Are You Trapped in The Content Marketing Box?

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Content Marketing Box

“Man the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.” – Bruce Lee

You are slowly being manipulated into a box. You didn’t create the box. You can’t see it but I bet you can feel it.
In this case, it’s the content marketing box.

In the Content Marketing Box there are rules that you must follow to be successful online. It insists that are there are certain perspectives you must agree with to be noticed or promoted.

You can detect the box when you see the creeping “sameness” overtake the prose of the experts.

You feel that you must fall into line or be ignored.

  • You write posts a certain length
  • You join the approved list of social media networks
  • You design the right type of blog
  • You use approved WordPress plugins
  • You shun frowned upon tactics like popups or reciprocal content for sharing exchanges

And on and on.

That’s what I see. I’m seeing less innovation. Less guts. Less swagger. And more of the same.
Heck I realized that I was seeing it in my writing too.

I was trying to figure out what to do about it until I came across a video where Bruce Lee (still my hero) talks about the adaptability of water.

He teaches that water can be anything depending on the situation

Water can drip
Water can creep
Water can flow
Water can crash

Bruce Lee used this illustration to make a profound point. Your power comes from your creative ability to adapt and act completely free from restraint. This point of view, if you give it a chance, can revolutionize how you market yourself and your business.

Let’s play a game.

It’s called Imagine if –

Imagine if –

  • You started writing a book starting with tomorrow’s post? Each post is a chapter. New readers can start at the beginning. Loyal readers wait for the next post.
  • You decided to focus on just one social network and set the goal to completely saturate it with your content. Yep, that means you would just have one social icon.
  • You decided to write one love letter per week to your audience. The letter would be transparent and 100% you.
  • You spent a few hundred dollars to get a professional photo shoot of you in dozens of poses – and only use these photos in your posts?
  • You decided to go all-in on one-customer. Give them your best stuff for free for a year. Make them the poster child of your business. Just because you want to shock the living crap out of them and be that person’s answer to prayer.
  • You stopped rationalizing failure and just do it. Just write every day. Just promote every day. Just dare every day.

I hope you noticed that the raw material for this crazy explosion of destiny-driven activity uses only one ingredient…

Do you know what it is?

Need a hint?

Grab a mirror.


Your Only Real Content Marketing Advantage

I follow a specific process when I start working with a client. We go from 0 to 60 pretty fast but my favorite meeting is the one where we discuss their story.Most of my clients come to this meeting prepared with a vetted and bulleted list of product features and benefits.They often launch into a passionate monologue about why their product or service is the best. I listen intently because this information is important. But not what I want to hear just yet.

Instead I want to explore who they are. I mean who they really are down deep. I’m searching for the basis for their businesses culture, people, and products. I’m interested in the Cause not the Effect.

You see, once you have the cause, the personal story, you can creatively adapt to your industry’s challenges and your customer’s demands. I’ve learned life experience is the only competitive advantage you and I really have. Let me tell you something, you will be an unbridled, homeric success if you can use your life experience as the catalyst for your content. I’m serious. We will be in awe of you.

Unfortunately, you may not have the guts to do it. You can go back in the box and hang out with the other rule followers.

But if you are willing to be truly human then start breaking the rules. Start doing things your own way. Start holding yourself accountable for being fierce.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

10 thoughts on “Are You Trapped in The Content Marketing Box?

  1. Pingback: Bad Kitty Studios | Why the Best Marketing Advantage You've Got is Your Own Story - Bad Kitty Studios

  2. Lisha Yost

    It’s scary going outside of your comfort zone (even though it would be doing something that is truly YOU!). But none of us should be afraid to truly be our real crazy selves! ;)

  3. Stanford Smith

    Totally! I don’t understand why people start a new business (or blog) and continue to live be the same rules they hated when they worked for someone else!

  4. Stanford Smith

    The crazy awesome ideas are the ones that get you noticed. No one says that you can’t do them – it’s up to you. How far are you willing to push it?

  5. Lisha Yost

    Hi Stan, I am definitely inspired by this! Those are some crazy awesome ideas. All of them good ones… I’m not that creative. I tend to stay inside the box. But doing something crazy and out of the blue would be very attention grabbing that’s for sure. It would probably produce some great results :)

  6. Pingback: Marketing Day: New AdSense Ad Sizes, A Social Right To Be Forgotten? & Mobile-Only Consumers |

  7. Michaela Mitchell

    I love, love, LOVE this! I was stuck in that box very early on – and I still feel it’s siren call at times. It’s hard to do your own thing in your own way, but it can be so worth it.

  8. Pingback: Marketing Day: New AdSense Ad Sizes, A Social Right To Be Forgotten? & Mobile-Only Consumers

  9. Patti Jagger

    Stan, love your advice! Too many “experts” are promoting formulas that are all about building followers and have nothing to do with building brands.

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