The One Way to Stand Out in the Crowd of Content

This story begins in the current.

Brian Fanzo is a founder, CEO, and keynote speaker. He does 70 talking engagements a yr. Over the previous 4 years, he has finished greater than four,000 dwell video broadcasts.

Brian works with main manufacturers, together with Dell, Adobe, IBM, and SAP. He did influencer engagements at Mobile World Congress and the Super Bowl. Chances are Brian.

But the place did Brian’s story start?

At a frozen yogurt store in Virginia Beach.

Brian shared his story throughout a Content Marketing World presentation, Press The Damn Button: How To Stand Out From the Bad News and Fake News On Social Media.

How does David beat Goliath?

In a little bit procuring district in Virginia Beach, Brian’s household opened a frozen yogurt store. Working there as a teen, Brian discovered life classes.

Brian’s dad is a agency believer in neighborhood – each the idea and the tight-knit neighborhood they have been a component of. One might argue that their frozen yogurt store was a middle of the neighborhood.

“We held the baseball draft for our local community. My mom was the president of the PTA and the PTA meetings happened at our shop. It became the central idea of anything we were doing in the community,” Brian says.

Deeply related along with his household enterprise, Brian obtained the nickname “yogurt boy” and embraced it.

Then at some point, bother arrived.

Dairy Queen got here to city. Even worse, the nationwide chain opened a retailer subsequent door to the Fanzo’s. Brian’s thought was that the household enterprise was ruined.

How might the Fanzos’ frozen yogurt store, aka David, stand any probability in opposition to Dairy Queen, aka Goliath? They banked on the relationships and belief they accrued over the years – the robust sense of neighborhood rooted in their store.

Brian’s dad didn’t fear for one second. “My dad knew we weren’t competing with Dairy Queen. Competing with that logo of Dairy Queen, we were going to lose. We competed with the fact that we knew the people of our community. It’s the connection that we had with people,” says Brian.

In the finish, the Fanzo frozen yogurt store not solely survived, it thrived. Brian’s dad wasn’t operating a enterprise a lot as he was constructing a neighborhood. His dad knew the significance of telling your story and connecting with individuals at a deep stage. Brian would take these classes as he launched into his profession.

At his household’s yogurt store, @iSocialFanz discovered the significance of telling your story to join w/ individuals through @cmicontent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet


A setback of types

Brian took a job with a authorities contractor, doing cybersecurity work for the U.S. Department of Defense. He had a price range of $19.9 million and a crew of 32 workers. His work took him to South Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

In the Middle East, he spent rather a lot of time with locals. He turned fascinated with the tradition, and realized that his early perceptions of the Middle East weren’t correct. “Growing up, there were so many stories about the Middle East that were wrong. Stories that the media was putting in front of me, the news reports that I saw,” Brian says.

To shift others’ misperceptions of the Middle East, he revealed a number of weblog posts:

He shared these posts along with his boss at the authorities contractor and acquired sudden suggestions:

Sorry, Brian. I like that you really want to weblog for us, however you write such as you discuss. You inform too many tales, you discuss experiences. I can’t work out the place our gross sales numbers are going to be drawn right here and I actually don’t suppose it’s best to ever be writing for a corporation.

With one swift electronic mail, Brian’s desires have been almost shattered.

A breakthrough units all the pieces in movement

Brian was posting on the main social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and so on., however he was struggling. The phrases of his previous boss’s suggestions years earlier nonetheless reverberated.

“I was told, ‘Your story doesn’t matter and you’re telling too many stories and focusing on experience.’ Not only did it hurt, it hurt so bad that it put me into not telling stories online or sharing myself at all,” Brian says.

He would spend an hour crafting a single Facebook publish, striving for perfection, to give his followers exactly what they wished.

He was feeling social media burnout. He spoke to his mother about it.

On Nov. 2, 2013, his mother spoke three sentences that may change Brian’s life ceaselessly:

Well, son, the factor about you that’s at all times stood out is that you’re unapologetically your self. You had no downside carrying a hat and loopy footwear, being who you’re. Are you doing the identical factor on-line?

That was the aha second for Brian. He took a Sharpie pen to his mirror and wrote “be yourself.” Almost six years later, Brian was carrying a T-shirt with #BeYourself throughout his Content Marketing World presentation.

How does that relate to content material advertising and marketing?

Brian says “being yourself” extends to “knowing yourself” – realizing the mediums in which you’re most snug.

Brian’s subsequent discovery second got here at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. A pal informed him about the then-popular Meerkat, a live-streaming cellular app. Brian did a dwell broadcast from the convention. A viewer, Gary from Indiana, posted a query, “Is that the Microsoft booth over there? Any chance you could go show me their new phone?”

From that one request, Brian noticed the potential of dwell video: connecting with an viewers in actual time and creating the content material in actual time to deal with their on-demand wants.

