Content DNA nuggets

Content DNA book cover preview

Tasters from my forthcoming book

I’m publishing my book, Content DNA, as a paperback and ebook in April 2020.

Content DNA in a nutshell

The book is about defining the “shape” of your brand, then using the power of consistency and congruence to create content that gets remembered and acted on.

Ahead of the release, here are some nuggets to whet your appetite. The following might not all make sense out of context, but it should give you a decent flavour about some of what I’m going to cover.

Identify your brand building blocks

Thinking
Writing your brand values down can help you see a bigger vision for your business. Avoid the fluffy and obvious.

You need 4–5 clear and differentiated building blocks, plus an anchor value to tie them all together.

Create a tone of voice (ToV) guide

Mic
This is something you should think about creating as soon as you start hiring people.

Such a guide should contain practical language examples: “we say this” and “we don’t say that”.

Act consistently with your ToV guide

Skip
You can’t write a friendly tone of voice guide and then send people stern email notices about account actions.

Your customers aren’t stupid and will see the joins.

Reflect snippets of your customers’ language back at them

Mirror
Learn how your customers actually talk and insert phrases in your content that will show them you understand that.

People will identify with those who look, sound and feel the same as them.

Make someone your brand guardian

Approved
Businesses need someone to oversee all communications. A brand guardian isn’t just there for the visuals.

Words matter at all levels of business.

Create a “poison portrait”

BitmoJohn with a snake
Identify the opposite of your ideal customer: the person you don’t want to serve. This helps you make space for the people you do want to serve.

I call my poison portrait the “salesy douche canoe”. I want to do everything I can to keep him from contacting me and wasting my time.

Long-form content still works

BitmoJohn looking bored at a desk
The average length of a blog post has increased by almost 40% in the past 4 years.

Consumers are bingeing on content more than ever. Short attention spans are a myth and are often used as an excuse.

People aren’t bored of long content: they’re bored of crap content.

Deliver memorable peak moments

Wow
Going out of your way for people has rewards you can’t measure right now.

It’s much easier and more powerful to nurture relationships with existing clients than it is to hunt for new buyers. Make sure your current clients and advocates feel loved, always.

We need pattern interrupts

Pink
Consistency matters and doing the right thing in a repeatable way is important.

But leave some room for surprise and delight. A splash of pink goes well with all that white paint.

People trust 4.2–4.5 star ratings more than a perfect five

Star
Nobody trusts things that are too polished and perfect.

Leading with flaws and authenticity can increase trust and shorten buying cycles.

Copycats aren’t influential

Copycat
Creating your own content is much more effective than trying to Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V your way to influence.

Sharing your own thoughts – even if they’re inevitably inspired by others – will keep you a step ahead.

The money is in the silent watchers

Eyes
Most new clients will come from the 70%–90% of “lurkers” who consume your content but never reveal themselves on social media.

It can be easy to think that no one is watching when you first start creating content. It can take 30 months or more to become known in your space. Don’t give up.

Audio snippets

Here’s a quick snippet of one of the interviews I did for the book. This one is with independent educator and social media star, Professor Ai Addyson-Zhang.

That’s the starter done. Fancy the main course?

I hope you found those nuggets tasty.

Hop on my pre-order list to reserve a signed copy of the paperback as soon as it’s released in April 2020. I’m confident it’ll fill you up.

🛒 Paperback and ebook versions will be on Amazon in April 2020.


John Espirian

John Espirian

I write the words that go on B2B websites: service pages, expert articles, case studies, you name it. I also offer LinkedIn profile critiquing and rewriting.

I'm a former software tester and quality assurance manager, and have been an independent writer since 2009.

Espirian Towers is nestled in a quiet corner of South Wales 🇬🇧

Pre-order my book, Content DNA

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