With D.P. Knudten
Today Kate talks to D.P. Knudten, a copywriter from Wisconsin, about social media and how it can be a powerful booster for copywriters.
Tune in to learn:
- What is ROTOMA (Return on Top of Mind Awareness), and why should copywriters care?
- What is Shoemaker’s Children Syndrome?
- In our increasingly visual world, how can copywriters compete?
- Why social media can be an effective force multiplier for copywriters
- Should we focus on one particular social media platform
- Which is D.P.’s favourite social media platform
- What kinds of content performs best?
- Why D.P. thinks copywriters hate SEO
- Should you bid projects by the hour or value?
- How can introverts get more out of conferences?
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D.P. Knudten is the Chief Collaborator at his business, COLLABORATOR creative, in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
A 25-year veteran adman, D.P. has worked on some of the biggest brands in the business including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Motorola at agencies including DDB Needham/Chicago and McCann Erickson/Atlanta. A writer by trade, he enjoys playing in the intersection between the visual and the verbal, using his NonFiction Branding™ approach to move people – and product.
He is also the co-author (with Spencer X. Smith) of the ‘ROTOMA’ –The ROI of social media, ‘Top of Mind’ and is the host of the popular ‘The ROTOMA Podcast’. He also speaks about branding, social media, creativity and culture to groups throughout the United States.
- COLLABORATOR creative website
- D.P. Knudten website
- ROTOMA podcast
- ROTOMA on Amazon
Hello and welcome to the Hot Copy Podcast, a podcast for copywriters, all about copywriting. Today, I’m talking to D.P. Knudten, a copywriter I met at Social Media Marketing World last year in San Diego. Admittedly, I spend the majority of this event in my bedroom watching Netflix because I found it a little bit overwhelming and was utterly shattered but on the one brief occasion I headed to a networking event, I met D.P., a huge character with whom I had lots of giggles. I think I promised him we’d start a podcast together but then I remembered I already have three. Since then, I’ve been following him on LinkedIn and he has some very interesting things to say so I thought I’d sneak him on the show while Belinda wasn’t looking and we’d have a bit of a natter. The focus of the show will be all about how to use social media to boost your copywriting business but I suspect we may stray from that path.
Kate Toon: Hello, my name is Kate Toon. I’m a copywriter and the founder of The Clever Copywriting School and The Recipe for SEO Success online learning hub. Today, I’m talking to D.P. Knudten. Hello, D.P.
D.P. Knudten: Well, hello, Kate Toon.
Kate Toon: It’s lovely to see your little face again.
D.P. Knudten: Well, it’s good to see you too. I mean, the last time I saw you, you were in San Diego as was I.
Kate Toon: As was we, we both were. Well, look, I got to start by reading out your illustrious bio because that’s how we roll on the show so let me read this all out. D.P. Knudten is the chief collaborator at his business COLLABORATOR creative in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. A 25-year veteran adman, D.P. has worked with some of the biggest brands in the business including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Motorola and at agencies including DDB Needham/Chicago, McCann Erickson/Atlanta. A writer by trade, he enjoys playing in the intersection between visual and verbal using his nonfiction branding trademark approach to move people and product. He’s also the co-author with Spencer X. Smith of Rotoma: The ROI of Social Media Top of Mind and is the host of the popular ROTOMA Podcast. He also speaks about branding, social media, creativity and cultures to groups around the United States. There you go. That’s pretty impressive, you’ve been busy.
D.P. Knudten: Yeah, well, that’s what happens when you get to write your own bio.
Kate Toon: Yeah, I know, just make yourself sound awesome, don’t you?
D.P. Knudten: Exactly, exactly.
Kate Toon: But you are awesome and you have oodles of experience and worked with some amazing brands. One thing that I was really impressed by when I met you at the event was just a lot of copywriters are kind of quite shy and retiring types, maybe a little bit introverted. Would you call yourself an introvert?
D.P. Knudten: Oh yeah. I like to call myself a high-functioning introvert which means I can turn it on when I have to. As you know especially if you take a typical agency copywriter’s career path and you end up as the creative director, you’ve got to be the one to sell the client on the ideas and you probably have the old saying that we have here in the United States that great ideas aren’t bought, they’re sold so if you got to be in there selling to a client, you got to be able to turn it on pretty hard.
