Overcoming Misconceptions in the Content/SEO World [Podcast Episode]

We often make the assumption that everyone in the industry agrees on certain things.


, Overcoming Misconceptions in the Content/SEO World [Podcast Episode]



But it’s not always the case. SEO consultant Brendan Hufford has built a personal brand around taking a non-BS approach to content. On the show, he talks about his honest perception of the industry and tips on how to communicate effectively.

, Overcoming Misconceptions in the Content/SEO World [Podcast Episode]


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Some of the most common misconceptions in our industry
  • Typical pushback you might receive based on misconceptions
  • How to build more trust in your brand
  • How to improve your internal marketing

Related resources/links:


Amanda: This week on the show, I’m very pleased to welcome SEO consultant, Brendan Hufford, welcome to the show, Brendan.

Brendan: Thanks, Amanda. I’m fired up, this is going to be great.

Amanda: I agree. I think this is going to be a really interesting show because if you’re listening and you haven’t heard of Brendan, I highly encourage you to check out his website, which is brendanhufford.com because I think it’s a wonderful example of how to communicate in a personal, just, authentic way. I was very struck by it when I was checking it out and I think that’s going to be a good foundation for a lot of things we’re going to talk about, which is misconceptions in the content and SEO world, and how Brendan has found a way to communicate through all that BS. So, Brendan, just to start, how have you gotten started like, with this kind of being your personal brand? Like you, from what I can, tell pride yourself on being able to cut through all the misinformation and the confusion and talk to people on easy to understand terms. I mean, one of your calls to action is literally ready to learn SEO for normal people. So, how did this all come about?

Brendan: Yeah, so, I think it’s a couple things. There’s a Steve Jobs quote that I won’t butcher, but he talks about how you can only see the dots connect looking backwards, you can never do that going forwards. And I think looking back, it’s a couple different pieces. It’s coming up in education, we let 18-year olds decide what they want to do with their lives, despite not trusting them with many other things. So, I went to college to be a teacher because of course I did. And I did that for like 10 years, I climbed that ladder. I was an assistant principal for a little bit, and I was like, this is actually worse than teaching, managing teachers. But yeah, I did that for a decade and was just like learning SEO on the side, one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten was that I learned SEO by brute force, just doing it and figuring it out for the last 10 or so years and making all the mistakes, dining at the buffet of online marketing entrepreneurship, like I’ve done all of the things, I’ve done webinars, email marketing, launch multiple podcasts over the last five years, like everything you can do from like really authentic to really scammy, I’ve probably tried everything. And it was dining at the buffet of online entrepreneurship that I kind of figured out what I liked, and what felt right and what– where my skill set and my natural inclinations aligned with the work of things because we all want the results, right? 

But when you actually look at the work that it takes to get there, and sometimes it’s not always aligned with what you’re best at. For example, I love recording podcasts, it’s the most fun thing in the world for me, hate editing audio, it’s the actual like, it’s the actual worst, I hate editing audio, love editing video. So, like if I was to choose a platform between podcasts and YouTube or something like, I should probably choose YouTube because I like the work of that more. But kind of to your point like, getting to today was just a process of building little sites on the side, getting clients here and there, built in, sold an e-commerce brand, an affiliate blog and a couple other things along the way and just started taking on clients and then, you know, after 10 years in teaching, took a job at a marketing agency honestly made, I had never considered working for anybody, ever. Like, I said, I was in online marketing, you quit your day job that you supposed to hate, everybody hates their day job is what they tell you, and then you quit it, and then you have this freedom where you sell courses and you speak at events and all this stuff and it’s supposed to be wonderful. The funny thing, the rub of that is, is that most of the people telling you to quit your day job are also selling you a course on how to do that, which is just an immediate red flag, right? If it’s like, “Do this thing, here’s my course on how to do it.”. But then, I realized I didn’t have to quit my day job like, it could just create this flywheel of like, I wouldn’t be living this double life where like, half of my day I cared like, had to pretend that I cared about lesson plans and curriculum maps and the other half of the day I cared about SEO. Now, I can only care about SEO, I can only care about content, right? And I have this aligned life where like 24 hours a day, if I’m thinking about business, if I’m thinking about work like, it’s all in the same topic. And that kind of brings us to where we are today. I was a SEO director, well started as an SEO specialist and kind of rose up at this wonderful little primarily web design and marketing agency here in Chicago called Click Studios, which I’m still, they joked when I worked there that I was their number one fan. I still am, love Clicks so much. And now I’m the director of SEO at an agency called Directive where we work primarily with software companies.

