There are people I follow on Twitter, and then there are people whose articles I regularly retweet because they are unfailingly detailed and helpful. Andy Crestodina is in the second category! Andy is a co-founder and the chief marketing officer of Orbit Media, an award-winning 38-person Web design company in Chicago.

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Andy has decades of experience in Web strategy and marketing, and he regularly speaks at the best marketing conferences, including the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, where this year he'll talk about Influencers, Search Rankings, and Collaboration.

He's written hundreds of articles on content marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and analytics, and he wrote the book Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.

I invited Andy to Marketing Smarts to talk about influencers and content marketing. Along the way, we also talk about his borderline-insane productivity and how he achieves it!

Here are a few highlights from our conversation (and sneak peeks from our upcoming B2B Marketing Forum):

Do something important before you do something urgent (03:09): "Here's one of my top productivity tricks. Go to bed instead of staying up and binge-watching shows, because binge-watching does not meet any of [your] goals. Get up early, 5:30 or 6:00 AM. Do something important before you do something urgent. I write, I produce presentations—I'm doing important things before I look at my email.

"Because a small part of you dies the moment you look at your inbox. You get sucked into the 'urgent' stuff. And then, when the little boy wakes up at 7:30, I've already gotten a lot done. I've made important progress on my major goals."

Some progress each day keeps burnout away (05:23): "I've reduced burnout by creating visible tracking for me against my goals. For example, you go to the gym. I'm bad at that, but I do have one exercise goal, which is for 2019 I'm doing 5,000 chin-ups. Which means every morning I'm doing 25 chin-ups.... I have a little chart taped to the wall in my closet. It's a graph paper, and every box is five chin-ups. So I shade them in. And it's like one minute or minute-and-a-half of exercise per day...but it keeps me from getting burned out to see that I'm making progress.

"I have a list of every article I've ever written. Analytics shows me the performance of everything that I'm doing. If you create visible ways to track your progress against all of your goals, you're less likely to burn out because you're always seeing evidence of progress and effort."

"Influencer marketing" isn't actually new: We've been collaborating on content for years (11:48): "I've been doing analytics since it was spelled with a lowercase 'A.' Before it was a Google product, there were different tools we used. And what we do, a lot of it, is collaboration with people, which we've been doing since before they called it 'influencer marketing.' It was just called collaborative content years ago."

Don't create content solo (13:12): "I remember thinking to myself, 'a journalist would never write an article without a source: why would I ever write an article without a contributor quote.' So probably back in 2012 or 2014 I started reaching out to people to add their insights to my content to make the articles better.

"Three outcomes [of collaborating with influencers]:

  1. Content quality goes up.
  2. The social sharing goes up (because that person is very likely to help you promote it).
  3. And, finally, fun goes up. Fun levels spike, happiness goes up, because you're making things together. It's the best part of marketing—working with people."

To learn more, visit OrbitMedia.com, and be sure to register for the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. (Use the code B2BSmarts to save $150!)

You can also follow Andy on Twitter, at @crestodina, and be sure to grab a copy of his book, Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.

Andy and I talked about much more, including the story of how he co-founded and grew Orbit Media into a multimillion-dollar business, and why one point of view in a content piece is never enough; 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.