Hey, everybody! It's Liz here, your friendly, neighborhood content strategist and co-host of the HubHeroes podcast. Now, you may be wondering why I'm...
2 min read
Look, there's been some speculation that this particular charismatic HubHero (with volume control issues) was unable to attend HubSpot's...
In our world, where HubSpot, inbound, and content reign supreme, it's easy to overlook probably THE MOST ESSENTIAL HubSpot tool that exists. No,...
Meet your HubHeroes
Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.
HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.
HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.
George B. Thomas
HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.
[00:00:00] George B. Thomas: current hubby's not here today.
Screw that. I don't wanna hear the rest of it. We don't need to have legal jargon if he's not gonna be here, so that, uh, we can get started. Liz, are you ready to rock and roll?
[00:00:11] Liz Murphy: I am, but.
[00:00:13] George B. Thomas: sad right now. Look at the face. She's sad.
[00:00:15] Liz Murphy: I've, you know, if you are here in the Hub Heroes community, watching this live, you can see my heartbreaking because George, my guy, you know, I get down with legally binding contractual language and you're just killing me, man. You're freaking killing me, man. But I
[00:00:29] George B. Thomas: starting out. I'm already starting out on the bad side of this podcast
[00:00:32] Liz Murphy: no, you're not. You're not, you're not.
In fact, George, I need you to do something very special for me because it has to do with today. No, you're gonna like it. It's the theme of the episode. Can you give us a deep reverberating, humans? Come on. Bring it,
[00:00:48] Max Cohen: Oh man.
[00:00:49] George B. Thomas: ladies and gentlemen, I'm so excited that today is about how to create content. Like a freaking,
[00:00:55] Liz Murphy: That's what's up. Say it one more. Say it one more time. One more time. Say human one more time. That's right. Okay. That really kinda. That's a vibe. That's a vibe right there, actually. Yes. You know what? I am so freaking excited, max. I don't know if either of us will count, but someone should be taking bets today on how many times we're gonna get George to say, what was that?
One more time, George, because we are talking today about one
[00:01:27] George B. Thomas: like that Max, don't you?
[00:01:29] Liz Murphy: Freaking topics in the world. This is one of my favorite things in the world. George, you and I have literally already done a podcast about this. I've written about this for Hub Heroes recently. We're talking about how to create content like a mother flipping human, because the days of corporate robot nonsense content, I don't care what you do.
Our sell, I don't care if you're in finance, I don't care if you're in healthcare. This is, this is for you. I'm kind of tired of it. I'm tired of it, and I'm gonna get, I'm gonna get on my little soapbox for a minute. All right? Because see, here's the thing. 10 years ago or so when we all were first starting to drink the inbound Kool-Aid, like you were a super cool kid.
If you were putting up marginally passable content on your website, like just like if you were just writing, like if, if you were just writing. It. Well, yeah, it didn't matter though because no one else was doing it right? Like if you were writing blogs about what it is that you do or sell, or questions that people have about what it is that you do or sell, there was like a 99.9% chance your competitors were not doing that.
Now, Everyone's doing it guys. Everyone is creating content now, I think George, you and I would both agree that we should have been doing human-centric content from the beginning. You and I have both been champions of this. I'd like to think we're both pretty good examples of this, but now, if, if, if you've been avoiding this, I regret to inform all of you in order to get to the top of what I like to call content, r o I Mountain.
You've gotta start being more human. You no longer get to play it safe. I'm not saying you suddenly have to be Hemingway. I'm not saying you suddenly have to be Chaucer. I'm not saying you have to be a standup comedian, which is one of my big grievances I'll get to later. You just don't have any excuses anymore.
[00:03:21] George B. Thomas: thing. One thing, Liz, you do suddenly have to be yourself.
[00:03:25] Liz Murphy: Well, yeah, but, okay. Now do we really wanna get into this right now because you and I have
[00:03:29] George B. Thomas: Not yet. Let's hold it. Let's hold the fire for a little bit. Keep on going. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to derail us.
[00:03:34] Liz Murphy: No, no, no. It's all right. Because I think you actually, this is actually a great place to start this conversation because we flip off the human switch, right? We exert. Subconscious effort every time we sit down to create a piece of content and pretend to be someone other than we're not. So that's what we're gonna be digging in today.
We're gonna be talking about why creating authentically human, it's just not the same when I say it. Can you do it, George?
[00:04:02] George B. Thomas: Authentically creating.
[00:04:05] Liz Murphy: my God, I love it. And we're gonna be talking about how you do it. We're gonna talk about why you do it. But first, Let's get into it. George, why do you think right now being human in your content is more important than ever?
I know I've already touched upon this a little bit, but let's dig deeper,
[00:04:21] George B. Thomas: Oh yeah, there's, there's, I don't want to go to the old, like, because humans buy from humans. I. Uh, cuz you literally used the word right now. we are at a. Pivotable point in time, where AI is obnoxiously entering itself into every conversation known to
[00:04:39] Max Cohen: Oh,
[00:04:40] George B. Thomas: and, and those people who have put on their business hat, their writer hat, their content creator hat, their whatever fricking hat you're wearing instead of your you instead of that, right.
[00:04:55] Liz Murphy: whoa.