Amanda: So, you spoke a little bit before we started recording about how that teaching experience really set you up to have conversations around SEO. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Brendan: Yeah, hundred percent. I think that that, sorry to be long winded about like the superhero origin story. It’s just like, it gives so much context. 

Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. 

Brendan: I think when you when you talk to 14-year olds, you know, one of my most vivid memories of teaching was, I had a student and I didn’t– I taught in for nothing, like they paid us nothing. I have friends that are teachers making over $100,000 a year in like really wealthy school districts, I did not make even half that, even at the end of the 10 years. But I taught in like Gary, Indiana and on the south side of Chicago, areas where like education in the community isn’t valued because things are very difficult there for a lot of people. And when I started hearing from students things like, “I wasn’t going to come to school today except that wanted to see what we were doing in your class.”, I started to realize like alright, that’s like my superpower is, I can get them bought in literally no joke, Amanda the last two years of teaching, I taught at a really progressive charter school in a really bad area on the south side of Chicago and not bad meaning bad people, but just there’s a lot of violence and a lot of drugs and gangs and stuff. One of the things– I taught a class called college careers and skills and as a teacher I was literally evaluated by on how much the kids believed in themselves, based on like surveys and their attendance and that stuff. And I was literally a class as, or like guidance counselor as class, where it was my job to get them bought in on like going to high school. So, all of that translates into, I’m really good at breaking down concepts, really good at getting buy-in, I’m really good at explaining complicated things in ways that people understand without making them feel stupid, that’s a really big thing.

Amanda: Yeah. I think people accidentally seem condescending a lot of the time.

Brendan: Yeah, and it’s right, we all have the best intentions, but if you have somebody who’s got deep expertise on something, I mean, we’ve all– that’s why like Masterclass is such an interesting platform, right? Because these are people with such a deep expertise, but it’s also very cinematic and it explains things in ways that everybody can understand. And a lot of times when you have such deep expertise, like you can’t– that’s why a lot of great players can’t be great coaches, right? They’ve never figured out how to translate that to somebody else. And I think I’m just very blessed and grateful to kind of have that background, so I can’t explain those things.

Amanda: So, now that you’re using those talents in the SEO and content world, when you started having those conversations with people, what did you notice was the most common kind of misconceptions about doing this type of work?

Brendan: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about SEO, in general. I think, if we were to focus, I mean, SEO in general is just, it’s changed so much, right? The things that Google cared about 5 or 10 years ago, is not what they care about now. They have continued to care about the same things. One of which is, content right? The quality of content and how it’s been measured has been different, right? I don’t know if everybody listening to this was doing content back in the day where like bolding your keywords was a thing, I don’t know everything said that it helped. You know, it was a thing that the Yoast plugin told you to do up until very recently. Like, all of that stuff, you know, shout out to anybody who remembers the WordPress, WP SEO plugin that was the predecessor to Yoast. But like, you know, just all sorts of like spammy bad stuff used to be the advice for ranking content in search or even creating content in general, and it created this thing, and I think is the biggest misconception of, do we write this for people? Or do we write this for Google? I think on a long enough timeline, those are the same thing, right? But I think there’s still some difference and some nuance, right? Google, it is very difficult to rank in Google with a pretty much a landing page, right? With 200 words or 100 words yet, Seth Godin crushes with that stuff. He gets terrible search traffic because it doesn’t make any sense but, he also gets some of the most social shares ever, right? So, is his content bad? No, it’s amazing, most of the time. I can’t even read Seth Godin’s blog anymore, man, because I can’t rethink my life every single morning. It’s too much for me, you know what I mean? It’s like, am I being generous enough? Am I being, you know, all of these– am I raising my hand and taking my turn? I just– it’s too much

Amanda: Yeah, it’s deep, existential.

