What Does the Face of the Blogger of Tomorrow Truly Look Like?

by Marcus Sheridan

US Waterproofing

What does a sales force turned "blogging force" look like? Here's your answer.

I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again—the blogger of tomorrow looks nothing like the blogger of today. Why?

Because right now, for the vast majority of companies around the world, the perception of what makes for a good blogger or content marketer is nowhere close to what it should be.

And if I may be frank, it’s my goal to change this perception.

I’m tired of hearing business owners say they don’t have time to blog. I’m tired of marketers saying they don’t know what to write about. And I’m really tired of seeing companies fall grossly short of their branding and marketing potential.

The answer to these problems, at least in most cases, finds itself right underneath the nose of every CEO, business owner, and marketing department.

The answer, of course, is found within the untapped power of their own employees.

Average Guys Doing Not-So-Average Things

I want to introduce some men today that are perfectly symbolic of the blogger of tomorrow. Their names might not be known throughout the realm that is social media, but you can be rest assured they are changing the face of the basement waterproofing industry.

You see, each one of these gentlemen lives in Chicago and works in the sales department for their company, US Waterproofing. They do what they do well, and they’ve been doing it for years. In fact, these guys have been in literally thousands of basements, and answered thousands of questions, over their lifetime.

Simply put, they know every problem, and every answer, anyone could ever have about basement waterproofing.

And even better, they’re blogging.

You see, a few months ago I had the pleasure of speaking to the entire staff of US Waterproofing. I was brought in for one simple reason—to help everyone in the organization catch the vision of content marketing, and the effect it could have on their company.

Atypical Bloggers Making for Great Teachers

What’s interesting is that the guys at US Waterproofing aren’t your typical blogger. They’re by no means trained writers. They didn’t go to school or get certified as English majors.

Yet all have one thing in common—They’re great teachers.

And because they’re all great teachers (when it comes to basements), and because they understood the benefits their company could achieve if they “bought in” to the power of content, they’ve embraced this new form of communication.

Are they perfect? No, they’re not, but that’s not an achievable goal anyway.

The goal is to help consumers, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

In just a short few months, US Waterproofing, by using their sales staff, has produced more blog posts than most companies will produce in a year. Furthermore, their web traffic is spiking, leads and sales are up, and the blog has already become the most trafficked page of the website.

A team of educators, taking their company to the top.

Much of the credit to all of this goes to Matt Stock, co-owner of the company, simply because he didn’t adhere to the typical mindset that “sales guys can’t blog.”

The Future

Over the past 6 months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some incredibly unique organizations. Law firms, government contractors, equipment retailers, etc.—all have taken this same approach and all have converted their companies and staff into content producers, educators,and teachers. Yes, it’s a major cultural shift, but I’m happy to say that this stuff (these principles) aren’t just for swimming pools, but rather for any company looking to lead their industry and become the voice of their niche.

I see a day coming when part of every job description will be the words “content producer.”

I see a day coming when every employee will be trained on how to use social media, produce content, and the importance of the two within the organization.

I see a day coming where all employees will be equipped with phones and camcorders—and given the charge to produce company videos at every opportunity.

Some of you will laugh at these words and predictions. Some will point out frivolous studies talking about how much less companies are blogging today than last year. And frankly, that’s quite alright with me. After all, this vision applies to the top 10% of every industry. It applies to the leaders, the trend setters, and the standard bearers. It applies to the best.

Your Turn

I’m curious—If you have a company with multiple employees, what is preventing you from instilling this “all in” culture and getting more participation, and results, from others?

Also, what have been your biggest struggles as you’ve attempted to use your staff to produce content and blog posts?

Mad Marketing Podcast

If you like the articles, you'll love Marcus' podcast and insightful tips on business and life.

Click to listen

Subscribe to Future Articles

Read Marcus' future articles and stay on the cutting edge of business, marketing, and life success tips!

Click to subscribe

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

John @ Married (with Debt) May 8, 2012 at

I love the image of their blog, especially the juxtaposition of these guys who DO NOT look like typical bloggers, yet they are. I think that makes them more credible and obviously more effective.

Sorry to weigh in from a non-business standpoint, but I think it comes from a “fun” angle. Blogging is fun, and if it’s introduced to a company as a great community activity, I think it will take off.

I would love to help businesses take their “raw” blog posts and format them, promote them and help develop their writers into “internet writers.” Is this a saturated service market, Marcus, or do you think there is room for consultants like that?

