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The Ultimate Guide to Hiring (or Getting Hired as) a Content Marketer

Note: If you’re a phenomenal content marketer based in NYC, my team at Percolate wants to talk to you. Learn more about how we work and ping me if you’ve got any questions.

If you’re a giant consumer brand like Bud Light or Nike, you can afford to invest a ton of money in celebrity endorsements, TV spots, and brand-focused campaigns that put your newest products in front everyone, over and over again. But for many organizations, particularly ones that sell to professionals or businesses, the way to break through is through valuable content that solves problems and brings new insight.

At Percolate, we do a ton of content marketing, from thought leadership on our blog, to research reports, to webinars, to data journalism, and more. It’s a key driver of new leads and positions us as experts who are thinking about where the industry is headed. For many brands, the best way to break through a crowded market is to create and share valuable content that addresses customer needs and brings new insights.

However, there’s a world of difference from a traditional marketer (who knows how to spend budget across various media channels) and a content marketer. The other mistake I see organizations make is hiring one or two freelancers and thinking they’re now “doing content marketing”. There’s a very special skill set that sets great content marketers apart. So if you’re looking to land a role as a content marketer or are trying to hire one (we are at Percolate!), here are the specific traits and skills you have to develop (and evaluate) for). Continue reading…

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Three Days with MaGIC and Malaysia’s Emerging Startup Community

Inspired by Silicon Valley, many cities and nations around the world are trying to build startup and technology hubs – to spur innovation and economic development. In Asia, Shenzhen, Singapore, Indonesia, and Bangalore have become known as startup hubs. But another nation that’s fighting to earn a seat at the table is Malaysia.

On the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city and home to 1.6M people, is district of Cyberjaya, which has for years been a place for technology companies to plant roots in Malaysia. It’s also the home base of a newly created government agency, MaGIC (Malaysia Global Innovation Centre), which seeks to transform Malaysia into Asia’s startup capital.

My friend Cheryl Yeoh, founder of Reclip.it (acquired by Walmart Labs in 2013) was selected to be the founding CEO and helped kick off the new org this April. Over the summer, she told me about her plans to bring founders, makers and startup folks to KL and share their stories and lessons on building companies with the Malaysian community.

Of course I was in. So this November, I got to spend three very interesting days with Malaysia’s emerging startup community. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading…

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Create Moments of Victory

We make comparisons between business and sports all the time. We talk about hitting a home run, taking more shots, playing defense. But one of the challenges of business, compared to sports, is the rarity of the unadulterated victory. Whether it’s a friendly pick up game to a state title to the Olympics, winning a competition offers something pure and simple. A true win. Yes, the victory may be temporary – next round, next game, next season – but it’s still very real, very tangible. 

In business, there’s no agreed upon metric for winning. Market share? Revenue? Profitability? Customer satisfaction? Return on capital? You could make a case for any one of those, and there’s also no time frame for when to “call it”. We have to manufacture those win opportunities.

Making wins feel real

In technology, the launch date is a big opportunity to claim a victory. For startups, it’s the official launch on TechCrunch (or more likely today, ProductHunt). On a bigger scale, it’s the 2007-12 Apple keynotes, where the announcement is the key moment victory. Of course, announcements and launches can be flops so there is also risk there.  Continue reading…

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You Had One Job…

A few months ago, Rick Webb, co-founder of The Barbarian Group, joined my company Percolate as VP of People Operations. Rick is a top candidate for being the most interesting man in the world, particularly because he’s had a ton of different jobs. 82 different ones to be exact. It’s fascinating to think of this person you know as operating in such a wide variety of roles. And it’s not just Rick. My coworker Monik made his own list, 25 Years, 25 Jobs, that’s pretty neat as well.

My parents’ generation grew up with the expectation that they might have only one job (or at least one employer) for their entire lives. But even for them, that idea was false — a BLS study in 2012 found that young Boomers had 11.3 jobs from age 18-46. That’s a new job every 2.5 years! So anyway, I think our professional lives are only going to have more variety and change, though I can’t imagine I’ll triple this number in the next 14 years, but who knows!

Anyway, here you go: a list of every job I’ve ever had. I wasn’t paid in all of these, but each were serious commitments to organizations and mattered to me greatly when I was involved in them. Continue reading…

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The Best and Worst Parts of Peter Thiel’s New Book: Zero to One

In spring of 2012, Peter Thiel, cofounder of Paypal and Palantir and early investor in Facebook, taught a course at Stanford in the Computer Science department called CS183: Startup. One of the students in the class, a law student named Blake Masters, took meticulous notes that were widely shared across the web (1M+ pg views).

The ideas were intriguing, and ran counter to much of the standard startup wisdom. I had read some of the notes when they came out but they’re pretty lengthy and I didn’t get through them all.

Luckily for all of us,  the two have collaborated to write a book based on the class called Zero to One, which comes out September 18th.

Having snagged an advance reader’s copy, the book has definitely cut the word length down while retaining the ideas and most of the nuance. Instead of summarizing the book, I thought I’d share my favorite and least favorite idea. Continue reading…