Brendan: Existential crisis before 8am, and I can’t handle it. And he does it in like three sentences, though, and you’re like, “Oh, my gosh.”. So, like, is that amazing content marketing? Of course, it is. It’s his biggest asset. But yeah, I think that it created that question of like, do we write for Google or do we write for people? The problem is that, if you’re not doing research on what people are searching for, are you– do you really know? And sometimes, you know, right? You have a good idea of like, a client industry or even your own industry. You know, what the pain points are, you know, how to give your unique take on them. But I think, you know, that that’s one of the biggest issues, and one of the things I have to communicate to people all the time is that like, you can’t, if you want to do content that’s going to rank in search, you can’t just like fall into it like you used to. I can’t just like change a title tag, and all of a sudden, it’ll start ranking, although that does work sometimes. I think the biggest thing is, understanding that those two things are aligned. Like, just focus on writing for people, do some research on what people are searching for, and if it makes sense there, yeah, but they’re not opposed. It’s not binary anymore.

Amanda: Absolutely. So, when you’re having these conversations, I know that there are like you said, a lot of misunderstandings we could get into, I saw on your blog you have– you published something called the, what is it? The SEO obituary? Like how many times it’s died?

Brendan: Oh, don’t judge me on that. That was such like a weird 2am night. 

Amanda: No, I love it, I thought it was hilarious. I mean, because you see it all, like every year pretty much, and to see it all together in one place. It’s like, “Wow, yeah, that is something that people have argued for a long time.”. 

Brendan: SEO dies a couple times a year at least. Like, it’s just– it’s dead content, content is dead, it’s all social now, it’s this or it’s that and it’s just like, “Okay, alright.”.

Amanda: It speaks to how much debate there is around, I mean, literally at that level, like, is SEO even going to be a thing anymore is debated, right? So, there’s a lot of information floating around and if somebody’s primary job is an SEO or you know, maybe they’re in marketing, and they need SEO help, it’s hard to always know the right course of action, right? So, like you said, there are a lot of misunderstanding so, we kind of have to correct, have the conversation and just being honest. In having those conversations, have you gotten push back about certain things? Like, is there certain things that people are a little too hesitant to do or that they’re skeptical about?

Brendan: Most of the content that we get push back on comes from like a product team, and it comes down to positioning, we don’t want to position for that generic keyword because it’s not, you know, it’s just not what we want for our product. So, that’s where we get a lot of push back. I think at the end of the day, like if you really want buy-in, so, let’s say that’s the push back, right? And there’s other confusion too around like keywords versus topics. I’m a big believer in like topical research versus just keyword research, because the best content ranks for like, over 1000 keywords, and that’s just what the tools show, right? They’re probably ranking for 10,000 keywords, but they’re all just so long tail. So, there’s the keyword discussion usually is, there’s a lot of confusion around it. There’s always a lot of confusion around like, the marketing side of content marketing around like email outreach, and everything people still think you can use, like some sort of like, I don’t know, pitch template and stuff and there’s a place for that but, a lot of the outreach you do that really has a big effect is just building relationships that you can kind of leverage again and again. I think like, getting the buy-in for that, for me, like, first of all, is like death to the phrase that SEOs and some content marketers like to use of, it depends. Like, nobody has ever bought into a strategy of like, “Well, it depends.”. Like, “What kind of results you think it can get from this?”, “It depends, like it depends on this and it depends on.”. Okay, so cool, so nothing, so, no result. Like, I need to report to my VP, I need to report to my CMO or senior head of demand, whoever it is your point of contact is reporting to or internally who you’re reporting to, you can’t tell them it depends like they need a number, right? They have goals to hit, and I think what’s been most helpful in those types of conversations on clearing things up, maybe getting buy-in or whatever else is, understanding what they want. Like, what’s that Zig Ziglar quote? On my second quote that I can butcher here on the podcast of like, you can get whatever you want in life as long as you help other people get what they want. Like, if you’re working with another human, understand what they want, right? Like, what is their goal? Are they tasked with MQLs?  Are they tasked with traffic? Are they like, what is their big reporting thing? And then if your thing gets them that thing, you just kind of have to connect the dots for them, you know?

Amanda: Yeah. And it makes total sense that people would want something more concrete, which I think scares people a lot of the time, right? They’re like, how can I promise a certain amount of traffic from something, you know, or they’re afraid they’re going to overestimate it. So, what is your strategy for coming up with those numbers?

