Why Content Is No Longer King

I recently spent some time with Dan Kennedy, one of the world’s top trusted authorities when it comes to direct response marketing and copywriting.  I got some great insight from him during our consulting session, and then I was honored to have him do a video interview of me for his community.On set with Dan Kennedy

Our conversation turned to what the future of business looks like, and the information marketing world specifically .. and why a lot of online marketers are having challenges in their business.

Why is it there are a handful of people doing really well, while most are suffering?  Why are product launches not as effective as they once were?  What is the market really after?

Dan’s response to this issue was perhaps one of the most important things that you need to understand as an entrepreneur, if you’re interested in growing your business.

If you’ve read the special report that I wrote a few months ago, “The iEffect“, you’re already familiar with my belief that people are not looking for more information.  You can literally go on “the Google” and get the answer to virtually any question you could possibly ask.  All for free.

As I said in that report, it’s no longer about information.  In other words, it’s not about content any more.  We’ve reached a tipping point in the world where more is not better.

For what it’s worth, I do think of ‘content’ as being more than just information.  It’s specifically oriented information that’s presented in a way that it solves a specific problem or challenge that someone has, as opposed to just being ‘information’ that isn’t organized, packaged or presented in a certain way.

But think about it — does the world really need more content?  Do we need another real estate investing program that teaches someone how to flip houses or become a landlord?  Another course on how to help coaches get more clients?

I really don’t think so.

Of course this begs the question ..

If content isn’t what it’s about
any more .. then what?

Greg and Dan Kennedy January 2012This is where “the Professor of Harsh Reality”, Mr. Dan Kennedy comes in.

In Dan’s view, content is no longer king, and content is not what the information marketing business is going to be about in the future.  It’s what he calls “the punishment of free“, where the idea of ‘intellectual property’ is caving in around us right now.

And this parallels what I’ve been teaching for a couple of years now – the Google era has virtually eliminated the ability to maintain a competitive advantage based purely on “knowing more” and having more information or content than others.

In other words, your ability to build a company or sustainable advantage because you have a better concept or better content is over.

That’s pretty profound, and a little scary – because if it’s not about the content and information, what IS it about?

In Dan’s view, it comes down to 2 fundamental things that you need to focus on and build which will lead to success as an entrepreneur.

He said to me, “if people don’t develop a profound personal preference for you and your company, you’ll always struggle to grow the business or even survive at all.”

Put another way, you have to be positioned so that your client or prospect feels like they know you, and that they have a relationship with you so that they literally are choosing you because they know and like you.

In other words, it’s about the relationship that you build with your community and the people in it.  When you have that relationship, it’s very difficult for anyone else to get their attention, or to attract them away from you.

And I would say that our company tries to model this.  We’ve never just relied on trying to have better information and content than others in our space (though we certainly do try to have great content).  We’re told we have among the best training in the world, but we also know that’s not good enough.

We’ve always looked at trying to create a more authentic and transparent relationship with our community, and involving them in our lives to some degree.  I talk about my personal life and the important people in it, and that’s because I want people to know me.

I don’t hold back my opinions for fear of being judged or alienating people, because when you hold back who you really are, it’s impossible to create any kind of authentic connection.

So, building an authentic connection and relationship is the first key to the future of business.

The second key is developing a unique and compelling offering that generates significant “pain of disconnect”.

Put another way, your ability to attract, maintain and deepen relationships with your clients relies on creating a service or offering that solves a major problem they have.  That’s just good basic business .. but today, that’s not enough.

The second part is to determine how you can create “pain of disconnect” when someone decides not to continue as your client.

Here are a couple of examples of companies that have done that:

  • Once you join Facebook, it’s almost impossible to leave .. because you abandon your entire “life history” and cannot take it with you.  I literally do not know one person who isn’t on Facebook today, and those who have tried to leave seem to always quietly) slink back on, realizing the pain of disconnect is too significant.
  • Apple has massive pain of disconnect if you try and go back to PCs.  Most people won’t bother trying, but their incredible smart design and entire branding causes you feel to a pain when considering using PCs.  And I know this from experience, because I was a lifelong PC diehard until last year.  I’m now a complete Mac convert, 100%.  And it gives me a headache just thinking about life without my Apple products.

Ultimately, if it’s painless and easy for your clients to go somewhere, don’t be surprised when they do.  You need to spend time thinking about how you can create services and offerings that your clients “can’t live without”.

That can mean the emotional or feeling they get when dealing with you.  It could be about how they feel important or recognized by you.  It could be that your service or offering solves a major problem for them, and they fear not being able to solve their problem going forward without you.

Your challenge is to come up with products, services and offerings that you can provide to your clients where it is painful and difficult for them to leave.  Much like a cable company or electricity utility company, you want to be selling utilities that they cannot live without.

When you get to that point, you’ve got a compelling, powerful business model that is almost impossible to defeat by a competitor.

In the end, your clients will NOT stay because you have “better content”. 

The days of content ruling the world are over – so the secret is to focus on the relationship you build with your community so that they TRUST you (which is a key lacking element in the world today).

Follow that up with a service that they tell themselves they can’t live without, and you’ve got the recipe for a high growth company in 2012 and beyond.

What do you think?  Post a comment below and let me know your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree!

 

132 Comments

  1. johnstringer said:

    Excellent post

  2. johnstringer said:

    Excellent post, Greg. Working on a business plan now and this helps me remember one of the goals is selling and/or giving away products people can’t live without! Nurturing the relationship just adds that much more to the “customer” experience. Apple is a great example of the product, as you mention, and also of the creating the relationship via their smart marketing and via controlling the entire user experience (e.g Apple Stores, iTunes, etc.).

  3. Wow… thanks Greg and Dan for that great advice. You put into words what I’ve been trying to understand as to why “content marketing” doesn’t work for everyone. You must have those two key points mentioned in this post to survive in this “over saturated with content” era. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Larry said:

    Greg: I believe both you and Dan are right. The information age is transitioning into what I call the “Relationship Age.” More effort, time and energy is to be applied to becoming more relational, which means closing the emotional gap between one another. It is not easy, closing this gap, but after so many years of more and more information many individuals are starved and withered from a lack of emotional support and relationship. We were made/created for relationship, first and foremost, not information!

  5. Peter said:

    I could not agree more. To use a cliche, people do not care what you know until they know you care. All things being equal people will do business with people they know and trust. All things NOT being equal, including content and price, people will do business with people they like and trust. This is nothing new as it has always been the case.

  6. Mehdi said:

    You are right, basically it means that the content must FIT into their lives. They have to find it different and practical.
    Which I think means “Teaching” great techniques and info under the frameworks of Marketing. which results in rapport and deeper connection… which is as same as “liking”

  7. Henry Vargas said:

    Very helpful and insightful. I will be taking a few minutes here to start on this task of figuring out how I can build and concrete that relationship and how I can create the pain of disconnect.

