Report: Inbound 2012

Founder Jean Tang shares her key takeaways from Hubspot's Inbound 2012 conference on thought leadership and content creation.

rocket launcher igniting compelling content

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!!

Jean Tang

Jean Tang

A champion of high-end content, Jean is a living tribute to copywriting for humans. In 2012, at a TEDx talk, she declared her now widely viewed “War Against Bland.” The visionary founder of MarketSmiths, Jean leads her growing team to captivate, inspire, and motivate readers. She has helped thousands of global clients generate revenue from words (up to 12,000% ROI), and transformed the writing of hundreds of seminar attendees at the SXSW Interactive Festival (2014 and 2015), SXSW V2V (2014), the Small Business Summit (2014, NYC), and other venues.

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