Writing thought leadership content can be a particularly onerus task but in this video, expert copy writer, Rin Hamburgh shares some of the ways she is able to write content that stands out.
This is the first of these that we haven't run live - it was pre-recorded which means Rin Hamburgh and I were to be in the same room while we discussed all the highs and lows of writing Thought Leadership content. To begin with we cover how Rin started her content agency, then we discuss some of the misconceptions about writing copy for businesses (and thought leadership content in particular) then Rin shares how she makes the whole process better. Watch till the end.
Rin mentioned a couple of useful links. This is the Clare Barry piece: https://medium.com/@ClareBarry/everyones-a-copywriter-right-4dbbac741a4d
And this is the content framework piece: https://www.rin-hamburgh.co.uk/blog/reinventing-the-buyer-journey-introducing-the-rhco-content-marketing-framework
[00:00:00] Jon Payne: Welcome to Business As Unusual. I'm Jon Payne, and this is now being filmed and recorded at the Noisy Little Monkey office. Um, rather than live. Welcome to the first one. It's a bit of an experiment. We'll see how we get on. Thankfully joining me we have one of my very good friends whose name I couldn't get right. For at least four takes of this. um, it's Rin Hamburgh .
[00:00:22] Rin Hamburgh: And not handbags
[00:00:23] Jon Payne: Not, not handbags, which is what I've said at least three times. Um, welcome Rin.
[00:00:28] Rin Hamburgh: Thank you.
[00:00:29] Jon Payne: Thanks for coming along.
[00:00:30] Rin Hamburgh: I'll talk to you now. Yeah. Talk to me. Don't talk. I mean, you can talk to them, but and potentially camera two, depending if that works as well.
[00:00:38] Jon Payne: yeah, let's do that. So Rin, uh, you are here and we are gonna be talking about content and thought leadership, particularly in terms of content. But before we get onto that, um, Tell us about Rin Hamburgh and co okay. What's what's what does that do? And why is it there?
[00:00:58] Rin Hamburgh: It is there for the purpose of writing words.
Um, So, Rin Hamburgh and co is a copywriting agency. Mm-hmm um, when we started, we were more of a, just a general copywriting agency, mostly because I didn't really know what I was doing. I've never worked in an agency. Right. I've never worked client side. I was a journalist, um, and went, oh, I know I'll start an agency.
That sounds like a good idea. Um, cos I was very naive and had no idea. And then over the last five or six years, I, we kind of grown and changed and, and sort of like worked more and more clients we've realised that we have particular skills, which I think kind of started off with my journalism background.
Helping expert led businesses, which is businesses that aren't, they may be selling a product or a service, but they're really selling their knowledge, their experience, right. Their kind of understanding of a subject. And we help those people to do two things. One is to clarify and communicate their message.
So it's essentially kind of working out their value proposition and, and kind of articulating that in a way that makes sense. And if you work in, you know, tech or data science or something like that, that can be quite difficult to do mm-hmm and then from there we do. essentially their content, but really what we are doing is to help them, uh, establish their, their authority.
So they've got this expertise, people don't know necessarily they have this expertise, how are they gonna find out unless they work with them? Well, we create the content and then they're getting that taster
[00:02:13] Jon Payne: right.
[00:02:13] Rin Hamburgh: Of that expertise.
[00:02:15] Jon Payne: Brilliant. Because that's, and that's the, the, the, the nub of what we're gonna get into.
Yeah. Fantastic. But, so, um, and, um, why did you start it? .
[00:02:24] Rin Hamburgh: Hmm. I mean, like partly necessity.
[00:02:29] Jon Payne: right.
[00:02:29] Rin Hamburgh: I, I was like too busy as a freelancer and I thought, Hey, I'll, I'll get somebody else to help me with a bit. And, and then it turned into an agency and I didn't really, um, I didn't really kind of expect it. I think, you know, my vision for the business grew as the business grew.