[00:04:56] George B. Thomas: Ah, you're gonna pick up AI and you're gonna start to do your thing, and it's gonna just, anyway. So right now, The fact that we are preaching from the mountaintops that you have to create content that is human, that feels human, that feels like it's you, that it has a soul, that it's trying to do something of value, that it's actually like a piece that isn't a tactic or strategy by some sales marketing business strategy book that you read last week. It's just, it's just really important people.
[00:05:30] Liz Murphy: I really liked that. I also liked how we introduced a new word into
[00:05:34] George B. Thomas: Hat I didn't mean to, I
[00:05:36] Liz Murphy: No, I I was gonna say pivotable.
[00:05:39] George B. Thomas: oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:05:40] Liz Murphy: New word. I liked
[00:05:41] George B. Thomas: not, I don't do well with that word, by the way. I sort of made it through it, but
[00:05:45] Liz Murphy: It It's just pivotal. It's
[00:05:47] George B. Thomas: an important time. People, it's an
[00:05:50] Liz Murphy: Pivot ability. Pivot ability. Max, what do you think? Why is it important to you right now?
[00:05:56] Max Cohen: Um, yeah, I think, well, I guess so being, being human in your content. I think it's. More remembering that you're making contents for humans, you're not making content for a search engine, at the end of the day, like something that I always used to kind of preach is like, it doesn't matter how well you optimize the page or how many keywords you put in, or how well you structured the schema of your blog, what matters is, did a human being look at it?
Have some sort of reaction to it that was positive that either made them see you as someone who actually knows what they're talking about or provided them some sort of actual value in their day. Right. Or helped them solve some kind of problem. Cuz if your content's not doing that, it's all just click bait and it's useless garbage and it's the 98% on a shit that's already out there.
Right? so I think it's just like remembering like you are creating this piece of content. Be it something written, be it something that's delivered through video or audio. For an actual human being to consume on the other end. And if it doesn't actually, create a reaction right, of value, then it's just pointless.
Right. Um, I think on the other, you know, side of it too is like, Everyone who's lazy is jumping onto the AI train. And I'm not calling people who use ai, lazy. There's plenty of good ways to use ai, but there are plenty of companies out there and folks that are just like literally saying, give me a blog post about X, y, z topic and then just shooting it out there, right?
So the, the internet is getting, you know, as if it wasn't already full of just like terrible, meaningless, vapid, just SEO content. Now it's full of the same stuff only written by robots, right? And the people who said, oh, content was too hard to make before are all of a sudden able to say, oh, content's easy.
But then they're still forgetting the fact that like, oh, I need someone to actually read this and, and, you know, do something because of it. Right? Or feel a certain way about us, or understand that I'm an expert in some way. And like the thing is, is like you're just not gonna do that with AI content. The big, beautiful thing to me.
Hold on real quick. The big beautiful thing to me about like inbound and content is that there's space for people to be experts in niche areas that they focus in, right? I don't yet trust AI to be able to understand the nuances of certain niches, of certain industries to create meaningful content that actually does what you need content to do, right?
So, yeah. Uh, I'll stop there cuz I know you guys wanna get in.
[00:08:08] George B. Thomas: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So Liz, I definitely want to hear your take on this too, but there's two things that I have to say. In, lieu of what, just what Max just said. Okay. One is I agree fundamentally with everything that Max just said, but he made me sad and he said something I used to preach.
At the beginning of all of that, and I was like, because dude, we need everybody out there preaching it like now, all day, every day. So it can't be a used to. But here's the thing too, at what from Max said, ladies and gentlemen, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the published button was never the goal.
Creating the piece of content was never the goal. Unfortunately, that is what many people think the goal is, and therefore, because it's the rate of speed in which I can hit the publish button, not the amount of actual humans that I impact after that, we're running into this problem. Okay. Go ahead Liz. I'm sorry.
[00:09:07] Liz Murphy: My dude, you have nothing to apologize for. I, I wanna call. All back here and double click on a couple things Max said. I think it amazes me that in this time right now where people get so obsessed about rankings that, let's go back to the episode that we just had with jewelry, right? We were talking about reporting and what is the one thing we kept smashing everybody over the head with during that episode?
Every one and zero is a human. You are sitting there trying to feed SEO robots. That is just the quantification of a bunch of humans. And also if you make your Google overlords happy, and then a human clicks on it and they read it and they're like, what is this? I wouldn't read this. What is this even saying, this looks like somebody frankensteined a bunch of stuff together in order to make something rank, which by the way, is now something that people think who aren't just marketers.
Like, what do you think is going to happen? George, I know you kind of kicked this to the curb when we initially started this discussion about this idea that humans buy from humans, but it's even more true now than ever before. Think about what happened with the pandemic like. Guys, we all dropped the masks.
We're all freaking exhausted. We are tired. I'm sorry. I don't know if we have an explicit rating on here, but we're all kind of tired of the bullshit. We're
[00:10:30] George B. Thomas: Uh Oh wow.
[00:10:32] Liz Murphy: I don't know about you, but I am like we, George,
[00:10:35] Max Cohen: I'm exhausted.
