Sharpen your communication skills by following these industry leaders
Great marketing is hard—it takes a combination of creativity and hard work. You can’t keep up with marketing trends and be creative in a vacuum. The best way to continually sharpen your skills is to follow other marketers and learn from what they do. Fortunately marketers are good communicators and are willing to share what they have learned. Here are six marketers I have followed for some time and have learned from.
Think outside the marketing box
Seth Godin is the grandfather of getting marketers to think outside the box. His daily blog is short, thought-provoking and well worth your time. Godin doesn’t need an introduction, but if for some reason you haven’t heard of him—what are you waiting for? Sign up to his email newsletter right now.
Best way to follow Seth Godin: Sign up to his daily email.
Marketing goes mainstream
Terry O'Reilly. Can a half-hour program about the world of advertising go mainstream? Yes, if it’s hosted by O’Reilly. His CBC radio program Under the Influence is entering its fourth season and shows no sign of slowing down. Each week O’Reilly peels back the layers of this fascinating industry and shows how advertising has changed over the decades. My first blog post Is sharing the new buying is based on an episode of Under the Influence.
Best way to follow Terry O’Reilly: Subscribe to the Under The Influence podcast.
Intelligent conversation about digital marketing
Mitch Joel wrote the book on digital marketing—literally. His 2013 book CTRL, ALT, Delete Is a fascinating look at the future of business. What will your business and your career look like in five years? There is a good chance you will read about it in this fascinating title. Each week Joel has conversations with industry leaders on his podcast about the latest trends in marketing and the digital space. It’s always intriguing and often mind-blowing. Well worth a follow.
Best way to follow Mitch Joel: Join the Six Pixels conversation blog on digital marketing.
Grow your business with content
Ryan Hanley’s Content Warfare podcast is one of my weekly must-listens. Hanley picks the brains of successful marketers and gets them to reveal their secrets of attracting attention. What I appreciate about Hanley is that he has gone through the process of marketing his insurance agency from the ground up. Along the way he has discovered the one thing that consistently drives traffic and sales: content. Winning businesses tell their own story with useful, engaging content. Good content consistently attracts an audience and converts that audience into true fans. True fans do more than become buyers, they become brand advocates.
The best way to follow Ryan Hanley: Sign up for the Content Warfare podcast.
Taking the spin out of public relations
Gini Dietrich. As editor of a number of publications, I get hundreds of press releases in my inbox each week, each seeking to get placed in one of our publications. A few of those are followed up with a phone call, wondering if I’ve seen the release and when it will run. Only once did the PR representative bother to ask, “What kind of stories is your magazine looking for?”
Something tells me most PR companies haven’t read Dietrich’s blog Spin Sucks, or her book by the same name. As the name suggests, spinning a long-winded press release with jargon and meaningless adjectives does not a great impression make.
What does make a good impression is clear communication that provides value to readers. That is exactly what Deitrich offers.
The best way to follow Gini Dietrich: Sign up for the Inside PR podcast, a weekly social media and public relations podcast hosted by Gini Dietrich, Joseph Thornley and Martin Waxman.
Creating ridiculously good content
Ann Handley When I purchased Ann Handley’s book Everybody Writes I planned on reading it and then sharing it with my editorial staff. It didn’t quite work that way. After reading the first four chapters, I had to share what I was learning and showed it to my lead writer. It was quickly snapped up and I haven’t seen it since. (But that was ok, since I had also purchased the audio version and have been listening on my iPhone.) My writers haven’t just been reading the book, they have consumed it, put it into practice, and shared what they are learning with our entire editorial team.
Writing good content isn’t just for professionals—it’s for all of us. Do you write emails, proposals and pitches, or engage on social media? Then you are a writer. Handley’s book is for those who want to improve written communication. Period.
Best way to follow Ann Handley: Visit Ann Handley’s about us page and sign up for her email newsletter.
Who do you follow?
Do you follow any must-read blogs or must-listen podcasts? I would love to know your suggestions.