Brendan: Yeah, so I think it’s hard on the front end, right? If somebody’s like, “I want a guaranteed number before we even engage with you.”, typically, to me, that means you haven’t built enough trust, right? If you’re working with a client, or you’re working internally, and it’s like, “I’m not even debating this until you give me the numbers.”, alright, then you don’t trust me as a professional, you don’t trust us as an organization, you don’t trust my team, whatever the scenario is. So, I take extreme ownership of that and it’s like, “Alright, we have to build more trust.”, is that they need to see that we’ve done this 20 times before? Do they need to see like, what do they need to see? Because frankly, like building out a full content strategy on spec to close somebody is not scalable like, that would– you will make so many content strategies that won’t close deals because if they didn’t trust you before, are they really going to trust you once you provide a random number? No, they’re not going to trust that number, they’re going to be like, “That seems a little high. That seems a little low.”, and all of a sudden, you get the same push back, it doesn’t do the thing you think it would. They think they want a number; they don’t want a number; they just want to trust you. I think, you know, in that, like, I don’t know, some of the best ways in there as far as like building trust for me is, and I know I’m kind of deviating from your question is, really like again, understanding what they want and then getting into their system like once you have that trust, it’s like, “Alright, let’s look at your average conversion rate. Let’s look at your traffic. Let’s map backwards.”, right? Like, I want to look in HubSpot. I want to see MQLs, I want to see all the– whatever it is they’re tasked with, right? And I want to look at the average conversion rate and then I love this framing that I stole from one are other directors at Directive is just like, provide them with like a good, better, best analysis. People think again, back to this binary it’s either this or it’s this, give them good, better, best of like, “Hey, here’s like, what we think good results could be, here’s better results if we pull these other levers, and here’s like the best results. This the best-case scenario where we’ll be.”. And I think then when you give clients that range, or the internal team or whoever you’re reporting to, that range, it’s like, “Oh, okay.”, and it also shows that you’re strategic, right? You have thought behind how you’re estimating all of this. And I think that it continues to kind of build that trust, which is really the most important thing.

Amanda: I completely agree with that tiered approach, I think you’re right, I would be skeptical if somebody came to me and they’re like, “This is what’s going to happen 100%.”, you know? It’s like, there’s got to be some kind of a range of possibilities and some of it, there’s always going to be a piece of it that’s out of your hands. So, it does speak as very authentic to say, “This is what we project will happen and these are like the different cases.”, and set that expectation from the beginning, I can see that being really helpful. And I like that you got into the building trust side because you’re absolutely right that that’s a huge part of getting the buy-in from the get-go. Do you find that, aside from like, trying to build their trust, like in a conversation, you know, prior to that, when you do your inbound marketing, you know, you have a blog and a podcast like, which kind of methods would you recommend for people to start establishing more trust with their brand?

Brendan: So, I love a couple different things. I think it depends on where your audience is, number one, different people consume information differently. You know, the way I tested is, are other people already doing this? People are like, “Oh, that’s really a saturated space.”. It’s like, good, that means that a lot of people are making money doing this like, it’s okay to play there. Now, does the world need another like, crappy podcast? No, like, please don’t make that. Please don’t waste anybody’s time with another generic podcast, asking questions you heard other podcasters ask of the same people that have already answered that same question on other podcasts, you know, that’s why I love like how focused you are here. Like, it’s not like, “Here’s just the generic like, questions that everybody asks.”, because you know your audience, right? I think the biggest thing is with some of this, like my thought on content is, how do we get the most distribution for this? So, I think if I were to start from scratch, and the playbook I’m putting together at Directive right now is, we’re going to start with a podcast, we’re going to do it differently, I’m a big believer in looking outside of your industry, and seeing what other people are doing, right? So, I don’t want to look at what every other agency is doing, I want to look at like, “What’s going on over there in street wear? What’s going on in fashion? What’s going on in like, direct to consumer? How are they doing their content marketing?”, and all of a sudden, it’s like, “Oh, you know, I want to look at Barstool sports, crazy media company. What are they doing?”. Like, they have like, Stoolies’ diehard fans love Barstool sports. And like, I don’t– I would never claim to be a Stoolie because I’m sure that they would like, find my address and hurt me for, you know what I mean? For false flagging or something, I’m not going to claim it. But I like it; I admire it from the outside looking in. So, I want to look at like what Barstool is doing, their CEO just put out a daily podcast, I’m listening to every episode of that because I want to hear about what they’re doing. So, kind of getting inspired from other places, seeing how they’re launching their podcasts, how are they breaking that into other media, looking at how their YouTube strategy is, all these different things. So, don’t just look at your peers, I think is the number one thing that people get caught up with. 

