Michael Greenberg talks about content creation strategy, becoming an authority, creating a podcast, and becoming a blogging master with Robert Plank on the Marketer Of The Day Podcast.
Robert Plank 0:00
Hey, everyone, and welcome back to the Marketer Of The Day Podcast. We’re chatting with Michael Greenberg. And he’s a gentleman, not just a gentleman, but he’s the founder of Gentleman Of Technology LLC, which is a B2B venture creation and strategy consulting firm. And Michael has done a lot of really cool stuff. He launched a new content marketing venture and a book called The Authority Marketing Playbook. He’s got a project called Call For Content. We’re going to hear all about that and all the things that Michael knows about increasing business visibility, revenue, velocity, and ROI. Michael is an entrepreneur, an author, a strategist, and an advisor. So Michael, glad to be talking to you today.
Michael Greenberg 0:53
Glad to be on, you make me sound a lot better than I often think myself.
Robert Plank 0:57
Oh, I think we all have that problem, right? We always have that tendency to discount our successes, and we need, maybe we all could use a little boost in that self-esteem. But what’s always good is to hear about what kind of cool things people have going on. So that way we can kind of absorb what we need to absorb and be the best person that we can be. So I mean, content. I love creating content. I love marketing with content, love to hear your thoughts on it. What do you have going on these days?
Michael Greenberg 1:26
So I’ve been playing around a lot with content. And with speech to the text within content creation recently. And that started out as a Call For Content. As sort of an incubator for some of my new content creation ideas. And now I’m getting ready in just a month out from when we’re recording this. I’m getting ready to launch my first new service out of the Call For Content banner, it’s going to be a blend of dictation and blog writing at a flat price per minute.
Robert Plank 2:05
Super cool. So when you’re talking about speech to text, what comes to mind for me is, you dictate out a blog post an article, then the machine turns it into words so that way we don’t have to type a bunch of stuff and we don’t have to guess our sentences and our words second, it’s just the way that we speak things out is the way that that sort of stuff ends up in text form. But I don’t know about you, but whenever I mess with that sort of stuff, the speech attacks, when I try the software things like Dragon Dictate our Dragon, naturally speaking, things like that. It seems like it gets every, like third word wrong. And then when I use a transcription sort of service it costs a little bit of money, but it’s pretty cheap these days. I have a little bit of waiting, but then what comes back is never completely perfect. And I have to go back and comb through what came back, and I end up being sort of frustrated. And I feel many times, the amount of extra time that this speech to text stuff took, I almost could have just written it by hand. So do you have any similar frustrations or any thoughts on this sort of stuff?
Michael Greenberg 3:21
Well, I’ll tell you, I definitely did have those frustrations in the past. But what I’ve found is that you’re right, you can’t just do it with a machine. And you can’t just do it with a human. So I use a combined human-machine hybrid process. Where the machine takes the first pass gets most of it right, but not everything. And then a human comes through to clean up the machine’s errors, they’re able to listen to the audio as they go, to make sure if you stumbled anywhere and the machine picked up the wrong word. And then that humans can take the context and the inflections that you are talking about. And use those to really fit that block of audio into an outline. Or into a rough draft of a post.
Robert Plank 4:10
Super cool. So the best of both worlds. So we have the speed of the machine, but then the accuracy of the human. And then I imagine also that by having this blend here, that the human doesn’t get tired, because it seems like if I pass off a really huge thing, I dictated out like a whole audiobook or something. It seems like it’s a really nice and tight language in the beginning and the end, but in the middle, it feels like the transcriptionist got tired. So this sounds really great because the human can work fast because 80% of the work is done, and it seems like they won’t get sloppy or tired or skip over things because they’re not working as hard as they would if it was 100% human.
Michael Greenberg 4:57
Exactly. And that’s actually how it wrote the Authority Marketing Playbook. It took me about a week, just because I was able to speak out, send it off, had my outline, and then it was just editing.
Robert Plank 5:11
Well, super cool. I would be curious to hear about that. So this Authority Marketing Playbook. What was the idea behind it? And what steps did you go through to get that made in a week?
Michael Greenberg 5:23
Yeah. So the idea behind it really started with an aggravation that I have in digital marketing right now. Particularly around SEO, because I feel like even among people who do SEO professionally, there’s it. There’s a shroud of secrecy in what Google’s actual goal is in building a search engine, and how they’re trying to move their search engine forward, with each of the progressive updates. In reality, Google wants to understand what you type in, what you’re thinking of, and then put it in on the other end. And Google’s entire update scheme is to push closer and closer to that. And as a result, keyboards become less important. And it’s more about intent. That means that a lot of the tactics that are still being pushed by SEOs are not necessarily the best methods anymore. And really, the best method is just to show that you really are an expert in the thing that you’re talking about. And if you do that, and you put the content out there, and people interact with it. Google understands that that’s what’s happening. And Google will start to rank you up when people are searching for the things that you’re an expert in.