[00:10:36] Liz Murphy: convers. Like I am tired all the time by people putting on the artifice as if we're not all whole ass humans walking around with contradictions, being crazy, passionate about the things that light us up.
Like for me, it's content strategy. I nerd out over keyword research. I take ROI for B2B companies who are trying to do content well. Seriously, you know what else I take seriously? Devin can't yell at me about it today because he's not here. But Fast and The Furious, the Godfather. I have a weird, weird love of any and all Nicholas Cage movies like, but that's not going to erode my credibility.
So I think we're all walking around acting as if we don't, we, we can't be whole ass humans, that we aren't all weird, that we don't make dad jokes, that we don't do all of these things like we are human beings. Stop pretending that we're not.
[00:11:30] George B. Thomas: so, so first of all, ding, ding, ding, ding. Like, we haven't had this in a while, but that was a dope Scrabble word. Just so everybody knows, artifice, I think you said by the way, it, it is a clever strategy, usually intended to deceive or defraud. I had to look it up. I don't know about you, hub, heroes, listeners, but I had to simplify that word for myself.
So there you go. My my present to you.
[00:11:54] Liz Murphy: as
[00:11:54] Max Cohen: spell it so I didn't Google it.
[00:11:56] Liz Murphy: word.
[00:11:56] George B. Thomas: Oh, I spelled it wrong. Trust me. I spelled it wrong. So then I had to be putting on misspelling enter, and Google said, here, dummy, here's what you're trying to look for.
[00:12:07] Liz Murphy: Okay, so let's take it a step further. Let's take it a step further. We love to talk about mindsets on this show, right? And we've all gone off a little bit here about why we think this is important. Great. Now let's start pivoting into the mindsets discussion here, right? Because I could imagine that there are people listening to this going right now.
Well, yes, this, I am a big old weirdo and no one knows it. But I'm also really good at what I do. How do I still get taken seriously in my content while also showing up as a whole ass human? So, George Max, what are some of the mindsets that come to mind, for lack of a better term? When you think about how you should be sitting down at the keyboard, showing up as a whole ass human, putting all of yourself into something, no matter what industry you're in.
[00:12:50] Max Cohen: again, kind of going back to the idea that I think like it might be hard to like disassociate yourself from, I don't know what your kind of ultimate job as like a marketer to be, which, which is like selling stuff, right? That that could be true at the same time as, as you're trying to be a, a human I think it's like you, you gotta be able to tell yourself. It's like, okay, I understand that I'm trying to sell stuff, but selling stuff can be a byproduct of what I'm trying to do with my content. And that could be a different thing. With my content, what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to help people, right?
And as a result of that, I would hope that that will have a positive impact in us selling stuff for a number of different ways that I've probably said a thousand times before. Right? So, I mean, the big thing for me, whenever you're creating a piece of content, and I've said this a thousand times, but you always just want to make sure that whatever it is that you're creating, regardless of the format, whether it's written word, audio, or video, is that the content is helping someone achieve.
A goal or overcome a challenge because that is literally the only thing that we go to the internet for in almost all circumstances can be boiled down simply to that, right? Um, no matter how you frame it up, there's always some kind of goal you're trying to achieve or challenge that you have in the way, and you go to the internet for it, So if the content doesn't satisfy that in some way, Then, you know, it's not really, it's not, it's, it's, it's not ever gonna be valuable, So you need to understand the human on the other end when they consume that piece of content, They're looking for that, right? So you, as a human, Can understand that and realize that, and just ensure your content provides that.
Not just like something that, kind of loosey-goosey says why your product's cool. Right? Because that's not what they care about unless that's the thing they're looking for, which statistically probably isn't when you're talking about building content for a greater audience. so again, just like thinking like, hey, What's the brain physics that I want to actually stimulate with this content, and what's that goal or challenge and how do I get there and ensure that it's satisfying that.
[00:14:41] George B. Thomas: Okay, so first of all, I have to have my A D H D moment. Max. I find it very hysterical that you use the word disassociate while wearing a happily associate hat. I just am gonna throw that out there because I was like, oh, my brain is going to explode right now. Now with
[00:14:57] Liz Murphy: That's beautiful. That's
[00:14:58] Max Cohen: a word from our sponsor,
[00:14:59] Liz Murphy: that.
[00:15:00] George B. Thomas: listen anyway, someday they will be a sponsor.
That would be amazing. But here's what I'll say. Here's what I'll say. I think there's three things that I wanna throw out here. and one is that we'll just do this. I think you, when you, cuz you, Liz, you literally positioned it, that when you sit down, right, you sit down, you start to craft this piece of content, whether it's written or video or audio or whatever it's gonna be, you sit down.
What are some mindsets that you should have? The first thing I wanna talk about is I think that you have to have a healthy dose of not giving a crap, but passionately caring. Now what I mean about that is there's a healthy dose of not giving a crap about what the, your peers think about what you think about like the judgmental bullshit that will enter your brain because you have to create something that is exactly perfect or somebody might call you on your ish, just give it Perfection isn't reality, but having the second part of that passionately caring, like Ma Max said, caring about the humans on the other side of what you're about to create. Again, whether it's textual audio or visual caring, ak a loving on them enough to help them pass the hurdle to help them get to their aspirational point, to spend the blood, sweat and tears time to create the thing that helps them be the best form of who they can be as an individual and as an organization.
