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SiteSell Presents: How Solopreneurs Use Content

Written By: Mike Allton in How Solopreneurs Build Their Business | February 12, 2016

SiteSell Presents: How Solopreneurs Use Content

TRANSCRIPT

Mike Allton: Alright, everyone welcome to another episode of SiteSell presents where we tap the best and brightest minds to help solopreneurs like you get ahead. Today I couldn’t be more thrilled to be welcoming my friend and fellow Ohioan Joe Pulizzi. Joe was the founder and CEO of Content Marketing Institute in Cleveland where he’s written books, published blog posts, broadcast podcasts and launched one of the top annual marketing events in the world. In addition, to his best-selling book Epic Content Marketing, Joe’s authored “Content Ink, how entrepreneurs use content to build massive audiences and create radically successful businesses,” which we are going to be talking about today, and whew, that’s a lot of content! Hello Joe welcome to the show.

Joe Pulizzi: Yea, hopefully everyone is still awake after that introduction of all my stuff, but no I appreciate it. Thanks for having me Mike.

Mike Allton: Yea my pleasure.

Joe Pulizzi: I love it.

Mike Allton: Yea well first things first, I know I just kind of clued everyone into, you know what you do and what you’ve accomplished but one of my favorite moments at Content Marketing World was actually hearing you tell your story about how you got into this business and so I was hoping you would share that with everyone else.

Joe Pulizzi: Oh man, I don’t know how far back you want to go so I’ll give you an abbreviated version. But I started, so in 2000, I started at a Company called Penton Media, if you’re not familiar with Penton, largest independent business to business publishing company, media company and they publish all kinds of magazines and you would only know about it if you read them. So contracting business magazine or industry week in manufacturing, whatever the case is. I was brought in in the Penton Custom Media Group which basically what that meant is, if our sales reps couldn’t sell advertising or exhibit spots to their customers, they throw them over to us and say, well maybe you could sell them something and we were doing custom magazines, custom newsletters, we were helping them tell their story. So really large B2B companies like Microsoft or Parker Hanfinn we were working with, try to tell them, help them tell consistent stories over time. My claim to fame there is, when I started it was a public company at the time, the stock price was $34 and 18 months later it was 7 cents, so I added a lot of value at Penton there.

Mike Allton: I can relate. I was at Dana Corporation about the same time and had about the same downturn.

Joe Pulizzi: I don’t know what they would have done without me Mike, they probably would have been 8 cents a share or something…..But it’s so, we went into hard times, we were over leveraged, of course after 9/11 it really hit the tradeshow industry pretty hard and Penton wasn’t doing very well. But our group was doing, actually really well because as people stopped spending paid advertising, they were looking at new ways to communicate with their customers, so we actually did really well during the 7 years I was there. And in 2007 I had an itch, and I said I really wanted to start a business. I felt that this thing called Content Marketing was going to take off, and left Penton at the end of March in 2007, and on April 2nd put out the shingle, April 26th, 2007 was my first blog post. It was called, ‘Why Content Marketing?’ and that was the point where I said, like, this is what we are going to call this thing, it’s been called Custom Content, Custom Publishing, Branded Content, Customer Media was big in Europe, so no we are going to call it Content Marketing, we are going to all call it the same thing so we grow and learn together, and from that moment on it sort of, by the way, I mean I’m skipping the part about the 2 years where I didn’t think I was going to make it.

We created a matching product called Jump to 42, it was like we call it the eHarmony for Content Marketing where we matched up brands looking to do Content marketing with organizations that wanted Content Marketing services, it didn’t work really well because, honestly and I have a lot of agency friends, agencies don’t like to spend money on marketing and they didn’t want to buy our services, but luckily for us we were building an audience at the same time, focus was on enterprise marketers. So we are building this large audience and I just started listening to my audience instead of focusing on our product and when I really looked at what they needed, they needed more education, more training, that’s what they were asking for. 2010 we made the pivot to Content Marketing Institute, at that moment I remember in 2009 because I felt I was going to have to get a real job, Mike and like, this is terrible, what I am going to do.