    Thanks for the post and looking forward to seeing you on the Dan Kennedy video. Was is for the No B.S. TV?

  8. Hello from snowy Montana,

    So grateful to have a home office and a pot of tea handy. It is fun to work when the commute is just down the hall.

    This blog post really gave me some thought, but the most important thing I learned was-

    Send your list access to your blog. I have been keeping them separate and I should not have been. Thanks for the kick in the fanny to follow your example.

    Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke
    Storytelling author and speaker

  9. Fran Watson said:

    “Ultimately, if it’s painless and easy for your clients to go somewhere, don’t be surprised when they do. You need to spend time thinking about how you can create services and offerings that your clients “can’t live without”.”

    Thank you for your message…. There are many coaches, many public speakers, many opportunities – all screaming for our attention – how do I brand myself and create those services?… this will be my task for the next few weeks…

  10. Linda Paull said:

    Nice article. The title shocked me at first but then when I read the rest of it, I have to say, I couldn’t agree more. IT’s even given me an idea for my next blog post. Mind if I quote you??

  11. Kathy Condon said:

    As a person who teaches and has written a book on face-to face networking I was more than pleased to read your blog. People are forgetting that people want a relationship before they develop trust in you. and thus, buy your products or services. Social media has to be a part of your marketing wheel, however, one must do everything he can to build/strengthen relationships. That can mean a phone call, a handwritten note or setting up coffee dates when you are in the area.

  12. Bill DeMar said:

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  13. Brad Lloyd said:

    As Dan’s “Certified No B.S. Business Adviser” here in Atlanta, meaning I am on deeply rooted on “Planet Dan”
    Yes, the “WIIFM” principle is as strong as the 80/20 rule.
    Totally agree with trust relationship nurturing is what’s it’s all about now, before and after…

    Thanks for the awesome content :)

    Brad Lloyd

  14. Michael Drew said:

    Respectfully, Content is still king :)

  15. Dashama said:

    I agree 100%. Thank you for sharing this insightful and timely article.

  16. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing :-)

  17. Columbia Jones said:

    Yes Greg, I agree with you and Dan on everything. Things do continue to change and every day brings something new. But trust and quality of relationship have always been strong and are now becoming the trump card as you and Dan explain here. Great post.

  18. Maribeth said:

    Oh My GOD! This is exactly how it is and why I stay with certain products/brands. You and Dan are a good combo…thanks for the post and email to let me know it was available. Have a great day and I will be sure to share this with my list.

  19. Neal Howard said:

    As my friend Mark Ferrell has been saying for years, “It’s about the REALationship”

  20. Great information here, Greg. And, to your credit, yes, I do believe that you communicate with your clients in such a way that I (we) do feel like we know you … and, yup, like you … and, yes, trust you too. The era of marketing clutter has brought upon much distrust and our prospects have more sensitive B.S. detectors than ever before … though, this could be scary to many, I think it’s people, like you, who dare to be different – is exactly what people want (and they’ll handsomely pay you for it).

  21. To be honest Greg I read this article and thought “this way of thinking will not last long either” because in my experience only relationships based on authentic love and respect last.
    This dynamic has an element of co-dependency and manipulation that people will eventually wake up to and get tired of just like they do with relationships.
    I remember realising a few years into my relationship that we no longer had the same needs we had going into the relationship, those immature thoughts of “I can’t live without you” had gone and I knew I could in fact move on and be fine if I chose to. The relationship had met my needs and I had grown up and reached a new level where I had developed so much love and respect for this man that even though we didn’t need each other any more we preferred to be with each other. You might argue that was because of the “pain of disconnect” and that we had built a life together that would be too painful to leave but I believe it goes deeper than that, during our relationship we always gave each other the freedom to leave at any time, then one day we realised we were just happier and liked ourselves more as people when we were together. ( I don’t mean in the same geographical space either I mean committed in our hearts to each other where ever in the universe we might be) We had transcended the “pain of disconnect” and attained the True Love Factor where you do things because you care and it makes you feel good to know you can help and even though any one else could have offered the same help, there’s a heartfelt difference for both of you when YOU do it. It’s a subtle difference but I think an important one. It’s the difference between wanting what someone else has and knowing you have it and maybe better and not needing to boast about it.
    So beyond “selling utilities that they cannot live without” the one who will win out in the end is the one that genuinely makes them “just feel happier and like themselves more as a person”
    Isn’t that what everyone wants?
    That’s my thinking anyway.

  22. Ken said:

    Great blog. It’s been a very enlightening day. First, I just watched an informative TED Talk about choice overload, and now this blog post. To echo the quote in an earlier reply from Janice Gentles-Jones, “You put into words what I’ve been trying to understand as to why “content marketing” doesn’t work for everyone.” I appreciate these insights.

  23. Heather said:

    I totally agree with your blog, Gregg. Getting a prospect to care about you and your business/service is paramount – and creating that without Too Much Information is a skill, too. Few do it well, hence only a handful of successful people come to mind. Great job, I think you are right on

  24. Michael Ponte said:

    Great article and totally agree.

  25. Ian said:

    Greg, good article. As someone who has been in the marketing and sales game for over 37 years, it has always been about building a relationship. Content is just one way to show your expertise, which of course is just a baseline. But when people don’t know you, you still have to establish a baseline of expertise. There is a good article written, published over 8 years ago, by Ed Wertzberger and Marly Heidkamp of the RevNew Group Inc. about relationship building.

    They interviewed a number of senior executives to understand what these executives want from a vendor, especially for professional services. The major points were to focus on trust building and the needs of the executive. The key factors were trust, experience, competence, quality and responsiveness. To show experience, competence, quality, you need to demonstrate some expertise, which content does for you. If anyone wants a copy, please contact me at ian@b2bbusinesscoach.com

    To develop a “unique and compelling offering that generates significant “pain of disconnect”. Now that’s a different kettle of fish. 

  26. Eva said:

    Greg, Thanks for sharing some first principles for 2012. Becoming indispensable where the thought of switching is too painful is the way to go. Your advice is relevant to all business. Even those dealing with a commodity can deliver in such a quality, integrated or value added way that the client won’t want to switch. So a plumber who puts on a booty and really cleans up after himself is more likely to get called back than an equally skilled but messy plumber.

  27. Ricky Librado Galvez said:

    Have a great day Sir’s!

    I strongly agree for both of you. Useful messages!

    Thanks for sharing!

    With Respect,
    Ricky Librado Galvez

  28. Jason Randall said:

    Greg – you’re spot on as always. I recently completed an 80/20 analysis of my reading/listening and social media ‘review’ habits. I found that I had allowed myself to fall into an oscillating state of inaction Ina few key areas, simply due to the info overload. Once I scrubbed my sources and removed the ‘fluff’ I found that i had a condensed collection of solid, consistent, value add content, with your blog being one of the few that I’ve kept, which is in direct response to the points that you outlined above. I think your interview with Dan is absolutely applicable for every firm, or individual in business, regardless of vertical, thanks for sharing as always.