And realizing, realizing it's not about you. Just don't give a crap about, your nose is big. Your eyes are sl, your hair's messed up. Nobody gives a shit. They just want the valuable words out of your mouth that help them get to a better place in life. Okay? So again, healthy dose of not giving a crap, but passionately caring.
Second thing I want to
[00:16:37] Liz Murphy: a swear.
[00:16:38] George B. Thomas: I'm sorry, the, I should have beeped it out anyway. Everybody else
[00:16:42] Max Cohen: do it in post.
[00:16:43] George B. Thomas: I'm not even gonna go down that road. Uh, cuz then I'd be like, well, if everybody jumped off a clear hair. Uh, okay, so here's the thing, second thing, I wish people would quit writing their words on the page.
I wish they would talk their words onto the page because if you can talk your words onto a page, it fundamentally, it becomes conversational and it sounds more like who you are at the library, at the bar, at the park, wherever you like to have your conversations. It sounds more like you instead of the writer, you, the business you, the content creator, you, I just, Need it to sound like you.
So start talking, even if it's through your fingertips, start talking your words onto the page. And the last thing, I'll listen, ladies and gentlemen, when I show up for this show, or to write a blog article or to do interviews, the last thing is I just, I just show up to be me.
I don't show up to be the smart guy.
I don't show up to be the air quotes HubSpot goat. I don't show up to be like anything other than the stupid guy who likes to create content and has just learned some things along the way and passionately wants to make people laugh, educate themselves, and be able to execute on some really cool stuff for their business.
That's so you just have to show up to be you. All right. That's, that's my three thoughts, Liz.
[00:18:03] Max Cohen: Can I, can I ask, can I ask Liz, can I ask you a question where,
[00:18:06] Liz Murphy: yes,
[00:18:07] Max Cohen: Is written content or so like I, I, you know, there's written and there's video, right? In terms of like, you know, content these days, How necessary is it still
[00:18:17] George B. Thomas: Oh, here we go.
[00:18:18] Max Cohen: to create the written content versus the video? And if you had to choose all video or all written,
[00:18:24] Liz Murphy: Okay, I've gotta, this is not as actually as difficult of a question as it might sound. I think the easy, cheap answer is to say, oh, go all video, video everything. All the time, all the way. I don't agree. I think it's both. I still think it's both, and here is why. Because if you have a human-centric approach to content, that means you have to think about how we learned in school.
Some people are hands-on learners, some people are auditory learners. Some people learn by writing things down. I love, for example, I actually consume a lot of educational content through video. But I also am someone who likes to digest tactical things by being able to read things, by being able to print them out.
So I think it is, for me, still a blend of it. But if you're gonna push me in terms of what I think is the most important, is that what you're trying to
[00:19:15] Max Cohen: Well, no, what I'm trying to, what I'm trying to hear because cuz I agree with you that it's both, I agree that it's both. I think it's because, again, you create content and then you, you, you, you, you, you put it in a different format because people like to consume it differently. That's why you do written video and podcast.
Right? Like, that makes sense. People like to just con the, the method in which you consume it varies. So you wanna make it available in all those different ways, right? You don't wanna. You don't
[00:19:39] Liz Murphy: a hundred percent
[00:19:40] Max Cohen: people outta your content market, if you will, cuz they don't like to consume it a certain way and you don't provide it that way.
I, I understand that piece. What I would say is like, can you win with just blogs these days?
[00:19:51] Liz Murphy: I think it depends on who your audience is, but here is what I will tell you. So for example, one of my clients, her name is Natalie Frankie, she's the chief evangelist for, wait a minute, George, you hold on a second. Look what you did. You messed my train of thought. Oh
[00:20:04] Max Cohen: do?
[00:20:04] Liz Murphy: God. I don't know. He broke my brain.
It's Friday. We're figuring this out. As we go behind
[00:20:10] Max Cohen: the chief evangelist
[00:20:11] George B. Thomas: You were talking about Natalie. I'll hold my thoughts. You were talking about Natalie.
[00:20:14] Liz Murphy: Yes. So Natalie Frankie is the Chief evangelist of HoneyBook. They recently launched a podcast, few months ago called the Independent Business Podcast. She was talking to me recently about like, what are some of the lessons that they've learned.
by doing this podcast now their podcast is available in a written format. It's available in audio, and they make every episode available on YouTube. She said one of the most fascinating things that they found is that the overlap between the people who listen to the podcast and the people who watch the podcast.
It's actually two circles. There's very little overlap. They actually extended and amplified their audience because they have people who just watch it on YouTube versus those who listen to the podcast on like Spotify or Apple Podcasts or Stitcher or things like that. So I think that's where you really have to be.
You have to be aware of who the humans are that you're serving. One of my favorite questions I like to ask people when they're talking about their buyer personas is they get really hyped up about who are they? What's their education? Do they like golfing? And it's like, no. It's not just who are they?
