If it wasn’t already obvious, Content marketing is not just for businesses – it can really help your personal brand. It is essential for anyone who wants to:
Most content marketing is funnelled through the same old hub-and-spoke channels: blogs, Medium, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, videos and slideshares.But from my own experience, individuals interested in content marketing are undervaluing and under-exploiting a potential goldmine of marketing promise: events.
Creating events or specific meetup groups is a fantastic way to build relationships and branding, while indirectly helping your own business.
As a recruiter, my content marketing approach has to straddle the candidate side and the client side. This is tricky because I don’t want to exclude either party. With events, I found a way to include everyone, and create benefits for others with some benefits on the side for me.
I’m Irish and I’m very interested in helping international firms break into the US, plus I enjoy making connections for people. So back in 2005 I set up a group called PitchOutOfWater to help foreign firms break into the US by introducing them to other expats who were open to making connections for those firms. I used meetup.com to create and organize the group. This group allowed me to help these international firms directly, with the side benefit of building my reputation as a recruiter and thought leader in the area of helping these overseas firms break into the US with advice on first key hires etc.
More recently, I replicated that model with a non-profit group I am hugely passionate about: Digital Irish. This time, I went back to my Irish roots and looked at how I could help the proliferation of Irish tech startups hit the ground running in the US. Today, we have over 1,000 members and more than 70 startups have presented across about 20 events in the 2.5 years we have been running the group. The group has now expanded to include a full Board of Directors – all of whom get exposure and direct and indirect benefits from being involved.
My day job as a recruiter was never front and center of these events yet they helped my business reputation, visibility and sometimes directly benefited my recruiting business. Through my involvement I also started getting invites to speak on panels related to other countries’ startups coming to the US including the UK, Germany and Israel – also increasing my exposure and access to interesting clients across new audiences.
From Eventbrite to Meetup, a swathe of sites and scheduling services have made it easier to coordinate any kind of event for any individual or marketer. With time, effort and enthusiasm, the organization of meetups and discussions will pay dividends, whatever your job.
These groups don’t have to be large: For instance, before Jason Bhatti joined us as a sales recruiter at Glenborn, he started a group called Rainmakers Roundtable that meets once a month. The group attracts professionals who discuss how to be more effective in their sales jobs. Just by putting preeminent experts in sales in the same room together and providing a platform for roundtable discussion of major sales issues, Jason has become a person that brings together thought leaders in the trenches of SaaS sales.
Similarly, BuildingTheSalesMachine (BTSM), created by Eric Friedman, Dave Greenberger, and Evan Bartlett, helps connect people who are building sales teams, sales operations, and revenue operations mainly within startups. By forming this group, the founders’ sales-leadership profiles have been significantly enhanced which helps their careers and their job prospects.
Another great example in sales is the Enterprise Sales Meetup run by Mark Birch. Mark is CRO of a CRM firm called Enhatch so his group complements his day job nicely. His firm is not pushed at the events at all but I am sure Mark benefits directly and indirectly from these great events filled with great content for sellers in NYC and beyond.
Proactively creating events helped Jason, the folks over at BTSM, Enterprise Sales meetup and myself to establish and express our voices in thought leadership, and thereby bettered our businesses’ chances within our respective marketplaces.
But that’s not all. Being an event organizer will also help you:
Content marketing with events is a way of proclaiming your ideas loudly and clearly.
By taking an engaged and proactive stance in this marketplace of innovative marketing strategies, you establish yourself as a thought leader.
So find something you are passionate about, that links into your expertise, and create an event or meetup around it. Not everyone can or should do it but for those that can, it can reap rewards.