  29. Kit K said:

    I love your insights Greg! “pain of disconnect” based on deeply trustworthy relationships, excellent customer service and 100% value. To step it up a notch imagine making the relationship mutually trustworthy, shared increased value, excellent communication, safe to relate, joyful. Hey this is beginning to sound like a very good marriage.

  30. Ted said:

    Great piece but i beg to disagree . I agree that content is not everything . However, deep relationship built on poor service or product will fetch match box size sales and profit . I believe that the BEDROCK of any business lies in one thing : Selling product or service that solves a problem or massive pain .

  31. Virginia said:

    Greg, you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! I own the Referral Institute of St. Louis and I spend my days (and many of my nights) educating business owners on the critical importance of abandoning “networking” in favor of developing deep and abiding relationships in order to foster business growth. The clients who really embrace the concept saw 2 to5-fold increases in their businesses last year! Just yesterday I filled TWO rooms with potential clients who came to me on the force of my RELATIONSHIP with my network. Relationship-marketing is the boldest way I know to create a thriving business that prospers within the context of an exceptionally designed life! Please know that I reference your work OFTEN and have embraced your teaching. I look forward to meeting you one of these days!

  32. Bob said:

    This is by far the best “hands on” summary of how to connect with your customers!

    Seth Godin says build 100 avid followers who will help you virally grow to 1000 loyal followers. This article itemizes the how that will do this. It clearly describes the what, which is a change of paradigm to implement. Thanks!

  33. Hugh Liddle said:

    Hey, Greg! I agree 100%. I teach my clients that sales is at least 40% relationship building…and the other 60% is all about becoming the prospects’ partner in solving the prospects’ problems or helping them get what they want and need. Too many salespeople still “show up and throw up”, telling their prospects about how great they, their company, their product or service are instead of asking great questions, finding out what the prospect wants and then helping them get it, whether it is removing pain or gaining some reward. You are right, Greg, and I VERY much appreciate the blog!
    All the best,

    Hugh Liddle, CEO
    Red Cap Sales Coaching

  34. Mary Eve said:

    This is great information, thanks for sharing where it’s heading. Being an expert and building great relationships, in short really helping your clients, are the keys.

  35. John Morley said:

    I agree and identified this years ago. There have been 3 phases: 1. LowTech+HighTouch, when there were no computers. When I was a kid (in the 50′s, 60′s, 70′s) and all the local shops knew you by name and you knew them by name. Then came 2. HighTech+LowTouch moving into computers and people started to think they could replace “relationship” with emails and even facebook etc. Is anyone stupid enough to think facebook actually contains real friends??? but you can’t because people are not machines and technology cannot build real relationships. Now we are entering phase 3. the HighTech+HighTouch era… it’s like going back to #1. back to basics, because people are not fullfilled, not appreciated, and they are not feeling the emotion they need as humans… they have just become numbers in someone’s database! So 3. is a combination of technology which should only used to speed up 1. and get some leverage and save some time… technology will never go away but must be integrated with tangible, real, relationship. One service I use for this is Send Out Cards – I brought this service to Australia in 2005 because I saw the trend… and now about 5,000 are using it here. It automatically sends a real greeting card in the mail which is written online = HighTech+HighTouch. I personalise my cards with pictures of them. When I meet someone or get a client I send a box of biscuits and a card. How can you think someone cares or appreciates you when it costs them nothing to send an email or comment on facebook… and that email can be coming from an autoresponder? Let’s go back to basics and start knowing who people really are. OK Greg do you know who I really am? Why don’t you phone me and ask me??? And then send me a gift that is right for me? Too expensive? Too time consuming? What value does one put on all this relationship building stuff?????????

  36. John said:

    Prove it!

  37. Pamela said:

    I believe you are absolutely right. It is getting into the hearts and minds of people who need your services or products. Being genuine and wanting them to succeed… Those that live by that creed will always come out on top.

  38. Business success is a combination of things, much like a combination lock where all of the correct numbers must line up for the lock to work. People want to buy from people that they like and trust. People want to buy from people who are ethical and offer a good quality product or service. People will buy when the pain of not having the product or service is stronger than their need or want to save their money or spend it in some other way. People want convenience, a reasonable price and to look good in their social group. People will naturally come back to the source if their initial purchase worked well for them. The reason content is important is because it demonstrates the knowledge and credibility of the business to provide the service or product to customers. A friendly relationship is important in order to build trust and affinity, but you don’t have to have a True Love Factor with your customers, nor they with you. Trust and friendliness are adequate. Professionalism is key. Being true to the promise you make with customers, whether implicitly or explicitly is imperative. Having a successful business comes down to the Platinum Rule – treat others the way they want to be treated, which is most likely the way you would like to be treated if you were a customer. It’s not rocket science. It’s not just doing the fair and right thing – it’s demonstrating to customers how you are doing the fair and right thing.

  39. Pamela Jacob said:

    Very eloquent and true…

  40. Judy Bell said:

    I have known (and lived): People do business with people they like and trust. Your added concepts are well worth my consideration. For my own Mannatech business I know that I would not consume other vitamins+minerals, glyconutritionals and our other products..and believe my Associates and customers feel the same: they are products we can”t (literally) live without.
    I am inspired to work toward even BETTER relationships that build unbreakable ties of loyalty and satisfaction. Thank you

  41. Janice Bowles said:

    Hi Debbie, Brilliantly put and I whole-heartedly agree with you. I hope this will bring much more sincerity to the world!

  42. Bjorn Ahlen said:

    Content? Yes. As little as possible.

    As little as possible???

    Yes, because people feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available today.

    They need help with “curation” from someone who is a) trusted, and b) able to communicate the best information in the most concise and clear format possible, because, baby, we all gotta run…!

  43. SaraB. said:

    May I add a few more dimensions to the discussion? Is there a 20th century (boomers and older) and 21st century market (18 – 24) and ne’er shall the twain meet? Personally in the middle of the two and mindfully ageless, as are many, I’m not sure about anything regarding the latter. I suggest however that the former are far more sophisticated about marketing than marketers (and politic spinners) allow themselves to realize and the latter group live in a different world altogether about which the former haven’t a clue. Their platform is wwwifi at 4TG and communication is texted/sms’d. But I don’t really know except for what I read in “Fast Company” and stumble upon on tech sites.

    When Stumbleupon went commercial recently myself and my su friends were heartbroken ~ pain of disconnect. I learned in my 20 years of professional bookselling that all the points in the blog are so true, “petting the product leads to sales” is one of my favorite idiot jargon phrases) but we booksellers and the customers were bonded by a love of books and/or reading and sales were very good when I moved on a while ago.

    What is the 21st century equivalent of touch? Anyone know?

  44. Joanne said:

    This is great… I totally agree. People are needing meaning in their lives, not more “data.” Thanks!

