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Report: Inbound 2012

I’m fresh from Hubspot’s Inbound 2012, a three-day conference for a mixed audience of content creators. When I got there, I was innocently running a premier copywriting collective, and eager to get the word out. When I left, I felt like a rocket launcher had been ignited under my chair. MarketSmiths Rover to Mission Control: the need for compelling content on this mad, mad digital planet is even more critical than I thought.

It’s not that this came as a complete surprise. But I founded MarketSmiths on a deeply personal premise: my pressing–and very sincere–desire to replace stiff (read: nearly all) commercial content with crisp, effervescent packages. Packages of words. I did NOT found MarketSmiths based on market growth potential. Perhaps I had my head in the sand. Yet there I was, listening to content drivers of all shapes and persuasions depict the web in the vein of an indiscriminate, insatiable, worldwide Cookie Monster. “ME WANT CONTENT!”

I concluded a few things.

Inbound Takeaway #1. Not everyone is a thought leader. You can blog and white paper all you like, but if your ideas aren’t clear–or are presented in a tepid way–you will not a thought leader make. A certain amount of recycling is unavoidable. But somewhere, there must be an original kernel substantial enough to make us say “ahh.”

Inbound Takeaway #2. Thought leadership aside, content creators need to be meaningful and interesting–or else watch their words tumble down a crevice, never to return. Inseparable from WHAT you say is HOW you say it. There’s no such thing as a muddled message delivered cleanly. (I challenge you to find exceptions!) Inbound

Takeaway #3. Strictly personal: we are better than our rival content creators. Based on my admittedly unscientific study (and unsolicited complaints), the following four differentiators remain intact: a) our quality of writing, b) our laser specialization, c) our journalist and author credentials, and d) our mission.

Finally, it was nice to get mentioned here. Let me know your thoughts, and happy content creating!!

Digital Strategy by MadPipe

UX by  Lucy Dotson

Photography by Chellise Michael

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