Robert Plank 6:55
Super cool, and I mean, I could not agree with you more. I find myself getting really frustrated, trying to learn all the tricks, and it seems like it changes all the time. And you always hear about how there are all these things that we need to be doing as you said with the keyword optimization or, like structured markup or people say we have to have your load time underneath this, or get on SSL, or get on mobile responsiveness and it seems like a lot to take in, and a lot just constantly be updated with. And it seems like from when I interview others like SEO experts or SEO agency people, it seems like whenever I get to the heart of the matter, they sort of admit that it’s just common sense. Google wants everyone to use their platform. They want to be able to deliver on those results quickly and order the best stuff on top. So just deliver the best stuff that you can and jump through the hoops that you need to jump through, but don’t stress out so much about long-tail keywords, or keyword percentage, and don’t try to game the system. Just provide some good stuff. So then having said that, I get a little discouraged when I see some of these websites that are just doing really great with the content marketing, as a TechCrunch sort of site where they see it seems like they post 20 things a day. And then you look at some article, and it’ll be so long that there’s a table of contents. It’ll have audio and video mixed in and might have quizzes mixed in. So for those of us mortals. How do we keep up with these posts that have been there so long? There’s a table of contents.
Michael Greenberg 8:41
You don’t, quite simply. There’s a difference in the content that you need to create, to bring in millions upon millions of page views. So you can sell ad space and the content that you need if you say you’re a B2B service provider. Because you might only need 10 or 20 or 30 clients in a year. And that could come from maybe a few thousand views. So the content that you’re creating has to compete in the realm that you’re competing in. And unless you are a digital media outlet. You’re not competing with TechCrunch or a TechCrunch like a thing. You’re probably not competing with a copy blogger or somebody like that. You’re competing with other small operations, mostly built out of social networks. And you’re going to get your traffic from those LinkedIn connections, and from the previous clients you’ve worked with in that little contact list, you build up. And as long as that continues just to grow a little bit over time, then you’ll continue to be able to see your content marketing efforts pay off.
Robert Plank 10:11
Okay, great. I like that answer a lot that it’s tempting to look at what everyone else is doing and trying to duplicate what they’re doing, but they’re playing a totally different game than what you’re doing. You’re trying to get just that little bit of traffic, that handful of clients, those LinkedIn connections, and so I know it’s a little bit of a loaded question, but what sorts of content marketing do you prefer? I know with me every once in a while I’ll just like to think I’ll want to write an article that doesn’t really fit anywhere. I’ll make a blog post, or I do like this sort of three times a week podcast that we’re on right now. But do you like short YouTube videos? Do you like doing the guest blogging? What’s your preferred style and flavor?
Michael Greenberg 10:57
So personally, I am a podcast and blogging guy. I put all my written content on my own sites. And then I’ll go out, I’ll be a guest on podcasts as well as host my own. I personally like to host local podcasts, so in that way, I get to know people in my city. But it really comes down to what you’re most comfortable with, and what medium you’re most comfortable with. That being said, if you don’t have a medium picked out, start with podcasting. It’s probably the cheapest on a content value basis to create.
Robert Plank 11:36
Okay, great. So start with podcasting. And then if something else presents itself if you find yourself going more for the video or the written or something else. Then move into that. And so I like the local podcast idea. I’ve seen a couple of other marketers do that. I’m curious to hear about your thoughts on that in a couple of minutes. But before we get to that, something that sort of popped into my head as you were talking about this is, how important are transcribing these podcasts, because I started transcribing at first, but it became such a hassle to batch them all up, and send them off, and pay for all that, and come back, and make sure they’re all cleaned up. So, I mean, you think that for those of us that have podcasts, you and I included, do we need to have like the written transcript along with the podcast? Or is just putting the audio version good enough for what we’re doing?
Michael Greenberg 12:29
I think it depends on your goals, one and two, your strategy around it. For me, I’m getting ready to relaunch an old podcast of mine as well as launch a new one. And both of them are locally focused. Both will have full transcriptions behind them. And the reason for that is because I’m going to be creating from those transcripts, a secondary article, or maybe using the transcript to create nice little social quotes for me to share out along with the episodes. And the transcript is just a byproduct of my marketing strategy. But otherwise, Google in the past month has really upped their game when it comes to how they feature podcasts. And I’d say that requiring a transcript is not as important today as it might have been six months or a year ago with these new updates.