  45. Robi Morrison said:

    I have always said, and believed just this: Customer service is the core of any business. Customer service is about truly listening, and building a trusting, heartfelt relationship with your client(s). There will be no good business without great customer service! Respect builds trust, which builds relationships. This relationship/trust community is the foundation for any solid company… which must also include great content!

  46. Carl said:

    I think building a real relationship where the purpose is to serve is the key. A succesfull business is starting to feel more and more like a friendly relationship. To be truly committed to someone else’s well being. To me this blog post can be seen either as a strategy to manipulate our clients which I don’t think was the intent or to truly committ for the well being of others. If we know that our clients are not looking just for more content, then it’s clear that offering them something else becomes the thing to do. I have the feeling that high competition is forcing businesses become more human…pretty interesting.

  47. tpappy said:

    Thought-provoking post, and I understand the points, which are evidenced in my experience as a marketer and content creator. Customer experience is crucial, and how you deliver that is what makes “content king” or not. What I really love is the evolution of it all: our desire, our delivery, our creativity in designing new methods of outreach and customer care. It’s all wonderfully expanding as we all change and grow through the conduit of our generational preferences. I guess the balance is found in understanding that it will always be newly forming and to enjoy the journey is where the real fun happens.

  48. Sweaver17 said:

    Thank you. Simple, yet Profound.

  49. Mdare21 said:

    Totally agree! I consider it good business, that develops trust and satisfaction by being transparent and available for that kind of relationship. It’s always good to be reminded of what it takes to really do “good business”. Thank you. sincerely mdare21@yahoo.com

  50. Silversun444 said:

    Thank you for this insightful article! It gives much to think about, especially since so many IM products are focused on getting lots of impersonal sites done quickly. Then people wonder why they don’t work. I also enjoyed reading the comments: I learned as much from them as from the article!

  51. Kimhindocha said:

    Everything you say makes senses, Greg. In my business I have learned, by my own experience building relationships based on trust, is crucial. (Your previous guidance on being a trusted authority is what I believe helped me to focus in on this key priority). It is not manipulative to like your customers, and want the best for them. It just enables a ‘win win’ situation. I believe that people stay as long as you are able to meet their needs (for whatever they are buying),better than they believe anyone else can. The longer you do that, the better relationship you build with the customer.
    We have information overload now, and people are confused by the sheer enormity of the choices on offer. Personal referrals, rather than networking, I believe allows people to trust the choices they are making, as long as the referral comes from a trusted source.
    As for the ‘pain of disconnect’ that is a given, if your service is good enough. It doesn’t have to be manipulated, it will occur automatically.

  52. I would agree, but to a certain extent.

    The article talks about the Information Marketing business specifically.
    So traditionally, the more content…the better.

    However…

    The article is basically saying, enough content is good enough – as long as it transforms your customer from bad to good, or from good to better.

    In fact, too much content might do harm by overwhelming the client.

  53. I agree with Dans term “the punishment of free“, although my reason for believing it may differ from his. I think people are expecting too much FREE as it is, and the concept of giving away FREE anything just perpetuates the problem. Does the Occupy movement ring a bell?

  54. I didn’t say the product or service didn’t matter – I said content is no longer king. It’s not about information, it’s about transformation and the results that someone believes they can get from you. They believe that largely on the basis of trusting you, which comes from a solid relationship. Having said that, what’s the most profitable restaurant company in the world? And do they have the best product? It’s not really about the product either. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, but anyone who thinks they’ll succeed because they have a better product or better content will suffer at the hands of the person who knows how to market and build a powerful relationship with their audience.

  55. No, not everyone – you don’t call a plumber because they help you like yourself more as a person. But the point is, the more transparent and authentic a relationship is between a company or authority and a prospect or client, the more likely they are to choose in their favor.

  56. And how’s that working for you? :-)

  57. Gary said:

    Bravo Greg…Many thanks for the great example your team delivers regularly and for

    alerting your readers of developments well in advance!

    Gary

  58. Sig Kappel said:

    Agreed. For example – There’s a glut of information products. When I see sales letters that show
    pictures of their offer as a TON of material, I turn off.

    I even question the trust in the vendor because it makes me wonder if this demonstration of quantity is really just to bloat up the price.

    Keep it clean /concise / and in the marketing piece communicate the resulting value … not the “big box of stuff”

  59. This was absolutely a great article; it laid out the needed winning 1-2-3 combo for any successful business. I believe these elements were always the requirements for any sustainable success. It is just in this current economy that has cause all other ways to be not effective, and the true method for enduring business achievement is just what has been given:
    1. Providing solutions
    2. Building Relationships
    3. Developing “Must Have” Offerings
    (Valued Products and Services)

    These have always been true; in a lean economy it is just more showing.
    Thanks for crystallizing these facts in your article.

    All the best,
    Golden Leaf
    http://www.goldenleafmedia.info

  60. Chicken little said:

    I don’t have a facebook account:)So now you literally know one person without one. Just saying:)

  61. Anthony said:

    Good post. Build better Relationships. Hey I know someone is not on facebook… Dan Kennedy!

  62. Caroline said:

    Great post, given me lots to think about.

  63. Floyd Peltier said:

    Hi Greg
    Thanks for a wonderful thought proving article which has stimulated debate. I agree with your points, with a few caveats:

    Concise Content Is Still Very Important to building credibility as a Trusted Authority. But content alone is no longer King & the “Sole Differentiator” (as there is some very good content out there to the point of info overload).

    To me Sincerity => taking time to developing a meaningful “Human” relationship => Trust => which will lead to Win-Win Business Relationships. I.M.H.O This will be the sustainable source of competitive advantage!

    As a fellow marketer I find technology is essential marketing tool, but at times the use of it comes across as manipulated robotic, You can see through the offer; “Is it only me who is tired of seeing long sales letters stating value $2k for you not $997 but $97 if you buy today??”

    Also I love Dan Kennedys work, but I feel that his regular statement of saying “He does not use Social Media is Disingenuous!”
    As he recognises and leverages the JV Affiliate Juggernaut Machine including trusted authorities such as yourself Greg who have massive Social Media Networks. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong in that but making the point that he does but “Indirectly” by strategic choice!

    Love the debate and will be purchasing your Trusted Authority Formula shortly.
    Kind regards Floyd Peltier (UK)

  64. Snow Goose said:

    And if “establishing relationships” with customers becomes a business principle, sooner or later you’ll end up with a sharp item in jammed up between your legs or stuck in your eye. Relationships have to do with that hairy four letter word and very few people in this article have been able to voice “LOVE”. So a question you might ask yourself is what part does love have to play in my relationships, business or otherwise?

  65. SmartCard said:

    Sheer brilliance Greg! I’ve thought this way for a long time, just couldn’t ‘put it in words’. I completely understand the concept of creating pain of disconnect ( and I love the phrase too). As I was reading that part, I began to see how I could modify some areas of my business (www.up4it-smartcard.com) to fit in with this model. I’m quite glad I chose to actually read this post rather than ‘leaving it for later’. Keep up the good work, i’ll definitely be back!