And then, number two, yeah, from distribution, having a podcast that, you then you know, Zoom is more popular than ever. It’s totally normal now to have a zoom call, whereas six months ago, it was like, “Zoom. I mean, I guess like that’s fine.”. But now, like my kids are all on Zoom for school. Like, Zoom, just like, they became the thing, right? Like, the Google, the Kleenex, like, people are going to just refer to those kinds of calls as Zooms now, just fascinating to me. But regardless, like, it’s totally normal now. So, hop on a Zoom, record the podcast, repurpose it for video, distribute it over social and video on social. Like, you can take every– you can start with a podcast because it’s so foundational; it becomes everything else, if that makes sense. Whereas some things like, it’s, yes, you can take a blog, turn it into a– you can read it on a podcast, I guess, you could make a video out of it. But I feel like, I genuinely feel like the podcast, if you’re just getting started or you need a first thing, it’s got the best kind of distribution.

Amanda: Yeah, there’s so many ways you can repurpose it, right? And I imagine that a lot of the time when people create marketing materials to speak to their audiences that that can be repurposed for sales, as well.

Brendan: Yeah, I love podcasts too, because they’re so immediate. Like, you get it all right now, it’s download, and it’s so intimate. Like, it’s not you, it almost doesn’t feel like you’re consuming it through a device versus a blog, you’re reading it on a screen, video, you’re watching it on a screen. Literally, the podcast happens inside of your ears. You know, most of us are listening to it through like some sort of headphones. Like, it just– it’s just ambient, right? And it’s like, if I asked you to read a blog post for an hour, you’d be like, “Absolutely not, no chance, zero. I don’t care how good it is. It better be like a Blake Crouch novel or something if you want me to sit and read for an hour.”, but like shout out Blake crouch to all the people that like him, Dark Matter is like one of my favorite books ever. But anyways, like, I’m not going to read for an hour, I’m probably not going to watch a video for an hour because when you’re doing those things, you can’t do other things but when I’ve consumed, I have again, like let’s go back to Barstool, one of our best people on our team, Liam Barnes at Directive like, Liam is like, “I listen to every episode of Pardon my Take.”. It’s like a two-hour podcast, three times a week, like he passively consumes six hours, and it’s like the number one sports podcast, a lot of people are consuming six hours a week of this show. You can’t get that kind of attention anywhere else, you know, that type of like, just consumption. 

And then by the end of it, it’s like I said, it’s so intimate, you can, you feel like you get to know the people, I’m sure like, you have people that are listening to the show over and over again, and then they feel like they know like, you don’t know them because they’re a listener, but they know you at that point. And it creates this intimacy that you just don’t get with other things, and I think if you’re trying, whether you’re trying to build an audience or trying to go deep with an audience like building let’s say, you offer some sort of like more, whether you’re an agency or whatever, or software company, if you’re offering a more high ticket product, they’re not going to buy just the first time they find your blog, whether it was shared or in Google or whatever. Like, they’re not ready to convert at that point. But, if they listen to 15 episodes of your podcast then they’re like, “Oh, I love this brand. I love this marketer that works there.”. So, now I mean, it’s how we– I brought Drift into my last agency, I was at at Click Studios. we started using Drift because I love Dave Gerhardt, and I love David Cancel and I was like, “Oh my gosh, like, of course we’re going to work with them over Intercom.”. Now, I did my analysis, right? I did a deck that I called drift or come, because it seemed from the outside, like they did the same things. But then, one of them was putting out so much stuff and Intercom’s like famous for having this amazing blog, one of our founders at Click was like, “I would prefer Intercom. I love them.”. And I was like, “Agree to disagree, then.”, you know? But that happened because I’ve listened to so many hours of podcasts from them. So yeah, that’s why I’m kind of like, strong on it.

