[MUSIC] All right, awesome to see you again. The next A in our Seven A series is acceleration, and this one is fun. It's also kind of odd, because I don't think a lot of writing courses are going to talk to you about this, but it's one of the great benefits to being a writer. And acceleration is about the doors that open that you never knew were there. So as somebody who's good with language, good with words and is comfortable on the web, you're the person who's creating the things that make the web work. The web runs on writing, even YouTube and podcasts. Good YouTube videos, good podcasts have words behind them, crafted words. They have strategy. They have a script of some kind, even if it's not a tight script. You have a structure, and that structure is created by somebody like you. You make the web work. The web runs on what you have to offer. So as a content marketer, which is this new identity we're encouraging you to adopt for yourself, expanding your network is really the key to this step, the acceleration step. It's about being a likable authority in order to attract these unknown opportunities. At the end of this lesson, you'll be able to. So let's get started. Now, I think I mentioned in my introduction to the seven As, this is how Copyblogger Media was formed. Brian Clark started a blog based on some things that he had learned selling real estate, in particular, and doing some other projects. And over time, people got to see that he knew what was talking about, that he gave very, very good advice. They started to be attracted to his media, his content, and to come to him with opportunities to work on projects. So he didn't have the idea of coming up with SEO software, that was brought to him. And he didn't have the idea of coming up with a big online course about how to create educational content, that was brought to him. And he didn't come up with the idea of having a community of content marketers, that idea was brought to him. He attracted all those ideas along with people who were willing to work hard to make them happen. So when he talks about acceleration in that 7A ebook, that's some of the kind of acceleration that he's seen in his career, I've certainly seen in my career. I never thought when I started blogging that I was going to be the Chief Content Officer for Copyblogger Media. That was not a goal, it was not written on a vision board somewhere, it's just a kind of interesting thing that happened because it kept showing up and I expanded up my network. So, I read a new book called Effective Content Promotion, that's attached to this lesson, that has a lot of ideas about how you can get a wider audience for your content. But it talks specifically about how to network and how to gain the attention of online influencers. And so that will be a pretty important piece of homework for this episode. And I'm going to go through a couple of the ideas in there and just lean on them a little bit, because they're really important. The first one is be nice to everybody, which seems namby pamby, I know. But there is nothing worse than being that person who's only nice to the, quote unquote, big people. And trust me, I know a lot of the big people, they can see this a mile away and they really don't care for it. Word gets around. You want to just cultivate good relationships with all of the people you find interesting, all of the people that you find are doing something that engages you. And right now, it might not have a lot to do with what you're writing about or what your careers doing, and that's okay. Cultivate a nice, big network of people doing interesting stuff. And I'll add as a corollary to that, that I would not intentionally try to make part of your network, somebody who does work that you don't respect just because they have a big following. So I'm not saying go out and abuse those people, or be a brat, or be annoying, because that's just foolish, that's just short sited. But if you don't respect somebody's work, then trying to get them into your network, it's just never going to work out. Your audience is going to cry foul and you're not going to feel good about it. It doesn't really work. Build your network out of people whose work you admire. There are so many people doing amazing things on the web. You're going to find plenty of people whose work you admire. So do not spend time trying to quote, unquote, network with somebody who you're just not that into but they have a big blog, they have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. And somehow you think you're going to get something out of this. So you're not going to get a piece of it. So networking really comes out of following the interests of people you find genuinely admirable. And kind of related to that, if you do get a chance to meet one of your blog heroes, do what you can. And this is one of those you just have to try your best not to be super visibly awestruck. Now, you don't have to go the extreme opposite either, and I've seen people do this, where they trying so hard not to look awestruck that they come across as sort of being jerks. It's not your job to call this person on your bs. I mean, you can if you want to, but I'll tell you that's a great way to really limit your opportunities professionally. But you want to try not to, as my friend Pace Smith said, try not to squee all over you shoes, if you can, it's tough. Guys, when I first approached Brian Clark about writing for Copylogger, I had to have like, two glasses of wine before I could even write the tweet. I mean, I was nervous. He was a hero. I was very, very nervous about making that request. So I do get it, but what might be useful to know is that, when people admire your work that's really cool, that's fun. And when I've worked hard on something and somebody says, hey, I really liked that and I got something out of it, that's major. I love that. When somebody comes up to me and says, my God, I can't believe I'm in the same room as you. Can I touch your shirt? That's just creepy, okay? [LAUGH] People who do work you admire are not deities. And it's weird to be treated that way. And, frankly, anybody who likes being treated that way, I would kind of steer clear of, that would be a red flag for me. So just try to remember, this person started the same place you did, just as a passionate wordsmith who had something to say that they wanted to get into the world. Treat everyone with respect, but you don't want or need to treat anybody like some kind of god. That's just weird. So I'm always asked, how do I get the attention of somebody who has a massive audience? And we all want to do it. Trust me, I've been there, okay? The best way to attract somebody who has a big audience is to do something epic. Do something really remarkable, and content tends to be the easiest way to do that. If you have a really remarkable blog, you can have four or five readers. You can be tiny, tiny. But if your favorite influencer, for me it was Seth Godin, you know, Seth Godin came by to look at my blog very early on in my career and he said some kind words and it felt like hey, felt like I just talked about you. It felt like some kind of sign from above. But, again, the blog had no readers. It had nothing, really. It was just a little type pad blog. But it was enough to get the attention of this guy who has hundreds of thousands of readers, and multiple books on the best seller lists. And I'll tell you a story about how that worked once with me at a conference. I was speaking at a conference, which I love to do, and I find very draining. Because lots and lots of people, when I give a talk, come up to me afterwards and want to ask me a question, which is awesome, it's just, there's a lot of them, and my energy can start to flag a little bit. So right towards the end of the session, the room was starting to fill for the next session, gentleman, very friendly looking, nice looking gentleman came to me and introduced himself. And said he had a blog, and I shook his hand, and you know it was very pleasant. He said, I have something for you, and he gave me a copy of this incredibly cool thing, it was the content marketing periodic table of the elements. And so, you probably remember from chemistry class in high school, the periodic table of the elements, well he had translated all of those one and two letter abbreviations to an element of content marketing. And it was well done. The graphics were really professional and good. It was just a cool, neat thing. And it came with a book, it was a physical thing that he handed me. So this was a remarkable piece of content, and I will never forget Andy Crestodina because he handed me that thing. It made an instant impact, I still remember it years later, and I still consider Andy part of my network. I still value him, I still think he's really smart and interesting, I think well of him. I speak well of him to others, I refer him and recommend him, because he made an impression on me. That's a big project and I get that that's a big project. But if you think about every blog post you write, everything that you write on your own personal site and, of course, building your own personal site to market your personal brand is a part of the homework for this course, if you do that, that's your best shot. At having something to metaphorically hand that influencer and say, this is what I'm about. And if it's done well, some people look at it and say, this is blowing my mind, you're awesome. And some people will look at it and say, eh, not for me. That is totally cool, but the point is you have a chance to make a really remarkable impression. Of course ethics are part of this. You have to behave like a professional and you have to behave like an ethical professional. If you don't, you and I both know the Internet is, in some ways, a very small town. Word gets around, and people love to share gossip about bad behavior. So bad behavior gets around. Things like blowing your deadlines, things like flaking out on clients. Things like taking client money and not delivering what was asked for, or not delivering it in a timely way. My friend Jon Carroll, who's a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, had a kind of a mantra. Show up. Pay attention. Don't lie. If nothing else, [LAUGH] and you're in the weeds and you are trying to figure out what to do next, those three little phrases can really help you go along way. Show up. Pay attention. Don't lie.