Kate Toon: That’s such a good point. I never made it to the lofty heights of creative director, I was always just a copywriter but, obviously, you’re dragged into meeting after meeting to sell the concepts and the ideas that you’ve written and, yet, I wouldn’t say that most copywriters are natural salespeople, I think that’s a bit of a bridge. God, it’s such a good segue, people. It’s only 9:00 and I’m segueing, such a good segue into our episode because I think lots of copywriters struggle with putting themselves out there, with marketing themselves, with doing all the things on social media and trying to keep themselves top of mind so that kind of natural salesperson thing doesn’t come natural to us. Yeah, that kind of lends to your whole ethos which is this ROTOMA, Return of Top of Mind Awareness, can you explain what this means and why copywriters should care about it?
D.P. Knudten: Well, yeah. A lot of people will ask what’s the value of doing social media. I know that you do a lot of social media work and I do a lot of social media work, oftentimes you’re talking to a client and many clients will look at it as a complete waste of time, money and bandwidth so they’ll ask the question what’s the ROI, what’s the return on investment of my time, money and bandwidth on social media. The basic premise of the book that I wrote with Spencer X. Smith is if that’s your question about social media, you’re asking the wrong question, you should be asking what is social media good for and what is it the most powerful thing in the history of mankind about and that is allowing you to become and remain top of mind with your clients before they’re in the market, when they’re in the market, after they leave the market, when you want to upsell to them, when you want to resell to them, when you want to cross-sell to them, the best thing you can be is literally at the top of their mind.
Kate Toon: This is so apt because I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I’m actually taking an entire month of social media, well, so I said but I’m not very good at these kind of things but I’m rescheduling, I do a lot of rescheduling of old content so that I can have a good look through it and cull it a little. I often feel, however, that some of my social media is a little bit just noise like I’m trying to be present, I’m trying to keep be top of mind but maybe I don’t actually have anything interesting to say, does that matter do you think? Often my posts is just like a picture of a hedgehog or a funny meme, it’s not necessarily always erudite tips and advice. How do we differentiate between just randomly making noise and staying top of mind?
D.P. Knudten: Well, no one can be expected to have brilliant information to share every day of the week, multiple channels, different feeds, all that stuff. The purpose of keeping yourself top of mind is not to impress everyone with your bona fides and your brilliance, it’s to literally remind them that you exist. One of the things in the book that we talk about, I wrote a section called Unselfish Selfies and we actually took a bunch of these when we were at Social Media Marketing World. It’s about taking a photo with you and a bunch of other people and then you use LinkedIn, perfect place to share that, and Facebook is also viable but, for me, I’m a big fan of LinkedIn, you take that selfie with those people, you tag those people, you say, “It was so great to meet Kate Toon and and and and at Social Media Marketing World. I can’t believe how cool Australians are when you meet them in a bar for the first time.”
D.P. Knudten: Okay, what does that said brilliant about me? Well, it’s demonstrated a number of things. One, I went to Social Media Marketing World. What does that say? It means that I might have learn something valuable to my audiences, to my constituencies to make me a little bit more valuable because I went and they didn’t. It’s not like I came back with a diploma that I’m beating people over the head with but they get the idea of, oh wow, you probably learn stuff I don’t know, that’s a good thing to have. I’m also pointing out all the people I met including Kate Toon in Sydney, Australia. How cool is that that D.P. Knudten in Madison, Wisconsin, USA met Kate Toon in Australia? It’s very cool to people who don’t know who Kate Toon is but Australia is cool. It’s a layer of coolness that now attaches to me.
Kate Toon: I love that, layer of coolness, I need that. Although I have to quickly point out, you do know that I’m actually not Australian?
D.P. Knudten: Yeah. Well, you’re British, right?
Kate Toon: Of course, I’m British, I just needed … not that I have anything against Australians but come on. [crosstalk 00:09:03] you’ve got a few more points to make there but I just want to say one thing, I find those selfies … Because I saw people who seem to me to literally go to Social Media Marketing World to just stand by Amy whatsherface and Pat [inaudible 00:09:16] and it was selfie, selfie, selfie and, to be honest, towards the end of it, it felt a little bit revolting. There’s a line there as well, isn’t there? Do you know what I mean?
D.P. Knudten: Yeah, it’s a balance thing, it’s like too much cake is going to make you fat and sick, you got to balance your carbohydrates with your proteins. If I think of a selfie like that as a carbohydrate, I want to have some really meaty protein to share in terms of hints, tips and tricks.
D.P. Knudten: Again, using Social Media Marketing World just as an example, yeah, I took fun photos of you and all the other people that we met that first night but the very next day I came out of a session, I think it was Guy Kawasaki’s session, where he was talking about LinkedIn being the next great social media platform and that was a bit of information that I felt was really valuable to the people who follow me or I engage with on LinkedIn so I share that. By the way, when I got back to Madison, people were talking about that fact like, “I had no idea that LinkedIn was getting so big as a social media platform,” but the fact is it is and especially for working copywriters, it’s an incredible marketplace. If you aren’t actively engaged in that marketplace, creating some top of mind awareness for yourself, you’re missing out but that’s okay because I’m going to take your clients.