Where are they? Are they the weirdos who are scrolling on LinkedIn at 2:00 AM like I am, because that's usually when I have a chance to actually do it. Are they people who prefer to read versus video? Like. You have to really get inside the minds of the humans you are serving to best serve them the content in the way in which they want
[00:21:35] George B. Thomas: by the way,
[00:21:37] Liz Murphy: there
[00:21:37] George B. Thomas: One of the most important questions you can ask in your HubSpot form is how do you best like to learn video, audio, or text? And I can bet you that there are so many people watching or listening to this that have never asked that in one of their HubSpot forms, but they're so pressed about what automated communication can we provide?
But they don't know the media type that the people want. And listen, I used to do the same thing, max. I love me some video. Everybody knows that I could rule the HubSpot world with video tutorials, updates, make it all day, every day. But I once had a client ask me, can you stop sending me videos? Can you just send me a knowledge article?
I can read it faster than you can say it in a video. I have a daughter that a couple weeks ago said, I'm so glad that I can now watch it cuz I just can't listen to it. My mind wanders too much. Like it is not about what content we like to create, it's about creating the content that they can consume it.
This is why, by the way, little old me. Little, little shop. There's an audio podcast player for every article that we put out as a blog so people can listen to it or they can read it because we understand there are two fundamentally different types of people that want to digest that content.
[00:23:00] Liz Murphy: All right. I wanna bring us back, although I kind of love this little side tangent when we went on, this was fascinating and I think we actually need to come back and have a conversation. About, I think marketers get really obsessed about, well now we're supposed to be on threads, but now we're supposed to be on video.
Like without thinking once about the humans they're actually serving, but talk for another day. All right. I wanna hear
[00:23:22] George B. Thomas: Add it to the list.
[00:23:25] Liz Murphy: to the list already doing it. What would you say to the folks who think. It's not possible for our industry. Our subject matter is too boring, or we have compliance, or we're just too serious, or we're just special snowflakes and we have to sound like corporate robots.
Just who? Who create content. No one wants to read
[00:23:43] Max Cohen: Guys they made, they made crab fishing. Cool. They make crab fishing. Cool. Okay. Everyone is saying, I got a boring industry is just, you're just avoiding, you're avoiding the hard work. That's all it is. You can make anything interesting. You sell to human beings, you can turn stuff, you can use humor, you can use anything to make anything industry like.
Interesting. Like it, it, you're, the people that you're selling to are consuming media the same way that other people are doing it. Cuz we're human beings. We only have X amount of ways to do it. Right. for, for anyone who's just saying, oh, our industry's too hard, this, that, dude, if you've got a weird industry, that means it's niche.
That means you probably don't have a lot of competition, which means you can probably dominate the shit out of it if no one else is doing it right? So for those people that say, oh, it's just too hard or too boring in our industry, You guys just like, it's cope. That's all it is. It's, it's coping for the fact that you just don't want to create the content because it, you can do it.
You could do it. They made crab fishing. Interesting. Okay. It's possible.
[00:24:46] George B. Thomas: Okay, so, so fundamentally humans, they like to have excuses about everything that's difficult. But I'm gonna go in a different direction and I'll first of all apologize to if I hurt anybody's feelings. But if you say my industry is boring, you might have the wrong job.
[00:25:06] Max Cohen: True.
[00:25:07] George B. Thomas: Because you should be passionate about the thing that you have to go to day in and day out.
You should love the thing and what it fixes in the people's lives. Right. I don't want to hear about it being boring. Maybe you need to kindle the fire that you once had that got you into the organization. Uh oh. Uh oh. Liz
[00:25:27] Liz Murphy: uh, Uhuh.
[00:25:28] George B. Thomas: Liz is literally cutting me off right now.
[00:25:31] Liz Murphy: I'm throwing a flag. I'm throwing a flag down. I'm throwing a flag down. And here is why George, you and I actually collaborate on two specific accounts. Where we have talked to both of these groups of people and they have, they both are like, we are passionate about we, what we do. We are passionate about who we serve, but they can't connect the dots of, well, how do we get people hyped about passive investing versus active investing?
Sometimes I don't think people saying, well, my industry is boring, is not necessarily a correlation around their passion. I think sometimes what can happen, I agree with you though. I think there are some people where it's like, So if, are you saying it's boring all the time or is it just content? And if it's all the time, my dude, my sir, my ma'am, my whomever.
Maybe you should start firstname.lastname@example.org. But like, I think sometimes where people struggle they don't know how to infuse humanity manatee into things where it's like, let's all get excited about tax law. Yay. Like that's the kind of stuff where I
[00:26:36] George B. Thomas: some tax
[00:26:37] Liz Murphy: struggle. Okay. That's
[00:26:39] Max Cohen: Also, here's the other thing I wanna say. Just because an industry isn't indu interesting or boring, That does not equal, people aren't trying to solve goals and challenges in that industry. Like, it's so, it's so silly. It's like get, I get it. Like you work in, I don't know, dental insurance. That's a boring industry.
Sure who cares? There's still plenty of dentists out there trying to figure out insurance for their practice and why don't you be the one that figures out how to create content for them? That's actually interesting that they engage with, if no one else is doing it. Cuz your industry is so boring. Like it's just, it, it's so, it's just so silly to me.
[00:27:21] Liz Murphy: I wanna
[00:27:21] George B. Thomas: my God.
