In his book Authority Content, David Jenyns explains his formula for business marketing success, with content at the core.
David Jenyns still likes to be known as “the man who sold the MCG”. At an age when many of us did embarrassing things and wasted our money, 21-year-old Dave hit on the idea of selling tiny parts of Australia’s sporting icon – the Melbourne Cricket Ground – when the Ponsford Stand was redeveloped in 2003.
Jenyns admits the idea wasn’t original. It was based on New Yorker Paul Hartunian’s moneymaking venture when the Brooklyn Bridge was being rebuilt in the 1980s. He wasn’t even the only person in Melbourne to think of it (another aspiring millionaire, Pete Williams, sold off similar bits of “The G”). But the whole episode taught Jenyns a lot about the boom-bust world of entrepreneurship, and the importance of attracting attention. They are arenas the still young Victorian can rightly claim to be an authority.
Jenyns has done many things since grabbing a few headlines and some TV airtime for flogging old bits of green wood and sticky carpet for $24.95. He founded a digital agency, Melbourne SEO & Video, and created online business software systemHUB. He has presented keynotes and a TEDx talk. He is now also a published author, having written a book devoted to one of his favourite subjects – self-promotion.
Authority Content is an easy-to-follow playbook for professionals who want to build a bigger audience for their particular expertise. Jenyns defines “authority content” as “the act of consistently creating and distributing helpful information and stories to gain attention, engagement and trust, for a clearly defined audience, with the objective of identifying who will benefit from your products and services”.
If this sounds similar to a definition for content marketing, well, that’s because it is. On his website, Jenyns says those who would benefit most from Authority Content are “start-up entrepreneurs”, “small business owners” and “speakers, authors and coaches”.
So, what benefits can flow from being an “authority”? Jenyns says it’s all about “positioning you or your business as the market leader, the most knowledgeable and valuable entity in your industry”. “I have worked hard at establishing my business and myself as an authority,” he writes. “As a result I have no difficulty generating leads … Often, whether the customer is chatting with a salesperson, or placing an order online, it isn’t about convincing the customer – they’ve already decided – it’s about ensuring whether this transaction is going to be right for both of us.”
In his personable and uncomplicated style, Jenyns outlines a framework he calls the “3Ps” – present, product and promote – to build trust and raise awareness. He says it’s crucial that followers choose the right methods and strategies.
So, this is his plan. You book a conference room and send out invitations for a workshop – one that’s written and presented by you as the expert. You organise a professional to video the event so that you end up with hours of material that can be sold or given away in bite-sized pieces via social media. On camera, you ask attendees to say how much they valued your workshop. You take every opportunity to promote your content and your expertise. You turn your workshop notes into blogs, graphics and slides, and employ intelligent SEO strategies to maximise reach. You use the workshop content to write a book. Step and repeat.
Authority Content has easy-to-understand, up-to-date advice for anyone wanting to improve their personal “brand”. It’s useful for those keen to elevate their professional standing – and market what they have to offer that’s truly different – through relevant content and clever promotion.
Jenyns is a firm believer that useful content shouldn’t be wasted. “Do you know the story of the hunting tribes who when they kill an animal use every part – the meat, the bones, the skin?” he writes. “They waste nothing and, in doing so, maximise the benefits from the hard work they put in to tracking and catching the animal. Authority content is just like that, except with less gore and a much smaller chance of being eaten by a lion.”
The man who created a business promoting the twin virtues of video and SEO says he knows what sells professional expertise. “If you’re not using video in your marketing, I feel you’re being negligent in the promotion of your business. It will give you a clear competitive advantage.” His best SEO advice is to not overthink it. “Avoid formulas or set ways of optimising pages,” he writes. “Focus on what creates the best user experience.”
One strategy that Jenyns believes works very well is accumulating testimonials. “Even though I already have hundreds of case studies and rave reviews, why do I continue to collect this sort of stuff? Simple. It’s the proof – the authority assets – that demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m the real deal.” The book includes examples of how Jenyns’ methodology has helped other businesses.
Jenyns clearly has a high opinion of his ideas. He sees himself as a living, breathing example that the authority content concept is valuable. “In case you’re wondering if it’s really feasible to turn a workshop transcript into a book,” he writes, “you’re holding the proof of concept in your hands.”
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