[MUSIC] Hey there, welcome back, good to see you again. Now, let's talk more about the 7A Framework. This is a context, a f ramework that Brian Clark developed for success. It's really how you're going to think about content so that you can move forward and create the right kind of content at the right time. We're going to be going into each of these 7As in more depth in the rest of this module. But I wanted to start out by identifying and explaining each A from a bird's eye view. Let's get started. So the first A is Agile. And Agile is a mindset. So rather than laying out your entire strategy from soup to nuts, which still happens in a lot of marketing departments and a lot of ad agencies. You start out with some guesses and a good framework, and then you adapt based on that. It's about doing more of what works and less of what doesn't work. So right from the beginning as you're laying on a contents strategy for a client, for your organization, or for yourself. You don't sit down and create the entire road map before you start recording or before you start writing. Instead what you do is you develop with good understanding of the audience, we will be talking a lot more about that in a future session. And then you start mapping out some things to try and some avenues to explore. You stay agile. The second A is authentic. And this is often misunderstood. This is not about social media oversharing about what you're having for breakfast. The authenticity part of this framework is more about the strength and the shareability of a unique, individual human voice. Specifically, a great writing voice. It's about values driven business and communication. It's about real human stories. And it's about getting away from bland, schlocky corporate product that calls itself content but really it's just another form of mediocre mass produced advertising. It's very much about real writing voice versus the penny-a-word freelance mill content. And it's your ability to create what I might call handcrafted or artisanal content as well as having a solid craft in place. It's about you as the artist, you as the creator. The third A is Attention. And the first letter of all copywriting formulas is A. It's either attraction or attention. If you can't get your potential customer's attention, you really can't do anything else. And of course right now, we are in a sea of distraction with everything that's available to us on the internet. And so attention is even more important. This is really about headlines, hooks, meaning and fascination. It's about relationships with other publishers so you can get the traffic and the attention you need for your content. So attention has to be captured but it also has to be sustained. Content marketing needs to go beyond getting the click. It needs to be about getting sustained and increasing attention. And this often starts with either social or search. And then comes into your content homebase. So that will normally be a domain somewhere on the discoverable web. That's something that you control, it's not a Facebook or a Tumblr. Then we go deeper into email. Your email list. So, communication by email. Often also this step, this deeper step will include something like white papers or will include special reports. So, this is a deeper connection, a deeper level of attention. Their attention is more focused. And you have more opportunity to serve. And serving of course can also mean making an offer, in other words introducing them to your product or your service. And you can't talk about attention without talking about audience, who's attention is it that you're capturing. An audience is really where all the good stuff comes from. So at Copyblogger, although we certainly think about leads, and we certainly think about prospects. We will talk more about a broader ecosystem which we call the audience. It's a collection of people that serve various roles. They might be leads, they might be prospects. They could be existing customers. They could be past customers who might not use your product or service today but they still advocate for you. They might be people who because of some scenario, they might not be a good match for your company. They might not actually use your product or service but again, they may still advocate for you. That's what I call the second customer. It's the person who shares your content, who is a big fan of what you do although for whatever reason they might not buy your product or your service. And one of the most important roles that theaudience plays is to share their insights. They share their concerns about the topic. They will be your best source for new product ideas or new angles for your content, new ways to frame and talk about what you talk about. They are your source for objections, things that are keeping them from moving forward, talking points for your content, story ideas. Now, social media tools are brilliant for relationship building with the audience as well as this listening function. Which too many marketers and companies forget to do. Even if you do not actively participate in social media and you probably should. But, even if you never say a word use those outputs to listen for audience problems, audience concerns, audience triumphs. But, you never want to build your whole platform there and you need to make sure that your organization or your customer, your client understands that as well. Social media is not a place to build your business. It's a place to grow your business by making new connections with new audience members. And then bringing them home to some kind of a content home base hub, that lives on a domain our organization controls. So the fifth A is authority. And authority is really about becoming a likeable expert. An expert that your audience can relate to. It's not about arrogance. Arrogance is not one of the seven As. Authority is about combining meaning and fascination. So you know what you're talking about and you're able to teach the audience something that helps them solve a problem that they care about. But you do it in a human relatable way. This does tie back to authenticity. It's the human voice. It's one on one. Small is beautiful. And yet you do know what you are talking about. You're not just some fellow stumbler on the path in the darkness. You have a torch to light the way. You can show them something that they care about. And when I say you, that's you as the content marketer expressing the voice again of your organization, your client. But you also do it for yourself and your own marketing. The sixth A is action which is really about sales and lead generation. This is where is somebody is going to take action on the content that you've been creating. So, this is sometimes called direct response copywriting and some people would just call this copywriting. This is about writing that persuades. Writing that motivates somebody in your audience to take a specific action. For example, sign up for an email opt-in list, make a purchase, register to vote, take a political action, make a donation to a nonprofit organization. The collection of actions you need your prospects and leads to take. That's where the action step comes in. So, as a content marketer sometimes you are going to work with a dedicated specialist on this. So, your client or your organization may be working with an ad agency with a dedicated direct response copywriter. And sometimes, probably more often, it's going to be up to you to make this happen. So, we do have a copywriting 101 e-book that will help you master the fundamentals of persuasive copy. And if you take a look at that, you'll be ahead a lot of your colleagues. Persuasive writing is its own art form and it is really well worth studying, and there are some good courses out there. But more than that, I would really recommend just become a student of persuasion. We will give you lots of resources to do that, and all of these seven As do have accompanying deep dives. So trust me. We will have a nice deep dive on the action step four you, to talk about persuasive writing. We also have a whole section coming later in the course about specific kinds of persuasive content, things like landing pages. And then, the seventh one is kind of a funny one that doesn't have a set of defined action steps. Because it's really about the doors that open that you don't even know might be there. The seventh A is called acceleration. And as a content marketer, as a content authority, you're going to find things that come your way that you hadn't thought about. And if you think about Brian Clark, who founded the Copyblogger blog. Out of the Copyblogger blog, he developed a couple of relationships with businesspeople that turned into spinoff businesses of their own. And at a certain point in Brian's career, he had so many of these plates that were sort of revolving, that he really felt for his own sanity. And also to get some synergy, sorry to use a business buzzword, but in this case it is apt. And he pulled together selected partners from his spinoff companies into a new organization and that organization is called Copyblogger Media. And that has become a pretty good sized company. But it really started with one blog, an authoritative content marketing blog. And you are really starting in the same place. Because of course you are going to have your own site where people can interact with you. And where people can understand that you are a content authority. So I'm not necessarily saying you're going to start the next Copyblogger Media. Although you absolutely could. But you might be approached with offers to partner with a business, to a teach a course on something you know. To lead a presentation, speak in front of a group that you might not have felt confident approaching. Content opens doors, and you don't always know which doors are going to be opened. So keep an open mind, stay mindful, stay light on your feet, stay agile. And make solid relationships with everyone. So that broke blogger that you hang out with today really could be the CEO of a multi million dollar company in a few years. I have people in my life that this is true of and you will have people in your life. That they're just nice people, they're cool to hang out with today, they're not doing a lot that's really changing the world. And they will invent themselves and reinvent themselves and create some epic stuff. So be mindful, be nice, and be flexible. Keep cultivating your network, anybody who is smart and interesting is somebody you want to keep a relationship with. Effective content marketers have killer networks. So start promoting yours now, start developing yours now. Whether you're an introvert or you're an extrovert cultivate your network.