I was fortunate to be invited back to do a workshop and a session at the Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland, Ohio for the 8th time. When you go to an event like this for 8 years straight, you start seeing familiar faces and begin forming a circle of friends that you hang out with from year to year. As always, it was wonderful to see Kelly Hungerford, Jeff Julians, Amy Higgins, Jay Baer, Michael Brennen, Robert Rose, and many other friends. I don’t know about you, but as much as I see them on FB or Twitter, I still prefer a meaningful hug and in-person catching-up.
I’d like to challenge myself so I present a different topic each year, and I was excited to create a new one for 2018’s conference. My session title was 5 Creative Ways Marketers Can Enable their Sales Team, and it is no surprise that it’s closely related to my new book, Effective Sales Enablement. As a speaker, I can tell you that the content needs to be solid throughout, but the most important part is the opening. I like to come up with a fun start to the presentation that will capture people’s attention.
Once I can get the opening right, I believe everything else will flow naturally.
This time, however, I couldn’t think of a fun opening. My initial plan was to go directly to the 5 creative ideas that I wanted to share. Pretty boring, right?
But, I did a last-minute change. Here is what happened. I went to that morning’s keynote. The keynote speaker was Andrew Davis. He is a great keynote speaker. He made his keynote like a show, very entertaining and fun.
So he shared one of his observations. He said that our customers have no attention span and no time to read our emails, download our e-books, dive into our blog posts, yet these very same customers can binge watch two seasons of Stranger Things on Netflix in one weekend. Why is that?
He talked about how these shows are created in a way to pique our interests and provoke our curiosity. They build up suspense and drama like ocean waves to draw us in. He stressed that we need to do the same when we create our content.
For example, can we create titles to pique our audiences’ curiosity and attention? Can we build up the hype as part of our content storytelling and flow? Of course, once the hype is built up, can we deliver that level of expectations to meet the hype?
I decided to take his suggestions to heart and apply them to my session. I wanted to see if I can come up with several fun titles that will pique attendees’ interests.
So, my session title was “5 Creative Ways Marketers Can Enable Their Sales Team.” Well, it’s on-point, but didn’t capture audiences’ attention or invoke any curiosity. So, I created 3 additional titles which say the same thing but state in a way which will capture their attention.
Are you ready? Drum roll, please!! Here are 3 titles that I came up with:
- 5 Untold Secrets Marketers Can Score with Their Sales Teams
- A Quick and Dirty Framework You Can Use To Improve Your Sales Enablement Efforts Instantly
- Check Out the Untold Secrets that Will Lead You to Sales and Marketing Nirvana. WOW!
When I started my session, I told my attendees that Andrew’s keynote put me to shame. I was looking at my session: 5 Creative Ways Marketers can enable their sales teams. Concise and get-to-the-point, but there is no excitement in it.
So I put Andrew’s message into practice right away.
I shared with them the 3 titles that I came up with and I shared them with a sense of passion and a dramatic voice. They all laughed. I told them that they would vote on which title fits my content the best after I finished my session. That somehow captured their attention. Yeah!!
I didn’t simply share 5 creative ways to enable sales. I put into a framework so that they can work with their sales or marketing teams to brainstorm the creative ways that they can enable sales. And, throughout the 45 minutes, all eyes were on me. They were listening.
At the end of the session, I came back to the 3 titles again. I had them vote on which one worked the best for my content. Most of the people voted for, are you ready?
A Quick and Dirty Framework You Can Use To Improve Your Sales Enablement Efforts Instantly
Then, 4-5 people voted the last one:
Check Out the Untold Secrets that Will Lead You to the Sales and Marketing Nirvana. WOW!
I said to the audiences, that these people are just trying to mess with me.
To cap things off, I ended up my session by giving away 5 books.
What is my lesson learned?
To never stop thinking about my opening. To make a conscious effort to put interesting ideas I hear into practice, and if you keep working on it, something will come.
Another lesson I learned is a quote from Andrew Davis: “Pay attention” is a misdemeanor. All attention is earned. Indeed, you want your audience to pay attention to you, and you need to earn it. There is no free lunch.
We shouldn’t create content for the sake of creating content. It’s about making effort to earn someone’s attention.
Again, send me your marketing questions or thoughts via Twitter @pamdidner.
Keep hustling, my friends. You got this!