  66. Actually Greg if I have a choice between plumbers I DO choose the one I believe cares more about me as a person because to me they are more approachable and I trust them to listen to me and treat my home with respect. . . but maybe that’s just me?

  67. TailorMadeCoaching.ie said:

    This article is fundamentally flawed. Let’s go to the beginning of the process. Yes, building relationships is important. How do you build that relationship in the first place? You reach out. How? You tell people what you do. How? By using words. How? Either verbally or written. Both are still content.

    Verbally, you pitch, which is content on behalf of your business/service in the form of voiced words. Then you ask someone to visit your web site for more information where you are 100% completely and utterly reliant on the content there to impart the message you desire to all potential clients.

    At that point, if they are interested, you begin the process of sales not relationship building. If that process goes well and the customer trusts you to provide what you describe in your content, then you begin building a relationship through good service and a positive experience for the customer.

    Therefore, content must be correctly worded just like your 30second pitch because there is nothing else on the site to describe what you do and offer. Images give an impression but words tell. For anyone in this day and age to suggest that content is no longer king is frankly mad.

    Words have more power in this world than any military force on Earth. Words start wars, create peace, prosperity, EVERYTHING. Words are KING and content is a way to describe a selection of words. It was words that only two days ago defeated SOPA and PIPA in both houses of congress. It was the words and content on web sites such as WIkipedia and Google, who stood against these misleading pieces of legislation, and their content describing why they opposed them that helped defeated both legislative acts. It was the content of the words in these acts that provoked a global resistance to them.

    I seriously feel that this article damages this web site’s credibility because it completely overlooks the inherent power and force of words with this article. Relationships always first begin with words, whether they are on paper, on a screen or verbally. Content will always be king and I feel as a seasoned business coach and Public Relations consultant who has worked with major multinationals and governments that without words in the form of content it is impossible to build anything let alone a relationship.

    It is impossible to sell a tea bag let alone a car, it is impossible to book a flight let alone book a restaurant without first knowing if the service provider is right for you and most often the only way to know that is by the content of their verbal words and on their web site. How else would you know?

    Pain of disconnect I feel is sly. Once a customer decides to leave or no longer avail of your service is it monumentality difficult to change their mind and again you would be heavily reliant on words to turn them back to you. Do you really think a customer changing from a KIA to an Audi is going to feel much pain leaving KIA? I highly doubt it and what is KIA going to do to induce pain to that customer?

    If someone can’t live without a plumber because a pipe burst and they have not yet had the need for a plumber at this point, who are they going to call? Either one recommended by word of mouth (previous positive experience form someone else) or they will jump on line and the plumber who best describes their service on their site (content) will get the business.

    I had an Apple lap top for about 6 years and now I use a Toshiba Equium. Honestly, it didn’t cause one bit of pain when I changed over, and I find the Toshiba far more reliable. It has travelled the world me and not once has given me any trouble. I cannot say the same for my experience with my Mac which ended up in the dumpster accompanied with the big fat bag of frustration it had caused me. It caused me pain all right…a pain in the butt!

    Your suggestions about creating products that ‘can’t I live without’ remind me of board room tactics. Some people can’t live without tobacco products because they are hooked. I wouldn’t like to be involved in such an addictive product personally. I smoked for years but equally haven’t smoked for years since. Are you advocating getting people so hooked on your product that the ‘can’t live without it?’

    Doesn’t sound like ethical business practice to me, Chris. If I was your PR advisor, I would highly recommend that you pull this article from your web site because it is so full of holes and so flighty that it has certainly made me think twice about what I readin the rest of your content on this site. Content is king and the content of your article is fundamentally flawed.

  68. Michael Drew said:

    Greg,

    I’d say pretty well Greg.

    Though, that depends

    Just placed my 72nd piece of content onto the New York Times best-sellers lists. In fact we hit #1.

    Built my business and reputation on Content being King

    Let me ask you, how’s it working for you?

    Your blog post is, correct me if I’m, a piece of content.

    In fact your entire business is built on different kinds of content.

    Engage today 2009, 2010 and 2011 where about delivering value, not about upselling people to a product.

    You used the great content at these events to develop a relationship with your audience.

    You had two audiences you were building a relationship with:

    A) Consumers
    B) Thought leaders

    Your consumer based deepened their relationship with you, as did the thought leaders.

    The consumers you monetized, the relationships you had with the Thought Leaders you leveraged to reach an even wider audience, with content.

    I do agree that the content needs to do two things:

    A) Start a conversation to develop a relationship
    B) Speak to a felt need

    But, I also 100% disagree that you need to have a service or an upsell for your content to have value. I can point to dozens of blogs that were developed and built a following (a huge following) without selling anything while building that relationship (eventually a Book or TV series came out of it, but the content was (is) King).

    Now, if your point to say content for content sake isn’t king, I’d agree, and I’d go further and say, it never has.

    So, perhaps the statement should be relavent/salient Content is King (always has been).

    Michael R. Drew

  69. Michael Drew said:

    Lets see, the entire internet is based on content. What is Facebook, twitter, linked in and blogging? What are social reviews on consumer sites like Amazon.com? How about blogs like Stuff White People Say, Shit My Dad says, Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk, Roy H. Williams, Dan Pink, Seth Godin etc… The list goes on and on and on. Saying Content isn’t king shows a lack of understanding of what the internet is and is not. Content leads to relationship. Do me a favor, online, develop a relationship with out content? Tell me your strategy and how it works out for you.

  70. Opportunityknocks said:

    I agree. I am feeling that this whole internet world is leaving me feeling dissatisfied because I do not feel “connected” to those sending me all this “stuff”. It all looks the same and feels the same. I knew I was craving more of a connection which you are calling a relationship. I do not do business over the internet (yet) and one of the reasons is because of this disconnect I feel. I have not found a way that resonates with me. This post is timely, because that is the very exact question I am asking myself–How do I offer my service through the internet without losing the connection/relationship I currently have?

  71. My point was that when you have the ability to serve an urgent problem for the client, that’s a key part of the decision making process. The relationship comes from how you treat them. Like it or not, a lot of heart centered entrepreneurs who want to serve the world are broke because they fail to understand this.

  72. Michael, lighten up. :-)

    I didn’t say content is irrelevant. I said its not the key element and does not provide a sustainable advantage today. Are you saying the best selling books at the top of the lists are there because they’re the best written and best content?

    As you’ve told me yourself, it’s not about the book, it’s about the platform and message. There are lots of best sellers that are crappy books. Clearly it isn’t about the content. I’m just agreeing with you.

    Facebook has more to do with relationships than content. People join and engage because of others, not because of the content they can access or things they can learn.

  73. TailorMadeCoaching.ie said:

    In the last para I meant Greg not Chris. Apologies for that.

