I have a secret Internet crush on Havi Brooks. Everything she writes I wish I had written. I have a serious case of Content Envy.
It's all I can do to not steal her stuff. Well, that's not true, I got the "Internet crush" phrase from her because she said she has an Internet crush on Naomi Dunford of Itty Biz, whom I also admire but for other reasons. Naomi swears like I think, only she says those words out loud and writes them on her blog too.
For my series of occassional blog interviews about Content Marketing, I snagged an email exchange with Havi. Not easy, since she's on email sabbatical and I had to go through her assistant "can-do-ologist," Marissa, and then there was her duck Selma, and it's just tough these days getting to these blogging celebrities.
Fortunately I still have some clout in the blogosphere, and it helps that I recently rubbed elbows with Havi at Jen Louden's Writers Spa in Taos, NM.
Are you ready for this? I love Havi's responses, and I hope you do too. It inspires me to write bettah.
Havi Brooks and her duck Selma write about "biggification" (growing the cool thing you do) and "destuckification" (working on the stuff that gets in the way). You can hang out with them on the Fluent Self blog.
1. What does Content Marketing mean to you in your business?
It means not having to sell stuff.
It means getting to play hard to get instead of going out and trying to convince people to like me.
It means being as me (or as me-ish) as I can. Out loud. Regularly.
Ideally while (she types hopefully) still talking about stuff that my Right People will find useful and interesting and pass-around-able.
And it means that my Right People can get access to genius stuff without ever having to buy anything … and that they get even more genius stuff (plus help implementing said genius stuff) should they feel like buying stuff.
2. How are you doing it now?
My duck and I write about five to six posts a week for the Fluent Self blog.
Against the advice of oh, everybody I know, I broke up with my noozletter about a year ago. (full story here.)
And that was pretty much the best thing I ever did. It freed up a lot of stuckified energy, and right after that my blog really took off and then became fairly ridiculously popular. So that was cool.
We also teach a few freebie teleclasses throughout the year.
In terms of kinds of content … I'm fairly non-strategic. But intentionally non-strategic.
Because if I'm not having fun, no one will. And also: if I'm not having fun, I'm not going to be able to keep up with all the posting.
So I pretty much give myself permission to write about anything I feel like writing about. Maybe once a week I'll write something very on-topic or answer a pressing question or something.
It's a bit counter-intuitive, yes. But my sense from my clients and students is that people load themselves up with everyone else's shoulds ("Oh god I need to be writing 'flagship content' and it needs to be 'meaningful' and 'contribute to the conversation').
And they go into total paralysis and stop writing. Or — even worse — they put on the Boring Biggified Expert costume and everybody loses.
So I think it's so much healthier (for you and for your Right People) if you let yourself have more of a good time on your blog or with your noozletter.
3. How does it work for you? How do you know it’s working?
Let's see. So last week I announced a course I was teaching. But I didn't really announce it. I just kind of mentioned it in one paragraph hidden in the middle of a blog post.
No promotional emails. No posting about the course. No tweeting about it.
The course completely sold out in less than 24 hours. It was very cool.
So I'm thinking it's working.
4. How isn’t it working like it should? What did you expect that didn’t happen?
You know, I completely expected that when things got busy I'd just bring people in to write guest posts…
Right. Didn't count on turning into a protective momma hen who can't even imagine letting anyone else write on her blog.
So things are busy. And I travel. For example, in the next month I'm teaching a seminar in North Carolina and a series of workshops in Berlin.
So it means I've been having to learn how to do some strategic planning ahead to not burn out.
Other than that, no complaints.
5. What are you planning to do next in the way of content creation?
Ha! A pirate queen never shares her secrets.
Which is to say, I have no idea.
But I'm sure it will be fabulous.
And ooh, maybe this course I'm teaching on how to make your Right People fall madly in love with you will turn into a product …