If I’m correct, you are more of a “big picture” consultant. I’d be interested in coming in after and helping a company who “gets it” actually implement their plan.

Reply

Eugene May 8, 2012 at

I’m glad that you pointed out that the vision only applies to the top 10%. That much may be true. I’ve lately come to be amazed by how many businesses still don’t have a website. Or maybe one that looks like it was built in Geocities.

Reply

Jason Mulholland May 8, 2012 at

Marcus,

This blog post makes me smile…smile big while reading it. I believe 100% in the power of content and that everyone can do this.

I appreciate you sharing their story – which is amazing, but I don’t think unrealistic.

And I do agree with you, that someday, content curation will become the norm and not the exception. As you’ve said on your blog, podcast, and more, it’s simply education and answering questions. Something that everyone does day in and day out in their job. Whether it be on the phone, at the water cooler, at the copier, on the sales floor, in an office, or in a home. You name it, everyone does it, but not everyone has the content curation mindset.

My biggest struggle is 100% buy-in from everyone, but that is slowly changing, and I’m hoping that this gains more steam this Friday. ;-)

Jason

Reply

Haroun Kola May 8, 2012 at

Great blog post. I’ve inspired one of my clients to blog more regularly, they are a media company so responded to the idea a lot easier than some of the others, but I’m glad more traditional businesses are getting into the way of modern communication.

Reply

Tara Coomans May 8, 2012 at

Great example of the power of blogging. Thank you for sharing.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the single thing that prevents organizations from “going all in” in this manner is simply a culture of fear. Usually, fear of failure.

Granted in some industries (highly regulated for example) there are some serious concerns about content marketing. But my goal, similar to yours, is to show the business what IS possible and remove the fear of failure. Strip away all the excuses, find creative solutions to the business or industry problems and you have the baseline for success.

It takes time to move an organization from “What if…” to “What’s possible..” but it CAN happen, and its great to see you making such great headway.

PS – I love that these guys have their photos in the blog. Its so human and so real. How could you NOT trust those smiling faces to come to your home and be YOUR problem solver.

Reply

Matthew Stock May 8, 2012 at

Thanks Tara. A smile could be deceiving :)

What really sells us best is the video we recently produced. See below for the link
http://www.seepage.com/about-us/video

Best of luck.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

Tara, love all your thoughts here, and love your vision as well. :)

As for the photos, yeah, I thought that was a great touch by US Waterproofing. It’s certainly great for providing that “personal” feel that’s so imperative.

Continued success to you Tara!!

Marcus

Reply

Rebecca Livermore May 8, 2012 at

I’m sitting here wishing that I had a whole team of employees to blog. . . I definitely agree that this is the most logical way to do things and it is in large part what makes it doable, rather than one person having to do it all.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

I may not have a team of bloggers, but I do have a team of awesome people around me ;-)

You rock Rebecca :)

Marcus

Reply

Cincinnati Basement Waterproofing May 28, 2014 at

That is all that matters!

Reply

Rich McElaney May 8, 2012 at

Marcus – I’ve heard you talk about these guys before but your post really puts it into perspective. It looks like they had two levels of buy-in – at the owner level and at the sales team level – which makes it all the more impressive because it can be brutally difficult to get buy-in at just one level. What’s really cool about this is that the sales team got past the initial “we’re too busy selling to do this” mentality and were willing to get out of their comfort zone. Once they begin to see the fruits of their writing labor – it’s a nice downhill cruise! Keep us posted on their progress – I plan on showing this to every prospective client suffering from buy-in deficit!

Reply

Matthew Stock May 8, 2012 at

Thanks Rich-

I must admit I struggled somewhat getting buy-in from everyone until I dragged Marcus out here. I’m usually not one to spend $ on speakers (I’m still a small business with just over 100 employees).

Hearing the same thing over and over, from your boss nonetheless, often falls on deaf errors.

P.S. Just read your blog. Nice work. Looks like you’re a fellow HubSpotter

Reply

Rich McElaney May 8, 2012 at

Kudos to you Matt for bringing Marcus in and going with what you thought was right. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him at work and if your team doesn’t get excited about the possibilities with blogging after a session with him – it’s not going to happen!!

Best of luck with everything and I plan to stop by to check things out – your latest post would have helped me a couple of years ago but that’s another story!