In 2009 I wrote down on a little napkin I said, we are going to make this pivot, going to kind of call us the Content Marketing Institute, we are going to create the largest online presence for Content Marketing from a learning standpoint, the leading trade magazine in the industry which we did, “Chief Content Officer” and the largest event in the industry Content Marketing World. And luckily that’s all come through; we did Content Marketing World around September 2011. That was our first one, we were expecting a 100 to 150 people coming to Cleveland, and 600 came. We said maybe, maybe we are on to something here, and the rest is history and we are just sort of riding the wave. The first 3 years people were trying to figure out what this thing called Content Marketing is, now at least people know what the term is, maybe they don’t, maybe had a different definition. But everybody sort of using it in some way, a lot of experimentation going around, a lot of potential and we are pretty excited about it.

Mike Allton: Yea, yea, yea how many were at CM World this past fall?

Joe Pulizzi: We had 3500 this year.

Mike Allton: I thought it was over 3000, yea it was fantastic.

Joe Pulizzi: Thank you, thanks for the support

Mike Allton: Yea, yea I mean I’m really bummed it took me so long to be able to get to the event and now I will be able to go every year.

Joe Pulizzi: Every year? Everybody listening to this can go every year!

Mike Allton: That’s right, you can, you can go every year but yea I really want to go when Shatner was there, I guess 2 years ago right.

Joe Pulizzi: Yea

Mike Allton: Yea in the course last year but, anyways so when you started it was just you right?

Joe Pulizzi: Just myself, yep.

Mike Allton: And how long before you kind of, had like employees or partners or something like that.

Joe Pulizzi: Probably was about 2009 where we said, look this is going to be the thing, we are going to do this right and then I asked my wife to be part of the business, she was a social worker and I said, don’t go back……because she was a stay at home mom at the time, the kids got old enough, she was going to go back to work and I said, I think we can do this thing so she started running operations for the business as I was out there doing more speaking events and writing and what not, and trying to sort of, be the rain maker in this whole thing, which is still my job to this day.

Then the next major person that we really brought on board was Michelle Lyn who is now our VP of Content, but she started running the blog and that was a big decision for us to say, we are going to double down, this is something we are going to do, and that was in May of 2010 and she basically led our blogging effort and now we are 28 and it was just sort of a gradual you know, once we started, oh now we are going to do the magazine, we need somebody to project manage that, we need somebody to run the editorial and just on and on, and oh we are going to the podcast network we are going to need somebody for that.

But really it was all about the blog, for the first 24 months that’s all we focused on was building the audience on the blog, and as we talked about it in the book is you know, build the audience on one content type, one main channel, then you know consistently over time, then you go ahead and diversify. Then we diversified into the event and into the podcast and into the magazine but we already had built the minimal viable audience and I think that was the key to making it work.

Mike Allton: Oh absolutely, yea and you know every customer at SiteSell they are very familiar with this idea of creating content to fuel their business; it’s something we preach this right from the very beginning. But for those who maybe unfamiliar, can you explain this Content Inc. model, and why it’s such a great technique for solopreneurs.

Joe Pulizzi: So the personal story behind it is, I have a goal and I have written down in my, in my moleskin that I keep all my personal goals in, and that goal is to write a book every 2 years. So 2009, 2011, 2013 was Epic Content Marketing and I’m like, here comes 2015 I need a book, what the heck am I going to write? The first 3 books were all for the enterprise marketers and I’m like, well maybe in 2015 I can tell the story about Content Marketing Institute and how we became the fastest growing business, media company in North America. And then I said well, nobody cares about me, right? Nobody cares about CMI, nobody is going to care about that story, what do we need to do.

So I said, “Well maybe there are other companies out there that did this, like build an audience for a strategy and then launch products and services second.” And we started going out and we found Rand Fishkin and Moz and Brian Clark, at CopyBlogger and Ann Reardon the baking queen of Sydney, Australia. Matthew Patrick from, you know MatPat game theory on YouTube and found all these examples, and they are all multimillion dollar platforms right now and we said, well maybe we can reverse engineer it. So as we were doing the research we said, okay let’s reverse engineer that model and see if there are any consistencies, and what we found is that happy accident or not, like it was for us, they all follow the same 6 steps.