  74. Sensei.m said:

    Excellent reply… 100% efficient response. This is one of the best debates i have seen on a blog … or at least one of entertaining interest. Had he not posted this content there would be no counter content. So Mr. Greg made and error. No big deal. I believe he meant well. But CONTENT is KING… but so is delivery and positioning of CONTENT.

    I sincerly thank you all on giving me deep insights and perspectives on this forum.

    Bruce Lee “my way is not your way”.

    However, foundation is way because there would be no way without it for sure.
    So CONTENT is the foundation.

    How’s this working for us?
    Classic…. ha ha lol.

    Thanks again for clarification… but we must practice patience and tolerance when correcting.

    be well,
    Sensei Majid

  75. Emwitch13 said:

    Excellent points! We are on the same page so I am doing something right to promote my business. Thanks for giving me this chance to see what works for todays buyers. Sincerely, Elizabeth Stamey northernoakswitchcraft.com

  76. Sensei.m said:

    Mr. Drew
    Your explaination…
    That’s working for me…
    and everyone else whether they agree or not…
    thanks

    sensei.m

  77. Fantastic …and spot on! Thanks for your thought-provoking share.
    Let’s take your “its the relationship, not the content” message the next step.
    What matters is how we (them & us) support each other to be more and live
    more based on genuine care and kindness. Yes, it’s all about healthy, I-win,
    you-win relationships.
    It’s what I coach leaders to do, to create, what I call, living
    organisations …. ones that co-create shared value with all their stakeholders
    including the societies they operate in.
    Thank’s again Greg.You are most definitely leading the way with your message.

  78. Michael, we have the same thoughts on this. As I read this article I thought, how can I build trust and finally build a relationship without building a platform…and how can one build a platform without great content? I’ve helped some people develop their website and, as someone who has been in to sales and marketing for a long time, I would tell them that the content of their site and/or blog will leave a lasting impression.

    Yes, content is still king.

  79. Anonymous said:

    I agree one hundred percent. Engagement and relationships are everything nowadays. People are tired of being a number they want to count and no they matter.

  80. Alex said:

    Michael,

    Excellent statement! Content is King! I own a content company and all of our clients have benefited from organic growth becuase of the content we have published and syndicated through social media and other networks. Our list of clients survived and thrved through Google Panda and continue to see growth and increses in sales.

    Good Content does not have to sell but should always educate, infor and persuade.

    I appalud you on your eloquent response.

    Sincerely,

    Alex Valencia

  81. Anonymous said:

    I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with the idea that content is no longer king. Yes, relationships are critical to any kind of success online, but if you’re going to try and build relationships without offering valuable content, and a lot of it, you might as well look for your soul mate in a Russian bride mail order catalogue. How do you get your audience to know, like and trust you if you don’t give them authentic, quality content? The premise behind offering quality content is to focus on the relationship with your community.

  82. Anonymous said:

    I agree, Michael. Content is a necessary medium to build relationships. You can’t build a relationship without a conversation, and you can’t have a conversation if you don’t start one–that conversation is started with, yep, content.

  83. Michael Drew said:

    Alex,

    Thanks I appreciate it.

    Content that is real, raw and relavent is King.

    Content for content sake has never had value.

    And content is needed to start building the relationship :)

    Thanks again,

    Michael R. Drew

  84. Anupamorama said:

    imho, Content is (now) Queen.
    Customer is the (new) King.
    thanks, Greg, Fantastic!

  85. In my business relationships are vital but they come to my site, my workshops because I have content that is rich and what they need. Why must we have one without the other?

  86. Great job Dan and Greg, My team has been on this for awhile now…

  87. Ernalee Shannon said:

    Thanks Greg! Brilliant insight, much appreciated!

  88. I didn’t say it was mutually exclusive. Just that it’s not all about the content. And if it is, that’s a business plan that will lead to struggle in the future. Yes, content matters, but it’s NOT the most important thing. That’s the point.

  89. When did I say that content was irrelevant?

    You guys need to read the article again, because clearly you misread it.

    What I said was that content is NOT king – because it’s not. I NEVER said it’s irrelevant and doesn’t matter.

    And you’re wrong – content is not king, which I already demonstrated.

  90. Michael, you were the one who told me that many of the best selling books at the top of the list are garbage, and have no content.

    The point is, it’s NOT about the content. The books you put to #1 are not there because their content is better than the rest of the books published. It’s because there is a marketing machine behind them that’s more effective than the other books.

    I never said that content was irrelevant, so you didn’t seem to really try and understand the point of my article. I simply said content is not the #1 thing. Of course it matters, but anyone who thinks that they’re going to be successful because their content is better than anyone else is headed for disaster.

    I also never said that you had to sell something for content to have any value. But recognizing that my audience and this blog is directed to entrepreneurs, it makes sense that we consider the commercial and business perspective of content, relationships, trust and service.

    Black and white thinking is what leads to a great deal of unnecessary and irrelevant conflicts in this world – and politics is perhaps the greatest example of that. So taking what I said and interpreting as “content doesn’t matter” is missing the point entirely.

  91. I see. So if you have water spraying all over your kitchen and threatening to flood your basement, you’ll call several plumbers and try to establish a relationship with one that makes you feel good about yourself.

    You missed my point entirely, and I’m simply trying to demonstrate that when you have a powerful and compelling solution to someone’s problem, that’s what people are really seeking.

    More information and ‘content’ isn’t the driving factor any more.

    Of COURSE you want to deal with people you like and who respect you, but that has little to do with the point of my article.

  92. When did I say content doesn’t matter? I simply said it’s not the number one thing.

  93. Any 6 year old computer would have caused you considerable grief. But a PC would most likely not have served you any more at all. And that is coming from a PC user. Why did you wait that long? These things have an expiry date, you know. You also seem to confuse words with content. They are not the same. I can fill a page with words but not have much content in that page at all, or any. Read most ad copy! You are obviously also confusing a powerful chemical dependency with creating something that will keep your customers loyal to your business. Curious, Greg did not specify, but how do You propose someone goes about getting customers so ‘hooked on your product that they couldn’t live without it?’ How would anyone accomplish that?? I did not see any mention of mind melts or drugging customers into a dependency…

  94. It is not what they (we/I/you) cannot live without, it is what they do not WISH to live without. Want vs need. Need will be abandoned once it is satisfied (the reason why the plumber didn’t get a Christmas card). Want is much harder to satisfy. Want leads us into new directions. Need forces us into new directions. We don’t like to be forced. Make a need more attractive, perhaps even fashionable (electric cars, ie Tesla or Fisker) then the want takes over and drives new developments (Apple). Once such a relationship is established it needs to stay dynamic to remain strong. That is why you call the plumber back the next time if he did ok last time, and don’t give others a second thought. Unless he no longer fulfills his end of this bargain. Then you shop around again, and don’t give that a second thought either.

