In his recent blog on the Content Marketing Institute site entitled Content Marketing Lessons from Ferris Bueller and Silent Bob, Joseph Kalinowski sums up some remarkably insightful wisdom from Kevin Smith’s book Tough Sh*t. Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good. For the handful of readers who are not aware of the Kevin Smith cultural phenomenon, he is the guy who parlayed Clerks, a film shot for pocket money in the convenience store where he worked, into an entire major movie career. Smith holds fellow filmmaker John Hughes in such high regard that he composed The Tenets of Buellerism, based on Hughes’ timeless classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Kalinowski transmogrifies Smith’s Buellerisms into lessons for content marketers… and they’re darn good ones too! (Note: Smith has a tendency to not use a proper word when a scatological expletive will do, so his Buellerisms are best alluded to rather than spelled out in all their XXX rated glory.)
- Get along with everyone – This is supremely good advice not just in life but in content management as well. It is important to craft inclusive content that takes in the full spectrum of your current and potential customers. If you find that your content is skewing specifically to particular sub-segments just because they’re currently trending or considered cool, you’re alienating a considerable portion of people who would be your customers… if only you gave them some reason to buy from you.
- Keep your cool – Not every content management strategy is going to be an unparalleled success in the real life marketplace, so when your campaign fails to meet the haughty expectations tossed around the boardroom, don’t abandon it too quickly or fail to learn from its mistakes. Take responsibility for it and use the hard-earned knowledge to craft an even better campaign next time.
- Don’t pay too much attention to the haters – Smith refers to butts and kissing in this example, but the point is clear enough. Even if you were declared a saint and made $100 bills magically appear in the hands of starving Third World children, you’d still find someone out on the net to call you every dirty name in the book. You will always have your supporters and your detractors so walk a balanced path between letting the kudos swell your head and letting the mudslinging get you down.
- Be a rebel – Smith states that the only rules worth following are the ones that keep you out of jail, and there is definitely a lesson there for content marketers. Guerilla marketers have dominated the big profits of the online industry literally since its inception, so if you’re still following a set of staid, gray, rigid rules in your marketing you’re missing the potential to really engage your audience by surprising them with a completely unorthodox out of left field approach.
- Never trust a Yes Man – The only colleagues who are worth listening to are the ones who present their opinions on your content plans and actions in the form of constructive criticism. The ones who act as your cheerleading squad, worshiping every keystroke you type, are only doing so because they either have no viewpoints they can call their own or are just sucking up for a promotion.
- You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – Virtually any content management stratagem, no matter how small or minor it may be, has within it the seeds of greatness. If you don’t give them a shot, you’ll never know which ones could have ballooned into ginormous viral masterpieces and which ones should just have been left on the drawing boards.
- Take time for yourself – This is the summary of two separate Buellerisms but they dovetail well into a single caveat: to not let your business take over your entire life. Take the time to smell the roses, enjoy your friends and family, and get away from the dictatorship of the always-on smartphone. You’ll gain a relaxed perspective that will show in your content management work!
So who knew that Kevin Smith was such a philosopher?
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