Think about how you spend your time at work every day. Very often, we fritter away the hours answering emails, making calls, managing projects, or even fixing the occasional typo on our company's blog. These actions may not do much to grow your business, but we all have to do them...
Or do we?
CoSchedule CEO Garrett Moon leaves typos on the blog, even after receiving emails from site visitors pointing out errors. "It's a waste of time," Garrett insists. "Focus on 10X projects over 10% improvements."
That "10X vs. 10%" distinction is critical to the long-term success of your business, and it should help you focus your daily activities on projects that have the potential to significantly grow your business (not fixing typos). As Garrett explains, "a 10x project multiplies your results tenfold, a 10% project improves your results just 10%."
I invited Garrett to Marketing Smarts to talk more about his approach to business and project planning, and to share insights from his new book, 10x Marketing Formula: Your Blueprint for Creating 'Competition-Free Content' That Stands Out and Gets Results.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
How do you get people away from their 'cherished' 10% projects? (9:45): "I'm kind of famous [at CoSchedule for saying] 'don't correct typos,'....and what I mean is, If a blog post goes live, that blog for the most part is done. We're not going to go back and fix one comma [or] one typo here or there because that's a '10% improvement....' With the amount of time it takes to open WordPress, and do all of it...it's just not worth doing and so we're not going to do it.... I know there's arguments that this hurts your brand but the point for me was...let's say it takes eight minutes and multiply that a couple times a week—put that effort into something else. It doesn't just have to be about that time, it's just got to be about that mindset. You've got to start training your team to have that mindset: We're going to separate these small things that we're doing...and we're going to get [our work] out a day sooner.... And as that snowballs into a month, a quarter, or a year, that means we're going to publish 5 to 10 more posts per quarter, and...it will drive [more] traffic. Those types of [efforts] snowball and you can use them to make big improvements."
You mentioned not wanting to expend a great deal of time creating a marketing plan? Why not? (12:12): "There's a difference between a strategy—a concept on how we're going to approach our marketing... and then there's a traditional marketing plan...a detailed effort on what a quarter or year is going to look like...everyone on the team is going to have it...and they need to be referring to it regularly. Once you get to that point where you're pre-deciding what you're going to do for...more than a few weeks or a month at a time, you get into this dangerous territory where your team is not going to be able to adapt to changes in the marketplace.... You're going to be locking yourself into a situation where you cannot react to results.... What if the traffic's not there? What if the messaging is wrong?...and now you've got a two- or three-week assembly line of all this stuff coming out.... Now you're telling your team, 'Remember that plan? We're going to throw it out the window.' Well, you could, but more often what happens is you continue to follow the plan. We get focused on the plan and stop looking at results, and we stop being able to react and see those problems as it goes.... Build agile teams, teams that can react to growth KPIs to orient themselves around goals.... Marketing plans are one of those things that get in the way of teams accomplishing that."
What is 'content core' and how can marketers find theirs? (22:34): "Content core is a way to align the topics you're covering on your blog...: 1. They attract customers and provide value to your audience; 2. They also align with your values and that value that you provide as a company.... It's easy to find topics that your audience wants to read...but how much value does that really provide?... What we try to do is find content core based topics.... We started looking around and said.... 'What problems are people having?...What are their pain points?'...We found some of it through basic Google searches.... We scrolled to the bottom of certain blog posts and started reading through comments...and we started creating content that literally solved those pain points.... The point is that we're not just providing valuable content to our audience, we're providing content to our audience that solves an actual problem that relates directly to the problems we solve as a company. So there are those core problems and core values."
To learn more, visit CoSchedule.com or follow the company on Twitter: @CoSchedule, and be sure to pick up your copy of 10x Marketing Formula: Your Blueprint for Creating 'Competition-Free Content' That Stands Out and Gets Results. You can follow Garrett Moon on Twitter @Garrett_Moon.
Garrett and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Garrett Moon, CEO at drag-and-drop marketing calendar company CoSchedule and author of the book 10x Marketing Formula: Your Blueprint for Creating 'Competition-Free Content' That Stands Out and Gets Results. Follow Garrett on Twitter: @garrett_moon.