Kate Toon: Now, you do a great job at LinkedIn, I might come back to that towards the end because I’m interested in that. Something I wanted to talk to you about was you talk a little bit about something called shoemaker’s children syndrome. Now, I think that’s about cobbler’s shoes, is that that analogy? [crosstalk 00:10:57] we call them cobblers in England so [crosstalk 00:11:01].
D.P. Knudten: Of course. It’s the old George Bernard Shaw quote, that we’re three countries if we’re talking about Australia, United States and England, what, separated by a common language.
Kate Toon: Yeah.
D.P. Knudten: Well, I like to tell people this. You can look this up on LinkedIn, under your profile, they’ll tell you the day, down to the year and date that you join LinkedIn. I joined LinkedIn February 20th, 2006 and did nothing for almost a decade on it.
Kate Toon: Same, exactly the same.
D.P. Knudten: Well, exactly, because I treated it like a resume site. I got my resume filled out, I think I did enough to get that all star profile rating or badge and then I just left it because in my head, well, I’m working inside agencies, I have a job, I’m not looking for a job, if people want to look me up, that’s fine but it’s a resume site like Monster.com, I’m sure Australia has very similar ones, that are just for people looking for jobs.
D.P. Knudten: Well, all of a sudden, especially when I started working with Spencer on some projects, it became apparent how valuable and viable LinkedIn was as a social media platform for people who actually want to talk to people with budgets, not Facebook where people can talk about budgies and dogs and kids and college and blah blah blah. Actually, most copywriters, it’s a pure B2B sale, I’m selling my services to a business. That business owner is likely wearing multiple hats and doesn’t have a lot of time so if they’re going to engage on a social media channel during their two and a half seconds before they have to move on to the next thing, where do you think they’re going? They’re going on LinkedIn to locate their next customers or their vendors or maintain their relationships.
D.P. Knudten: Wisconsin is a state in the United States where freshwater fishing is huge, we have 15,000 lakes so everybody fishes so fishing metaphors and analogies happen way too often here. I believe in one that is really … I think every copywriter needs to think about this. Everyone knows about personas, right? Well, I’m here to talk to you about species of fish, what species of fish are you trying to catch? Are you trying to catch a bunch of small, little guppies or are you the type of copywriter who wants to get those big jobs with bigger clients that you do five of those a year and your year is taken care of?
Kate Toon: Yeah. Or are you the kind of copywriter that fishes and wind up a boot or a tin can at the end because that’s the other thing.
D.P. Knudten: Exactly.
Kate Toon: All those tyre kickers and people who you write the proposal for and nothing comes of it because they were never the right client in the first place. This is much about repelling and attracting and LinkedIn is a great place to really hone in on the sorts of people you want to get because, as you said, they got money, that’s the big difference, they have money to spend.
D.P. Knudten: Right. If you’re talking about people who need someone to write tweets, I don’t want that copywriter job, I want the copywriter job that is I need a social media strategy and execution and I would like you to create the strategy, I would like you to help me with the actual execution and while I’ll be able to handle the day-to-day tweeting, I would like you to write the longer form protein level blog posts. That’s how I make money, I don’t make money writing tweets for somebody.
Kate Toon: I think, also, it’s also the jobs where they’re willing to take you on a longer scale, it’s not like, “Can you just do our website and then we’re done,” it’s like, “Do alternative voice, let’s work on the website, then next month we’re going to plan our social, then after that our email marketing,” and you get that lifetime relationship, maybe not lifetime but longer term. You’re not constantly having to pitch and sell because you got those ongoing clients because it’s hard having lots of one-night stand clients, we want to have longer term relationships. LinkedIn, I think, is a better place that have that species of fish which maybe … Are they guppies? No, they’re cods or …
D.P. Knudten: Well, I like to think of them as whales.
Kate Toon: Whales but we shouldn’t be catching whales, poor whales, put them back but, yeah, I know what you mean.
D.P. Knudten: All right. How about swordfish?
Kate Toon: We’ll go with swordfish.
D.P. Knudten: Yeah. You’re absolutely right, I’m much more interested in doing relationships, creating relationships. A lot of the people I work with view me as their creative director and copywriter who exists outside their business but whenever they need something and, again, it could be a video, it could be a traditional ad campaign, it could be a TV advertisement, it could be anything, I’m top of mind with them so they pick up the phone or they … We use Slack a lot. I can’t tell you how many different companies in my Slack channels because they consider me part of their crew even though I’m outside the boat.