Robert Plank 13:29
Well, great, and so about that, like that’s one of those things where I keep forgetting to recycle the podcast content, like you said, to get a secondary article written, or to get some of those social graphics made, some of those shareable, the tweetable is made. And I’ve noticed that in the last couple of weeks. I’ve made sure that when I’m doing an interview. To kind of jot down a little bit of a timestamp. If there’s an interesting clip or something to pull out of there. So that way, you don’t have to listen to the whole thing over again. So that’s a good reminder. And then, as far as those changes with Google. What’s happening there? Because the only thing I’ve seen is I think I saw something where Google has teased in some form that they’re going to make it where if there’s a podcast in the search result that you can play the podcast without leaving the Google results page. I mean, is that incorrect or correct? Or on the right track or what’s happened in there?
Michael Greenberg 14:30
That’s spot on. And that’s a huge change for Google. To say that we’re going to now be creating a snippet, is the technical term for them, from podcasts, and Google’s going to allow us to actually get accurate tracking for those podcast plays, which not all services let us do. And that’s, I think, really the first step to Google trying to compete with Apple for a podcast share. Whereas right now, Apple, with its podcast app, or iTunes podcasts, I’m not quite sure what it is. But they control the majority of the market. And if you can actually play a podcast from your Google search, that means that you might not need to download it at all.
Robert Plank 15:25
Yeah, and I don’t know about you, but I think that no offense to Apple, but dethroning them off the podcast thrown. I think it’s a long time coming because it seems backward that we all have to use some other platform like a Lipson or something like that to get a decent podcast outside. It’s not built-in, and then the process for subscribing and reviewing just at least on a PC seems super awkward. And it’s difficult even to walk someone through the process. Any change is scary, but it seems with Google kind of getting deeper into podcasting. I mean, I’m all for it, if it means that we get more plays, and we can more easily see some of these stats. So like, sort of circle back around here. This whole idea of the local podcast, as I said, I’ve heard of it done a couple of other times, like approaching businesses in your local town or going to Chamber of Commerce meetings, and just getting all of these local businesses on your show. So people can hear about all the small businesses in town. I mean, it sounds like a great idea. So what’s your motivation for doing this in the first place? And like, what’s it called? What’s the area?
Michael Greenberg 16:42
So it’s just hands down the best networking you can do. In my opinion, you get to talk with somebody for 30 or 40 minutes about their business. And you’re going to be in the room with them before and after. So there’s no better way to start a relationship with local business, beyond writing them a check, in my opinion. I’m going to be booting back up my show here in St. Louis, Talk With The Top St. Louis. And then I’m going to be launching my first foray into the Colorado market. With Talk With The Top Colorado. I am keeping with the same show concept. It’s worked well here in St. Louis. And I’m just going to be interviewing entrepreneurs, innovators and executives. Starting in the local Denver area and then expanding out from there.
Robert Plank 17:37
Super cool. And so you say that there are local startup entrepreneurs. What sorts of businesses are these? Are we talking like accountants, restaurants, will you take anyone? What kind of mix is it here?
Michael Greenberg 17:51
So I’ll be focusing primarily on B2B companies that either provide services or related to digital media or some sort of technology or B2B technology companies like software companies. That’s mainly just because that’s one of my target markets to serve. But I’ll end up having guests across the board as people are referred to me.
Robert Plank 18:19
Super cool. And so you say that your motivation behind this is for networking purposes like you said, the only thing better is writing them a check. So what’s your endgame with these companies? Is it to be a referral source and connect other people? Or get some sort of consulting going? What’s your motivation?
Michael Greenberg 18:44
I want them to know who I am and know that I’m pretty good with content. As long as they know that, then the referrals will come. If they’re looking for somebody to do their content. Hopefully, they’ll come to me. It’s really just a matter of making sure they know who I am and what I do. And then as a result of them coming on my show, having them share that with their audience. So a few more people in the city know who I am. And finally, get them on my list. So that way I can keep top of mind for the future.
Robert Plank 19:18
I like that a lot. So yeah, you get them on your list. And then it seems like you kind of is alluding to here. It’s sort of a backdoor audition, right? Because without bragging or showing off, you’re showing them how easily you can help them make content. So if they themselves need a podcast, or they themselves need some ranking of their pages in the SEO results or things. You don’t even have to convince them or talk them into it. It’s like you’re already doing it with them. And I think that’s really great. Are these interviews that you are doing, are you doing the kind of over the phone or over Skype like we’re doing here? Or do you go into their business with some microphones and do it in person or both? Or how’s that done physically?
Michael Greenberg 20:04
So most of them will be recorded in person, whenever possible I prefer to record in person, but obviously, we can’t always be in the same place. If I can, though, I’ll go to their business or have them come to my offices. And we’ll record. I use Zoom and some not sure Sennheiser ii 385 is, I think, so good quality vocal mics that just provide a much better sound that we might be able to get otherwise.
Robert Plank 20:37
Well. Super awesome. Well, it sounds like you have a lot of fun stuff going on from the local podcasts, and this transcription human-machine blend. Anything else interesting or newsworthy going on with you these days?
