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It's About Being Human

This is week sixteen of a series where I'll be sharing a chapter from my book (Stop Selling Start Helping) each week. If you missed the previous weeks, click here to view all chapters. To learn more about Stop Selling Start Helping, click here.

CH 16 It's About Being Human

When you think about it, this whole “helping vs. selling” thing should come naturally for most generally kind, good people. Most human beings want to be a resource for others; they want to do what’s right; they want to help people.

Here, I summarize a couple different articles from others in the industry that hit this very point.

Humanize your brand.

The first, a blog on Moz.com from Mackenzie Folgelson and Mathew Sweezey called “4 Ways to Build Trust and Humanize Your Brand,” is quite possibly the best blog post I’ve ever read on content marketing. To summarize the four points...

  1. Build an Emotional Connection: “More than a great product or service, it’s the passion and cause at the core of the company that builds this much deeper emotional connection between the brand and the customer.”
  2. Listen and Respond with Action: “When you truly listen to someone, you gain their trust, and more importantly, their respect.”
  3. Put the Relationship Ahead of Conversions: “The key to creating content that will convert is to optimize for the relationship with the consumer, not the conversion.”
  4. Deliver on Your Promises: “How you deliver on your promise dictates what happens next: do you build a relationship or do you lose a fan?”

What does all this boil down to? One thing: being human. This is exactly how we would expect a good person to act. A friend who lives by these four concepts is a GREAT friend.

Speaking Human

The other article that struck me was one I read recently in Chief Content Officer magazine entitled, “Speaking Human.” In it, authors Kevin Lund and Eileen Sutton address the struggle with most businesses when it comes to content marketing – selling too much!

Three points made in the section called “How to Speak Human” help shed some light on what it takes to really connect with people – just be human!

  • Tell stories: “Unless you have a real story, loyalty is out the window.”
  • Be humble: “Don’t sell me a camera. Teach me how to take great pictures.”
  • Be relevant: “Cast too wide a net, and the meaning of your content marketing is lost.”

I’ve already shared the formal definition a couple times in this book, but Lund and Sutton summarized content marketing very succinctly at the end of the article...

“Above all, consider how you can be genuinely useful to clients and make their days and lives better.”

And that’s what it comes down to. It’s not a difficult concept – helping others. But, it’s often difficult to implement as a business that has always been focused on SELLING stuff. The purchase will still be the end result. But, content builds trust; trust builds relationships; and relationships drive revenue.

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