Rich

Reply

Krista Kotrla May 11, 2012 at

Love this content-creating-machine-model!! Way to ROCK it US Waterproofing. Believe in it with all my heart. And love your comments, Matthew Stock, about the power of bringing in Marcus to get buy-in, synergize the whole team and make it all accessible. Big AMEN, Lion ROAR and HubSpot high-five :-)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

Rich, great seeing you brother and I sincerely appreciate the kindness my friend. There is nothing quite like seeing this stuff in action my friend!

Best,

Marcus

Reply

Matthew Stock May 8, 2012 at

Thanks so much Marcus for the recognition. Truth be told, had I (or my staff) never met you, none of this would have happened. Also, hiring a Chief Content Officer took a big load off my shoulders. Doing blogging the right way (the Marcus way) is a huge commitment, but there is long term payoff.

If anyone in the community needs any help, ideas, etc. growing your blog, feel free to reach out.

Good luck to all,

Matthew Stock
Vice President / Owner
U.S. Waterproofing

Reply

Haroun Kola May 8, 2012 at

What a gracious offer

Reply

Ryan Hanley May 8, 2012 at

Matt… I still want to do that Home and Home Guest Blog Post… Let’s connect on that again.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

Thanks brother.

And I’m thinking that “Chief Content Officer” subject is one that deserves much more attention,and I’m sure we’ll be chatting much more about that on the blog going forward,as I think it’s a position that will explode in the coming years.

Thanks again,

Marcus

Reply

Matthew Stock May 9, 2012 at

I owe you for talking me into that one. Learned a lot thru the process on how to find, interview, train and ultimately trust someone. I’m very happy with our pick.

Reply

Craig McBreen May 8, 2012 at

Hi Marcus,

I’m seeing this evolution in my industry. Some of the RFPs I receive these days (mainly for overall branding) have a section titled Social Media. Something I have not seen before, ever. Honest. This could mean many things to the company presenting the proposal (Twitter, Linked In, a blog), but now it’s part of my job to not only educate them on it all, but decide if it’s actually the right way for them to go.

This is a great case study though, and I often think first about YouTube and the power of video, especially with an industry like this. These days whenever I have a problem and I think it’s a DIY solution, I go straight to video, sometimes finding the answer I need, but not as often as I’d like. (I’m pretty scary with the tools, man). It sure would be interesting to see how their business increases with the power of blogging and video.

Maybe part of the blogging solution would be including everyone on the writing process. For certain companies this would not work of course, as it does depend on the size and complexity of the organization, and who’s at the keyboard ;) I have a few professional services companies as clients (they are experts in their respective areas: Law, accounting, engineering, etc.) and am wondering how social could really work for them.

Anyway, nice post Marcus and I hope you’ll be doing more case studies like this down the road.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

Craig, heck of a comment my friend, and love the trends you’re seeing in your industry.

And you can be rest assured I’ll be having many more case studies like this one going forward. In fact, this was just one of many to come, and I really think they’re going to blow some people’s minds and turn on the light bulbs.

But as always, I really appreciate you stopping by and adding your thoughts Craig. :)

Marcus

Reply

Craig McBreen May 10, 2012 at

You are leading the charge, Mr. Sheridan!

I look forward to those case studies!

Reply

Ryan Hanley May 8, 2012 at

Matt Stock is a GREAT Blogger… I’ve interacted with him several times here in TSL Comments and we’ve even taken that conversation further into email… (I think I may even owe him a home and home guest post… Sorry Matt I still want to do that!!)

And I couldn’t agree more with what the Blogger of tomorrow is going to look like.

Tomorrow blogging is going to be a skill like answering the phone or helping a customer find the Pickles… It’s going to be common, it’s going to be expected… We are all going to have to be content creators…

Great stuff here dude…

Ryan H.

Reply

Matthew Stock May 9, 2012 at

Hey Ryan-

Thanks for the kudos. As you well know, it’s all about taking a stance.

I’ll get it touch with you so we can get this guest blog thing going. Funny thing is I hardly knew what a blog was 4 months ago…let alone a “guest” blog.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

Awesome thoughts Ryan. I know you get this man and have long seen the vision.

And btw, I’m in Jay Baer’s podcast this week and I mentioned you in there , so look for it Friday.

Stay well bud,

Marcus

Reply

Ryan Hanley May 9, 2012 at

Whoa… Marcus… Can’t wait to hear it!

Thanks!

Reply

Wendy May 8, 2012 at

Thanks for a great example. I start in a new position next week and I already know that I want to get them blogging. With this example I will be able to counter some of the objections I’m anticipating from a conservative professional group

Reply

John Falchetto May 9, 2012 at

Boom!
That’s how your roll Marcus, I love it when bloggers showcase the awesome work they are doing with their clients.