Kate Toon: Yup. Do you think that it’s bit of a mindset shift, that instead of thinking especially LinkedIn as social media, we should be thinking of it more as relationship building and we’re actually just starting the relationship then because I think there’s this tendency to have this push mentality with social media, I’m going to make a GIF and put it here, here and here. Rather than doing that on LinkedIn, it’s about starting conversations, answering questions, following them, making suggestions, sharing, it’s like you’re building a relationship with a potential client. Is that how you view it?
D.P. Knudten: Yeah. Well, absolutely. I think of LinkedIn as a business oriented party and everybody’s there at the party and you walk by one group of people and they’re talking about stuff you aren’t expert in or you don’t care about so you just ignore those guys but you find the ones that are talking about something you’re interested in, you join the conversation. It’s just like at a party where the first time you join a new group and you say something, everybody kind of whips their head around and look at you like who are you, then you say something smart and they go, “Oh yeah, cool, welcome to the group,” and then all of a sudden you’re collaborating together, you’re sharing ideas.
D.P. Knudten: I’ve had more than one person and I’ve done this for them as well which is I met a client that wasn’t right for me so I refer that client to them and that kind of mutual back scratch thing that really good copywriters do. Every writer has kind of a sweet spot that they do better than other things, some are really pithy, conceptual, think of it as almost haikus, koans and pithy sayings, other ones maybe can do white papers for days. I literally just had someone saying, “Hey, could you do a white paper?” I said, “No because that’s not what I do; however, I know someone who can and excels at it.”
Kate Toon: Yeah, that’s it. Whether you’ve need to down on industry or … Like I would rather eat my own kidneys than write an annual report even if they’re offering oodles of cash, I just could not physically bring myself to do that so I think that’s super important.
Kate Toon: Now, another thing that you mention here is that you see, we’re still focusing on LinkedIn but if we come back to social media a bit more in general, you see social media, as you say, as a force multiplier for copywriters, what do you mean by a force multiplier?
D.P. Knudten: Okay. My business is actually just me, don’t tell anybody.
Kate Toon: Mine too.
D.P. Knudten: Well, exactly. My sales force is me, my business development team is me, my go out networking at places I don’t know anybody is me and I’m a high-functioning introvert and I don’t like that kind of thing so what social media allows me to do is demonstrate who I am, how I act, how I serve the way I think and, again, I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, I don’t want to be everybody’s cup of tea, I want to be the type of cup of tea for the people who go, “I love this, and, “I want more of you.” I can do that via social media. Here’s the thing, I’m not on everything. I hate Facebook, I really hate Facebook. I love Twitter mostly because I follow US politics like it’s a sport.
Kate Toon: Which it is.
D.P. Knudten: Yeah, it’s a very interesting sport. My point is that I can demonstrate who I am, the way I think and why I might be valuable to you in a lot of different ways in a sales oriented way. I’m not out there selling like, “Hey, I can write a brochure for you for X number of dollars,” I’m just demonstrating that, wow, he’s kind of smart, he’s kind of funny, he seems personable, why don’t we give him a call, see if we could work out? Via social media and, again, it doesn’t have to be just LinkedIn but you get to identify the flock that you fly with. If you’re flying with the high flying flock, the high performing flock, there’s a lot of networking going on at that level that happens because people want to recommend people that they really feel comfortable recommending. Again, I would rather have 5,000 great contacts on LinkedIn than 5 million on Facebook because those 5,000 on LinkedIn have money to spend and would appreciate what I have to offer.
Kate Toon: That’s so interesting. Yeah. My next question is going to be should we focus on one particular platform and which platform should it be but I think I know your answer to that. I mean, just from my experience, I feel like I’m somewhat of a generalist and I try to be a little bit everywhere. I do love Facebook, I don’t love Facebook as a channel and as a company but it’s very useful to me, it’s where I have my membership communities and I make lots of small sales because I have a lot of passive income like shops and memberships and whatever so, for me, that’s great but for winning big clients and for getting big brands on board as a copywriter, I agree with you, I’m all about LinkedIn. We had an interesting scenario going recently where people are really trying to work on Instagram because Instagram is so pretty and it’s quotes and it’s this but the problem is that everyone in Instagram, I don’t know, [inaudible 00:21:53] to sell and buy and to engage. I don’t know. What are your thoughts on Instagram? Do you do much Instagram stuff?
