Content Marketing - The Art of Selling Without Sellling

Content Marketing: The Art of Selling Without Selling


No one wants to see a sales brochure.

Nobody opens emails they know is going to sell them something.

Everyone hates getting an unsolicited sales call while they’re eating dinner.

People don’t like being “sold.” They probably never did, but in today’s world of spam filters, ad blockers and caller ID, it’s even easier for people to ignore a sales pitch.

People are busy, living their own lives, dealing with their own problems, and securing their finances. No matter how much a business owner believes their product or service will solve the world’s problems, it probably won’t; and people don’t have the time or interest to be told how much better their life will be if they spend their time or money.

The sooner businesses accept this reality, the sooner we as a business community can come together and find better ways to “sell.”


The Answer is Content Marketing

It’s the art of selling, without selling.

Content Marketing - The Art of Selling Without Sellling

Content marketing is the creation and sharing of interesting, valuable or relevant content, for free.

That’s right; it’s just given away, for free.

“Free” is the most beautiful word in the world to every consumer. It’s also the most hated word for every business owner. But businesses stay in business because of consumers, not because of business owners.

No consumers means no business, so if consumers want free, then free is what they should get.


Not Just Any Kind of Free

The idea isn’t to give away products or services for free, but rather to share valuable content. This content can be:

  • A blog which provides insights to a specific industry or market.
  • A case study, or white paper, with valuable data findings discovered through research.
  • An entertaining video that makes viewers laugh.

Not all content needs to be serious; some of it can be fun. The types of content that should be created are catered to the target audience.

Know the audience. Be the audience.

Know the audience. Be the audience.


Every Company Needs to Be a Media Company

What do RedBull, GoPro and Lego have in common?

They’re all media companies.

These companies, and plenty of others, are media companies in addition to their primary business. These brands create and share content that goes viral, and is enjoyed by more people than actually buy their products.

But convincing every person that views their content to buy their product isn’t their goal. Instead, these companies focus on building brand awareness and creating positive brand images. These companies have a customer-focused content marketing strategy.

In return, these brands have some of the most loyal customers, and fans, in the world.

The reason is because they’ve provided free value to their audience, and in return only asked for them to tell a friend, or consider them the next time they make a purchase.

The Lego Movie was incredibly popular, and didn’t ask a single audience member to buy a Lego set; but because they created an entertaining and humorous movie, people went out and bought Legos anyway.

While most companies don’t have the resources to match what these brands are doing, the strategy still works for small and medium sized businesses as well. Create interesting content, and share it with people that may find it valuable; and then do it again, and again.


But Don’t Just Believe Me

I’m not breaking any new ground here with this blog, and the concept of companies becoming media companies has long been discussed in the marketing world.

Take a look at a few articles I believe explain it best:


The Competition is (Almost) Infinite

The internet is filled with content. The options to be informed and entertained are nearly infinite. Not only are brands competing with other brands in their industry, they’re competing with brands in other industries, along with people’s friends and family.

There are countless websites, platforms and applications which compete for people’s attention. Even within each of these exist a vast array of competitors.

On social media and email inboxes, brand messages can appear above pictures of a family member, and below an ad for a Fortune 500 Company.

The goal is to stand out, find a niche, and share something interesting. To do this, the amount, and quality, of content must continue to increase and improve. For businesses to stand out, they must create content quickly, regularly, and effectively.

This is why every company needs to become a media company.


In Other Words…

“Whether you like it or not, every person is now a media company. The tools are easy, free, and everywhere. More importantly, producing content is now the BASELINE for all brands and companies. It literally doesn’t matter what business you’re in, what industry you operate in, if you’re not producing content, you basically don’t exist. So what’s your excuse?”

Gary Vaynerchuk

So what's your excuse Gary Vaynerchuk Quote


“It doesn’t matter if a company makes network gear or diapers, every company needs to publish to its various communities, its customers, its staff, it’s neighbors. It needs to know how to produce compelling content, great video, podcasts, etc. And now with this emerging two-way Internet it also needs to learn how to listen.”

Tom Foremski

Tom Foremski Quote


Originally posted on “A Working Progress” @


Another Blog Answering ‘What is Content Marketing?’

Another Blog Answering

‘What is Content Marketing?’



The great marketing minds of today have long stressed the importance of content marketing, and encouraged businesses and brands to invest more time and resources developing effective content marketing strategies.

Countless books, articles and blogs have been written which describe the importance of content marketing. At this point, there’s not much new that can be said on the subject.

So this blog won’t try.

Instead, I’m describing content marketing, in my own words.

If you’re already well-aware of content marketing, there’s not much new here for you. But if this is the first time you’ve heard the term, let me be the first to try and explain.

For a more detailed explanation, simply Google “content marketing,” and you’ll have enough reading material to fill a very long weekend.

So let’s begin.


What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the creation, and sharing, of interesting, relevant and valuable content, given away for free to potential customers.