    You have to go beyond the need and fulfill that want. For info products, all that fluff that cushions 3 minutes of possibly valuable information is just not going to cut it anymore with our ever diminishing attention span. Give me the Cliff Notes, and make it good. A lot of content providers confuse quantity with quality. I still want content, quality content. That keeps me hooked. Like coming here is usually time well spent. Not all content is dead. Fluff is dead! About time!!!

  95. Carol said:

    I do agree! 100%! I’m so pleased to hear you say, that building trust and a personal relationship with our readers is the way of the future – because I’m just starting out, and I have two websites. One is based on building trust in me, and the information that I provide which helps people with addiction to understand what is happening them, and also what to do about it.

    And the other is a record of my personal journey, giving tips and info about how to learn to make money through online marketing. My readers learn as I learn. We will also have fun, and possibly share some tears, along the way.

    According to what you have just said above, my business models are perfect! I certainly hope so, anyway. This approach was what I wanted to do for reasons of personal integrity, and self respect in my business practices, so if it’s also the way of the future, I couldn’t be more pleased.

    Thank you for your post, it’s given me more confidence to continue in the way that I plan to go.

    Carol.

  96. Eli said:

    I always choose to pay my money to someone I like. I’ll even pay more for the same service if the money is going to someone I feel a connect with. As I enter this piece of the business world, I hope I am liked. How best to do this? Is it unprofessional to wish someone a good day, or inquire as to how they are doing?

  97. Great article Greg and I definitely agree. Perhaps the confusion noted below is that people are separating content from relationship building when in fact they are concurrent. Maybe content is still King, but it’s a different kind of content that is personal and interactive instead of static. It is applied information instead of just regurgitated information. e.g. I use video, podcasting and blogging to distribute my message. I have great content, and I apply that to help transform particular areas of peoples lives.

    And to Debbie, it’s not manipulative or developing co-dependency to keep giving such great content and value that people don’t want to miss anything so they stay connected. It’s just means that you have to make sure that your clients have a good reason to continue to remain your clients.

    At least that’s my interpretation of what Greg is saying.

  98. “I literally do not know one person who isn’t on Facebook today”

    ummm… You know Dan Kennedy, right?

  99. Mic said:

    There’s a conflict of interests Greg. If you’re going for the mass market, as you are, then you lose some element of personal connection. If you’re addressing a micro-market, then you’re close to your people, your peers, who are relatively few. They’ll prefer you however. Greetings from, Mic Sosner

  100. I mean that is not using Facebook in some way. Dan is officially the only person I don’t know on Facebook, so you’re right there. But he ran a Facebook contest during his last launch. Maybe more accurate was saying I don’t know anyone who isn’t using Facebook in some way (whether they’re on it as an individual or not).

  101. Nick said:

    I agree with you Greg,

    The single, only, unilateral point of this post (in my mind anyways) is that content alone cannot prevail. Conversely, marketing alone cannot prevail.

    Amazing content with poor marketing will not prevail in the long run, and poor content with great marketing won’t prevail either.

    UNLESS, first and foremost, you have a marketing strategy, to distribute valuable content. Valuable content without a marketing strategy will be lost in the billions of website, and blogs out there. See the difference ? ;op

    ====

    I hope I provided a clearer perspective of this thread!

    Nick

  102. Nick said:

    I agree with this prioritization of information. If I may add a third dimension:

    Marketing strategy is King = meaning, you need the proper vehicle for the content to survive.
    Customer is Queen = meaning relationship
    Content is Valet = meaning, you can still survive, provide perspective, value, if your marketing and customer relationship are outstanding.

    If the content is King, Customer Queen, Marketing Valet, you have no way of effectively communicating your message out there to gain sustainable traction.

    Nick :O)

  103. Stavros101 said:

    I think the article makes a valid point and predicts well what is already evolving. Essentially I don’t believe people have changed at all. People have always preferred to work with others they trust and who can deliver what they promise. Nothing has changed. The Internet (which is what we are really talking about) is catching up with real life and is attempting to become more of what we have always been…… human. In it’s early days it was a machine. Now it is looking more like us. It has a face, and a heart beat. Debbie mentioned love. What’s love got to do with business. Lets not be hypocrites. We are just talking about how to make more money…….. aren’t we?

  104. Stavros101 said:

    PS. I have hired people I profoundly disliked and will again. I’m not going to marry my plumber or invite him to dinner. He’s there for fix stuff and if he’s better than my cousin (who I really like and is a plumber) I’ll hire him again and again and be glad I did.

  105. Tim and Denise said:

    I am sad that you no longer have your information on realestate anymore. I used to love all the information you distributed when you had the Simple Wealth monthly info and cds. I am just letting you know that my husband and I are moving on from your new information highway blogs and content is king blah blah blah(which appears to us constant plugging of other ppls products etc etc.)affiliate marketing whatever
    You where much better when you where simple.
    Thanks for everything that you did for us but just letting you know that we are disappointed.
    Please don’t comment back with one of your hostile and brass replies that you now give when you don’t like what ppl are saying. I also just tell the truth even if ppl don’t like it. Like you “I don’t care” and FYI we are super successful thanks to all your realestate tips in the beginning of our career.It is just you have changed and we don’t like it.
    Thanks again. Time to move on.
    Wishing you the most successful year in your history. Hope it works for you.

  106. Fair enough re: Dan, Greg. But I know many people who aren’t on Facebook, and many more who set up an account at some point but aren’t active.

    I was just making a point: Of all people, you know more than most that blanket generalizations like the one you made are harmful to engendering trust.

    Overall, I love your stuff. Keep it up!

  107. I get that you’re disappointed I’m not focusing on real estate any more. I’m not doing anything different than I did in the past, but clearly you don’t get value. Fair enough. Glad to have helped you in the past, and as you said, time to move on.

    This is just a good example of what happens when you are clear on your market – you attract those who are ideal clients, and repel those who are not. I haven’t changed – my message and market have, and not to your preference.

  108. Katherine Conner said:

    Has anyone noticed how defensive the replies are to the comments. Pretty unattractive quality. Building relationships with others is better done without all the defensive comments. Just state what you believe and why without all the negativity

  109. Hugh Liddle said:

    In response to Katherine Connor’s post: yes, I have noticed that some of the responses to comments are defensive and negative. I’ve also noticed that the comments that prompt the defensiveness are almost always mean, hateful and rude. I think that people who comment AND people who respond would do well to heed your advice. Greg, I still think your article was well done and spot on. Thanks, Hugh Liddle

  110. Hi Katherine – don’t confuse my passion and conviction with being negative or defensive. There’s no doubt I have strong opinions, but the reality is I communicate as clearly as I can to ensure my point gets across. I get that not everyone resonates with it, yet I’d rather have that than trying to sugar coat things and have people miss what I am trying to say.

