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I signed up for a PDF a couple of weeks ago about something I was moderately interested at the time. To be honest, I saw the file, and was interested in .

Immediately I got three response emails. One contained the PDF that I wanted, the next one (sent five minutes later, before I could even download the file) was a follow up question, and the next, sent 30 minutes after the first, was an urgent plea for me to join a webinar in the next hour.

I kept up with the mailing list for two weeks, and I counted the emails that were sent to me, in the end there were 38 emails delivered to me over the course of 13 days from this one marketer.

38 emails. Not one of them provided value to me, all they did was tell me how awesome they were and how I needed to JOIN NOW!

At no point did they show me how they could solve my pain point, they didn’t send me interesting information, and everything they sent me required me to do more stuff “Go learn about this”, “go watch this webinar”, it was painful.

Obviously I unsubscribed.

What could they have done? Gary Vaynerchuk does this well with his book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World“.

In the book, Gary Vee writes about his concepts around marketing. A jab is content aimed at engaging and triggering an emotional response in the reader.

A right hook’s aim is to sell and self promote.

Much like a boxer, you should be throwing far more jabs than right hooks. A jab establishes distance, it scores points with the judges, and it can put you in control of the fight by letting you control the centre of the ring. A right hook is meant to end the fight, it is devastating, and it exhausts both fighters.

If you’re delivering enough jabs, you know where your customer is, and they see you have control of the centre of the ring. If you’ve set them up well, a single right hook is all you need.

Here’s a recipe for success

  • Deliver extraordinary value.
  • Make sure that your content is actionable.
  • Create content that can be used immediately.
  • Don’t tell people that you are great.

Most people who read your content will never work with you.

98% of the people who read our blog will never become a client of NorthIQ.

This is a good thing. I don’t want to become a massive agency that works out of a fancy pants building where dogs wander around and we all fly in on hoverboards. I want to do awesome things with people who share my vision and values, who want to work with me, and who are able to pay me to do it.

There are plenty more people who I would love to work with, but who can’t pay us. For them, we want to provide ridiculous value when they see our stuff,  because they have friends, and they might tell their friends “You should go talk to Brian at NorthIQ, he’s mentioned your problem before.”

There are also companies that are too big for us, they have large marketing arms, and need to work with big firms. I don’t want to build a 100 person organization, NorthIQ will be small, we will be agile, and we will probably be a bad fit for a massive “blue chip” organization, but those people still read blogs, and maybe they leave that corporate beer brand and end up working at a craft brewery, and decide they need a digital strategy, those folks I want to work with.

We write our blogs, and push out our content with no expectations of anyone doing anything other than getting some insights from it, and hopefully being entertained.

We have a mailing list, but we only use it to send a single download, and to send a monthly “Best of” list of our blog posts.

We give away content, our NorthIQ Smarter Business Guide is five pages of content that will help you build a smarter digital strategy.

Our only request is that you contact us if you think we’d be a good fit.

Since we started writing content in January we’ve had an amazing reception, and we have not once spammed our email list breathlessly telling them how amazing we are. If you read our content, you have made your own judgements.

You don’t need to send out repeat emails telling people to get in touch with you. You need to provide them with value, and they will want to reach out to you. More importantly, they won’t unsubscribe from you because you have exhausted them.

The Takeaway:

Access to your customers email is a privilege, not a right. If you want to continue getting benefits from that privilege, then remember the Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook principles.

Jabbing establishes you as an authority, puts you front and centre in your customer’s mind, and lets you hold off on the right hook of self promotion until the the moment it becomes most effective.

Brian Garside has been building websites for two decades and has worked on some of the largest websites in Canadian media. He focuses on creating good user experiences and building websites that make their owners money. Brian is certified in blogging and content marketing from Shaw Academy.