[00:27:22] Liz Murphy: for a second. I wanna take us away from a ramp for a second because I wanna start going into some examples of what this can look like, and I think I have a pretty good one. So a long time ago I
[00:27:30] George B. Thomas: Are you all right, max? Are you gonna
[00:27:32] Max Cohen: gonna say, I was just gonna say, let's not everybody forget that I make goofy ass content about CRM systems. So like, don't tell me your industry is boring. CRM systems are boring as, and I seem to be able to create content around it. Right. That's funny. Like you could do, if I could do it with CRMs folks, you could do it with literally anything.
[00:27:53] Liz Murphy: anything. Oh my God. That's what always amazes me. I'll get on stage and point at like a 50 foot tall thing of Han Solo, which I did in front of hundreds of people at a conference, teaching people about pillar content and topic clusters. The stuff that nobody wants to write about because guess what?
When you are a content strategist, you have to trick people into listening to you cuz you wanna know what the one thing is no one ever wants to do. Write freaking content. You totally have a point. But, okay. I do have an example that I wanna share here. So, a while ago I used to work with a client at an agency a long time ago, far, far away, and they sold customer service.
Solutions and call centers and SMS, texting solutions and oh my God, let's all get hyped. Riveting. Now, there was this one guy who was a vp and I was like, if I could replicate you and have you everywhere, I would love you forever. He proceeds to give me this draft that was supposed to talk about the benefits to a B2B audience.
By the way, we're talking about like corporate enterprise selling, SMS customer service solutions to like the at and t's, the T-mobile's, the whomever's. He opens it up by telling a story about how he has to be a dad who stays at an all day dance competition, and he's watching toddlers basically fall over all the time while pretending to cheer for his daughter.
And yes, this is so exciting. And he was so riveted by that, that he thought he would take this time to contact at t. Through their SMS tech system to try to get some bills taken care of because if he has to sit there and watch toddlers fall over for six hours, he might as well be productive. He tells this freaking hilarious.
Honest story about how terrible the experience was to articulate and underscore the importance of having a solid SMS customer service solution in place. Now, what I love about this example is that it's not about going out there and being a standup comedian, which is what I think a lot of people try to do.
They think being a human means all of a sudden you need to go out and be funny and say a bunch of shit and whatever. No, you just have to show up and talk like yourself and use purposeful stories to illustrate points. Infuse parts of yourself in there. Think about the conversations and the stories that you tell in a sales conversation that come to you naturally because it's a human to human interaction.
Just because you're writing a piece of content doesn't mean it is also isn't also a human to human interaction. It's your digital handshake,
[00:30:15] George B. Thomas: I love that so much because I wish people would be able to, and I don't know, I think fundamentally because I've been doing it so long, I've eradicated this, or maybe it was something that Marcus Sheridan said so many years back. But like I don't look at the keyboard as a keyboard or a camera as a camera.
Like as I touch those tools, I'm actually envisioning I. Like the human sitting or standing right there. So like many of us might hit the camera or the keyboard and just think of like this massive miles of internet that this has to go through versus like, no, I'm just like passing a note like in class to my friend.
Like that's like, I feel like my content that I've been creating is just like I'm passing notes to friends in class and they're just getting value out of these like little tidbits and nuggets that we pass along. So like, I don't, I, what I'm trying to say is if there's this barrier in your brain of the distance from the value of your mouth to the ears of the potential consumers, act like you're playing the Whispering Game.
Act like they're right there. Like until you believe that they're right there.
[00:31:22] Liz Murphy: Okay, so we've been talking in the abstract about like why being a human is important and like, please stop sounding like robots and da da da da da. But I'd love to hear from you guys. Is humanizing your content actually a profitable business move.
Or is it just something marketers are talking to marketers about because we're sad and bored and lonely and ruin everything.
[00:31:39] George B. Thomas: No, no, no. Actually marketers are talking to marketers about ai. I did a dang Google search on how to make your content more human. There was like one piece of content that came up. So marketers ain't talking to marketers about how to be more human in their content. I'm just
[00:31:54] Liz Murphy: I wrote. What? Wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait, wait. I did for
[00:31:57] George B. Thomas: I am.
But, but in the global sense, I call on that, like in general now, can we get it to the point where more people are talking about how to be human in their content than how to like save 50 minutes on like typing some crap into keyboard thing that spit stuff. Anyway, I'm gonna pull back for a second. Take a deep breath.
Here's the deal. Yes, it's profitable. Listen, I said this earlier in a meeting. Today. I am a walking case of what content can do. For 10 years, I worked at three different agencies and I created podcast after podcast episode, video tutorial after video tutorial, article after article when I started the business.
All of that reciprocity. All of that trust, all of that, being human for 10 years, becoming inbound in human form has totally changed my life. Like, yes. Being human works. Yes. Taking time to actually nurture the piece of content that you're creating and love on it. And care counts. Yes. Trust while it's becoming a real buzzworthy B word.
And reciprocity, yes. Gets overused. They are true principles of the planet we live on. One of the things I heard the other day. And I've gotta share it on this podcast cuz it's just coming to me right now. Is that people need to think of their content as seeds. Every piece of content you create is a seed.