D.P. Knudten: Well, I enjoy Instagram as a consumer, I find it much more palatable than Facebook or what I call in your face book because it’s all about this is my best life 24/7, I’m like, “No, that’s not what life is.” Instagram is interesting and I think it is really great for clients who have very visual or potentially visually oriented services or products and things like that. An example I like to use is if you’re a company that makes industrial fasteners, things like screws, nuts and bolts and things like that, should you be doing Instagram? Well, but I said, “What if your nut and bolt was just send up on space X’s new thing, new rocket?” that’s a cool thing to share and you can literally tell your success very visually with a very up-to-date type thing but you shouldn’t just be showing nuts and bolts, show the space X rocket and then make a point that you’ve got 15 different products on that rocket. Ooh, all of a sudden, you’re different than a nut and bolt manufacturer that might be a competitor that is just a commodity competitor.
Kate Toon: I mean, I think there’s always things to say and, hopefully, as a good copywriter, you can always find things to say even about the most boring of businesses because to somebody that’s not boring, the fact this is an X74 widget rather than a blue [inaudible 00:23:36] widget is interesting to somebody, you just have to find the insight so there’s always a way.
Kate Toon: I guess if we’re going to focus on a particular platform … I’m big on LinkedIn and for those of you who follow The Clever Copywriting School, we got a little mini LinkedIn course that you can do to give you a bit of a boost and get you set up, a bit of a plug there, a little bit of a plug. I also love Twitter, I find it very amusing. I guess there’ll be people listening to this going, “Okay. I’m going to give LinkedIn a shot, I’m going to go and connect with D.P. first and follow him,” what sort of things should they be posting? If you were to say to someone, “Hey, look, let’s plan out your first couple of weeks of content,” what sort of things would you recommend that they be posting?
D.P. Knudten: A great thing to do is to promote your clients and make them look good, you look good. Okay. Whenever you shine the light on your client, some of that light reflects back on you and it’s halo light, this is god light that makes you look like Angelina Jolie walking out in the sunset because you make your clients look good.
D.P. Knudten: A prosaic thing like a ribbon cutting at a new opening of a store or something, should you be there with your camera or should you get the photo from your client of that grand opening and then promote it on LinkedIn for them? Absolutely. Ideally, you’re doing it in a way that makes it clear that they’re my client. You don’t have to say, “I’m so proud of my client XYZ Supply,” no, but you can say, “Linda at XYZ Supply, congratulations on the grand opening, what a hoot. I’m so proud of you and the entire team. I can’t wait for our meeting next week.” I’ve just said they’re my client without saying they’re my client and I’ve made them look good. By tagging all the people on that XYZ Supply team, I’m now in their networks because you know they’re going to like it and do, ideally, what I call a like plus.
D.P. Knudten: Okay. Anyone who’s been involved in improvisational theatre knows the concept of yes, and, yes means I accept your premise, and means I add to it. In the case of a like, you don’t just thumb up whatever you’re liking, you thumb up and say why you’re thumbing up that thing or adding to it in a fun way like, “I love the fact that you posted this, my favourite takeaway from that article was this,” because it’s I like it, yay, but I’m also sharing what I thought about it which someone might not read the whole article, they get that and they look at me as this nice curator of a nice little bonbon takeaway.
Kate Toon: Yup. This whole idea of being first to comment as well which I don’t think it’s so important but I think when you’re going to comment, it’s more than just saying, “Hey, great article,” but it’s that, “Hey, great article. I also like this idea and this idea,” because someone reading Rand Fishkin’s article about blah blah blah will see your comment, will see your contribution and think, “They’re quite interesting.” To a degree, in a little way, kind of piggybacking off the person that you’ve just complimented on but that’s how I found some really interesting people like I’ve seen them interacting and having conversations on other people’s posts. I don’t think it always has to be you generating new content every five minutes, you can get a lot out of LinkedIn as well just by interacting and contributing to other people’s content as well, do you think?
D.P. Knudten: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you look at any good conversation where there’re multiple posts, you can go through and count the I like it too, I like it too, I like it too garbage and then you get the one that is I like it for this specific reason and how it relates to a challenge that a lot of people are facing. All of a sudden, you go four morons, one brilliant person that I would like to meet. Seriously, if you are that brilliant person in those conversations, people are going to ignore the rest and focus on you and say, “I got to keep an eye on this person,” and all of a sudden you might get a follower or someone who actually wants to connect with you via LinkedIn or whatever social media platform you’re on.
D.P. Knudten: Again, I like to think of what we do as almost nothing more than a big party. We’ve all been at parties where there’s a cluster of people, someone’s regaling the entire group with a story and everyone’s laughing, laughing, laughing and saying, “I like it, I like it, I like it,” if you’re the one in that group who throws something back to them in a very fun, playful way, not … I’m thinking of somebody in San Diego.