And I think sometimes it does take a little while to find your purpose. Again, over the last five or six years as we've done more and more of it, I've suddenly realised that I'm just really passionate about using words to achieve results in whatever way that is, like words are the foundation for everything we do.
[00:02:59] Jon Payne: Mm-hmm
[00:03:00] Rin Hamburgh: um, and, and there are a way of articulating ideas because if you think most of us, we have, we have lots of stuff in our head, thoughts and feelings and ideas and knowledge, and you. Explaining that putting that into words is actually quite tricky.
[00:03:14] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:03:14] Rin Hamburgh: A good example of this is, I dunno if you ever play any board games.
[00:03:17] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:03:18] Rin Hamburgh: But if you've ever tried to explain to somebody who hasn't played a fairly complex board game, explain to them how to do it.
[00:03:23] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:03:24] Rin Hamburgh: You start talking and you start going, okay, well, so you, you have this play here and you don't, you know, you start talking and you go, oh, oh actually I need to tell you about this other bit first.
Right? Oh, that's a bit complicated cos that only works
That's really it's right. It's really hard. Right. Even though it's an easy subject cos you know the subject matter yourself, Getting that into words. So writing instructions for board games, I swear is like a whole career in itself. um, and that's what we do.
And that's to me is what I'm really passionate about and that in turn helps to. our, our company vision is about, um, helping individuals and businesses achieve their dreams, using the power of words. And the businesses obviously are, you know, it could be a start, a startup founder. Who's like, I've got this idea and I wanna go somewhere and let's, you know, articulate their value proposition.
It could be, you know, a CMO in a much bigger company who's, you know, expanding into a new market and that's, that's their kind of dream
[00:04:14] Jon Payne: mm-hmm
[00:04:14] Rin Hamburgh: and then also for, from the people side, It's my team and the individuals that, that work with me. And, and because I started my business in very unusual circumstances, I was a single mum.
I had nine month old twins. The, the day that the, the website went alive, which was kind of mental. I, I, I really care about, you know, work life balance, but you know, not going insane.
[00:04:34] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:04:34] Rin Hamburgh: And actually managing to earn enough money to live whilst also living so that you, you know, it actually all works. Um, and I, and I want that for my team as well.
So, you know, several are part-time and it's just a very flexible sort of way of working. We're very, you know, bring your whole self to work. And I'm, I really love that. You know, I know that that's more of an internal thing, but it makes me happy every time I see my team flourishing
[00:04:55] Jon Payne: that that's really, yeah, that's really good.
How old are your twins now?
[00:04:58] Rin Hamburgh: they are six and a half,
[00:05:01] Jon Payne: six and a half. I wait for you to give the second age then because I'm an idiot.
[00:05:04] Rin Hamburgh: Oh. And, and also this is six and half and 10 extra minutes.
[00:05:09] Jon Payne: wow. Wow. That is, I mean, that's a. Something that I'm always amazed or every time I see you, I'm reminded that you started a business with, with baby twins effectively.
Yeah. And were single at the time. That's just insane. Um, and you launched a website as well at the same time as all of that.
[00:05:26] Rin Hamburgh: You know, the brand with a website and
everything, you know,
[00:05:28] Jon Payne: I mean, most people just lose their minds, launching a website.
[00:05:31] Rin Hamburgh: I, I know I'm going through this. We've got a new one coming out in two weeks.
It's currently a bit like, oh God, we're gonna be seeing sort of final designs. That's being tested at the moment.
[00:05:39] Jon Payne: You've got up the hierarchy of needs enough that actually the website becomes a real crisis. Yeah. Whereas before everything was, oh, it's all fine. I'm I got this.
[00:05:47] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah. Do you know what I think and that's the really interesting thing, you know? It was, it was an absolute mental time. But I think that whatever circumstances you start a business in, it's always a bit mental. If you've not done it before, probably even if you have to be fair, starting a business is mad and there's loads of stuff that you do know how to do, but probably running a business.