Michael Greenberg 20:56
Um, I’d have to say, probably not. I mean, right now, it’s all content all the time, though. I’m hoping this next year to get back to my growth strategy consulting a bit more.
Robert Plank 21:10
Awesome. Well, you’re putting fuel in one area. And then once that’s going, you put fuel and the other area. And so as we’re kind of beginning to wind down here. I’m really curious about, do you have any advice for those people that are struggling with content? Like do you think that people out there should hire a team? Or set time aside every day to crank out their content? Or use a template? What’s like your number one, this content creation advice for people?
Michael Greenberg 21:43
Figure out a way to start creating I,t number one. It’s really whatever works for you at the end of the day because the content will serve you once it’s out there. But if you never get it out the door, it’s not going to matter. If you’re looking to outsource content, have a budget of at least $1,000 per month to really get going and promote. If you have one great piece of content, and you promote it for six months. You’ll get more leads than if you put out a mediocre piece of content every month, and don’t promote it at all. Promotion is really the key to content.
Robert Plank 22:26
I love that last piece of advice, and I don’t know why it is, but for some reason, I get the visualization into my head. I think the head of others is when people talk about content. I seem to only gravitate towards the old school article marketing or the blog post. And then I have to remind myself that, Oh yeah, content can mean a ton of different things, as I mean, podcasting, YouTube videos, doesn’t just mean cranking out little 400 word articles. And then the other thing that comes to mind with content marketing are some of these people, where you go on their YouTube channel, and there are hundreds and hundreds of 60-second videos. And some say two views and some say no views, and it seems really discouraging. So that’s a good reminder there that it’s not just about generating and cranking it out. But we also need to get some eyeballs on, otherwise, what’s the point? Right?
Michael Greenberg 23:21
Right. And I’m a big fan. If you don’t have time to go out and shout to people. Essentially, that you’ve got a great article, just put, like a Facebook ad behind it or LinkedIn ad. And put, you know, $50 behind it and see where it goes.
Robert Plank 23:42
Awesome. It’s part of the budget, part of the operating costs. So yeah, just have that money work for you. So super great. And I want to make sure we have people who are listening if they’ve been super impressed by hearing about all you have going on as far as this content marketing, and strategy, and advice. So what sort of have websites, resources, links do you have to drop for us today? So that way, we’re not just left hanging. That way, we can go and check out all the other great things that you have going on today.
Michael Greenberg 24:11
So you can find some more of my stuff on content at callforcontent.com. And if you go to callforcontent.com/amp, you’ll be able to download a sample chapter of the Authority Marketing Playbook. And hopefully, soon, I’m going to be putting out a new edition of that, that will then have the previous edition free at that same location. And you can find me on Twitter or on medium at Gentoftech, and those are more personal, but you’re still mainly gonna find me talking about content these days.
Robert Plank 24:47
Awesome, and what’s up with the gentleman sorta moniker there? Is it just that you’re just that classy? Or is there a backstory behind it?
Michael Greenberg 24:58
There’s a bit of a backstory. When I was working with the first company, I ever worked with, as a technical guy, as a tech guy back in the day. I was told that I could choose whatever title I wanted. And my position was essential as a CTO. So I didn’t want to call myself a ninja or a wizard or rock star or any of those normal things. And I thought that I did a little bit more than just tech. I did a lot of things tech adjacent. So I wanted to call myself a gentleman. And it’s just sort of stuck with me since then.
Robert Plank 25:38
Super cool. And that is pretty unique. And I love it because, as you said, it doesn’t pigeonhole you into just the technical stuff. Like I myself have kind of found that to be a little bit of a problem. Early on, I said, I was like a PHP guy. And since then, I’ve been really reluctant to say I’m just a WordPress guy, because as you know, all of us marketers, entrepreneurs wear many hats. So nice going there with the gentleman named. So just to recap and just to make sure that everyone knows where to find you, that website is calledforcontent.com. And then to check out that Authority Marketing Playbook that’s just callforcontent.com/amp if you want to get those sample chapters. And then Gentoftech on Twitter and LinkedIn to check out the ins and outs of Mr. Michael Greenberg. Content marketer gentlemen extraordinary to keep up to date on what is happening with the world of SEO, content marketing, whatever Google’s doing with podcasting so that way we can be ahead of our competition and not behind the eight ball on all these different things. So lots of really fun and interesting things for us to chew on. Think about when it comes to content marketing. And I guess the common thread that I’m getting from all this is like we said, don’t just get locked into one little idea. Don’t just crank out the YouTube videos or even with the podcasts. I mean, there are different flavors of that like local podcasts. So there are all kinds of amazing things happening with this content marketing stuff. So make sure that you are creative and try out different things so that you know what’s a good fit for you so that maybe you can be unique because there’s only one of you out there. So callforcontent.com is the place to be. And thanks so much, Michael, for stopping by. I really appreciate it.
Michael Greenberg 27:30