So we found out that, yes they identify their sweet spot, they found their content tilt, we can talk about some of these separately if you want to. They found that differentiation area, they built the base like we just talked about CMI did, then they harvested that audience focusing on email subscribers as the core metric, then they diversified in the other content opportunities and monetization. Usually it was last, you had to build a relationship first with the audience, and then you can monetize that, whether it was an existing product that they had or whether it was a brand new product like ours, all brand new products.

Brian Clark’s for the most part, at CopyBlogger, all brand new products. Rand Fishkin moved from consulting services to launching MOZ which is software as a service. Matthew Patrick took his, he didn’t even have a business model, now its advertising, sponsorship, he consults with YouTube and he’s launched a bunch more properties and a lot of kinds of merchandising opportunities around that. So it’s all different in the monetization but they all follow the same six steps and that I was excited to write the book then, Mike is because I really feel that this is a model that we all sort of stumbled into, the dozens and dozens of case studies we talk about in the book, and now a small business can get this and say, “I don’t have to figure this thing out, I can just follow what all these really smart people did, follow that model, be patient with it, focus on an area that you can actually be a leading expert in the world on something and it can happen for you and what I loved about it, just to round this whole thing up Mike is, Content Inc. companies grow faster than regular companies.

Why is that? Because when you build a subscriber database you are building a pre customer database, these companies already know, like and trust you and they will…..I’m don’t  want to make this sound bigger than it is, but it’s true, they will actually buy whatever you sell because they know, like and trust you; they will at least try what you have to sell and it’s not often you can get into that situation where people will buy whatever you have, because they know, like and trust you so much and that’s what we found in every case because they fell in love with these people, they fell in love with these content platforms. It was so….like I mean, I’m sure you see it too, we get thank you messages every day, they come in the mail, they come on email or on social media thanking us for….and we are like, Thanking us! We thank you you’re our customers and, it’s supposed to go the other way around but it feels like you’re doing a service, you’re leading with purpose and they grow faster because you don’t have to go out and market your services then because you already have a subscriber database and that becomes your customers in the future.

Mike Allton: Right, right that is a fantastic process and so to go back to the beginning of that, you know once someone decides they want to start a business, your book talks about, finding that sweet spot so if you can elaborate on what that means, maybe share a couple of those examples in the book.

Joe Pulizzi: Yea, so the first 2 steps, I’d like to talk about them together because that’s the strategy. So the first is a sweet spot, the second is the content tilt. If you are a solopreneur, if you are a small business, you’re trying to figure out what the heck am I going to talk about and who am I going to talk about it with, who is my audience? So the first thing, let’s get personal here, now on the one side, so it’s this intersection and on the one side, what’s your passion? Why is passion so important? Because in the first 6-9 months you better be passionate about whatever you’re creating content around because you’re not going to have an audience. It takes time to build an audience and Jay Baer says this really well.

That’s why passion is the similarity between all these case studies because in the first many, many months and sometimes years, they had a very small audience because you have to build up to that, it takes time to build an audience. So what are you super passionate about? It could also be if you are an existing business, it can also be around a customer painpoint like, what is that thing that’s keeping your customer up at night? And how can you focus on that better than anyone else? And that intersects with, what is your authority area? Like if your authority area, let’s say you sell pet supplies, you’re not going to talk about RFID equipment right, you’re going to talk about something around pet supplies because that’s your authority area.

So what do you actually have credibility to speak on and you could do the exercise, like what am I passionate about, what’s my knowledge and skill area and that’s where you start, Mike, and you can really start to figure out, okay what do we even have a story to tell around, so that we  just start there. Then you have to move that and revolve that into the content tilt, and I can talk about a specific case study with that. Now everyone stops at the sweet spot, the sweet spot is important Mike but everyone stops at the sweet spot, it’s like “Oh great here is a story I have to tell,” but the problem is that, it may be a story that is told a thousand times out there, how are you going to cut through the clutter that’s out there, the content tilt is, where do I find a content niche that I can actually break through the clutter and actually have a fighter’s chance of developing an audience.

