Volume 4: The Interviews – An Introduction

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Chris and Nic introduce the next series of interviews with some of the recent CMA Award winners. They discuss their very different journey’s with content marketing, how content marketing has benefitted them and their businesses and what that looks like. On this series we have:

  • Roger Edwards – CMA Podcast of the Year Award Winner 2019
  • Ahmed Khalifa – CMA Bigger, Braver, Bolder Award Winner 2019
  • Imogen Allen – CMA Content Success Formula Award Winner 2019
  • Louise Harnby – CMA Blogger of the Year Award Winner 2019

The Interviews:

Additional Resources:

Email Chris: chris@cmauk.co.uk


Chris: Well, hey Nic, I’m really looking forward to this next season of the podcast. Who are we interviewing on season four?

Nic: Hey, yeah, so we’ve got Roger Edwards, he’s a CMA member. And we have Imogen Allen, and we have Ahmed Khalifa and Louise Harnby.

Chris: Yeah, we’ve got a really good mix this time.

One of the things, this goes back to a conversation that you and I had maybe a month or so ago, and I was saying we really need to make sure that we’ve got all our award winners on the podcast because we want to shine a light on them.

I think it’s really important to do that because there are reasons why they won the CMA Awards this year and we want to make sure that everybody knows about them. And we’ve already interviewed some of the award winners in the past. We wanted to make sure that we caught up with everybody else as well. I’m pretty sure we’ve still got a few more to do actually, which we’ll hopefully include in season five.

But I wanted to just take this time before you get stuck into the next four interviews, just to give everybody a bit of a summary of what to expect. So if we, you and I Nic, we could pick a couple of things that we took away from each podcast perhaps and share that with everybody.

But before we do that, I just want to remind the listeners exactly why we do these interviews.

I think there are lots of challenges and lots of things along the way when we’re doing content marketing and companies, small and large, and B2B and B2C, doesn’t matter what type of company and whether you’re in-house marketer, or a business owner, or a managing director, there’s lots of challenges. There’s lots of things that get in your way when we’re trying to implement and get value and really grow our businesses with content marketing.

I think these stories that we’re sharing, they’re not here to sell you on CMA as such. Although we do talk a lot about CMA a little bit in some of them, but actually really to kind of highlight their journey to showcase the story to help you, whether it be with motivation or inspiration or perhaps somebody has had the same challenge as you along the way as well.

And secondly, really for all the CMA members to get to know each other a little bit more as well. And that’s really what this is all about. Well, that’s what I get from them.

I know, Nic, that you, and sometimes when you’re listening to the interviews before they’re published, it’s the first time that you’ve heard some of their stories as well. Isn’t that right?

Nic: Yeah, I think the thing that sticks out to me the most is that everybody’s journey is so different. Every single person has a different way of doing and talking about content marketing and it’s really, it’s fascinating. I think it’s really fascinating how different their journeys are.

Chris: Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. And I love that as well. I think it’s really just interesting to see how people do things so differently, but there’s also a lot of things that we’re doing the same as well. Right? We’re struggling with the same things too. So let’s talk about Roger’s interview, Nic. What did you take away from Roger when I was speaking to Roger Edwards?

Nic: Yeah. So the part I found really fascinating about Roger’s podcast was his journey from this corporate kind of background because he was a marketing director in the company that he was working for, and he’s talking about all this red tape and the stifling creativity, that kind of thing. And then how he went from that to really starting his own business with a belief in content marketing because he was interested in that at the time and taking that and started his podcast, which was really, really cool. So he’s all about… his big thing is simplifying, which he gets from what he’s learned from his corporate background, which I found really interesting.

Chris: Yeah, I was interested in Roger’s journey and obviously a big part of his journey and the way that why we’re recognizing him for his efforts, is his consistency in his podcast. And we’ll get into that in the actual podcast interview, but how that’s led to him, not just getting clients but fundamentally leading towards him writing and publishing a book as well.

So it’s amazing how his journey is sort of just like… I don’t know, it’s evolving all the time. So I think Roger’s got a great message and we talk a little bit about his book as well and the theme there and about the topic of keeping your marketing simple too. So that’s a great interview with Roger. It’s great, again, to hear his journey again. Everybody’s got a different journey, haven’t they, Nic? So Rogers went from a big corporate into consultancy and everybody’s just got this different journey, which I find, like you said, fascinating.

So we’ve got to move on to Ahmed’s interview and with Ahmed, I just loved the conversation with Ahmed because he’s got his SEO business but he’s also got his side business as well. It’s like a passion project that he’s working on.

