Whether in your personal or professional life, you will never win the comparison game. There is always someone younger, smarter, wealthier, more successful, more well known, happier, and/or more attractive than you. Yet at the same time, those supposedly “better” people and businesses have failures. Such is the case with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Their perfectness of beauty, success, talent, and philanthropy became something of a joke. And up until now, we probably all thought they were much happier than us because they had all those things. But as we have seen in today’s reporting, Jolie filed for divorce. I’m sure you’ve seen friends with supposedly perfect marriages end. Often it has been said, and certainly said to me when my first marriage ended, “But you looked like the perfect couple.” What you project to the public and what actually happens behind closed doors can be two very different things, especially when you’re a public figure or a company, public or private.

We used to live in a time where we thought certain companies couldn’t fail, or if they did fail it would be damaging to the public and the industry. The PR-trumped up belief that “nobody got fired for buying IBM” fed into professionals’ desires to take the “safe route” as it would eliminate “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” or FUD. While that phrase may have worked at a time, it doesn’t anymore.

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I have two great frustrations:

First is the content marketing non-advice of “create great content.” It’s the equivalent of a financial analyst telling you to “buy low, sell high.”

Second is the struggle to create great content that gets noticed. While I’m thankful that content farms pushing out crap content are having a rougher time gaming Google’s algorithm, there’s a new problem that’s quite the opposite. The quality of content has risen dramatically forcing everyone to work harder and be more creative in order to be seen.

Below is some advice on different successful styles of content you can produce. If you are looking specifically for ideas around corporate videos, please read my other article, “20 Great Ideas for Your Next Corporate Video.”

1: What do you keep repeating?

What do you keep repeating?When talking to a new client, this is usually one of the first questions I ask. What is the story about your business you find yourself telling over and over again? How often are you asked, “Why should we consider your business vs. competitor X?” Use those answers to build content pieces.

If you publish a video or article explaining those things you keep repeating, it will save you time repeating it again in the future. More importantly, more people will discover this content before they even meet you.

2: Challenge a common assumption

Challenge a common assumptionOne of my most popular newsletters was entitled “Great News! Nobody Wants to Hear Your Story.” In the article I challenged the assumption that all brands need to tell their story. I argued that for many, story is not important. There are plenty of products I use and love yet don’t know their story. It was contradictory to what everyone in the industry had assumed.

What industry assumption have you always questioned?

Here’s another example: How to Be Really Successful Producing a Crappy Video

3: No one can copy your experiences

No one can copy your experiencesAdvice articles like this one are common and can be copied very easily. What can’t be copied are your experiences. Some of my most popular posts are first-hand accounts of personal experiences. The reason we don’t often write these articles is we don’t think people will be interested and would rather read advice. What you may not realize is your story of how you handled, or didn’t handle a situation, is advice. It’s far more compelling when you craft it as a story first. For example, I told a story of how I was invited and then uninvited to a press event. It was a story first, and then it turned into  advice on how the company who invited me should have handled the situation.

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How to Hire 1M InfoSec Pros When None Are Available

August 18, 2016
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You can’t just HIRE another 1M InfoSec professionals. It’s not like they’re sitting there waiting for you in the wings. You have to use a strategy to grow them, or maybe you have to lessen the problem. These InfoSec pros offer some sage advice.

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Our 19 Secrets to Producing Content as Fast as Possible

June 8, 2016
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In February, I wrote an article Tricks We Use to Produce Content Quickly. Looking back, I realized that there were a lot more tips I should have included, so I’ve rewritten that article with tons of bonus material. Here goes… Events are a beehive of potential content. If you want to capture and produce it, […]

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View Counts Are for Amateurs. Determining the Real Value of Your Video.

May 19, 2016
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We all rally around a video’s view count to determine its success. But how often can you determine the ROI for your business solely from a video’s view count? Video for business has so many other benefits that can directly impact your bottom line.

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An Argument for Yelling at Customer Service

May 4, 2016
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Are there times where yelling at customer service is validated and will also deliver the service you want?

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Why Do So Many Corporate Videos Suck?

April 11, 2016
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Before you produce your next corporate video, please do yourself and your company a favor, and watch this video.

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13 Annoying Communications that Must End in 2016

March 18, 2016
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I love to complain. And I love that you love to hear me complain. For the sixth year in a row, here’s my list of communication annoyances.

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How Would Someone Break Into Your Network?

March 7, 2016
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At the 2016 RSA Conference in San Francisco, I tried a little social engineered hacking. I wasn’t so subtle about it.

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Tricks We Use to Produce Content Quickly

February 24, 2016
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It’s what we do to produce a ton of content, especially at live events.

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