Two weeks ago I sat in the beautiful Ellie Caulkins opera house in Denver with several hundred other marketers at the Authority Rainmaker conference as legendary punk frontman Henry Rollins took the stage to deliver the closing keynote.
That may strike you as an odd choice of speaker for a conference about content marketing. However, Rollins told one story after another in his fast-paced, relentless style about how the early days of Black Flag forced him to learn to be a “DIY Entrepreneur”.
From rounding up friends to pack records into sleeves to self-publishing a book to sell on tour, everything Black Flag did they did on their own. Those same principles apply to any startup.
Being a DIY Entrepreneur is important, but the underlying theme of his talk was about having integrity in everything you do.
Integrity boils down to aligning your actions to your beliefs. It’s working within a set of principles that define the difference between right and wrong, and making the choice to do what’s right.
As an entrepreneur, your personal integrity is everything.
Your business depends on your integrity while your integrity depends on delivering what you promise. ~Alexander Becker
Rollins also made it clear that once you put a price on something you had better be willing to stand behind it as your best work. When you charge for something it means your customer isn’t able to spend that money on their own family or happiness.
With content marketing, the most important thing is the value you bring to your audience.
Content with integrity is something that will provide a real benefit to your customers that’s still true to your brand’s purpose. Every piece of content you create must be aligned with that vision. When you’re honest about your brand’s purpose you’ll attract the right audience.
Your purpose means more than some framed mission statement hanging on a wall. We’ve all heard politicians who say they believe in honesty and integrity. Who doesn’t? Those words ring hollow because too often they’re just that. Words.
After watching several decades worth of scandals unfold on Wall Street, financier James Owen laid out the Ten Principles of Cowboy Ethics:
- Live each day with courage.
- Take pride in your work.
- Always finish what you start.
- Do what has to be done.
- Be tough, but fair.
- When you make a promise, keep it.
- Ride for the brand.
- Talk less and say more.
- Remember that some things aren’t for sale.
- Know where to draw the line.
An entrepreneur that follows this unwritten “code of the west” will stay on the straight and narrow when it come to doing things for the right reasons.
Henry Rollins also told how he’s stood firm on the side of his fans every time a promoter or manager advised him to raise ticket prices.
If you watch Shark Tank you might remember Johnny Georges, a Florida farmer and inventor of the “Tree-T-Pee”. Johnny almost walked away empty handed when one by one, each shark said “I’m out” because the margins on his product was too low.
They were low because, as Johnny pointed out, “you’re selling to farmers”.
In the end, John Paul DeJoira (Paul Mitchell, Patron) stepped up and gave Johnny the investment he was looking for.
Johnny created a product he believed in, and sold it in a way he could still “do right” by his customers.
Can you do the same?
Watch This: Johnny Georges on Shark Tank
Listen To This: Why Building Your Brand Leads to Better Content
- The Power of Purpose and Authenticity
- The 5 Rules of Being a Mindful Marketer
- Doing Good Work Matters More Than Your Personal Brand
When a new visitor comes to your website you have a very short amount of time to convince them to stay. There are bad UI design features that can turn people off to your site. You want to make the right impression, right away. Taking steps to improve your website today will increase conversions, and make your guests want to visit you again.
One easy way to establish trust and credibility with your visitors is to choose the right UI Patterns for your web design.
By taking a user-centric approach to selecting UI patterns you’ll use for your site or app you help customers to achieve their goals. When your site has a familiar and “natural” feel that doesn’t make them feel friction they’ll be more likely to return and explore your site further.
Another good practice is using prototypes to improve your design process. The right mix of wireframes, mockups, and prototypes when presented at the right stage of the design process separates the functionality from the design and keeps you focused on overall user experience.