So if you say that…….okay I’ve got a really good story to tell around pet supplies but you’re just going to talk blog about pet supplies, you’re not going to break through, there’s Petco, PetSmart, spending billions of dollars on pet supply you will never break through. You are telling a story just like everyone else, we’ve got to tell a story that’s different. So that’s where the content tilt is crucial for any business. But how are you going to tell the different story, give me an example.

I love this, Ann Reardon, she’s known as the baking queen of Sydney, Australia, I love this example, she’s a stay at home mom and she wants to start a baking blog. She loves to teach, she loves to be an educator and at the same time she’s a qualified dietician. She is a food scientist I guess as you would call it, so she’s got her sweet spot there. But then, think about this Mike, how much content on food is out there? On baking, like probably since we’ve been talking here, there’s probably been a million post on food, recipes, baking blogs, what not, how is Ann Reardon going to start a baking blog and cut through the clutter at all? You know what if she’s talking about the same thing as everyone else, she’s not, so what did Ann do? Ann did something amazing and she basically said, when I create a piece of content I want people to say, that’s impossible, like how did you do that?

She wanted her things to be around utterly impossible things that people would just be in amazement, that there’s no way you could create. So she tilted her content around impossible food creations, so she did things like, how do I take 5 pounds of snickers bars and put them into   a cake, I don’t know what…..I mean I don’t know, I’m actually kind of hungry right now I would be digging on that, big mistake. And she said, I don’t know if you saw, we don’t have a picture of it right now but the Instagram cake, there was a, where you sliced into this chocolate cake and it was a perfect replica of the Instagram logo. She baked that cake and she went through the whole video process about doing it, they went super viral, millions and millions of people went up watching this, and that’s why she was able to go from a 100 subscribers in 2012 to into 2015, over 2 million subscribers.

How did she do that? Well she had a specific content tilt, so that’s where most small businesses or solopreneurs, they say “Oh I’m going to do a blog, I’m going to do a podcast.” That’s tactics, tactics, tactics, that’s buying the strategy first, let’s find that, who is that audience you’re trying to target and what is that content tilt? What is that area that you can actually be the leading expert in the world? And I don’t think small businesses ask themselves that question enough, because if you are honest, so if everybody listening to this, watching this would be honest, look at your content, is it really different? What if you took out your logo and put somebody else’s logo on there would anybody notice? Like are you the email in the inbox that people aren’t going to delete, because it’s filled with sales promotional messages or it’s not that different than anything else, that’s hard, it’s easier said than done but it’s critical. So if you don’t do that, if you don’t have a different story to tell, you shouldn’t even do content marketing, go do something else because that’s the first step of making this whole thing happen.

Mike Allton: Right, right, so talk about the process that you kind of suggest they go through to identify what those knowledge and passions are.

Joe Pulizzi: Well from the sweet spot part, and knowledge area and the passion, I just say make the list, right, go through the exercise, take a week and think, what are all the things that you will get up every day for that doesn’t feel like work, that you just love to do? Put those things down, then on the other side, what’s your knowledge area that you have a really good knowledge about, like maybe you are really knowledgeable about it, it looks like in your standpoint maybe you know more about Star Wars than anybody else Mike. I don’t know, I like the stormtrooper helmet in the back, you know whatever that is, I’m digging it.

But that  will be a knowledge area, like and I’m you know, maybe mine is about musicals or maybe it’s about the color orange which I have plenty of, so those are knowledge areas or maybe it’s a skill area. So what are some skills that you have, are you amazing at graphic design? Are you an amazing communicator? Are you a great public speaker? Whatever the case is, you put those things down and then it might start to make sense as you might have story to tell. Obviously in the back of your mind if you think that you have something to sell, that might influence that as well, but you think okay great, I’m thinking yea it’s going to be something around this area, like with me I really understood, I had a skill in publishing, I understood publishing really, really well. At the same time I had a passion, I absolutely love to teach, and I’m a teacher, that’s what I am. If you say, Joe what are you really? I’m a teacher, I just teach at a different classroom every day, great. Okay so that’s……..we found a sweet spot, now we’ve got to move to the content tilt, now we are starting to think about the audience.