Isn't one of them, you just know the thing that your business does. So I knew how to write. I knew how to work with my clients. That bit was easy, but then, you know, as you start like taking on people and then you have to manage a team and then you're like, oh my God, how do I do that? Yeah. it's been a good learning experience though.
Yeah. I love learning that is, you know, that's something I'm really passionate about. So
[00:06:24] Jon Payne: I think anybody who's who, who who's in our kind of then in this marketing ven where there's a little bit of consultancy. Yeah. Um, or if you're a marketing manager or you're working in inhouse, mm-hmm , if you are not fascinated and interested by.
Other people and their passions, you can't, you can't do this well, you can do an average job and, or you might be able to do a great job, but you're never gonna be that fulfilled. cos you are just kind of cranking the handle. If you find the stuff that your clients sell or the, the, the way they help other businesses or, or their client, their customers.
Interesting. And you get, uh, enthused by their enthusiasm. Yeah, it's I that's the, that's the reason I do it too.
[00:07:06] Rin Hamburgh: You have to, you have to love it because if you don't then it's just kind of gonna be difficult and you're not gonna enjoy it and you're gonna stop,
[00:07:13] Jon Payne: um, might as well get a proper job.
[00:07:15] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah. yes. Quite. I was talking to, um, our head of client experience Rosie this morning and we've got a client that does, um, I have to get this right. Uh, Mo mobile as a service. No, Mo I do. You know what? It's something is a service it's it's mobility as a service, that's it? So it's basically looking at joining up the, the process of transport.
So like, rather than, you know, you go on a bus and you've got one ticket, then you've got like a train, you've got another ticket and you get a cab it's like, somehow joining this all up. Ah, I'm not very knowledgeable about it cos it's not my client. Um, but she was talking about it and going, but it, then it's really fascinating.
It's really interesting. cos you can do this and, and you could see she was getting really animated about it and it. it may not on paper look like an interesting subject, but actually as soon as you start to dig under the surface of anything, it is quite interesting. Yeah. Yeah. If you, if
you're open to it.
[00:08:02] Jon Payne: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. What's, what's something that people tend to miss seem to misunderstand.
[00:08:09] Rin Hamburgh: Mm-hmm
[00:08:09] Jon Payne: about content and content marketing.
[00:08:13] Rin Hamburgh: I, I would say it's, it's less about misunderstanding and just not having a big enough understanding. I think people sort of say, oh, there's this type of market of debt.
What type of marketing? And there's content marketing. They sort of just lump everything together, but I. It's not really until you start doing it, that you start appreciating the, the kind of, the level of, of depth and breadth that actually is within that. I mean, for a start, what do you mean by content? Do you mean written content?
Do you mean audio content? Do you mean video content? Mm-hmm do you mean graphic content? Mm-hmm where is that content going out? Is it short bitesize stuff? That's on social media? Is it the really big, chunky stuff that you're using as a download is gated and it's, you know, this big research white paper that you might spend months and thousands of pounds on.
There's such a broad range of it. And even, even if you take, you know, blogging, which is something that's like one of our kind of cornerstone services. Yeah. Within blogging, we have, I'd say four or five different types of blogging that we do with our clients. And then within that, we're like, okay, but what about the different.
Types of blog post within this. So, you know, looking at blogging, sort of with, from a sales perspective, you know, you've got all the da different stages of the, of the funnel and the blog has to be achieving different things at different parts of that. So yeah, there, there's a lot more thinking that goes into it.
Oh, the other thing, and this is a pet peeve is like everyone can write content. Yeah. Makes me crazy. Oh, I must as well. I'll share the link with you after there's a really, really good blog post it's by, I think a lady called Claire Barry and it's a medium and it's called everyone. Everyone can write copy.
Right, right. Or everyone's a copywriter. And it's so funny cos it's like the most beautifully written, super sarcastic, like just, it's just brilliant. And it, and it does, it goes into that thing of going, yes. Everyone potentially could. If you can write, you could write content, but. there's so much more than the writing.