“I believe we all have a story to tell. The question becomes where do we tell it … I needed to find my medium. I needed to find my outlet. Live video ended up being my outlet,” Brian says.

I imagine all of us have a narrative to inform. The query turns into the place can we inform it. @iSocialFanz through @cmicontent #CMWorld Click To Tweet


The future is relatability

Brian says the future of advertising and marketing is relatability.

The future of #advertising and marketing is relatability, says @iSocialFanz through @cmicontent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

He spoke about John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. An AT&T buyer for seven years, Brian didn’t know who the CEO was, however he discovered on social media.

“On a weekly basis, (John) has a Sunday cooking show where he does a slow-cooker Sunday on Facebook Live. He cooks in his penthouse in Seattle, gives you different recipes. When he’s in New York, he runs around Central Park and if you can find him, he gives you a free iPhone,” says Brian.

When it got here time to purchase a brand new cellphone, Brian went with T-Mobile. “I understood who (the CEO) was at his core. I trusted him. I didn’t need to trust T-Mobile. I trusted the person there,” he says.

Sound like our earlier David vs. Goliath story?

The Fanzo frozen yogurt store gained as a result of the house owners have been recognized and trusted by their neighborhood – their prospects associated to them. Similarly, the a lot smaller T-Mobile gained Brian’s enterprise from the bigger AT&T as a result of its CEO constructed belief from relatability.

In her Total Annarchy e-newsletter, Ann Handley lined the subject of relatability: “Relatable means that you infuse your marketing and writing with point of view and perspective.”

Ann shares how one can be relatable:

  • Show your persona.
  • Celebrate the precise individuals behind the model.
  • Talk to your prospects as friends.
  • Take some dangers.
  • Tell the fact.
  • Screw up typically.

Ann additionally particulars the sincere and relatable approach Mindy Kaling revealed herself to the viewers at Content Marketing World:

  • She doesn’t view her work as one thing that has ethical worth; she does stuff as a result of it’s humorous and her mates prefer it.
  • She publicly made a bunch of charitable donations for her birthday in half as a result of of how others would admire that.
  • She’s aggressive.
  • She purchased her promenade footwear from DSW.
  • She feels responsible as a result of one of the six phrases her toddler is aware of is “mommy busy.”
  • She admits her ego is large.


Press the rattling button

Many issues can forestall you from creating and sharing content material, “pressing the damn button.” For the most half, the boundaries come down to three letters:


Inertia is a handy state, because it requires no motion. Asking questions can reinforce that inertia. For instance, should you strategy video content material by first asking about the tools you want, the query signifies you’re in search of a purpose to take no motion: “I don’t need to do that because I don’t have the right equipment.”

If you really need to press the rattling button on that video, eradicate all obstacles and boundaries.

It could be so simple as utilizing your smartphone. For an influencer marketing campaign at the Super Bowl, Brian didn’t want a digital camera crew and satellite tv for pc vehicles. He did the marketing campaign from his iPhone.

Once you eradicate the obstacles, Brian advises two issues:

  1. Understand that perfection is a fairy story. Even should you give the look of being good (e.g., these polished Instagram pictures too good to be true), you’re much less relatable. Showing errors, flaws, and errors makes you relatable.
  2. Know that management is an phantasm. When you go dwell on video, you quit rather a lot of management. Your cellphone battery could die in the center of the broadcast otherwise you would possibly seize one thing loopy on digital camera. But these challenges are relatable to your viewers. Brian loves it as a result of he sees it as the essence of being the actual you.

Relatability in #advertising and marketing requires you to quit on perfection and management, says @isocialfanz through @cmicontent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

There’s a magnificence to this factor of placing your self on the market,” Brian says. “There’s a magnificence to this concept that claims once you’re sincere and true to who you’re, the trolls don’t have any energy as a result of there’s nothing they’ll say that may throw you off.

Are you prepared to activate?

Brian ended his session with a name to motion:

I problem everybody … Write one factor down and execute on it. Press the rattling button on it. Push ahead as a result of that is how we begin making a motion, that is the way you begin standing out. Ultimately, it’s how we transfer issues ahead.

Write one factor down and execute on it. Press the rattling button on it. It’s how we transfer issues ahead, says @isocialfanz through @cmicontent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Find the medium you’re snug in. If dwell video isn’t your factor, that’s OK. The “button” might be the “publish” button in your first weblog publish. The necessary factor is to act.

After Brian’s session, I used to be so impressed that I pressed the rattling button to file and publish a thanks:

Are you prepared to activate? Let us know the place (and the way) you intend to press the button. Enjoy the journey.

Here’s an excerpt from Brian’s discuss:

Want to watch Brian Fanzo’s presentation in its entirety AND get entry to over 100 extra shows from Content Marketing World? Get video-on-demand entry right now.

Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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