The Prophets of Profit: Making Content Matter With Brian Honigman by Brian CalifanoAs a social media and content marketing consultant, Brian Honigman helps business leaders become better storytellers, deliver superior content, and connect with their audiences. Scott and Brian were glad to sit down with this masterful marketer as he revealed his winning approach to content creation and distribution, how to sniff out SEO scammers, and why social media (if used correctly) can double your business.

Brian Honigman is the CEO of Honigman Media, a content marketing consultancy that provides strategy on content distribution and content production. He’s worked with a range of clients from growing startups like Sumall and Amerisleep to established brands like Thomson Reuters, Marc Ecko and People Magazine.

Click here to listen to the entire conversation with Brian Honigman.

The Power of Content Marketing for Emerging Businesses

Brian explains that content marketing is a great way to reach your audience amongst all the other noise that is out there. Content production and distribution help an organization better understand how to tell their story — to create relevant messages on the channels where their customer base is most active. But what is the difference between content production and distribution?

Content Marketing Production is creating the content that is most relevant to your company’s audience/customer base. The content is intended to spur greater trust with your audience, generate leads, and ultimately sales.

Content Marketing Distribution is delivering the content created during production to your customers where they are most active.

Balancing Data with Intuition

Brian stresses the importance of tracking your marketing efforts in order to determine what works and what doesn’t. While the data you collect is very important and a big part of the process, it cannot be the only part. You must balance it with your intuition. You must start off by setting up the right metric and goal, using what you know about your business. This will help you articulate your movement. If something is going right, you’ll know it. Remember that when you’re setting your goals — you must also set up the right tools and systems to track them. This will help you understand what your audience likes and doesn’t like.

Avoid the SEO Hype

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is talked about a lot, and there are many people out there who insist you have to spend a lot of money on it in order to succeed. How much truth is there to it, though?

Brian warns that SEO is a buzzword that many companies use to dupe their customers. While there is credibility to the advantages of maximizing SEO, Brian provides some guidance on how to avoid being ripped off by a disingenuous salesman. Are they using a lot of jargon? Do you understand what they’re saying? You should. They should be speaking in layman terms. Are they promising you overnight success? Are they telling you you’re going to “go viral”? Are they telling you “you NEED” this to succeed? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, this company is not the answer to your SEO needs.

Align Your Social Media and Content with Your Business Objectives

Brian states that there are trusted brands that are not on social media and are still successful. However, if you do invest in social media, you can succeed even more so. It’s an added action that can accelerate your success if used correctly. You must align your social media strategy with your business plans. Don’t worry about “going viral.” Stay focused on your business objectives and strategize around them.

Finding the Right Incubator

A question came from the audience about incubators — how to find the right one for a startup.

AcceleratingCFO believes that you need to go in with both eyes open before you agree to become part of an incubator. Giving a chunk of your equity during the early stages of your business can lead to complications when raising capital in the future. In return for selling a percentage of your company, you have to be willing to listen to, and collaborate with, your new partner. Scott and Brian C. suggest bootstrapping and raising funds through family and friends at the beginning to avoid giving up too much equity and risking a bad partnership. A new company should leverage subject matter experts in the partners’ network. It will cost you money and things will be tight, but equity is much more expensive than debt.

Public Speaking: Gaining Confidence and Credibility

Another question came from the audience about public speaking. The listener is not a good public speaker. How can he become better and be more comfortable? Will it generate better leads?

Brian advises to do as many speaking engagements as you can. Whether podcasting, teaching, guest lecturing, or speaking at your local toastmasters meeting, practice public speaking in groups. You will gain more confidence and will learn to understand timing and pace. At first you may have to do free speaking gigs. After a while, as your confidence builds, you can charge. Make sure you’re practicing what you’re going to say — go over a general outline rather than word-for-word. With time, your craft of public speaking will improve. Through these public speaking engagements, you can position yourself to create leads, and ultimately sales. Make sure the topics you speak on are directly aligned with the services you provide — then tie your speech back to the services you offer.

Click here to listen to the entire conversation with Brian Honigman.

To learn more from Brian…

Go to his website at brianhonigman.com.

Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Follow him on Twitter.

Follow him on Facebook.

Brian Califano & Scott MargolinBrian Califano

Scott Margolin

Co-founders & Managing Partners

AcceleratingCFO


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