Now you just gave me an idea :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

Ahhh yes, nothing better than that flash of inspiration Falchetto! :) Appreciate the words of support my friend, as always.

Talk soon,

Marcus

Reply

Bob Weitzman May 9, 2012 at

Marcus,

I am one of the Salesmen/Blogger at USWATERPROOFING, and I can’t thank you enough for the knowledge and energy you instilled in us pertaining to blogging, inbound content and assignment selling. Going forward I expect to see great results as a our sales increase. The key is 100% buy in, and you know that’s the way we roll.
Bob Weitzman

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

Bob, thrilled to hear from you bud and even more thrilled that you gentlemen are setting the pace for an entire industry. Just do me a favor and don’t slow down!! :-)

Marcus

Reply

Joe Walsh May 9, 2012 at

I have been following US Waterproofing’s Blogs for a while now I can’t believe all the knowledge they are sharing with the world. I am sure it wont be long until they are number 1 in there industry!

Reply

Matthew Stock May 9, 2012 at

Thanks for the support Joe. All the knowledge in the world doesn’t do much for you unless it is shared! Most people use competition as their excuse not to share. As Marcus would say, there’s really not that much to our secret sauce (other than our ability to communicate).

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

Can I get an “amen” to that??! :-)

Reply

Kathi Kruse May 9, 2012 at

Awesome post Marcus (as always, dude). You already know I work with car dealers. Their salespeople are the perfect choice for blog content. It’s new and different for them but in time, we could see some cool things!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 9, 2012 at

Kathi, Kathi, Kathi :) You have no idea how much I respect you. I look at your industry—one full of mostly men—and I see you as someone who clearly “gets it”.

Yet men can be so dang stubborn. ARgghh. ;-)

Keep clearing your trail and I do think folks will start coming around…and thanks for being awesome :-)

Marcus

Reply

Kathi Kruse May 10, 2012 at

Thanks so much, you totally made my day!
Yeah, clearing the trail is exactly what my days are filled with. Thanks for motivating me to keep going!! Take care, my friend.
Hey, are you going to be at BlogWorld NYC next month? I think I saw your name in there somewhere. If so, I’ll see you there.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 11, 2012 at

I’ll be there Kathi, can’t wait to see you!!!! :-)

Reply

Paul Boomer May 9, 2012 at

The comments here are great as is the post as is the fact that Mr. Stock and his staff are changing their industry. Be proud.

Mr Sheridan, you’re right about the opportunities any size business has if they start blogging. For those businesses who do blog, they find it’s a more cost effective way to create and convert customers than buying ads. For those who do combine ads and blogs together and make sure the information scent is easily followed, they see a tremendious amount of ROI.

But. I still hear the “I don’t have time” or “my staff does not have time” or “I don’t know what to write” B.S. Because of that, I’ve made it my mission to make a dent in the content creation world (thank you Steve Jobs).

The owner has thee best stories to tell. They have the best information abut their company services and/or product in their head but for whatever reason they cannot get it out. So, why not find a writing buddy to help you get it out and in to the written word? Make it in to an interview process. It works wonders… and I have proof of that from my newly formed company.

Interview. Write. Post. Rinse. Repeat.

Reply

Dan Rippon May 10, 2012 at

Been stalking your blog for a while now Marcus, and I know it goes against every “expert’s” advice about leaving comments, but seriously, all I’ve got is:

Love. This. Post.

:)

You rock sir, please continue to do so! (Oh, and your community does too – how’s the other comments – they’re awesome!)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 11, 2012 at

Incredibly kind of you to say that Dan. Much appreciated!! :)

Marcus

Reply

Andrea Hypno May 10, 2012 at

Well Marcus, the biggest challenge is not to demonstrate that blogging helps businesses, is convincing CEOs that the old way of thinking that employees are somehow brainless and must be herd like a stock is dead. You remember those times when your manager didn’t show you how to do things for fear that one day you could take his job? It’s more or less the same. It’s not that they don’t know that blogging is useful, it’s that they fear they can’t control it and what their employees do or write. Old time management, like when they measured how much time you passed in the toilette.

So, it’s not really a matter of demonstrating the power of blogging and engagement with customers, it’s a matter of changing CEOs mentality. But there is space for this as luckily not all CEOs are that short sighted. Like not every business has outsourced everything in China to lately begin whining because they are not making anymore money in their country. If you move production in the East or in the South you can buy yourself a new yacht every other year but you move also salaries. And in the long time no more yachts for you.