Or described another way,

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Content Marketing Institute

This branch of digital marketing is the art of selling, without selling. The purpose is not about asking potential customers to make a purchasing decision, or telling them to “Call Now!”  Instead, the goal is to reach new audiences, cultivate the potential lead, and build brand loyalty, through the delivery of free and valuable content.

Though the phrase, “content marketing” is relatively new, the concept has been around for quite a while.

Take a look at this video from the Content Marketing Institute to learn about its history.


What is Content?

Content can be almost anything a business or brand creates and shares, that provides some perceived value.

Common digital examples include:

  • Blogs
  • Online Videos
  • Emails
  • Newsletters
  • Images
  • Infographics
  • Case Studies
  • eBooks
  • Landing Pages

Content is everywhere. It’s on every website, social media page and search engine result page. Content is what you’ll find on YouTube, in your inbox and within every mobile app.

What separates content from content marketing is that it is created, or curated, and shared, with value in mind. Give something away for free, and in return, gain a potential customer’s brand loyalty, contact info or positive impression.


What’s the Purpose of Content Marking?

The purpose of content marketing is to grow brand awareness and loyalty through the sharing of valuable content, to generate leads and hopefully gain repeat business.

The customer experience has changed. Customers are now more informed, conduct their own research, and don’t need to be told why they should buy. Today’s business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57 percent of the purchase process is complete.

Content marketing is about providing value to a potential customer, so that they can become aware of, or feel positively about, a business or brand, and keep it mind when it’s time to make a purchase. By giving away value for free, potential customers don’t’ feel like they are being “sold.”

People hate advertising. People love good content marketing.


What isn’t Content Marketing?

Content marketing is not the sharing of sales-focused materials, which often attempts to “sell” potential customers on the business’s product, service or brand.

In truth, content is everything from a tweet and newsletter, to a business card and a coupon. But content marketing asks for nothing in return. Or if it does, it’s only after something of value has been provided first.

The idea of “value” is what separates content from content marketing. Without value, content is just another sales pitch. Value must be provided, first;

“Otherwise, what you end up with is a brochure, but you just call it content marketing.”

Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert.


How Does Content Marketing Work?

Through the creation of strategically targeted content, and sharing it on digital channels, potential customers can find valuable information and be introduced to, or nurtured by, businesses and brands.

Simply put, content marketing works by giving away something of value, for free. After a person receives this free valuable content, they are more likely to take an action, provide personal information, or remember the business or brand when it’s time to make a purchase.

By creating and sharing this content across digital channels, a business or brand can be discovered by potential customers; and these potential customers can also share this content with their friends, family or colleagues.

Content marketing encourages loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing, to create brand ambassadors.


Why is Content Marketing Important?

All current online forms of marketing rely on content marketing to reach and find customers. Content is what is viewed online, shared by people, and used to communicate with potential customers.

“Content marketing is dead because now it is simply marketing.”

Seth Godin, from his interview on HubSpot’s “The Rise to the Top” web series

Content marketing is what allows a business or brand be found online, connect with potential customers, and build loyalty.

People have become very good at ignoring advertisements, because they’re intrusive and pushy; their purpose is to convince people to spend their money or time. Content marketing, however, is a passive strategy, which provides free value, in exchange for the possibility of loyalty in the future.

Content marketing is more about branding and generating leads than making a sale. Gone are the days when a business or brand could simply pay to capture people’s attention.

Audiences no longer want their attention bought. They want it to be earned.




Originally posted on “A Working Progress Blog” @








1st World Digital Marketing Problems


In essence, we must fail to succeed. – Daniel M. Christensen

What can you learn from reading LinkedIn updates? That everyone is an expert. Regardless of their field, every professional is convinced they must prove they have all the answers. Because of the inherent self-promotional attitude necessary, marketing professionals suffer from this “guru-mentality” at much higher percentages. Every marketer, especially in the digital realm, is convinced their methods will lead to success. They’ve tested, perfected and out-performed all of their peers.

The truth is, however, most digital marketers simply pick-and-choose segments of data, test results and insights to “Frankenstein” their own personal creed. No marketer likes to admit they’re still learning.

Luckily this method works. Too many executives, bosses and decision-makers know too little about the industry. They hear their business must exist online, but don’t know how truly make it grow. They understand social media is culture’s latest “fad,” and believe simply existing on Facebook will grow their business.

They want success, but don’t always believe in investing in true talent. True success comes from true talent. Talent’s the offspring of competition. To compete is to fail. And to fail is to learn. In essence, we must fail to succeed.

But before one can succeed, it is necessary to teach the inexperienced. In today’s corporate environment, all people, regardless of title, must keep social media in their mind. Today, no business-related action lives in isolation. It is crucial to include marketing teams in most business decisions, since each decision affects customers. And marketing teams are often the first point-of-contact for many customers. Whether through social media, email, or online review, customer’s opinions are often first heard by marketing teams.