Amanda: What about internally? This reminds me of the first episode we did with Joe Pulizzi because he was talking about getting buy-in inside a company and how you can use things like newsletters, like, just to your co-workers and your leadership about how you’ve been getting little successes, have you seen things like that work as well?

Brendan: Yeah, we have a thing, I mean, the easiest lift would be like make a Slack channel for it or make a policy of it. At click, we had a, we’d do a thing called First Fridays, where every first Friday of the month, we would kind of have like a little celebration and stuff, a little event in the office. And for everybody who was remote, we made like a shout out machine where people could get like the shout outs on their phones, and then we would all read them out loud to each other, which was pretty cool. You could also just do it in Slack, like have a celebrate the wins channel, just where people can share, like all the wins they’re having and kind of do that internal marketing; I think that’s pretty cool. And I think too, like that’s really, it comes down to the leadership, right? Whether you’re at an agency working for somebody or you’re doing it internally with your team or at your company. Like, it’s the leader’s job to pull those wins out, and then share them with the team, not everybody’s always going to be comfortable being like, “Oh, I got this.”, like, they might feel braggy or like yeah, I’m a marketer, yeah, I do sales, but it feels weird gloating to my peers for some reason, or whatever. So, I don’t know, as a leader on my team, like, I take that pretty personally and I feel like that’s my task to do of like, “Hey, can I share this with the bigger team?”. 

And I think the other thing too is, around internal marketing, like people just want to know– they want to know two things. They want to know they’re not alone. Like, we’re all going through this together, and I don’t mean this meaning like in a pandemic sense, although that’s true. But like, we’re all on the same bus driving the same direction, and then people want to know, like, what the next stop is, like, where are we headed? So, the more you can hype up, like, “Here’s where we’re going, here’s what we’re going to do next, here’s why I think that’s going to be fun, here’s why that, to bring it full circle, here’s why that matters to you, based on your career goals, based on what you want to do, based on the results of your tasked against, here’s why it’s helpful and maybe like, you know, silly enough, like here’s why this is going to be like a lot of fun.”. You know, I want everybody on my team to be pumped that they work where we work, right? And I think like that, you look at anybody that has a really strong brand, I know like, G2 did that, they’re another Chicago company, they launched some new stuff, and I saw it freaking everywhere on my Twitter feed, it was like, “Relax, everybody.”. But they all shared it individually because they’re freaking pumped about it. And I was like, “That’s some good internal marketing.”. Like, Ryan Bonnicci, their CMO, like good on you, man. Like you, you and your team, figure that out. So, stuff like that matters, right? Like, I’m not going to follow the brand account, but I do follow people, at companies and I connect with people at companies on LinkedIn, and when the people share stuff, I’m like, “Ah, alright. Cool. This matters to them.”, you know? 

Amanda: Yeah, that makes total sense. So, a question I ask everybody at the end of the show is, what do you think is the biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to get buy-in for a project?

Brendan: That’s a really good question. The biggest mistakes that I’ve made in getting buy-in for a project is, thinking that what people needed was more information. Like, if I answer and this is a very like sales minded thing of like, if I know all their objections ahead of time, their internal, what are the three? The internal, external and product objections, and I address all of those in here, then I’m going to get buy-in, and I think that gets you some of the way. But I think the biggest mistake is, sometimes people come with too much at first, and they don’t ask for people to make like micro commitments. You know, like, “Hey, I’m thinking, we don’t have a podcast. I’m thinking of starting one. What do you think about that?”. And like, let’s get that micro commitment right away of like, “Yeah, that sounds cool.”, “All right. Cool. I’m going to go research it. Hey, I just want to let you know I’m researching the podcasts. Are you listening to any– is there any podcasts you like you think I should listen to?”, “Oh, yeah. All right.”, and they give you a couple; that’s how I started listening to Pardon my Take, right? Kind of getting those micro commitments along the way makes buy-in so much easier than like, “Here’s a 75 page deck and an hour long call with 40 people on it.”, like, that is not the time to get buy-in, you know? Like, there should have been, like engagement and everything along the way, and I think too much we try to like, build it up to some big event, you know, everything is the wedding day, and it’s like, let’s like casually date for a little bit first and let’s get a little bit of buy-in as we go.