It’s a matter of vision, short or long. And being on the ethic side of business. If you sell rubbish you don’t want your employees to talk about it. Imho. :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 11, 2012 at

Andrea, always powerful stuff you bring to the table my man. Thanks for this.

Yea,CEOs need to get with it. Big time. They’re usually the slowest one’s to “get it”, even though their marketing departments are screaming at them from the roof tops.

But we’ll get ‘em eventually ;-)

Have a great weekend my friend,

Marcus

Reply

Christina Pappas May 10, 2012 at

I think it is beyond cool that you have had such a profound effect on organizations of all sizes. You did something with a pool company that not many people would venture to do or consider doing. Because you did it, believed in it and it worked, the power is manifesting into opportunities for others. I love this post so much Marcus because it hits home. You know I am a big fan of content and companies that produce great stuff but even the best struggle to gain buy-in. Do you think it may actually be easier for a smaller company with more vested employees to gain buy-in and participation than a larger corporation with 1000s of employees that may or may not be as vested?

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 11, 2012 at

Hey Christina, your words really made me smile here. :-)

Yes, I do think that 10-100 employees is a great number because it allows for intimacy, especially when it comes to the “social media summit” side of this, which is basically the “launch party”, something that has to happen so everyone is on the same page.

Could it be done with larger organizations? Yes, I’m sure it could be. Heck, Steve Jobs kinda did that with Apple when he’d give his presentations.

And frankly, I’d love to see just how possible it was ;-)

Have a great weekend Christina!

Marcus

Reply

Bradlee TheDawg May 13, 2012 at

Marcus
The biggest challenge most companies face concerning their employees’ blogging efforts is their enduring 1950′s “beware of the dog” philosophy where information is dangerous and customers are best kept in the dark. Of course that ship sailed a couple decades ago (probably pre-Internet with CompuServe and Prodigy) – but the attitude persists. That’s why they’ hire useless PR /Ad agencies to concoct generic, predictable,no-value “blogvertorial” instead of using their employees as you suggest.

Meanwhile, the detached/disgruntled employees and unhappy customers ARE blogging…. anonymously against their backwards employers, or in the case of customers – all over Angie’s List and other anti-business consumer rating websites. These companies stupidly believe that by not participating, they’re stopping the discussion – when in fact the chatter goes on whether they’re involved or not.

Enlightened companies are building affinity groups that will come to the company’s rescue if the occasional unhappy review does show up on Angie’s list or similar. And it doesn’t require a third-party “reputation monitoring consultant” either – yet another pseudo-profession that has recently popped up to separate lazy businesses from their profit margin.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan May 13, 2012 at

Brad, powerful thoughts, as always man. Love how you mentioned here companies think they can stop the discussion if they’re not participating, yet the chatter and discussion are happening regardless.

I’m always amazed when businesses tell me there are certain questions you should never address in a blog– like somehow that’s going to stop the informed consumer from getting what they want in the long run.

Thanks again Brad,

Marcus

Reply

Olie May 14, 2012 at

The first thng that popped in my mind was Robots. Lol

Reply

Matt Heinricy May 15, 2012 at

Marcus,

Again, great stuff! I am in real estate and manage an small, but growing, group. I just hired a new agent and from the beginning started selling my agents to participate in the blogging/writing process. This not only helps me create more content for our site and company but also helps our agents participate in the community while learning about marketing and how they can grow their own business over time.

Thanks again!
-Matt

Reply

Shakti Nandan June 13, 2012 at

Marcus,

Truely amazing piece!

I have started a company with my friend in March 2012 and made my website http:// http://www.folksmarket.com live on May 15. My approach is always to educate the customers about the process and producer group who have manufactured those goods they purchase from our site. Continuing this approach, I have decided to start sharing those technical as well as general information which my customers should know and I have started the blog from May only. Its getting tremendous response. And I m happy to know that you bring out this article. It has given me an added flip that content can be produced to bring in sales as well.

Keep rocking with such innovative stuffs

Best
Shakti

Reply

Marcus Sheridan June 15, 2012 at

Thrilled to hear you found this helpful Shakti, and I think the fact that you’re sharing “technical” information on your blog is a GREAT move.

Continued success!!!

Marcus

Reply

aquatech February 21, 2013 at

Size does matter when it comes to cracks in your foundation… it is essential to consult an expert and take measures at the very initial stage.

Foundation Crack Repair

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 10 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: