Quotes are a fantastic way to inspire you to work to the best of your ability, even when you’re not feeling the most optimistic.
We’ve all been there – You’ve put an enormous amount of work in, you think your idea is fantastic, you’ve tried to rally people to your way of thinking – but things just aren’t going the way you thought they would.
Suddenly, you experience what seems like a grey cloud hovering over your head, dampening your thoughts and spirits and making every movement, every thought seem worthless.
Very quickly, you can be drawn into the self-indulgent self-pity that is common in the aftermath of defeat, dejection, wariness or whatever other dark cloud has been hanging over your head.
But here’s the thing: You’re better than that, and deep down inside: You know it too.
Quotes are a fantastic way to rekindle the light inside of you. They act as a pin, bursting through the cloud to allow the light to shine down on you once more.
I have a tendency to collect quotes, keeping them for days when the sun isn’t shining quite so bright. Here are some of my favourite quotes that I think will inspire and revitalize you and your business, followed by an aside by yours truly.
1.The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife.
– David Ogilvy
Ever since I read Confessions of an Advertising Man, I’ve been a little obsessed with David Ogilvy. (If you haven’t read it, you can find it for free by following that link).
For those of you who don’t know, David Ogilvy is widely known as “The Father of Advertising” and in 1962 Time referred to him as “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry”.
Ogilvy’s rise in the world of business was one that I’m sure many can relate to.
In what I can only call a rags-to-riches type story, Ogilvy was raised by a Gaelic-speaking Highlander of a father, whose business was badly hit by the Great Depression. With the help of scholarships, Ogilvy landed a place in college, but it didn’t go well.
After a short trip in Paris, he returned to Scotland to sell stoves and was so remarkable at it that he was asked to write a manual, which turned out to also showcase Ogilvy’s talents.
The manual was spotted by some high-up execs, and Ogilvy’s career took off.
By 1949 he started his own advertising agency.
The key to Ogilvy’s success was his four pillared philosophy on advertising:
- Creative brilliance
- Actual results for clients
- Professional discipline
But what was the most important aspect of Ogilvy’s philosophy was that he knew that to be successful he had to understand the consumers.
That meant: Treating them like loved ones (your wife) and not like idiots.
For me, and I’m sure for all content marketers, this quote can serve to remind us of our reader’s humanity.
This is one of my favorite work-related quotes. When I think of it as I write, it helps me focus on what people really need. I try to think of the people on the other side of the world, business people who need a helping hand.
The quote reminds us that the reason we’re creating relevant, interesting, engaging content isn’t “just cos” – it’s because it’s good for business. It’s because it looks at consumers as real people with real feelings and it lets them know that we too [the businesses] are real people with real feelings too.
It connects us on a level that goes beyond just marketing.
Content marketers aren’t trying to just market their products, they’re trying to show how much we see our consumers, our readers, our fellow human beings as people we actually care about and value, and we do that through providing value to them.
We need to think of the end-users, readers, viewers as people with value, just like your would think of your wife, your son, your daughter, your parents… your dog. Whoever!
2. On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
– David Ogilvy
Just one more by Ogilvy, promise. (I bet you just want to go read his book now though! And I would seriously recommend it)
We all know headlines are important. We know that our consumers have an 8 second attention span. But do we really consider what that means when we think about money?
This quote really puts that into perspective for you.
You headline is the make or break of your business, so spend time on it.
Of course, a good headline has to have a good post too – it’s not as easy as writing a good title and leaving it at that:
“The headline is the ‘ticket on the meat.’ Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising.”
Headlines draw people in, and this is truer today – with our RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, Facebook timelines – all whizzing past us in a blur of headings, titles usually not interesting enough to catch our attention.
3. Quality means doing it right when no one is looking
– Henry Ford
Henry Ford, as most of you already know, is the founder of Ford Motor Company. The Ford Motor Company was the first car developed for middle-class Americans income, and in developing an affordable car, Ford opened up the world up to an infinite sense of possibilities.
This quote obviously hits home just for the very first word “quality”.
In content marketing we want to be creating quality content that people consider valuable.
But, with content marketing, it also takes time for anyone to even sit up and notice you.
This means that to be truly successful at content marketing, you don’t just have to create quality, you have to create quality while no one is watching, which they won’t be – not for a very long time. Or, more specifically, anywhere between 3 – 9 months.
4. A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.
– Henry Ford
Bad customer service will be the death of your business. I can guarantee you that.
I’ve worked in several different jobs, from a cinema, to a bookstore, to being a teacher and now a marketer, and each and every one of them has concentrated on providing (in some shape or form) good customer service.
I was lucky in that regard.
I learnt from the bottom up what it took to make sure that your customers (or pupils) are receiving only the best service.
- A good team
- Social Intelligence
With the added transparency of modern marketing, this is even more crucial.
Social media is where customer service is at right now, but a study by Simply Measured showed that 30% of brands have a dedicated customer service handle, with the average response to a complaint being 5.1 hours, and only 10% of companies answering within the hour.
If you want to succeed, you need to get a handle on your customer service off – and on-line!
5. The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same
– Carlos Castaneda
Carlos Castaneda is famous for his writings on inner peace, philosophy and spirituality, and this one quote really strikes a chord particularly with content marketing, where you’re not always confident that you’re doing the right thing.
However, as an old maths teacher of mine used to say over and over and over and over again, “PMA” – Positive mental attitude. It’s all in the mind.
When we’re content marketing, we might not feel super confident in what we’re doing, particularly when we’re tring something new.
However, letting your insecurities and doubts shine through will only doom all your efforts faster.
Instead, put your best foot forward and try your best to seem confident and self-assured. Ignore those nagging voices as much as possible, and don’t let others see your doubt.
If you’re finding it hard to re-visualize yourself into a stronger or more positive place, try power posing.
If I’m ever nervous about anything, I take about 10 minutes to myself to stand in a room and do several poses that are powerful. For example, hands on your hips and legs apart, hands behind your head and leaning backwards on a chair.
This has been actually proven to reduce stress levels, and increase confidence.
As Amy Cuddy says:
Don’t fake it until you make it. Fake it until you become it!
6. There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.
– Seth Godin
Where there is a will, there’s a way. There’s just so rarely a will.
This applies particularly to pitching ideas when it comes to content marketing.
It’s so easy to have ideas, what’s hard is the follow-through.
This means taking your ideas and making them actually happen, and all this happens in one foul swoop: With your pitch.
Pitching your ideas, whether it’s to a boss or to an investor, encourages you to put your money where your mouth is, as they say.
By creating a pitch, you also force yourself to engage with the will to actually see how the idea would and could become an actuality.
Some tips on how to give the perfect pitch:
- Length: Keep it short and sweet. Those who understand the subject matter the best are the same people who can explain it simply.
- Passion: Show them your enthusiasm.
- Research: Know your stuff. You won’t want to walk in to that room in any other way.
7. To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.
– Sister Mary Lauretta
Love what you do.
Even if content marketing isn’t your main job, you can find something to love about it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you love everything about what you do, or that the job was made for you. It simply means that there are ways to make you passionate about your job that will provide you with the energy to keep doing it, even on days where things seem kind of bleak.
- Make it your own.
- Find something in what you do that you love.
- Find a way to do what you do in a way that you love to do it.
- Find ways to improve what you’re doing to make people love how you do your job.
People will sense that in your content marketing, they’ll look at your content and think: “Wow, there’s enthusiasm there, and now I’m enthusiastic about it too”.
As long as you love your job, you’ll always be successful.