such a strong way to build your brand and grow your community. Sharing valuable information shows people that you know what you’re talking about, and it also helps them trust you, which is so important if you’re hoping they’ll buy your products or hire you for your services. Being helpful, relevant and friendly online (aka content marketing) is also one of the best ways to stand out in a sea of digital information.”

Thank You to the 18 experts who participated!

Some of the people who participated I know pretty well. Some never heard of me before I asked them to contribute to this post. But whether they knew it before now or not, I have followed and learned invaluable lessons from each and every one of them. Get to know them. You will be better off for having done so. Promise.


Now It’s Time for You To Step Up…

I’d like to ask you to do two things for me.

1. In the comments section, tell me how you are (or will be) leveraging content marketing  and social media for your business. I’d love to hear your tips and tactics!

2. If you enjoyed this post, please share it. Spread the knowledge of these 18 experts to the masses who need it.


About Gary Korisko

Gary is a battle-tested sales and marketing pro, copywriter, coach, and business strategist who teaches how to create worthwhile work on Reboot Authentic. Connect with Gary on Google+ and Twitter.

31 Replies

  1. Mary Jaksch | WritetoDone

    Congratulations on creating Reboot Authentic! I look forward to seeing this blog rise to the top, Gary.

    1. Thank You, Mary.

      It wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you. Have I told you how much I appreciate you lately? 🙂

      I look forward to building something unique here as well!

  2. Great recap post Gary! I love when well-crafted questions meet the minds of eloquent people and the results are shared with all of us. I’ll be keeping Jonathan’s words in mind about not compromising and crazy ideas when I launch my big product for 2013.

    As for me, I’m using content marketing as my primary marketing strategy. My website, my podcast, my videos, my guest posts, the interviews I do…all are forms of content and all are ways I love spreading my mission. I have a challenge ahead to formalize a social media strategy, as I’ll admit to shooting from the hip a bit with that part of my business. I’ve intentionally de-emphasized social media in favor of other priorities (like content marketing and creating rich, genuine relationships), but it’s too important to let sit on the sidelines for too long.

    Thanks again for creating this resource for us! Beautiful design and formatting on this post itself and the website as a whole by the way.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Joel.

      You do a great job with your content marketing. I’m a listener of your podcast as you may know – and incidentally i’m behind by a couple episodes. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and your visit.

  3. Impressive round-up, Gary! I’m still somewhat unsure how to use Twitter most effectively, but am enjoying learning how to interact with readers on Facebook. I have found that guest-posting and providing valuable content through my writing has been most successful for me. But I’m open to learning about how to use social media better.

    1. Bobbi: You certainly have made the most of your content. Especially guest posting! I’m still learning more every day on Twitter. Who’d have thought there would be so many dimensions to sending 140 character messages?

      I think the important thing is to use it to engage and discuss – and you already do that well! 🙂

  4. Great Roundup Post Gary. Thanks for the feature. Wishing you much success with your blog!

    1. Thank you, Leslie – for contributing to the post, for stopping in, and for the kind words!

  5. Jim Bessey

    These are all extremely valuable observations, Gary.
    What makes it truly fun is the contrast among opinions. This clearly illustrates that there is no “one perfect way” to make your mark online. “Be yourself” and “Be weird” and “Be different” certainly stress that following some recipe or formula in hopes of duplicating someone else’s success (a common instructional thread) probably isn’t the best strategy.
    I’m still finding my way with social media. Using Facebook is simple enough and its effectiveness is fairly easy to measure. Twitter, on the other hand, provides a dynamic means of communication on a personal level. Learning how to leverage that into reaching a larger audience isn’t quite so intuitive. Sometimes it seems, to me, that amazing results “magically appear” in the Twittersphere. I need a better understanding of the mystery.
    I do agree with many experts who assert that building and nurturing a high-quality email list should rank as the #1 goal for most online businesses. Of course, there’s nothing simple about making the best use of that list.
    The difficulty lies in the fact that almost none of “all this” even remotely resembles what I learned in college (3 decades ago) or in the operation of a brick-and-mortar business (in my case, a ski and bike shop). For myself, I find “internet-ADD” to be the most dangerous distraction. So, “do one thing well” is very helpful advice, no matter how hard that advice may be to follow.
    Thanks for bringing your faithful readers such a generous helping of Authentic!