Amanda: I love that, no one has said that, and I think it’s 100%, like, it’s so true. Because if you just get them bought into the little things, they already feel more invested in the whole thing, and you’re playing with time as well. The more time that goes on that they are somewhat involved, it just feels more like, “Yeah, if it makes sense, let’s do it.”, right?

Brendan: Yeah, I mean, you’ll get to the point where they’ll be like, “Hey, Amanda, you’ve been talking about this for six months. Are you going to do it or not?”, and you’re like, “Yes. Oh, sure. I guess. I guess, I mean, it’s fine. I guess, I don’t really care either way. It’s fine. I guess I’ll do it.”, and really, the whole time you’re like, “Oh my god. Yes. I can’t wait.”. You know, you’ll get those kinds of things where like, I one time, this is maybe another mistake, but I didn’t realize I had already closed somebody on an idea, and I was literally told, like, “Don’t sell pass the close, I’m bought in, let’s just do it.”. And I was like, “Hey, awesome.”. You know, my teaching background, honestly, to get students bought in on stuff, you got to give them four metaphors and like five examples, and you keep saying it over and over, in different ways to get the whole class to understand, and then you know, when you’re working in an adult professional environment, it turns out, you don’t have to do that all the time, like people can– you can just give them one example, and that’s fine,

Amanda: Right. So, knowing the objective of this show, which is to help content marketers get this kind of buy-in, who would you recommend to be guests on future episodes?

Brendan: So, I’ll give you a couple recommendations, if that’s all right. And I’m not saying this to be like, facetious, but because this person is the reason, I was very happy at Click studios, and one of the big reasons I left Click studios was to work with the person who is my CEO now at Directive, Garrett Mehrguth. He’s probably the best marketer that I’ve ever met in my life, and I mean that very sincerely as somebody with like a really high BS meter. I think he’s awesome at this, like, I’m watching him on call, like, there’s a reason he’s the CEO of this company and built it from the ground up, and one of his first clients was freaking Allstate. You know, so, I think he’s fantastic. Another person, I’m trying to think of people who are not like the obvious choices in content marketing, you know. I think in terms, I feel like people on my team do it well, and it’s the reason I’m at Directive. So, I feel like that’s the easy one. I don’t know, I think I would go, I think Garrett is perfect for this. I think that also, other people that I see do really, really well, are also people who can just like get everybody really excited. I think that Dave Gerhardt is a great example of somebody who’s like really good at getting buy-in for his stuff, crush it at Drift, now at Privy is a great example. So yeah, I would definitely go with those two.

Amanda: Awesome, yeah, I really appreciate it, and I especially, going to the people that are typically named because that’s why I ask this question to learn about these people.

Brendan: Yeah, I mean, like, you know, if I go with like, what am I going to say? Like, Kristin? Like, of course, like, you already know Kristin. I’m trying to think, I’m just being honest with you. Or if I say like, you know, I’m a huge fan of Animals, right? Like, love what they do too, you know, the people there that I know, but I don’t know, just because they write an article about it, and I love it. Like, I don’t know that they’re necessarily the best at that. Like, you don’t see the practice of it so much, you know what I mean? But yeah, I don’t know, there’s a lot of people in content, I’m sure they do a great job, but those would be my recommendations. 

Amanda: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing your insight, Brendan and for taking the time to be on the show.

Brendan: I really appreciate it. I’m super grateful to be able to share any of this look, like I came from teaching, there’s still a little bit, there’s a little thing in the back of my mind, that still scares the crap out of me that at some point, there’s nothing wrong with teaching, I did it for 10 years, that I’m going to like, go back there though. Like, all of this is going to blow up in my face tomorrow and I’ll have nothing left, there’s no reason to feel that way. But I still do. So, I’m just grateful that anything I’ve learned along the way that I can like, send that elevator back down, you know, if anybody can learn from anything, maybe it’s the teacher in me. But yeah, I’m just grateful to have a platform to share it. So, thank you.

Amanda: Yeah, I love that attitude, and I’m sure everybody really appreciates it. 

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