Now, here's where I hopefully blow your mind, and you might need a minute to sip on your coffee and think about what I'm gonna say. If I give you an apple, you can count the seeds that are in that apple. But listen to me please, when I tell you, you can't count the apples that are in a seed. You have no idea what that seed will grow.
As far as an orchard, you have no idea what apples will grow on that orchard. You have no idea what that one piece of content, that two pieces of content, those seeds of content will grow for your business.
[00:34:05] Max Cohen: Yes to all that. I'd say in terms of creating, you know, human content, actually more profitable, I'd say in general, anything that you're doing to improve the quality of your content and improve the utility that it has for the consumers of that content. You know, is, is always gonna have a positive impact.
It can't really have a negative one, just cuz of the pure physics of it all right? Um, so yeah, I mean, you should be doing everything you can in order to increase the quality of the content for the folks that are consuming it, because that is going to directly affect whether they. Just ignore you. Uh, think that you're just creating click bait and destroy the view or vision they have of you.
you know, it's gonna help them make better decisions and get closer to buying something. It's going to increase the likelihood that they're gonna share it with someone else who might become a customer. Right? There's. You know, it, it's gonna, it's gonna maybe help keep the bad customers away, right? Um, so yeah, there's, it's, of course, it's profitable.
You should create good content. And good content is not just content you're building for an SEO machine that has no substance behind it.
[00:35:11] Liz Murphy: It's interesting to hear you guys both talk about this because when I, when I think about profitability in terms of, of content, two distinct ex examples come to mind. The most recent one I remember, George, once you posted an article, it was a. Around Christmas time, new Year's, something like that. And it had nothing to do with HubSpot.
You just decided to get up on your, your virtual pulpit, and you were like, I'm gonna talk about goals and I'm gonna talk about why I'm not a huge fan of New New Year's resolutions, why there needs to be a revolution around it. And you closed a deal the same day and that content was the trigger.
[00:35:45] George B. Thomas: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's, let's add power to the impact. A $12,000 deal based off of a piece of content that didn't have Jack squat to do with Hub HubSpot. Didn't really have Jack squat to do with marketing or sales. Was just a personal piece about revolution versus resolution and goals. Yes. Liz? The yes. Yes,
[00:36:08] Liz Murphy: And then another thing that comes to mind is, is back for my days as the editor-in-chief at Impact, which is a, uh, I believe it's an elite partner agency now, diamond Partner. I can't remember. Sorry. Impact.
[00:36:19] George B. Thomas: I think, I think, yeah,
[00:36:20] Liz Murphy: I think elite. so
[00:36:21] George B. Thomas: think you're right.
[00:36:21] Liz Murphy: yep, we used to do, under my watch, we did a lot of pieces of pillar content, and one of the things I really pushed for in those pieces of pillar content is that every single piece had a face on it with a bio.
And I really challenged all of the authors to put as much of themselves into it as possible. In particular, there was one that we did about Google ads. And it had two different writers on it. A guy named Jason Lindy, a guy named Dan Baum. They both really poured their hearts and souls into it. There were like Yankees references and Orioles references, and they really put a lot of their expertise and themselves on display.
One of my favorite pieces of feedback that I ever got back from the sales team was them sending forwarding me an email that they actually use when they send that piece of content. By the way, an educational top of the funnel piece of content. As a sales enablement piece, and they would put in the email, by the way, this will give you an, uh, a snapshot of the depth of our Google Ads ex expertise, and these are the two guys you'd get to be working with.
Like that right there, I think is what makes it so powerful when you start putting your people into your content, when you start allowing them to show up. It allows your sales team to say, this is what we know, and by the way, these are the people you would get to be working with. You're starting to extend and fortify that bridge of trust potentially before anybody talks to anybody else.
And I think that from a profitability perspective, that's its weight in gold. Because if we hadn't put their names on there, if we hadn't challenged them to really show up as themselves, That's just a piece of top of the funnel content that's attracting traffic. Sales isn't looking to that as valuable.
as we wrap
[00:38:05] George B. Thomas: we mentioned, have we mentioned lately? It's about the.
[00:38:08] Liz Murphy: no, we haven't. We have not. One more time, George. One more time.
[00:38:13] George B. Thomas: It's about the.
[00:38:16] Liz Murphy: All
[00:38:17] Max Cohen: oh.
[00:38:18] Liz Murphy: So as we wrap up today's conversation, We've talked a lot. We've ranted a lot. We've hugged a lot. We've made up words. We've looked up words. But if somebody walks away on the fence about whether or not the next time they go to create a piece of content, they can show up fully as themselves.
What does that one piece of advice you wanna give them? What is that one thing you want them to remember? No matter what
[00:38:40] George B. Thomas: it's, it's hard to drill down to one, one piece
[00:38:44] Liz Murphy: drill down to five. I know you always, you don't follow
[00:38:47] Max Cohen: Hey, George, drill five for us right now. Real quick. It's drill five,
[00:38:51] George B. Thomas: I mean, I could drill down to five, but I am gonna, I
[00:38:54] Max Cohen: drill three, drill three.