First of all you have to think about who you are targeting. If you are a regular, let’s say you’re a regular business-to-business company, you’re a solopreneur you’re targeting a business market. That means you probably have 7 to 10 buyers, decision makers, influencers in that process. Where a lot of solopreneurs go wrong is they try to target more than one, you can’t do that, once you target more than one audience you’re irrelevant and I would say business of any size make that mistake, it’s a huge mistake, target one, one specific audience talking about one specific thing that you can make happen.

So like an example of that would be Indium: Indium Corporation manufacture industrial soldering equipment, they are targeting very specialized engineers that deal with industrial soldering equipment, they want to be the leading expert in the world. At industrial soldering equipment solutions, so that’s all their blog is about, industrial soldering equipment, they have 21 engineers, blogging on 70 different blogs, they started a blog in 2005, 18 months later saw a 600% increase in qualified leads and it has changed the whole nature of how they promote their business and most of their marketing now is done through blog, you type anything into Google, you’ll find Indium

So, but they focus on just one target. But they have many other targets that they are targeting, they are targeting CFO’s, they are targeting CEO’s, they are targeting plant managers, they are targeting all kinds of other people but they are not doing it with this content marketing initiative and that’s the difference. It’s like you’re going to have to make decisions, this group maybe we are not targeting with our content platform, maybe we are just targeting this group. So then you just have to make sure, okay well are we actually telling a different story, that’s why I love to use Google trends, Mike, I think that’s a really good way to go look at it, so if you just, let’s say you’re coming up with that industrial soldering and you put that into Google, you can start looking up break out terms. You know, or let’s use RFID we brought that up before, so if you’re looking at RFID, RFID it’s a pretty saturated content area right now, are we talking about RFID in phones, in smart phones? Are we talking microscopic RFID that can fit on the…….that you put on the human skin, I don’t know, I don’t know anything but I’m just making the point. We have to get really, really niche and focus on that area and go through that process and I don’t think enough people do, most of the time we stop at the story we want to tell instead of the story that needs to be heard and that’s where the content tilt really comes into play.

Mike Allton: That’s fantastic and it’s a good segue, because the last question, that last story that I’d like you to share with us relates to, you know what you were just saying and then the next question that everybody has, is okay so then what do I write about? You know, and back in the mid 2000’s I worked for Litehouse, you know pools and spas in Ohio.

Joe Pulizzi: Oh yea, I know Litehouse sure, northeast Ohio company.

Mike Allton: That’s right, you know so, and the story that always related really well to me was Marcus Sheridan’s.  So if you wouldn’t mind sharing with everybody else, you know Marcus’s story and what he did with River Pools.

Joe Pulizzi: Yes so Marcus, for those of you…..I mean I love, I love Marcus Sheridan’s story so if you go back to 2007, 2008, Marcus Sheridan, CEO of River Pools and Spas, and if you remember in 2007, 2008, I know, and I started the business at that time, so I remember real well we were going, we were about ready to go through the great recession, and he installed fiberglass pools in a very small area, radius Virginia and Maryland. Well, people didn’t want, couldn’t afford to put in fiberglass pools in 2008, they were calling Marcus and saying Marcus I need my $50,000 back because I have to pay the mortgage or I have to put the kids through school, I can’t put in a pool right now so he’s on the verge of bankruptcy in 2008, doesn’t know what to do, he’s 5th in his market, bought about $5 million company and he’s 5th in his marketplace so he’s not even the largest company in his area. He doesn’t have the resources, he went to 2 consultants, both consultants said, “Marcus just put everybody out of their misery and just go bankrupt, just end the company.”

But Marcus is stubborn, if you know him, in a good way and he said, “We are not going to do that, what are we going to do?” And he looked at where he can make a difference and he started to do searches on the web, and he selected things like if you were going to put in a pool as you know, the first question you ask is, how much does a fiberglass pool cost, that’s what everybody asks. And he started to type that into Google and he realized that all the content on that page was, there were sales pictures, wasn’t very helpful content, he said oh my gosh, maybe there’s an opportunity, maybe we can have a content tilt here to be the leading teacher in fiberglass pools because nobody is teaching, they are all selling.

