Marketing experts I follow

I’m not in the marketing world as much anymore, but I have spent a good portion of my freelance career in marketing: B2B marketing, copy writing and editing, content strategy, so on.

What I’ve learned is that there are endless resources, blogs, sites, etc., giving endless amounts of information on marketing: what’s new, what’s best, what’s important, what’s trending, what’s working, what isn’t working.

You can easily spend hours a day keeping up with marketing news and insights. Super, because then you know a lot. Not super, because you haven’t done anything.

To work in marketing, you need a way to stay up-to-date without spending all your time staying up-to-date. My method is to find a small number of marketing experts I respect, and to keep up with what they write. Maybe 10% of the marketing blogs out there produce original, insightful, comprehensive, important material. The other 90% produce copies, me-too posts, and generic write-ups of information that’s not going to make much of a difference.

Here’s my short list of marketing experts/sites to follow:

Seth Godin: insights and original thinking.

Buffer Social Media Blog: thorough, comprehensive, data-driven info.

Nicholas Bate: outside the box thinking, distills things to what really matters, always insightful.

McKinsey Marketing & Sales Blog: data-driven info.

Ryan Holiday: insights and experience.

HelpScout: insightful, comprehensive customer service info, because customer service is part of marketing.

Harvard Business Review: their marketing-related articles and studies are in-depth and practical.

Quick Sprout: Neil Patel anywhere is insightful, well-researched, and practical.

Content Marketing Institute: the light-weight of the list, but great for a quick scan of tools, trends, and news in content marketing.



Rules of genuine authority

1. If you have “guru” anywhere on your profile, Facebook page, website, blog, or email signature, I don’t trust your authority.

2. Valid experience – plainly and clearly stated – is the best way to establish authority.

3. Peer reviews and client recommendations are the second best way to establish authority.

4. Give me those things first, then give me links to your articles and posts and so on.

5. Give me those things first, and give me links to your free informative articles and posts and so on, before you even mention selling me anything.

6.  Don’t be offended when people question your authority. Quick-to-offense tells me you are insecure about your own position.

7. I don’t care if you are the foremost expert in your field, blah blah blah. In fact, if that’s what you claim, it makes me distrust you. I just want you to know more than I do. That’s enough. If you can share some of your knowledge with me in a fluff-free, efficient manner, that’s really helpful.

8. It actually helps me to see that you are a real person. Don’t burden me with minutiae, but be real. A real person trying to sound like a non-human entity makes me question your sincerity. And if I’m questioning your sincerity, then your authority no longer really matter.

9. A real person trying to sound real ends up sounding fake. Don’t try to sound real. Just be real. Maybe don’t market yourself… just be yourself.

10. It’s okay to say you don’t know. I trust you more if you can admit your own limits.