  6. The contrast is interesting, isn’t it? And you’re exactly right about the fact that it just illustrates that there is no one way except YOUR own real, sincere way of connecting with others.

    I would argue that all those successful people above employed many of the same principles – but followed different paths along the way. That’s exactly why I say you have to find your own way to a degree in business. While so-and-so’s path may have worked for them, I’d argue that it worked to a large degree because what they did was consistent with who they are. Figuring out exactly who you are and what you stand for is trickier than it sounds.

    Great observations, Jim (as usual)


  7. Yay! Congrats on the launch, Gary!! =) Ditto what Mary said – like I said, I think you’re a big deal.

    I loved this roundup…What’s left resonating most with me is the idea of being yourself, even if that’s weird – ‘cuz weird is good! And you know I’m all about the weird and whimsical. As far as social media goes…. I’ve definitely been lagging. I don’t sign on to Twitter much anymore… Why? Well, frankly, it’s so…busy. And loud. And there’s enough busyness and loudness in life that I don’t care to subject myself to it online too.

    I wonder if there’s a way around that… If there’s a way to do social media less frantically and more intentionally? I’m certain if there is, you know it. Do I hear a post being written? (please?) =)

    Peace, love and a big congrats, my friend!

    1. Thanks so much, Kaylee. You really need to stop flattering me so much.

      (not really)

      I know someone who’s been telling you to let your real, unique self out for a while now. 🙂 And now you know 18 others who agree. We all do something no one else can.

      Twitter is busy and loud. Some bloggers solve it by not following people back. I prefer to skim the feed and find someone interesting to talk to. There are time limitations and all, but I find it enjoyable. That’s how you and I met, remember?

      Thanks for stopping in today. It’s always nice to see you!

  8. Gary – Congratulations – What a powerful launch. I would offer more details on all that I like, however, I am too busy taking notes on all the advice. You have added great value to my business plan. Please send my thanks to all those who contributed. You rock!

    1. Thanks Mark! I’m humbled that I helped with your business plan. You have the whole “real world” thing going on pretty strong anyway!

      I continue to thank the 18 folks above profusely. Glad you like!

  9. Congrats on the launch Gary – you picked two great questions and got some qualified people to answer = fantastic quotes.

    This is probably the first time I’ve read all of the responses for a round-up type post.

    My takeaway? Continue writing 15,000 word posts 🙂 I look forward to what comes – you’ve got a good start!

    1. Amit, I think your takeaway is spot on. Longer, detailed, well-researched content is what you do – and you do it very well. As well as anyone.

      Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you got something from the post.

  10. Gary,

    I’m loving the awesome advice, from awesome people, on this awesome website. I completely disconnected over the past few months, and as I’ve started to come back and be very picky about what I choose to follow, you can be assured that DTC/RA was one of the first things I’ve come back to.

    I’m looking forward to much more to come!

    1. Thanks very much, Brandon. Great to see you!

      I’m glad to hear your back on the grid and look forward to seeing you around more.

  11. Thanks for including me! And BIG congrats on the launch!

    1. Thank you, Alexis –

      For taking the time to visit and for your contribution to the post. I appreciate both very much!

  12. daverowley

    Hi Gary,

    Congratulations on the launch, exciting times!

    This post is a great read. At first I was going through and trying to pick out the tips and nuggets of wisdom that I could use, and there were plenty of those to choose from.

    But then I started to notice the distinct voice of each of the respondents, and how focused and skillful their responses were. How their answers brief as they were, gave a glimpse of who they are, how they work, what’s important to them.

    That’s a skill that I would love to develop, to have all of my content and social media connections help others while reflecting my own values and priorities and passions.

    1. I agree – I think one of the most interesting facets of the post is noting the differences and the similarities between all of the contributors. Jim made a similar observation (below).

      Hopefully it illustrates how authenticity in its many different forms tends to lead to the same place.

      Thanks for the observations and the congratulations, Dave. Much appreciated!

  13. This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader
    amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.

    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!
    up and coming Hip Hop producers recently posted…up and coming Hip Hop producersMy Profile

  14. In business, you have to understand the element of it to be successful. Create a marketing strategy that is intensely interesting to make it more useful. You can also use visual content to tap into image.

  15. This is very inspiring! Thoughts from the experts like the ones here are the ones making me like to read through posts to get more tips even if I’ve been in this business for quite some time already.
    Jackie recently posted…Life in Canada, 4 Months OnMy Profile

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