- Volume, quality and systems
- Have a plan
- Upgrade content
- Inject emotion.
These are the 4 things you need to appear passionate and knowledgable about a subject. This article shows you what you need to show the difference between walking the walk and talking the talk.
Talk about it…alot, but with great enthusiasm. – Andrew Balerdi – circa 2015
I was in a cold interview room in 2015, where the aircon was just as blustery as the business owners attitude. He wasn’t rude, but certainly abrupt. He had an agenda. He had built his business from nothing and wanted passionate people to join him on his mission. Selling art supplies. I was not passionate about this, and when he asked me what my passion was, he looked very disappointed when I gave him the wrong answer.
I should have said something like: ”Oh I love art supplies and want to discover what people create with them. I am passionate about art, I used to love the smell of paint when art class started at school and now I blog about how artists can sell their work to local establishments, like schools or restaurants.”
Instead what I said was: “I love health and fitness, looking after myself and exercising. Oh and I love films. I go to the cinema on my own when I can, my wife and I love talking about the film afterwards, and I really enjoy working out the process of film-making and spotting actors from other films.”
His face could have not have been more sour. “That’s great Andrew,” he said “We’ll be in touch soon…” I never heard from him again.
But in that instance what should I have done?
Should I have lied? Should I have said the first thing? If I had lied and got the job would have been able to have sustained said lie for years? Are we not better off telling the truth or even better still are we not better off living our truth? And if we are passionate about something, do we really need to go out into the world and blab about it so it defines who we are?
In a business sense it’s much to the alarm of a marketer from, say, the 1960s, that we have to give away so much to now convince consumers that we are legitimate. The blog, the social feed, the vlog, the free gift, the lead magnet, the offer, the ‘value exchange’ 🙄, the referral for a prize, the competition, the affiliate offer, all add up to a feeling for the customer that there is enough of an entity behind the product that they can now trust you.
And in 2019 there is inherit in built consumer scepticism, with shrinking middle class disposable income and rising discrepancy between lifestyle affordability and salary, consumers in general are not happy to relinquish funds from their dwindling pot to buy, unless your media has convinced them otherwise.
If you want them to buy you need to demonstrate your passion. Show up in volume and show up with enthusiastic positive emotion. Illustrate that you care about the problem in the world. If you care, you will find others that will too. And they might even buy from you.
Now I am not in the habit of throwing out soundbites or pithy, glib statements without backing it up, so here’s how you do it.
- Volume vs Quality vs systems.
The body of your media production should focus on two things. Your ‘value proposition’ (which is marketing jargon for what your product or service is, why you exist, what problem you are solving and who you solve it for. Best example of this is mailchimps: “Send better emails”) And your passion.
Companies that do well will remember these things. But they will do exceptionally well if they marry volume with quality and have a system in place to leverage engagement with content to follow up with interested followers.
But Andrew, do I need to produce something every day to compete and keep up?
Do I need to set up my content automation funnel before I send out content?
Your audience is yours and you have built a loyal customer base, because what you have produced matters to them. Even if you have convinced ten of your friends who regularly enjoy what you produce, you have created something which matters. And now you have created this thing, its entirely in your control. You can try and keep up and have a finished post, video or blog ready to roll out every day but that is not sustainable. Your media production needs to be good and you also don’t want to inundate your customers. You should be working towards a finished product by writing, taking notes or creating a video every day in order to produce something at the end of the week.
If you are starting out, start with making one item in the week. Even if its one social post, start with that. Once you have done one thing, you can then do two. Then three and so-on. Don’t be hard on yourself for not having done something someone else has been doing for years. You are on step 1, they are on step 100. Similarly they are no doubt comparing themselves to someone who is on step 1000..
This incremental approach is your gateway to focussing on achieving an amount of work.
Next its quality.
Focus on what you are good at and the media in which you are most comfortable in conveying your message. If you’re stronger at speaking, record a podcast, if you can write, start with a blog in your site but also guest write on other websites in your niche. All of this will help your content come across in the best way and allow your passion resonate.
Then also look at your direct competition. See what they are producing. And see if you can do better both in terms of the quality but also if you can come across more passionate.
At first it might be a challenge to keep up with your larger competitors, and especially in the health and fitness world there are companies that produce long form videos and blogs every day, you may feel overwhelmed. That does not mean you can’t communicate what, why, how you offer something in a long form manner.
