The following is a 550-word summary of my book, Content DNA. You can see various translations of this summary on my Content DNA translations page.
Sample English summary.
Content DNA is the set of brand building blocks that define the right “shape” for your business presence. This is the long-term approach to becoming known in your industry through the creation of a personal brand and content that is recognisable and memorable.
Congruence means defining the shape of your brand and then sticking to it faithfully every time you show up. Simply doing what everyone else does isn’t good enough. Boring is the new risky. You need to develop a brand so identifiable that it’s like the hook of a song that your audience echoes back to you.
My own brand identity came about through pure luck. While onstage at a conference, I was asked an unscripted question about how I was going to remain relevant in a market full of options. Without thinking, I answered “by producing relentlessly helpful content”.
That idea of being relentlessly helpful has been my main identifier ever since. I wrote this book in part so that others wouldn’t need to rely on the same good luck.
Through a process of introspection and research, I’ve developed other distinctive brand values that together define the shape of my business presence. This is what the book guides you to do.
But even an interesting, different shape alone isn’t enough.
You need to keep showing up. Research shows that becoming known in an industry takes on average 30 months (2.5 years). Most people give up long before then, but if you have patience and a clear idea of what you stand for, you can win.
Consistency in the right area leads to results. If you don’t know how to bake but you commit to bake a cake every day for a year, you can be sure that the cake you bake on day 365 will be delicious. Imagine if you applied that same focus to creating content to educate the right audience for your business.
Don’t expect to be all things to all people, and don’t expect to build a strong presence in multiple locations. Be known for one thing and in one place. If you can master that, great – you can branch out. But until then, keep your focus tight. Narrow and deep is better than broad and shallow.
Think carefully about who your content is for but also who it’s not for. Your marketing should be magnetic: it should attract but also repel. If you have interesting opinions and if you stand for something, not everyone will buy into that – and that’s perfectly fine. A few raving fans are far more powerful than a large group that doesn’t love you.
When creating content, start by answering all of the questions that your customers have asked and you’ve already answered. Anonymise and generalise this material so that your content answers all their common questions. Write the way you speak and create content that educates your ideal customers before they ever communicate with you. That’s a great way to earn their trust.
The best brands are instantly recognisable because they’ve spent years creating a familiar shape in the minds of their customers. You can do the same with Content DNA even if you don’t have a large marketing budget. If you commit to being consistent and congruent, your business will be noticed, remembered and, eventually, preferred.
– John Espirian, author of Content DNA
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