That’s because Robert’s columns challenge me to think beyond how to do a content marketing task and even beyond how to do things better. Instead, he makes me think about why we content marketers do what we do and about the role of content, the job of content marketing, and what success really feels like. And, in fact, he found a lesson for all content marketers in that simple moment of reflection. But when Robert suggested the attendee simply ask the team to stop publishing unapproved content, the conference-goer admitted he hadn’t thought of that simple approach. Robert’s take? Starbucks simply hadn’t earned its audience’s trust on race relations. To underscore the point, he gave examples of storytellers known for their authenticity who nevertheless struggled to earn an audience when they switched genres or formats. The reason they struggled, Robert wrote, comes down to this: “If your audience doesn’t believe in the storyteller, the story itself won’t matter.” For better content, hit the eject button In mid-2018, Robert traveled to South Korea to teach a content marketing master class. The key, Robert wrote, is to find new stories in the different. Make sure you receive Robert Rose’s weekly gems of wisdom – subscribe to the Friday newsletter today.
Every week, I have the privilege of editing a column from CMI Chief Strategy Advisor Robert Rose. Each one contains a gem of wisdom – sometimes more than one. Giving each a final polish is one of my favorite tasks.
That’s because Robert’s columns challenge me to think beyond how to do a content marketing task and even beyond how to do things better. Instead, he makes me think about why we content marketers do what we do and about the role of content, the job of content marketing, and what success really feels like.
Here are some of the lessons that resonated with me long after the newsletters hit people’s inboxes. (Robert’s column is only available in CMI’s Weekly Alert. If you’re not subscribed, you can sign up here.)
Slow your content roll
Robert jets around the world, speaking at conferences, teaching master classes, leading workshops, and, it seems, writing columns while 30,000 feet over a different continent or body of water every week.
Despite (or maybe because of) his own busyness, he gives the side-eye to the notion of “the hustle” – hurrying to get ahead, rushing to try something different because it’s new, and always striving to reach unprecedented heights:
“By definition, no one can be remarkable every single day. If you were, the sheer uniformity of your remarkableness would make it unremarkable. Likewise, you can’t exponentially hustle more tomorrow than you hustled today: If you hustled only one hour on Monday, and then doubled your hustle every day thereafter, you’d be out of hustle hours by Thursday.”
A conversation with one of Robert’s clients prompted his observations about stepping out of the race. While talking about how to return joy to her work, she made this confession: “My favorite moment of the last week was sitting on my porch watching it snow,” she said in Robert’s recounting. “I savored every moment of that quiet, ordinary scene.”
Where some might have encouraged the client to come up with a work-related moment of joy, Robert saw something different. “It was her slowed-down absorption of the ordinary that gave her access to the extraordinary,” he wrote.
And, in fact, he found a lesson for all content marketers in that simple moment of reflection.
“We can access the extraordinary through the quiet, ordinariness of our work, too – if we’re willing to give up feeling superior (or inferior) to those around us. If we’re willing to be comfortable with ourselves. If we’re willing to find the ‘special’ inside ourselves, rather than solely in some external measurement of validation.”
When you find yourself daunted by the push to be remarkable all the time, try Robert’s suggestion:
“… do the equivalent of going outside and sitting on your porch to watch it snow: Give your full, unencumbered attention to your work in all its ordinariness. That’s when the extraordinary can emerge.”