Unfortunately, too many people are still unsure what digital marketing entails. It’s time we discussed today’s most common misconceptions.

1st World Digital Marketing Problems:

What my Boss thinks I do…



What my Co-Workers think I do…



What the Accounting Department thinks I do…



What the Web Designer thinks I do…



What the I.T. Guy thinks I do…



What Google Search thinks I do…



What my Customer’s Inbox thinks I do…



What my Grandmother thinks I do…



What my Friends think I do…



What my Optometrist thinks I do…



What Teenagers think I do…



SHARE if You LIKE – My Libido is Confused


In today’s edition of SHARE if You LIKE, the least celebrated curation of topics the internet is already bored with, we’re talking about:

  • A sexually confusing gif of Emma Watson and Sofia Vergara
  • A porn adaptation cleverly titled ‘Sex-Factor’
  • ‘Gaytality’ being a thing
  • And SKITTLES!!!

So sit up, get hyped, and enjoy the most randomly amusing, out-of-context crap from across the interwebs.


This Fascinating And Horrifying Emma Watson GIF Will Never Make Sense


My libido is confused…


 Gif of the Day: GoPro Parkour Jump


“Tank, load the jump program.”


‘Simpsons’ to Launch on FXX With 12-Day Marathon


FXX will air all 552 “The Simpson’s” episodes as a marathon.


Outed Duke Porn Star Belle Knox is Going to Judge the Porn Version of ‘The X-Factor’


The X-Factor just become pants-optionable


7 Priceless Items People Sold on eBay


The Hollywood sign is probably sitting on someone’s front lawn.


Ultimate Gay Fighter to change name in response to legal tangle


“Finish Him” with a ‘Gaytality’ in Ultimate Gay Fighter… no more?


 The art of Limpfish


A picture worth a thousand dollars






Court Reporter Types ‘I Hate My Job’ Over And Over A la ‘The Shining’, Gets Fired Thirty Cases Later


“All work and no play make Jack hate his job.”


How to Win at 5 Classic Board Games


PRO TIP: Staying in jail as long as possible is the key to getting rich.

After finally passing the old lady doing 30 with her blinker on in the fast lane…

“Pluck Yew” and Other Underused Uses for the Middle Finger

There’s an urban legend about the origin of the middle finger. According to lore, the French would cut off the middle finger of Englishman after defeat. The English longbow, made from the yew tree, was the ultimate weapon of the time. Once the middle finger was removed, the English would be unable to pluck the bow. However, as the story goes, when an Englishman defeated a Frenchman, they would stand above them, with middle finger extended. “I can still,” he would declare, “pluck yew. PLUCK YEW!”

The middle finger has evolved to become one of the most recognizable and versatile non-verbal words in our language (and I’d assume other languages as well, though I speak none of them).  The middle finger can communicate the entire spectrum of emotions. Perfect for most every situation.

Here’s a list of the many underused uses of our most versatile finger:

When you’re annoyed

aka: When someone giggles after I mention I’ve been to Band Camp
To let your finger say what your mouth cannot

aka: After finally passing the old lady doing 30 with her blinker on in the fast lane…

Just playing around

aka: My robot hand spells it “8008”

To stick it to the man (behind his back)

aka: Its my birthday and my neighbor called the cops to tell me the music was too loud

To rebel against authority

aka: Sure Dad, I’ll be home at 11

As an exclamation to your point

aka: And the winner of the Don’t Give a Fuck Olympics is…

To get the last word

aka: The last day of school

When you no longer have to give a shit

aka: Friday 5:01 p.m.

When you’ve just had enough already

aka: When a guys asks if you’re on your period…

To say ‘bye’ to a best friend

aka: When you unexpectedly see your best friend at the same place

When you’re wrong and still don’t G.A.F.

aka: After you scream at the cat for clawing the couch…

You absolutely love your children, but sometimes…

aka: So remember, kids, 1 + 1 = 2

If you’re suffering from creator’s block

aka: A Fuck Noir

When you’re all thinking the same thing

ala: When the teacher leaves the classroom…

Despite the results, you know you’re right

ala: The final fuck given

To let the people know how you really feel

aka: I’m the President, and I approve this message.

When you can’t really be that mad

aka: When you get insulted by your crush..

You’ve got nothing to lose

aka: Pardon me, Sir, but I call your bluff

To tell the world exactly how you feel

aka: What a lovely day for a fuck parade

When you’re cold, and wet, and tired

aka: The force is strong with this one…

When you can finally say how you really feel

aka: The subtext to every resignation letter

When you know you’re wrong but won’t admit it

aka: When you know you lost the argument…

When they couldn’t hear your insult

aka: Please, tell me more about your fantasy football team

When you’re too tired to argue

aka: Too lazy to give a fuck

Just minding your business and someone interrupts

aka: When my parents leave the room after bitching at me.

To politely declare your irritation

aka: Pardon me. Do you have any fucks to give?