Two lessons from stand-up comedians to help your marketing

Microphone

Two things I (and my clients) struggle with in the “Content is King” world of marketing is:

“Who the heck wants to listen to me anyway?”

and

“How can I create enough content?  I don’t have enough ideas.”

 

I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy and have met many of them. The need for both quality and quantity has been a thorn in the side of comedians forever. Here are two things that I learned from stand-up that I have used to help my clients:

 

Write Every Day!

 

One way to work on improving that is to just start by writing every day.  No matter how great or terrible it may be.  In interviews, Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) said (I paraphrase) that he knew he had to write comedy every day to become better at it.  He put up a big calendar and checked off each day when he wrote something.  If he had a streak of days checked off on his calendar he would be less likely to skip a day.  That is critical in content marketing if you want to improve.  This will help you write better and obviously will improve your volume of work.

Blogging/Content Marketing, in my opinion, is sharing what you can teach or entertain your audience.  Small and medium businesses face the issue of creating content if they are trying to market themselves in today’s crowded environment.  I work with business owners every day that struggle with what to say.  They either talk about themselves too much or they don’t talk at all.

 

Don’t be afraid to write about “Simple Things”.

 

Self-doubt over the quality is also a huge problem.  Whatever it is that you do well there is a good chance there is someone that does it better. What people lose sight of is that if you are good at something, there are still a LOT of people that are not! There are days that I work with my clients and think “How can they not know this?” because it is so obvious to me.

I have a friend (Mike Hanley @standupmike ,a little plug…) who also does stand up who I find very funny.  Not just on stage, but also in everyday life.  He has a way of looking at very simple everyday things in a slightly different way.  Other comedians do and say things that NO ONE is thinking of (Gallagher smashing watermelon anyone?)  I think that content marketing and comedy are very similar in this way.  You can provide content that is very useful to your audience that looks at things they already know slightly differently, or you can provide content that they have never ever considered.

Comedians, like marketers, are looking for you to want to listen to them.  Their goal is to entertain.  Yours is to entertain sometimes, inform, or educate them.  Now, whether you take the route of a slightly different view of the real world like my friend Mike, or you do something totally off the wall or outrageous like Sam Kinison, that’s up to you.  But know that whatever you do or say, there are people that can learn from it.  Do it every day, and it will improve in both quality and quantity.

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