Contenting – our word of the day
We had been married for 3 years and just found out that I was pregnant with our first child. The following day, I went to Oslo and to my big surprise saw pregnant women EVERYWHERE! I came home and Oscar had experienced the same thing visiting Drammen. We started to wonder if the number of pregnant women had increased overnight! But it hadn’t… our focus had.
Oscar got the exact same feeling about 3 years ago while he was researching the subjects “company transparency” and “inbound marketing”, and saw the word “content” EVERYWHERE! Our workshops taught packaging and transparent pricing, but Oscar was understanding that content was equally important. It might seem logical to immediately increase and improve the content on our website, but he felt he neither had the time nor resources to plunge deeper into the world of content, even though he knew he should.
Videos, books and a handful of cool ideas
In 2015, while doing research on how to teach companies the benefits of being transparent Oscar stumbled upon the name Marcus Sheridan and showed me one of his videos – I was immediately intrigued. Since Oscar operated KOGGER alone, the least I could do was read up on marketing and content topics so we could discuss KOGGER’s website and hopefully come up with some good ideas. Being a one-man company, was a lonely job. Creating workshops – himself, performing them – himself, critiquing – himself, inspiring – himself. I figured he needed a discussion partner, to avoid talking to – himself:)
I was really attracted to the subjects inbound and content marketing. Looking at marketing from a “how can we help you” instead of a “how can we promote us” perspective, was appealing. Sources on these subjects were endless and after a lot of reading and discussions, our heads started creating cool ideas of how we could apply this to KOGGER. Only one problem…. We felt that innovating those ideas would require too much time, resources and money. Time, resources and money we didn’t have. So, we kept on talking about content, reading about content and watching videos about content.
By the spring of 2018 Oscar had done a great job on our website but it still only had a minimum of information. I knew that “better content” was always in the back of his mind. His goal was for KOGGER to be transparent, create trust and help our customers and one of the clues to achieving that, was varied, helpful content on our website. Could I find something that could inspire him and help us to evolve the content side of KOGGER, invest as little time and money as possible to avoid over-straining our company’s economy and Oscar’s work capacity?
Well, what do you do when you have a general question like that? You do what people do 40000 times every second – you GOOGLE it!
World Class Communication
I looked for inspiring events and found several so far away from Norway, that I could hear an “empty echo sound” in our bank account. So, I kept on searching and found an interesting event called World Class Communication (WCC) in Edinburgh Scotland, which is only a a two-hour flight, and the best part was that Marcus Sheridan was going to be one of the instructors!
Even though this was a workshop for improving speaking abilities, I strongly felt that it would inspire in other areas too. With the experience of leading more than 150 workshops with 1200 decision makers participating, I knew Oscar would enjoy new ideas for improving his communication methods. Since it was hosted by The Content Marketing Academy (CMA) I had a strong feeling he also would be “content boosted”. I was so excited! I calculated the cost, showed it to him and was confident he would jump at the suggestion and immediately book tickets.
But no…. he surprisingly didn’t want to go. I didn’t get it.
My reasons for him to go were endless… “You enjoy watching Marcus’s videos. You know this will be a challenge but a great inspiration. You know this won’t cost our company too much.” Oscar was reluctant because it kind of freaked him out that the whole workshop would be in English when his mother tongue is Norwegian – even though he speaks great English (I should know since I’m canadian:)
He was used to being the one teaching at workshops so I think he was a little scared at the thought of being a participant and not knowing exactly what was going to happen or how he would have to participate. But, being the smart guy he is, he quickly understood that this is exactly how many of HIS customers feel when going to a KOGGER workshop. In order to understand and communicate better with them and improve the quality of help he was offering, he better be good to go! So, he said yes to going, on one condition….
If I said he had to go, then I had to go too. Didn’t need to ask me twice…
Talk about inspirational! WCC in Edinburgh, Scottland, was hosted by Chris Marr and he is the human motor behind The Content Marketing Academy (CMA). Chris and Marcus host this workshop every year and they do a great job. The workshop itself was inspirational with loads of practical advice but, in addition, we got a chance to meet others that wanted to improve their communication. During meals and breaks we enjoyed socializing with the other participants and got a lot of great advice on how to bring our content ideas to life. Even though I halfway had to force Oscar into going, he really enjoyed this workshop and we were both totally inspired!
On the plane home we talked about what we had experienced and highlights. Marcus is the author of a book we had read called “They ask you answer”, so learning more about his question techniques was amazing. Not getting the right answers? Ask more questions and better questions.
We learned about how to “vanguard” at the beginning of a presentation or on our website by addressing “the elephant in the room” and answering all the questions and concerns imaginable, that our customers might have. By doing that, we are transparent, sharing our knowledge and creating trust.
Based on this and our company philosophy we made an acronym for KOGGER. This acronym shows our customers what the core of our company is.
The list of positive take-aways from this workshop goes on and on, so if you get a chance to go to WCC or another one of Marcus’s workshops – go!
Inspiration leads to action
The first thing we did after the workshop was make a list of all the FAQ’s we could possibly think of that our customers could have – ones for each workshop and in general. Then “Read More” for all workshops and About Us – where Oscar tells how and why he started KOGGER. Everything was then published on our website in both Norwegian and English. In addition, some of our website layout was changed to ensure user friendliness. Within a few days it was all up and running.
Now Oscar probably thought that he could take a «content break»……but no….
Around the same time, I became a member of Impact Elite on Facebook. It is a free, closed group that Impact Inbound (where Marcus Sheridan is one of the owners) created for marketers. The members there are from all over the world and in that group, you find inspiration, tips, advice etc.
I also became a member of CMA Facebook Group which is a free, Facebook group hosted by Chris Marr. In these groups I was seeing more and more companies not only creating written content but using video to reach out to their customers and getting good results.
I mentioned to Oscar the thought of KOGGER producing a video but the look on his face said “never gonna happen”.
But, as the canadian nag I am, I kept talking to him about making a video. Still no positive response. So, I pulled out the “you can buy new technical gear” card”.
Our hope is to inspire you
We imagine there are a lot of small or even large companies that feel they don’t have the resources, time nor money to “up their game” when it comes to content marketing.
The excuses for not taking “content action” are probably endless. But if by sharing our content journey and including our frustrations, mistakes and successes, can inspire to creating more content, videos and help in seeing the importance of using several digital platforms – then that to us is what being transparent is all about.
//Leah & Oscar
KOGGER | #BTCT