[00:38:55] George B. Thomas: no, I'm gonna do one. I'm gonna do one because I think it's the one that will, most people might not, most people might not go to this. Everything that we've talked about and all of the five, seven, or 12 things that we could drill down and talk about mean nothing.
if you don't pay attention to this one thing, when you're creating human content, and that is consistency. You can't be human in one piece of content, five pieces of content, 10 pieces of content, but when you consistently show up day after day, year after year, Man, once that snowball starts to roll, it is gonna roll.
But it takes consistency. You have to be passionate and care and show up and not be worried about like, ugh, it that didn't do what I thought it would do. Remember, I, I have this weird thought of every piece of content is a seed. Some trees grow bigger. Some trees grow smaller, but all trees produce some type of fruit plant consistently.
[00:40:00] Max Cohen: I'd say like, you know, with, with all things practice makes perfect, I guess is the, is the, uh, is the thing there, yeah. Being yourself and making content that. Appears, uh, human or is human or however you wanna define it, isn't something that you're just gonna be good at. If you just say, well, if I just be myself, I'll create a good piece of content.
Like, you know, it, it, it does take practice. You're not gonna nail it the first time. You're not gonna nail it the first 10 times. You might nail it the 11th time, but again, it's an ongoing process. but the thing is, is just don't. don't put yourself in the toxic narrative of, oh, I can't cuz my industry sucks or my product is boring, or whatever.
Right. The fact of the matter is, is that if you are going to market your product in an effective way in, in 2023 when people have. Full control over what content they ingest, what content they ignore, how they receive that content. you kind of don't really have a choice but to do it this way and figure out how to stand, stand out from all the bullshit that's out there.
Right. Um, you know, especially with this massive rise in AI and just the. You know, landfill of useless content that the internet is going to become because of it. you gotta figure out how to be that, you know, seagull on top of the trash pile that people can see over the horizon. That was a weird analogy of it at the end, but
[00:41:20] Liz Murphy: wow.
[00:41:21] Max Cohen: go,
[00:41:22] Liz Murphy: If that's, if that's what we wanna walk away with here, be the seagull on top of the trash pile,
[00:41:28] George B. Thomas: I love it. We need a graphic right now.
[00:41:31] Liz Murphy: we
[00:41:32] Max Cohen: Geez.
[00:41:32] Liz Murphy: All right, so my piece of advice is this, honestly, this is coming from Liz, the queen of lazy town. You are exerting, you are exerting more energy and making content creation more painful.
By going out of your way to not be yourself. When we say be yourself, George and Max and I literally are not asking you to be us, we are loud. We are goofy. We are silly. That is us showing up as ourselves. But it will also tell you, showing up as yourself could be quiet, dry, sense of humor. It could be an endless stream of dad jokes that just make me wanna throw myself in front of a car.
Like it could be a thousand. Different ways. The whole point is to just show up and be you. And maybe it's as simple as saying y'all, instead of you all, maybe it's talking about your family a little bit. Maybe it's talking about memories. Maybe it's just using basic human language. Like one of my favorite little tricks that I like to give people if they're just dipping their toe in the pool of humanity is instead of talking about things in the third person, like people who want to buy pools, blah, blah, blah.
Just speak directly to the person. Oh, so you're in the market for a pool. You're probably stressed out right now. You're probably stressed out because your husband or wife or whomever is like, go find the research on this. Go figure this out. And you're like, great. All this stuff I know nothing about, like all you have to do is sit down and have a conversation.
A piece of content may not feel like it, but it should at at core, be a one-sided conversation. Where you are talking directly to someone. So yeah, we're brash, we're big, we're bold. This is what we do. And maybe you are too, but also maybe you're not and that's okay. Just be a human stop saying you may wanna consider every other paragraph, like literally.
Please stop saying that forever. Thank you.
[00:43:27] George B. Thomas: Oh, so, so I, I have to, I know that we're landing the
[00:43:31] Liz Murphy: okay. It's
[00:43:32] George B. Thomas: in here, and I have to say, I, I hope that everybody understands the power that Liz is talking about around the words you and your like, That in your content, along with a little bit of putting an apostrophe where it needs to be like it's, and theirs and weir go a very long way to be like conversational and human to human.
But here's the thing, Liz, I have to double click on like being quiet or being whatever you are. Because the thing that I found that is true is whoever you are, your tribe will show up around you and it is way more lucrative to be surrounded by your tribe. Tribe than people like that are not. Your tribe because you faked it. You faked it till you faked it, but you didn't make it because you were going the wrong way the entire time. So just be yourself.
[00:44:30] Liz Murphy: I love that. And on that note, you know what? We're gonna keep it human. No AI poetry this week, guys.
[00:44:37] George B. Thomas: yes.
[00:44:39] Liz Murphy: I love it. This was a great episode. If you love it, leave us a review if you don't love it. Lie to us and tell us we're pretty and leave us a review. Anyway, we're just kidding. Anyway, I hope you guys have a wonderful rest of your week. I don't know about y'all, but I'm gonna go look up more big words like artifice to throw in your face next week.
So until then,
[00:44:58] George B. Thomas: Yeah,
[00:44:58] Liz Murphy: talk to you soon. Bye hub Heroes.
[00:45:00] George B. Thomas: yeah. By more, more Scrabble words, please.