George Thomas 0:00
Hey, inbound attendees, it's your boy George V. Thomas. We're back with another episode and my I say the last episode of inbound 2020 of inbound speaks where we talk to inbound speakers about the inbound topics that the speakers speak about. Whoo, made it through it on the last time. So here's the thing, we are going to be getting into the good stuff. But first, I have to run that bumper. I'm really excited. This conversation is all about content and some ways that you should be thinking about it. But hey, let me just be quiet, roll that bumper, and we'll get into the good stuff. All right, I'm here with Sydney and Sydney, we're going to have a conversation. And it's gonna be about using customer centric content, which I love that by the way, and deepening loyalty, aka hashtag trust, probably and expanding market share. So there's a lot to dig into. But before we get into the deep end of the pool, why don't you share with the inbound attendees, the viewers, the listeners, a little bit about you and What makes you tick?
Sydni Craig-Hart 1:01
Yeah, it's nice to be here with you, George, thank you so much for having me. And, of course, as you and everyone else is super excited about inbound. This year, I am the CEO of smart, simple marketing. We are a content marketing consultancy, actually a multi award winning content marketing consultancy, that was established in 2006. And we work primarily with technology brands to help them increase market share, deepen engagement, and also increase loyalty with small minority and women owned businesses. So I am also a fourth generation entrepreneur. So investing in and supporting businesses, particularly those owned by women and people of color is really really deeply important to me. And it's something I have a lot of fun with. And I've been very privileged to work with almost 11,000 small businesses since 2006, and 79 Industries. So deep roots in the space, have a deep passion for the topic, and I'm super excited to be here with you. And just a couple of other personal things. What can I say? I do love the beach. I'm a huge beach bound. Love that very much missing the beach right now. And a fun fact about me is that I don't like coffee at all, but my favorite ice cream is coffee ice cream. I think it's a little weird, but that's just me. So, yeah, that's one of my things.
George Thomas 2:17
That is super interesting. I love that. Like, I don't like coffee, but man, I like coffee ice cream, and I drink. I used to drink a ton of coffee. And I don't drink coffee anymore. So that's an interesting story as well. It's, it's, I love so much of what you said about you and what makes you take there's so much good there. I'm gonna just step out on kind of a limb here and say, I know that what we're about to talk about is going to be exciting. I know your session is going to be exciting. I know people are going to learn things from you because you know, fourth generation entrepreneur been doing this since 2006. Like you're not a newbie like you've been in the weeds. You've chopped down the forests. So with that said, why should people Sydney be at your inbound 2020? session? who and why when we think about that,
Sydni Craig-Hart 3:12
yeah, so who should be at my session or anyone that touches content marketing or strategy, any product marketers who are attending, and any user researchers. So anyone who's touching one of those areas and an enterprise brand, or even a smaller company, you know, medium size, even small sized business, if you touch one of those aspects of your business development, you need to be at my session, because no matter what you are selling, or who you're selling it to your audience is more diverse than it has ever been. None of our audiences are homogenous. And so we cannot ignore the tremendous buying power of diverse audiences. And if you continue to ignore them, and just kind of staying your tunnel vision of this is our strategy. And these are our KPIs. And these are our metrics. Not only are you ignoring and potentially alienating the very people you want to serve, you're also leaving a huge pot of money on the table. And who in our industry wants to do that? So if you want to avoid any of those things, you absolutely need to tune into my session.
George Thomas 4:14
Yeah, I love that. Because I mean, at the end of the day at sprocket talk, viewers, listeners, you should know, we're all about having an open mind and always learning. And it's just, it's a magical place to be when you're in business and quit looking at the end of the rainbow. Look closer, that's where that pot of gold is that you need to find. So the conversation in your session, Cindy, is us customer centric content. So there's that piece. There's also you know, deepening the whole loyalty slash trust thing, so that you can expand market share. Now, there's a lot of different directions that you could go with my next question, but I'll just make it simple. I only need one, because I don't want to give away the whole form. The idea is that they would come and attend your session. I mean, that's why we're here today. People you should know that. But what is one tip that people can start to implement, and it would literally be like Friday at what 446 between Tuesday morning, when it starts, what's a tip that they can start implementing right now to kind of focus on customer centric content or deepening loyalty so that they can actually expand the market share that they're looking for?
Sydni Craig-Hart 5:23
Very simple. Go talk to your customer. And I continue to be shocked. And also, I'm just amazed at how many of the clients we work with. And we work with some of the largest tech brands in the world. I mean, we are kind of like the go to agency or consultancy for brands, especially in Silicon Valley who are looking to engage with these audiences. And I never cease to be amazed at when I ask people when's the last time we actually talked to one of your customers and it's like pump. You mean a real customer? Like someone who pays us? Yes, a real customer who pays you money. And so I would suggest that the first thing you do is talk to three specific types of people. Talk to a customer who loves you talk to a customer who is new, and talk to someone who did your product or your service because you frustrated or irritated them. If you have just even a 1520 minute conversation, you could do three conversations in less than an hour, it will completely reset your perspective on the work that you're doing, no matter what your role happens to be in your organization.