But what’s happening, and even just recently, even after the interview, we’re starting to see him making real inroads with his message on his passion project too. So even though he runs his SEO company like a lot of times a lot of advice out there, Nic, it’s like to concentrate and focus on one thing and do one thing really, really well. But actually, what we’re starting to see, I think there’s evidence out there for sure, that actually having multiple things actually makes you better at everything. And I think Ahmed is a great example of that.

And one of the things that really came out of Ahmed’s interview I think was this whole idea of content marketing being a form of therapy, not just for him but for his audience as well. And I think that was really taking content marketing or the perception of content marketing to a different level perhaps that we simply don’t hear about and people don’t talk about.

Nic: Yeah, I totally agree with you. The content therapy , when he said that was just so powerful. I was just like, “Wow, I’ve never heard that before.” And how then that kind of connection, that real close connection with his audience and being a voice as well for that audience too, it was really powerful.

Chris: Yeah, I think it’s awesome and I think this whole idea of content marketing to help you work through your own struggles as well and your own challenges and seeing, and this is something, Nic, that we’ve literally just got off our live training session with our members about it as well, is helping people to see the different levels of learning within content marketing isn’t just a… it’s not a tactic. It’s not just a business strategy. It’s a professional and personal development program as well. If you really want it to be, there’s so much to get from it. So, Nic, what did you get from Imogen’s review?

Nic: Yeah, so Imogen… How long has he been a CMA member for? That’s been almost a year, I think for Imogen. And she was talking about how to just focus on one thing and do it really, really well. So she is saying that hard thing is to just pick something and go all in and that’s exactly what she’s done. And we see that in all the work that she does in CMA. She’s really excelled. We’ve seen her excel over this kind of past year, which is awesome.

Chris: Yeah, she’s really is. One of the conversations that we have at the start of the podcast is really about how she learns and I think she learns in a different way than the majority of people learn where she really goes deep. She wants to learn it, she wants to do it right. She’s sort of like a deep learner I would say.

And I think that conversation unfolds into why she won the award that she did, which was our Content Success Formula Award, which is that she went through the 12 modules of the program and she’s implementing it and she’s getting results and she’s just… People are seeing her progress because she’s really like you said, Nic, picked that one thing decided that she’s going to do it, and not only she’s going to do it but she’s going to do it well and she’s going to put everything into it.

And not only that though, Nic, that it helped her to really… And this is another thing that we don’t talk about enough with content marketing is that it really helped her to uncover what she’s truly passionate about. And I think this is this journey that we’re on is that we’ve got to appreciate, I think that as we go down this road and we start creating all this content that like, just like Ahmed for example, and many other people as well I can think of now, that has sort of refined, not just refined their message but actually refined what they’re truly passionate about. And it’s changed their life, it’s changed their business. And Imogen is on that journey just now.

Nic: Yes, totally a process of discovery.

Chris: Absolutely. You’ve got to be open to that as well. And what about Louise Harnby. Now Louise isn’t a CMA member. In fact, she was the only non-CMA member that won an award this year. And so what was it about Louise’s podcast, Nic, that you found interesting?

Nic: Yeah, absolutely loved Louise’s podcast. I think the biggest thing that she was talking about is how she built up her content and how it saves her time in the long run. So she goes on and explains how that has saved her time and how content is now part of her service and her processes.

Chris: Yeah. One of the major excuses that we get for not doing content marketing is not having the time, but what Louise’s saying in this podcast is that time is an investment up front and it’s now not just saving her time, it’s allowing her to pick her customers, it’s allowing her to build her business. And she’s built a very strong, reliable business because of content. I loved her approach to content, Nic, how she said that it’s like value-added marketing.

And I think it’s really, really important because we do get lost I think. The last 10 years or so we get lost in the jargon and the tactics and all the new stuff that comes up and when Louise was telling me her story about how it all started, which was she was adding more value, I think we need to remember that that’s what it’s all about and I think that just like drives that message home and I loved that from Louis.

And I just love that she’s built her business and built it really well, but the content is at the heart of that and it’s serving her in so many ways, which we talk about in the podcast.

So jump into the episodes. We’ve got four interviews, Roger Edwards, Ahmed Khalifa, Imogen Allen, and Louise Harnby. Jump into them.

All have won awards for their efforts that are in content. We talk about that in the podcast. So jump into the next interview. I think it’s got to be with Roger. Make sure you listen to them all, make sure you connect with them on Twitter and ask them any questions and just get yourself involved.

We’re looking forward to hearing back from you what you think about these interviews. Nic, thanks very much for everything and let’s get stuck in.