And I love the whole……so we actually did a documentary on content marketing called “The Story of Content” (the StoryOfContent.com if you want to see it). And we interviewed Marcus and he said, the thing that changed everything about his whole business he, said, was we stopped just saying that we sell fiberglass pools, he said we go out and we said we are the teachers, we teach people about fiberglass pools and we just happen to sell and install them. Secondarily, he said they changed the entire business, so he goes out and he says, okay well let’s go teach and he started to teach, created a very simple blog, didn’t cost him a lot of money, started to blog a couple times a week and started to blog about all the questions that his customers had in that area, that weren’t being answered very well.

How much the fiberglass cost, the pool cost, the difference between fiberglass pools and concrete pools and whatever. Started in 2008 and he’s barely making payroll, like he think he’s going to go out of business. So 2008, struggling, 5th in his marketplace, what does he do? All he does, is he does the strategy, creates the, you know build the base, blogging consistently you know every couple, every week over time, fast forward to 2011. He went from 5th in his small little 20 mile radius marketplace to selling and installing more fiberglass pools in any company in North America. What did he do different?

Basically, if you look at it simply is he just started a blog but that was the difference, they didn’t do anything different. They just started to teach instead of sell and, you know went from, he was growing his company everybody else retracted in that area from 2008 to 2011, super successful and this is the best story, and a lot of people don’t know this like, maybe, and you do if you read the book. But we called this revenue ripple. So a good friend of ours Doug Kessler in the UK says, “Revenue ripples happen when you build an audience.” Unexpected revenue opportunities happen when you build an audience. So how did this happen for Marcus? So Marcus right now is travelling all over the world, he’s speaking, he’s teaching, he’s a rock star.

River Pools and Spas realize they became a global brand, so what happened? They were starting to get calls over the country, they were starting to get calls from China and from Europe and from Brazil, calling up and saying, “Marcus can you come in and install our pool in China or in Europe?” And he’s like, what? It’s like, we are just in this little area in the Eastern parts of the United States, we can’t go over and install. They said, no, no, we’ll fly you over, we’ll pay you, would you go ahead and do this? They realize they became a global brand, they became the global brand for fiberglass pools because of this teaching mentality and they went through this Content Inc process; and so how will they take advantage of that? And now they just, actually just recently are coming out with the whole idea, now they are manufacturing pools because they’re this global brand, there’s this marketing machine and they have so many more opportunities like just installing and selling fiberglass pools in their area. Now I’m sure, I’m positive they are going to become a multi-million dollar successful manufacturing enterprise because of that mentality.

So I love that story for 2 things, they just worked the Content Inc model, they were patient over it, it changed everyone’s life in a positive way and they have a whole new business model behind it because they built this audience and that’s the great thing, as once you build an audience that knows, like and trust you, we just talked about it, you can sell them anything you want and now they are going from just installing to manufacturing and selling pools in that way.

Mike Allton: That’s absolutely right, and I want to invite anyone in the audience if you’ve got any questions, throw them in the comments and we’ll get to them, we’ve got a couple minutes left but yea I love that I story. As I soon as I started to learn about him and where he came from, I instantly related because I was in the pool business trying to sell pools and it wasn’t working.

Joe Pulizzi: And you know what’s terrible, Mike? It’s deceptively simple.

Mike Allton: Yea.

Joe Pulizzi: This is why I love this model.

Mike Allton: It wasn’t create a better jingle, it wasn’t put you know, snazz your pictures on your walls, you know it was…

Joe Pulizzi: And then everybody is like, how can I create the next viral thing? Viral happens after 10,000 pieces of amazing content, viral happens after consistency. You want to go viral? Create, be a media company. Look at any great media company out there in the face of it, how they start. They started with one content type, one channel consistently delivering over time, they just didn’t explode and became ESPN over night, they started with SportsCenter. So start with SportsCenter, start with something very specific then you can launch ESPN awards, and then you can launch ESPN the magazine and do all those other things. We have to start simple, we don’t have to throw  our content up everywhere at one time.