    I completely respect people’s right to have an opinion, I just don’t pretend to agree when I do not. To Hugh’s point, your comment is pretty negative and critical in itself, and you need to recognize that when someone comes to my blog and shows a lack of respect or thought, they should expect to hear about it. Your specific comment is highly condescending and dismissive of me, which you’re absolutely entitled to think. Just don’t forget that it’s my website, so I’m entitled to hold my opinion – and if people don’t like it, they’re free to go and follow other blogs that don’t deliver as unvarnished and direct an opinion.

  111. Andrew Welcome said:

    I don’t use facebook, many people are on there in some sort of popularity contest.

  112. Andrew Welcome said:

    I have an account, due to social pressure, yet only used it a few times. It’s only a pain-of-disconnect if it’s relied upon. There are nuerous other social networks anhd I am inclined to agree with Debbie Henton below.

  113. I totally agree – building relationships is the fundamental key to anything we do in life. Without people nothing would exist. Our lives would be empty. Knowledge and skills are great, but unless you know how to apply them and relate to others, that knowledge and skills will not grow. Education is about inspiring others with information that excites us and pumps up other peoples inquisive minds to explore and expand that knowledge and discover ways of putting it to good use for the greater good of all.

  114. Wow, someone is feeling unappreciated.

  115. Ignas Ziurlis said:

    Awesome article,
    I’m thinking about to start my own business, in fact second time.
    And I’ve been studying and thinking how I can apply and what impact would have Greg’s strategies and methods who he gave us for free.
    I realized that almost every tactics I was applying in my old business was from old Information age, everything I’ve done was just chasing my clients and trying to attract new prospects.
    And after this article I realized why my first business collapsed on his own weight.

    So I decided to start my own business again, but this time It will be prepared for ”Transformation Age”.

    Thank You Greg for helping open my eyes and to realize that in firs place need to help for peoples and then they’ll help you.
    The more you give, the more You receive!

    Ignas Ziurlis

  116. Kyle Lanning said:

    Well said. I love your “pain of disconnect” Apple example. I’ve always swore by PCs. I started my web design career on a PC computer. I recently bought into the Apple hype and purchased an iPhone 4 for my fiance and myself, which we absolutely love. Now we’re both talking about getting iPad’s and maybe even a MacBook.

    I do feel that good content is a powerful factor for SEO, since GoogleBot loves great content. The love that search engines have for frequent, relevant, and engaging content is shown by increased page rank and more traffic. So content may not be king, but it is the queen. The queen of search engine love and targeted traffic happiness. (: Happy Valentines day!

  117. johnfurst said:

    Hi Greg,

    I am surprised about the relative high number of comments that are splitting hair over the subject. I don’t pick any particular statements, I just say this: “What matters more than someone’s personal opinion or experience on a single case is whether the strategy is working out in the bigger context or not.”

    I agree and think the pain of disconnect is a powerful concept. And always remember relationships can break, e.g. think of your best client could get a new management and they could bring in “their people.” Is the pain you can create severe enough for survival in this scenario?

    Thanks for sharing
    Greg.

  118. Good thoughts, thanks John.

  119. Andefield said:

    Interesting comments. I owned and ran a retail storefront for many years. I developed relationships with people, based on who they were, what they wanted, the specialized information I could provide. People would come and purchase from my store. So, the content (inventory) was not complete, I did not have every thing for everyone on my shelves. I could however get what they wanted or needed. So, Relationship, my knowing what would fill the need or what that they brought to me, and access to products that would fill their needs/desires made for a very profitable store.

    Granted, store front products may not be viewed as content, but really I think they are. The physical content of my store was what was on my shelves, the relationship brought in the customers and if I did not have the content, their trust of me, usually allowed me to still complete the purpose. So, content was NOT king.

  120. Wow. I know I am a month late to this party but I needed to let you know Greg that I’m shocked at the comments and how many of your readers 1) got highly emotionally triggered 2) totally missed the point you were making about content vs relationship & tapping into true deep needs.

    I would have thought your readers were a bit more on the ball but I guess when we are so highly invested in “our way being the RIGHT way” then serious emotional triggering is as eminent as tornado in spring thunderstorms across the plains states.

    What I got from your post was kinda like this:
    “Hey Guys, content is important because obviously that’s how we communicate. But delivery (ie: relationship) and need are even more important as we move forward.”

    Let’s face fact peeps. If you were in some serious want (need) of a throw-down night of passion…and two men were handed the same script (content) to be conveyed to you…which one do you think most women would rather be (relationship) with – Johnny Depp, or Rush Limbaugh?”

    Same content. Same need. Totally different relationship!

  121. Not sure I can add anything to that! :-) Thanks for the comments Chel, and you did “get” what I was trying to say in the original article!

  122. Canciglia said:

    Can a school teacher with a basic salary become and Entrepreneur and gain personal freedom?
    Where do I begin when my financial resources are exhausted and I am overwhelmed with information. I know that my belief system needs to change and I need to do things differently but with little financial resources and not knowing who to trust I seem to be not producing any results.

  123. I Think what I got out of this, or at least were my brain went with it was, sort of what Mr. Mcluhan was getting at…”the medium is the message”. The reception of our content is greatly determined by the relationship we have with the reader. In a ever increasing deluge of information, people will be decerning the importance of information by there “feelings” (relationship) with the source….”the medium” Great post.

  124. 123 said:

    greg, i find you to be rude and disrespectful to anyone who disagrees with you. repelling, actually. so much for building relationships.

  125. After reading a ton of the comments I just had to share Gary Vaynerchuk – Keynote Speech at Inc 500 Seminar 2011…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcqCAqZtedI

  126. Truly, I love it when people prove the point I am trying to make.

  127. Given that you didn’t even have the courage or decency to put your email address or real name in, that speaks a lot to how much you really believe in what you have to say.

    Thank you for proving the point that I regularly make – some people will resonate with your message, some will be repelled. Ironically, you use the word I use in my training – “repel” – so either you’ve learned something from me, or it’s a coincidence. Either way, it proves my point elegantly. I respect your right to an opinion, so thank you. I trust you won’t be reading this blog or my emails anyway, so safe travels.

  128. Lyndeutsch said:

    Great post! You always have great content and initiates very interesting comments.

  129. beckyblanton said:

    I’ve always done business putting the relationship first, and always providing great content as well. It works. Great article!

  130. beckyblanton said:

    Greg, men are from Mars, women are from Venus. We have different needs. Men are motivated by respect, women by relationship. My brother rocked the real estate world with his genius understanding of contracts, numbers and business, but sold significantly fewer homes than his numbers challenged female competitor. She sucked at contracts, but shone at relationships. People felt like she cared about them and their home choice and they bought from her like the rats followed the proverbial Piper. I would call the first available plumber in an emergency like you describe, but if he was a jerk and I didn’t feel good about him or his work, I wouldn’t call him BACK. Women, who are 75% of the buying decision, prefer to deal with people they trust and like. I DO get your point, but Debbie has a very accurate point too — relationships matter more than money.