D.P. Knudten: I do want to share this story because I went to Social Media Marketing World first time by myself and went to that opening night party thing, it was actually before the opening night. I’m like looking at my watch going, “Okay, I’m going to make it another 15 minutes and then I’m going back to my room to watch Netflix,” and all of a sudden someone came up and sat next to me at the bar and that person had an Australian accent and I went, “Where are you from?” We started a conversation and then four hours later I have an entire posse of friends from Melbourne and Sydney and you name it, I think there was someone from Perth there as well, so it’s kind of like the entire continent right there. That party happened because people were playing off each other and then when the illustrious Kate Toon showed up as a whirlwind of craziness, it was like we bonded in, what, 15 nanoseconds.
Kate Toon: Yeah, we did.
D.P. Knudten: That was really cool but that’s the type of interplay because look at LinkedIn as a party, not as a business opportunity, not like you’re sitting in their lobby, you’re not in their lobby, you’re at their kid’s graduation party and you’re finding out something, you’re sharing something, it’s just positive. You don’t have to go saccharine positive or cloyingly positive but I think of things on LinkedIn as always stay net positive, even if you bring up a detrimental thing or a negative thing, find a way to turn it positive.
Kate Toon: Yup. I think also people should play a little bit more on LinkedIn, I don’t think it has to be all so serious. Some of the best relationships I’ve gathered out of there have been through bouncer like bouncer is a big thing in English culture, just batting back and forth kind of slightly sarcastic comments or taking the Mick out of each other or putting a contrary view, just having a bit more fun with it. I think that comes from having a lot of confidence in yourself and your brand and also being aware that not everyone is going to like you, that’s okay, as we said, this is much about repelling people as attracting them. The posts I put on LinkedIn are very rarely useful, very rarely do I put like a study has shown that 17.4% of people are … boring, everyone else is doing that so I’ll put something about my day or some kind of fun thing and that doesn’t detract from the fact that I know what I’m talking about. I just think people should not take it all so goddamn seriously, I don’t know.
D.P. Knudten: Amen. I mean, one of the things that I would love to put in the brains of your listeners is the difference between curation and regurgitation. Curation is finding something yourself, discovering something shareable in it and then sharing it. Regurgitation is just go on Twitter any day of the week and follow anybody in marketing and you get that top 10 ways to get people to click on your button or some dumb crap like that, I hate that, it’s useless.
Kate Toon: I wish someone would click on my button, I tell you, it’s been a while.
D.P. Knudten: Ba dum boom, thank you very much, enjoy the veal.
Kate Toon: I’m here all week.
D.P. Knudten: Yeah, right. Oh my gosh. Be a curator, be someone who brings something new to the party, don’t just regurgitate stuff.
An American football team, the Green Bay Packers is huge in the state of Wisconsin, I mean, literally, it’s one of the really great things about the state. If you go to a party, the safest thing to say to someone you don’t know is how about them Packers but it’s meaningless drivel. That’s why I’m an introvert who likes to find a book and a corner and read that book because I can’t stand that drivel.
D.P. Knudten: There is so much drivel on social media, don’t be a driveler, be a curator of good stuff, don’t regurgitate, you have a choice. Now, the thing is if you’re a natural contrarian, sometimes the best thing you can curate is some regurgitated crap and give a contrarian take to it because getting people to think differently is a valuable thing that copywriters do. I’ve listened to your podcast and I know that you very clearly know the difference between features and benefits when it comes to writing copy, clients want to sell on features, people want to buy on benefits, you know, the old drill hole story and all that stuff. It’s absolutely true so you should be a purveyor of quality information even if that information can be challenging and I love that and I love the banter part too. When you find people who can handle that heat, you’re part of my tribe forever.
Kate Toon: Yeah, I think that’s so true. I mean, one of the things that I also don’t hugely like is when people just constantly share the articles and ideas of the big names to social media and they’re just resharing that and kind of saying, “Oh, this is great, look what this person write,” in the hope that they will suck some glory juice from the Pat Flynns of this world. We don’t all have to be thought leaders, we don’t all have to be Simon Sinek, we could all find little, tiny meaningful things in our own business, it might even be, you know, hey, I found a way to keep my coffee warm for four hours so it can last even longer, it’s a dumb thing or I found this little cool app and this is how I use it.