Once you have a system combined with your volume and quality then you are off to the races.
2. Have a plan
Even if its in rough format or someone else is carrying out your media production for you, be clear on what it is you want to say. If you want to show how you can help 45 year old city workers on how to stay fit, when they have no time, then plan out your content delivery around each pain point or in this case excuse. “I don’t have the time,” “In only have half an hour lunch,” “My schedule is too hectic.” once you start thinking like them and providing a work around for them your content becomes a source of refuge for them. And if you provide this on a regular basis then they are more likely to buy from you when you want to sell them a programme or offer. Then once you have done this write down every problem and subsequent solution.
Your plan could be:
Problem: I wouldn’t know where to start.
Solution: If you are overwhelmed with your options, focus on what you used to like as a kid to exercise. If you used to play football go do that again, if you liked running start with that. Try out things that you think you could keep up.
Problem: Not enough time
Solution: Wake up 20 minutes earlier, drink half a litre of water and work out from your home. Here’s a quick 20 minute hiit workout routine. – That could easily be 2 or 3 posts or videos.
If you have this laid out in a spreadsheet against days of the week then this is your content plan.
3. Upgrade content
Where possible try and make your content more engaging by upgrading its status from just text on a screen. Ask the question, what’s the most interesting way I can show this? If it just starts with text, then maybe you can add an image. In the above cases it could be a series of images if you doing the workout or you trying out different exercise regimes. If your comfortable in front of the camera, get your phone out, illustrate the problem provide the solution. It does not need to be fancy or heavily branded, it just need to convey the message clearly.
Once you are confident you have a plan together and you can regularly upgrade content, then you can think about a further production upgrade. Lights, cameras and microphones are more affordable.
4. Inject emotion
Now we have the volume part sorted, it’s time to think about the emotions you show and need in order to convey that passion. I said earlier that you need to have enthusiastic positive emotion. So how you show your passion needs to come from a place of emotional resonance, a place of logic and from an authentic starting point. This approach will be more resonant with your customers and speak to their specific issue on a visceral level.
And it does come down the language you use.
The whole industry of NLP, although largely discredited in the psycho-scientific community, is predicated on using emotive words to motivate people. And regardless of the science it’s up to you inject meaning to what you say and what you do. They best way we have found is to hinge your sentance or thrust of your piece of content, on words that convey emotion. Or better yet to hinge it on words or phrases that conveys emotion accompanied by an action.
Here are two examples of a script for a video for a user journey ordering blood tests online, that have different approaches. Which one do you prefer?
- Jane had trouble understanding why she was so tired. Her sleep had recently been affected by stress at work, but she ate well and exercised at least 3 times a week. She searched online for a solution, tried pills and supplements but nothing worked. After months of searching she then found Bluud, a new blood test system that gives you all the information you need to figure out your systems. No need to have long wait times at the GP, simply order your kit online, perform a simple pin prick and pop it back in the post. Within days Jane was able to understand that her cortisone levels had been affected by a lack of iron in her blood. And since adding more beans, lentils and whole grain food to her diet she is sleeping better and has more energy.
- Jane is worried. She is always so tired. She couldn’t sleep, she also hates her boss and is worried she does not recycle enough and that her mum’s voice is in her head about not having a boyfriend. She eats all the right things and exercises at least 3 times a week. She searches endlessly online for a solution, tried pills and supplements but nothing seemed to worked. She was exhausted. And went to the doctor who prescribed her some supplements. They did not help and she did not why. A friend then told her about Bluud, a remarkable new blood test system that gives you all the information you need to figure out your symptoms. No need to have unnecessary wait times at the GP, Jane simply ordered her kit online, performed a simple pin prick and popped it back in the post. Within days Jane was able to understand that her cortisone levels had been affected by a lack of iron in her blood. And since adding more rich in iron beans, lentils and whole grain food to her diet she is sleeping better and has more energy. Now Jane can go back to feeling her wonderful self.
I hoping you guessed the 2nd one as this has more emotionally anchored words and phrases to convey Jane’s hopelessness and emotional state. Yes there are some patronising phrases in there, but you have to see to believe it.
So to sum up here are the 4 things you need to demonstrate passion and thus foster a sense of trust for your business:
- Volume, quality and systems
- Have a plan
- Upgrade content
- Inject emotion
Hopefully that will give you enough to go on and your next interview if they ask for passion, be honest, but also give a damn about the job you are interviewing for.