The Sophisticated Marketer’s Podcast: Ann Handley on Personal Branding and Killing Mediocre Content

February 16, 2016

It’s no secret that I’m a subscriber to the “messy desk” philosophy of productivity. I surround myself with meaningful objects that motivate me to do my best work. One of the prized possessions on my desk here at LinkedIn is an autographed copy of the book that inspired me to excel in marketing: Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman’s Content Rules.

So you can imagine how stoked I am to welcome Ann to the podcast this week. Ann wages war against mediocre content daily as Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs. She is the bestselling author of Content Rules and Everybody Writes. She blogs at And she speaks at virtually every major marketing conference.

Ann is the very model of a sophisticated marketer. She’s her own brand. The work she does every day makes life better for marketers and the people we’re trying to reach.

The only thing Ann and I don’t talk about in this episode is football, due to our opposing opinions on a certain New England quarterback. Join us as we discuss full-funnel content, personal branding, and how to write if you don’t particularly enjoy the process.

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Listen in on the conversation as Ann and I discuss:

The Importance of Top of Funnel Content for B2B Marketing. We both see a huge opportunity here for increasing awareness and reaching the entire buying team.

Balancing Content throughout the Funnel. Ann explains how middle of funnel and top of funnel content can co-exist and build on each other.

How to Make Writing a Habit. Ann tells us how she approaches her writing routine to continuously crank out awesome content.

How to Choose Topics to Address in Your Content. Ann discusses how she generates content ideas for each of the platforms she publishes on.

Which Came First: The Content or the Personal Brand? As I said in the intro, Ann is her own personal brand. I mean, the cover to Everybody Writes is just a pair of thick-rim black glasses, and every marketer immediately knew who wrote it. Ann talks about how she developed her brand through content.

You can connect with Ann on Twitter, and read more of her stellar work on her website and over at MarketingProfs. And if you don’t already have a dog-eared copy of Everybody Writes, you should fix that with a quickness.

Thanks again to Ann for sitting in with me, and thanks to all of you for continuing to listen.

If you’re just discovering the podcast, you can catch up on all the previous episodes here.

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