You won’t know Barry Maloney.
Barry is not a new fangled buisness guru or inbound and content marketeer.
Barry runs daily historical strolls around the lovely fishing village of Kinsale, in County Cork.
And I had the pleasure of meeting Barry on a long weekend recently and I went on his walking tour.
It was very enlightening.
A Modern Business Blueprint.
What struck me on that stroll was that Barry had a blueprint for any modern business wanting to get ahead in this new information-hungry customer/client controlled digital age.
We can all can learn an awful lot from Barry and what is necessary to succeed in this brave new digital world.
Give Before You Take:
No money was needed to enrol on the stroll.
In other jurisdictions you would need to have paid upfront and had a ticket to participate
Essentially if you chose to walk away you would have had a free tour – with Barry’s compliments. A 100% guarantee of enjoyment if you are not delighted
And I doubt whether Barry would have minded – disappointed but not forlorn.
How radical: create as much free content for your clients and prospects for them to enjoy, digest assimilate without wanting anything in return.
Make It Easy For your Clients To Buy
Barry goes beyond simply removing barriers to entry such as payment.
Barry thinks of everything and smooths potential hiccups on the way.
Ireland is known for an abundance of rain: Not for nothing the soubriquet –the Emerald Isle.
It is beyond the likely that it may rain at some point on the tour.
Barry still makes it easy to take the tour.
When the weather is damp Barry demotes it to “soft day” where umbrellas aplenty are available and on “desperate days” Barry entices with tea and scones.
Quite a challenge for businesses to actually make it easy for customers and clients to buy from you. But, well worth while.
Get to Know People
Barry introduced himself before we began the tour and asked us where we were from. Invariably, Barry had something to connect and endear himself whether you were from Switzerland, Japan San Francisco or Chipping Sodbury.
The sooner your prospects know about you the sooner they get to like you and the more easy it will be for you to engage more meaningfully with them when the time is right.
The internet gives greater scope for firms to show their personality through great content. Much easier to feel the cut of your jib.
What sets great content apart from mere content as the doyen of Content Marketing, Doug Kessler, so rightfully contends is confidence.
Confidence is the guiding Northern Star.
No great content exists unless it is confident.
Barry is supremely confident which he demonstrates in abundance.
Great Content in Different Guises
Barry doesn’t just rely on the wonderful, (“th” bereft) lilt and intonation of his voice beguiling though it is.
Barry uses props creating a visual with an ordnance survey map of the sea line to bring his talk more to life.
Barry uses a pirate flag to engage in a tactile discourse with two younger members of the group and encourages a modicum of role play to enhance the enjoyment.
Barry asks questions and cross references snippets of information about he has recently learnt about his group.
In your business great content should be disseminated across many formats not just blogs but video, Slideshare, infographics, ebooks etc.
Keep in Touch
Barry at the end of the tour asks for our email addresses.
Barry confirms that there will be a free gift of a history of Kinsale in return for our email addresses.
Barry wants to keep in touch. We as his subscribers will benefit from any snippets about Kinsale, and who knows, when Barry publishes his book on Kinsale there may well be a special offer for his subscribers.
The important thing to remember is that if you want to obtain email addresses be prepared to give something in return.
Make your prospects eager to come back for more great content.
When writing blogs or articles the best will be compelling from start to finish.
Great copy will intrigue from the first sentence and each sentence and paragraph will flow effortlessly into the next building excitement and desire to read on.
Barry leads us from landmark to landmark always finishing off his current sentence with a tantalising insight into what we will learn at the next place of interest.
How blogs and articles could benefit from such easy and knowing understanding of the art of copyrighting.
The Art of Story Telling
Gary Vaynerchuck describes success in business as attributable to four key components: Supply, Demand, Attention and Story Telling.
Barry has the first three but the experience is greater with his command of the fourth.
Barry’s stories bring the history of Kinsale and its people to life in an almost tangible way.
Barry’s timing is exquisite and he effortlessly adds layers to the story increasing its appeal and invariably a punch line completes the tale.
A Summary of Lessons Learnt in Content Marketing
I hope most of you are way ahead of me and already visualising how great content in its many guises can benefit your business.
Great content through various media told in a visually or written in an engaging way.
Don’t be afraid to give more of yourself and expect little in return – and then you may be pleasantly surprised.
Keep in touch with your clients so long as you have something interesting to say they will keep wanting to engage with you.
Learn to tell your authentic story.
The Biggest Lesson
Needless to say no one abandoned the tour.
Everyone paid Barry at the end and tipped him handsomely.
Reciprocity was all around.
Barry gave so much because he enjoyed what he does and is passionate about what he does.
Barry is a generous man and generous people are happy people.
So when you are considering posting a blog a video a slideshare presentation put everything into it with a smile on your face.
Do not expect an instant return but do expect people to talk about you, tell others about you and your great content.
In fact, just like me telling you, that if you're ever visiting Kinsale you simply must take a stroll with Barry Maloney.