How do you create something that lasts in marketing and social media?
Not just for 15 minutes, or even for a year. But for a lifetime.
Best-selling author, Ryan Holiday, has dedicated his life’s work to answering that exact question. He’s studied hundreds of perennial sellers from movies and television to books and marketing campaigns.
What Ryan has found is that creators of great works don’t distinguish between the making and the marketing. The purpose, goals, frameworks, and target audience are in the creator’s mind from the moment that she or he begins the project.
In episode #58 of The Science of Social Media, we sit down with Ryan to explore the current state of marketing and social media content and how short-term thinking only creates short-term results. Ryan dives into how we as marketers and businesses can begin to think strategically about our content and create something that lasts a lifetime or more.
Let’s dive in!
In this episode, here’s what you’ll learn:
Ryan Holiday takes us through the proven process that many of the greatest creators in history have used to generate remarkable content that truly lasts. You’ll also learn tons of other insightful things like:
- How marketers and businesses typically approach content creation
- Why measuring success based on instant results leads to challenges and discouragement
- Finding your own “blue oceans” where this is no competition
- How taking calculated risks is the only true way to stand out in a sea of content
- Taking risks, standing out, and doing something that is truly remarkable
3 strategies for marketers looking to create remarkable content
1. Focus on word of mouth
“At the end of the day all successful products are not successful because advertisements or celebrities, they are successful because they are good products and are recommended by other people.
I get emails from people who read my books all of the time saying that they got my book from someone who had sent them a copy. By sending out one free copy to one person, I reached all of their followers. And, if I did my job right, then it will be recommended repeatedly over time.
It’s worth thinking about how this thing that you made is going to be discovered and then working on marketing that drives that discoverability. It’s very hard to get people to pay for something that they know nothing about. I urge people in their products to ask: How are we bringing our first customers through door?”
2. Do something unexpected or surprising
“If you stopped your advertising, would anyone notice? They probably wouldn’t.
Most ads are so boring that companies have to pay extra just for people to see them!
The hack or the secret is to not be boring. Do something risky and cool. Say something unique and special. For example, Buffer’s decision to run itself in a transparent way – talking transparently about salaries and revenue – probably got the company much further than an advertising campaign ever would have.
Do things and take risks. That’s a better way to stand out and get attention online and off. Then the attention will go on for a very long time. Salary transparency is a timeless problem, it will always exist.”
3. Find and make room for controversy
“I have an expansive definition of controversy.
What you’re doing has to be consistent with who you are and what you believe in.
For example, I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago on why I don’t think that entrepreneurs should write books. It made some people very mad and other people agreed. But I didn’t become a writer to not say what I think out of fear of hurting people’s feelings.
It’s worth knowing who your audience is and who you’re really speaking to and as long as you’re good with them, that’s what really matters.”
A Great Moment
“On the one hand, marketing is very simple. it’s finding where your customers are and giving them things that they want. On the other hand, it’s much harder in practice. a lot of people do what everyone else is doing and they don’t break through the noise.”
– Ryan Holiday
Awesome Mentions in the Show
- Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts
- Ryan Holiday – Homepage
- Ryan Holiday – Twitter
- 1,000 True Fans – Kevin Kelly
- Casey Neistat Official Website
- Buffer Transparency Dashboard – Revenue, Salaries, and More!
- Buffer Open – Our Blog and Journey to Greater Transparency
- Dear Entrepreneurs: Please Don’t Write a Book – Ryan Holiday
Favorite Quotes from Ryan Holiday
- “This idea of ‘if you build it they will come’ ends up meaning that a lot of great content goes undiscovered and to me that’s a shame.”
- “I’m always gravitating towards what they call ‘blue oceans’ where there is no competition. Doing things that others have never done before that are going to break through the noise and provide big ROI.”
- “There’s no hack to building 1000 true fans. You must develop relationship of trust and reciprocity and you need to provide value over and over again.”
- “At the end of the day all successful products are not successful because advertisements or celebrities because they’re good and recommended by other people. What your marketing is designed to do is to acquire those first customers so those customers can tell other customers.”
- “If you stopped your advertising, would anyone notice? No they wouldn’t. Most ads are so boring you have to pay extra. Do things and take risks, that’s a better way to stand out and get attention.”
- “I have an expansive definition of controversy. What you’re doing has to be consistent with who you are and what you believe in. Example entrepreneurs shouldn’t write books. I didn’t become a writer to not say what I think. It’s worth knowing who your audience is and who you’re speaking to and as long as you’re good with them, that’s what really matters.”
- “I’ve written many blog posts and several have turned into books. I don’t remember how many tweets those blog posts got or comments they got.”
- “There’s this immediacy bias in what we do in the internet because we have… we put something out there and if it doesn’t immediately get a response people might write it off.”
How to Say Hello to Ryan Holiday (and Us!)
We would all love to say hello to you on social media!
Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!
About the Show
The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing strategies from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode. It’s our hope that you’ll join our 10,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!