Mike Allton: Yea, that is a fantastic lesson, you know and we are just about on time, so you know this is so fantastic folks, you know that we’ve only covered so far, just the first 3 parts of this book, there are dozens more chapters that you need to read. So head on over to Amazon right now and pick it up, I put the link in the comments before I’ll put the link in the show notes. And I just love the dedication in your book Joe: “To all those crazy people in the world, who’ve risked it all to start a business, this book is for you.” And that is exactly why I wanted to have you on the show. You know every SiteSell customer can relate to what you said a 100%, you know we are crazy people who have risked it all.

Joe Pulizzi: You and I well, you and I for sure we are crazy, we are definitely crazy, you got to be crazy to start a business, that’s why I love entrepreneurs, you are absolutely nuts to do it and thank you for the book mention. It really is a passion project, I really do believe it worked for us, I think you don’t have to stumble like we did trying to figure this thing out, it’s right there, it’s what everybody is doing, it’s worked for a 100 years, give it a try.

Mike Allton: Right, right and I also need to mention if you haven’t started a business, if you’re struggling, you need to pick up Joe’s book and you need to head over to SiteSell where you’ll find a complete package of tools and processes to help take that knowledge and passion and turn it into a business just like Joe describes. Oh before we go, don’t forget to tell everyone about the Orange Effect Foundation. I don’t know if you can actually see but I actually wore an orange shirt just for you, today

Joe Pulizzi: I did, I’m impressed, next time we do this orange scarf, and I want to see you in one of those. Thanks for the mention, I mean Orange Effect Foundation we just launched it; as many people know autism and speech disorders are really close to our family, we’ve been able to raise a lot of funds over the last 10 years, we’ve been doing a golf event for a long time to raise funds specifically for children with speech disorder so they can get the speech therapy that they need. It’s a very specific part, it doesn’t mean that a kid has to be on the autism spectrum although a lot of kids are on the autism spectrum. What we found out is a lot of the government funding that has been cut has affected families that can’t afford the speech therapy. What we know is, if it’s diagnosed early enough, like I’m talking about 2 years, 3 years old and you get that kind of speech therapy, these kids can do amazing things, they just want to communicate, that’s all, they just want to be able to communicate and if they have that speech therapy, whether it’s technology or the training that they can get, they can change the world, they can do whatever they want to do, and that’s what we are really trying to focus on, in Orange Effect Foundation, because a lot of these families don’t get those kind of resources so we started the foundation.

We actually have a meeting tomorrow, Mike, where we are going to start to give out some funds to some kids that really need some technology to make this… I get chills just thinking about it, being able to do that, so TheOrangeEffect.org is the site and anybody that wants to participate and make this thing happen so that we can focus on. A lot of stuff going on Autism; Autism Speaks does a great job, a lot of organizations do wonderful research and what not but there’s not a lot of attention put on, hey they have speech disorders, they are already into this thing, we need to get them help and there’s a family that simply can’t afford it. We were in a spot where we could afford it but I’m seeing a lot of families out there that can’t so we want to make sure that we get the funding to those families so they can give it to their kids, so that they can be whoever they want to be and that’s all we can ask, right?

Mike Allton: Yep, yep thank you, I love that.

Joe Pulizzi: Thank you, I appreciate it.

Mike Allton: So, and thank you for coming today, this has been fantastic. I know everyone got a lot out of it. I can’t wait to continue to share this on the blog and put it on YouTube and everything so people get to it.

Joe Pulizzi: Thank you, yea Mike anytime you need you know, anytime you need something just let me know. If you, you know, get one of your guest that scratch, and I’m around just say, hey get Pulizzi, he’ll do it.

Mike Allton: Alright, appreciate that and thank you to everyone who showed up and tuned in live today. Appreciate you to come by, appreciate your questions and I just want to wish a very Merry Christmas and we’ll see you next time.

Joe Pulizzi: Awesome, Happy holidays everyone. Mike we’ll see you later. Thanks buddy.

And for those of you who are thinking about how you might use content to create an online business of your own, SiteSell can help!

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Mike Allton
Mike is an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat, and Brand Evangelist at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and agencies.

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