George Thomas 6:29
Good stuff right there. Like I love the idea of three different people, the specific types that you mentioned. And yeah, it's funny because your customers, they're not a mythical being like you can literally find them they do exist. So when you think of the customer centric content portion of this, are there any like major hurdles that you've seen businesses kind of face when they get into like trying to pivot and go in that direction?
Sydni Craig-Hart 6:55
Yes, so many, especially given everything that has unfolded in 20 20 some of the pitfalls are not doing anything because I'm scared and I don't want to make a mistake. And I don't want to do or say the wrong thing. So we're not going to do anything. Another pitfall is, as I mentioned, not talking to your customer. So what we see happening, particularly with tech or SAS brands is that they make their strategic decisions in a bubble. And most of the time, there's people on these teams who do not look like their target audience don't have a similar experience as their target audience, etc. So because we play in the space of small minority and women owned businesses, many times the people who hire us have never owned a small business, they are not a person of color, and they're not a woman, but they are making these strategic decisions about their content and their brand and their messaging etc. Because we got this you know, we we've read the research and we know what to do. And if you've never walked in those shoes, you have no idea what our thought process or our buying processes. So that's another huge pitfall. And then a third pitfall is not making sure that you have enough voices at the table, who are really giving input as you're developing that strategy. And making sure you have a committee basically, that you're running things past them diverse people, not just with ethnicity, but just diversity across the board to make sure that you're not publishing something that's tone deaf, and that's just going to make your brand look ridiculous.
George Thomas 8:24
I mean, come on people, we officially hit the rewind point, like you just need to rewind, listen to that section a couple of times, get your notepad out, jot it down. That was some good stuff right there. So one of the things people are like, Oh, man, I'm going to Sydney session. We want them to sit in the seat in the proper mindset. So Sydney, is there any myth that you're like, Oh, baby Jesus, I hear that one more time that we need to debunk right now before they actually attend your session inbound 2020
Sydni Craig-Hart 8:56
especially given what has transpired in the last six months. We've seen a lot A lot of companies and brands, make pledges make statements, we donated money, etc. And then it feels like okay, well, we you know, we're down for the cause we support people of color we gay. And that means absolutely nothing. So not to say that those donations to organizations aren't valuable or that your pledge or your statement was disingenuous, but there's no lasting impact. So please do not think because you wrote a press release, and you wrote a check. And you publish some statements on your social media, that you have been any kind of impact with any one of these audiences. But doing those things is good but it does not absolve you of the responsibility of doing the real work and being comfortable with being uncomfortable and dealing with your own biases that we all have. I have you have we all have and really leaning in and taking consistent action. Please don't think you're off the hook. You still have a lot of work to do.
George Thomas 10:00
Yeah, I just want to say hashtag preach like last year I'm gonna bring up a you sparked a thing last year and I'll probably put a link to it in the description of this inbound speech interview, I did a interview with a gentleman named Tony Chapman. And he talked about unknown bias that we all have we even if we say we don't and when you mentioned that that came right back to that. He did a session on that, but but the thing too, is like, there's a difference between giving money to a mission trip and going on the mission trip. Like there's, there's just if you get your hands dirty, if you're elbow to elbow with the people like, Huh, so much good stuff. All right. So they attend your session last year I used to have fun with but I would be like, okay, you get done. Speaking to your audience. They stand up they give you a raving round of applause. Well, this year we're gonna be like the applause meter on our phone, like But But with that said, as speakers, you know, I know, we usually have this, like, big thought this way, you know, one thing that we hope that they take away, what is your one thing that you hope the audience will grab ahold of? And kind of take and run with after your session inbound? 2020?
Sydni Craig-Hart 11:20
Yeah, I think what I really want them to take away is, I'll say two things you asked me for them we're gonna sneak into and the first is, is that you can make a difference. And be I see so many people who are afraid to speak up or afraid to take action or so unsure of themselves and think I'm not, I'm not visible enough in my organization. I'm not high enough on the food chain, you know, know who's gonna listen to me, I'm just one person. And we as a marketing community, we have this amazing responsibility and privilege to impact change. We contribute to narrative we can bring people together, we can unite. We can spark conversations. And we don't do that we hide behind our KPIs. And management said this and my boss won't let me yada yada yada. And every single one of us has power. And we have potential. And we need to use that and stop hiding behind all of these excuses. So that's one thing I want people to take away. And then the second thing which you'll hear me say, in my session, go do something with what I just taught you. This is not an intellectual exercise. This is real life people. So when you sign off from my session, and from inbound and you go back to your regular day to day routine, do something with what I told you. Take one step and keep adding to that and keep making progress and don't get stumbled by your mistakes or your unknowns or your insecurities or whatever. If you really want to make a difference, then keep taking action and don't worry about failure.
George Thomas 12:54
What a great interview, I can sum this up to end it in two things. Focus on being happy. Happy, helpful, humble human, human, and also educate and execute. That's what I want you to do. I want you to attend Sydney session, educate yourself and then after that, go out and execute why you're doing all that good stuff. We'll see you next year. In the next episode.
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George Thomas 0:00