Kate Toon: I think curation is really important but I think, as you said, contrary points of view and just tiny insights, tiny little things that may help a few people. We don’t all have to be the Pat Flynns and Amy Porterfields of this world but I think a lot of us feel a lot of pressure to be those people and that’s what almost will stop copywriters even bothering with social media because then, well, who’s going to follow me when there’s Joanna Wiebe to follow or D.P. Knudten, who’s going to care about what I have to say. I stray completely from our questions but I don’t care now. How do we get over that imposter syndrome? Who cares about me and what I got to say, how do we get over that?
D.P. Knudten: Okay. Imposter syndrome, turn it into a positive. I thought this from my very first job as a copywriter, I thought, well, number one, don’t tell anyone I’m self-taught, have never gone to school, my degree is in theatre, the way I look at it is I watch TV advertisements my entire life, I know what advertising is. Well, guess what, other people found out I could do it by doing it.
D.P. Knudten: I still, to this day, feel like a hack. When I talk to younger creatives, I’ll say, “The day you stop feeling like a hack is the day you are one because if you’re a hack, if you consider yourself a hack, you’re constantly second guessing.” I’m sure you’ve had this problem where you write something and it’s so sharp, it’s so pithy, it’s so right on and your first thought is, “Someone else must have written that, it has to exist someplace else.” If you look hard enough, you’ll find someone who did say something similar to it. You can’t go there, you have to believe in yourself because you have a voice that is different than anybody else out there and why should they have a voice on social media and you not because here’s the reality, the only people who are extracting zero value from social media are the ones who weren’t using it.
D.P. Knudten: I’m about ready, I spend today doing a quick little video about aspect ratios when it comes to videos. Why? Because thanks to Instagram TV for coming out with a new aspect ratio from widescreen 69, 4:3, the old TV style, blah blah blah, all that stuff, yeah, if you’re in video production, you know that stuff, if you’re doing a lot of video, you know that stuff. If you’re following the siren call of video on social media because everyone is saying, “Video is the king of content on social media, that means I must do it,” so if you’re saying to yourself, “Well, how do I do it?” one of the questions that you may not even know you need an answer to is what’s the aspect ratio, how does that work.
D.P. Knudten: I’m sharing out a video on that tomorrow. Why? Because no one else is. That’s a little gem of information that a lot of people are going to go, “Well, that’s kind of one-on-one, that’s kind of basic, that’s kind of first year.” It’s like, yeah, guess what, a lot of people are first year on social media and they could use a little bit of help.
Kate Toon: Yeah, and that’s a tiny gem. I’ve been using Word for, I don’t know, 25 years and someone the other day just showed me a little button I never knew was there and it’s a dumb thing, I can’t even remember what it was now, but it was pretty life changing, that must have been life changing, I can’t remember it. I think that’s tiny little nuggets of information.
Kate Toon: The other thing I would say to people is you may know who blah blah is but lots of other people don’t. I talk to my husband and I went to Social Media Marketing World and I was like, “Everyone is taking photos of blah and blah and blah,” and he was like, “Who are they?,” he never heard any of them, never heard of a single one of them because he’s just … He has an online business, he doesn’t follow any of those people. You can create your own little circles of people. Also, people do follow multiple people. People aren’t like, “I only follow Joanna Wiebe and I never listen to any other person,” people want different opinions and different views and real life and working copywriters maybe rather than superstar copywriters. There is room for everyone, I think, is an important thing to remember.
D.P. Knudten: Yeah. There are niches of those people everywhere. I often think of it as a tribe, when you find your tribe, it feels like home and it feels mutually supportive and lovely and wonderful. Then when one of you says, “Hey, I’m going to Social Media Marketing World,” and the other person says, “So am I,” guess what, party happens and you’ve got someone to hang with during the whole damn thing. Are you going to Social Media Marketing World again?
Kate Toon: You kind of made me excited to go again even though I …
D.P. Knudten: Okay. Well, guess what, because now we’re best buddies, right?
Kate Toon: We are. You’ll look after me now, won’t you?
D.P. Knudten: Well, exactly. As will Alex and Todd from Fletch Digital in Sydney, they became friends of ours.
Kate Toon: Yes.
D.P. Knudten: I know they’re coming. I don’t know if you met the Icelandic guys, [inaudible 00:40:57] and David from Sahara in Reykjavik.
Kate Toon: I want to meet them.
D.P. Knudten: Well, tell me about it. I’ve got this international group of friends that I am just determined to bring together so that we have the best time because let me tell you, to be famous at Social Media Marketing World is to be famous to .05% of the population of this Earth. Guess what? No one in China knows any of the biggest names at Social Media Marketing World. Please let’s put on our humble hats, if you will, and understand that we all can learn from each other if we go to such events with an open head and open heart and open hands to share. Believe me, I was born a cynic, I was born a contrarian, I was born an acerbic pain in the butt but I’m determined to change that because I want to be part of a world that’s net positive, not net negative and the only way to do that is by being more positive than those people who are negative. Again, I’m no Pollyanna though, believe me, because [crosstalk 00:42:11].
Kate Toon: I’m a bit of a cynic too. When we do the podcast, it’s like Belinda is good cop and I’m always bad cop because she’s much more jolly and positive than I am.
D.P. Knudten: I can see that. Tell her I think she would make a wonderful hostess at a party.
Kate Toon: She is introverted as well, she would be though, she’s got great hair. Lots of different things, I can talk to you all day, to be honest. I think as well something that’s so important that comes out in social media and connecting and viewing this relationship marketing not just to potential clients but with your peers are the relationships you form with your competitors and the opportunities that come out of that. We actually met in real life first but then we’ve built that relationship on social media. Here you are in my podcast, who knows what’s going to happen next, we’re going to go on holiday together, we’re going to have barbecues, who knows, we’re going to catch swordfish and whales, you just don’t know where it’s going to lead but what will definitely lead nowhere is just not giving it a pop at all and just being terrified.
D.P. Knudten: Amen, sister.
Kate Toon: Amen. Can I get an amen?
D.P. Knudten: You can get an amen, girl friend. Here’s the thing, it’s free, it has no cost. My LinkedIn, as much as I love LinkedIn, I’m still on the free account, I’m not paying premium for that stuff, I’m not a sales guy, I’m extracting all the value I can out of my free account on LinkedIn and let me tell you, I’m extracting a hell of a lot of value.
D.P. Knudten: What’s stopping you? Fear of failure. Well, guess what, don’t wake up and walk out the door then, I mean, everybody feels that. I don’t have anything smart to say. Yeah, you do, you might need to think a little bit to figure out what that is but start following the people who are doing it the best from your point of view, not other people’s point of view because some of the named individuals at Social Media Marketing World that we both met, let’s just say I don’t buy their tea. I have a brain and that brain can say that a movie that everyone loves, I can think sucks because I have a brain.
D.P. Knudten: Share of yourself, your point of view and demonstrate your value to people. Sometimes the best value you can demonstrate to someone is, hey, if I see you at a public meeting, I can walk up and say, “Hey, I follow you on LinkedIn,” and, boom, conversation starts, that is probably the single most valuable thing about being active in a thing like that. Networking for business is always painful unless you walk in to the place and you see someone smiling across the room at you, you walk up to them because they seem nice and you introduce yourself and they go, “Yeah, I follow you on LinkedIn, I’m so glad to meet you.” You don’t ever walk into a cold room when it’s already warmed up by people who know you even though they haven’t met you yet.
Kate Toon: Love you, love that. I said I love you then, I do love you, I don’t mean to say it. Sorry, it just came out, I meant I love that. So many memes in this, I got about 72 memes I’d written down that I’m going to turn into beautiful graphics and share on social media.
Kate Toon: I want to leave with one final point and that is, I call it, the chip paper, the chip paper notion. In England, in the olden days, you will get your chips served on newspapers. You call them french fries, I think. Anything you post will be yesterday’s chip paper, tomorrow’s chip paper so it’ll be gone in the feeds. Even if you do post something completely stupid, that no one responds to or is like tumbleweed, who cares, tomorrow is a new day, post something else.
D.P. Knudten: Yet, now I’m going to mix metaphors on you, social media is a snowball at the top of the hill and it never melts as long as you keep rolling it.
Kate Toon: We’ve had swordfish and whales and snowballs.
D.P. Knudten: I haven’t even got to my favourite metaphors yet so [crosstalk 00:46:23], I’m going to save those for San Diego.
Kate Toon: For episode 2 of this fantastic podcast. Well, look, we’re going to wrap it up there. Thank you so much, D.P. It’s been fabulous.
D.P. Knudten: My pleasure, Kate.
Kate Toon: Now, regular listeners will know that this is the time that we read out a review of the show but today I cannot read one out because we don’t have any new ones, you terrible humans. If you’re listening to this now, take two minutes, maybe leave us a star rating and a review, we’ve run out of fresh ones so rather than regurgitate, we’d like to have some new ones. Thanks anyway, though, for listening. I hope you enjoy this show. Don’t forget to head over to hotcopypodcast.com and leave your comments on the blog post and also you’ll find all D.P.’s links there to his podcast, to his LinkedIn, his website and all the wonderful things that he does. Thanks again, D.P.
D.P. Knudten: Thanks so much.
Kate Toon: Until next time, happy writing.
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