Yeah. And I think that's the thing that's really interesting when we use our freelancers. By the time a brief goes to a freelancer, it we've done 75% of the work because we've done the thinking and the strategising we've spoken to the experts. We've got their thoughts out of their heads and we've organised their thoughts into a brief.
And by the time we've, I mean, that's the, that's the majority, of course you need the right words after. I mean, our strap line is you don't need many words, just the right ones. Yeah. But if you don't have the right thinking behind the writing, then the writing is always gonna fall flat. No matter.
[00:10:33] Jon Payne: Yeah. So, yeah, excuse me.
Yeah, the, it is, I mean, yeah, I think it's true of like it's true of everything and anybody could do anything when I see people say, um, like in, in, in, in what we do a bit more when they're saying, well, anybody could just, you know, crack together these workflows in HubSpot. Yeah, we, yeah. If you've got a computer and you've got HubSpot.
Yeah, of course you can. Yeah. But it's, it's having the, the, the willingness to delve into actually what's gonna benefit the client and what's gonna benefit their customer more likely. And in your case exactly the same, you know, there's and we can all crack out some old crap, but well
[00:11:14] Rin Hamburgh: also, like what you were saying about, about HubSpot, like, so we use HubSpot on a, like the free version, very basic and stuff like that because you.
It's amazing but expensive, which is
[00:11:23] Jon Payne: why you should buy it for me, which is
[00:11:24] Rin Hamburgh: why I should buy it for you. And we'll do one day when our profitability goes up. For sure. But the thing is, it's not just about, oh yeah, I could do it. It's like, yeah. I could do a gazillion different things. If you think about the options available to us, the things we could be doing in our business, there's way more than, I mean, that's why we need teams, right?
Because there are too many things to do. I didn't, I didn't start hiring well, that's not true actually. I did start hiring people. Cause there were things I couldn't do, but. my first sort of two or three hires were, were, were things I could do, but I didn't have time to do anymore. And I was like, where is my time better spent?
Yeah. And I think that's the thing. So, you know, yes, somebody could go and they could teach themselves HubSpot, HubSpot. They could do a course or they, you know, but that's what you spent, how many years doing. Yeah, exactly. You know, and, and also I think
[00:12:09] Jon Payne: same with content.
[00:12:10] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah. So, so for us, if I think about it as a freelancer, I could only deal with X amount of.
and so my learning was limited to the amount of hours I have now. I'm learning. All of the work we're doing with all the account manager, all of the writers, I'm learning from all of those. So my learning is exponentially increased, which means, yes, I am an expert. Not because I'm better than anybody or cause I'm clever than anyone.
I'm really not. I'm actually very bad at spelling. This is one thing that people pull me up on. They're like you spell something wrong. Like that doesn't matter. Spelling is not what copy writing is about. Um, sometimes deliberately misspelling is what copy writing is about, but anyway, um, yeah, it's like, it's not so much about I'm better or I'm clever or I'm any of those things.
It's just that I have had more opportunity. To stare very hard at copy. Yeah. What's the thing about, you know, 10,000 hours makes you an expert something. Yeah. Know, I've had hundreds of thousands of hours and, and that's, to me what it is to
[00:13:11] Jon Payne: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Experience does count for something for sure. Um, uh, if you, so thinking about experience, so when you perhaps, um, Lacked experience in copy. What were you doing before you were, before you were running the, the business? Uh, yes. You were a freelance copywriter, obviously. Yes. And what got you into that?
[00:13:32] Rin Hamburgh: I, well, happy accident. Um, I, so I was a journalist. Um, I, I.
I actually did a business degree at university. Um, and then in my final year, cos I, I did business with Japanese, which was really fun. Wow. I live in Japan for a year, which was ACE. That's
awesome. Where in Japan in Kyoto.
Oh nice. That's great. And I still feel weird saying Kyoto because obviously when I lived there it's Kyoto (with cool accent)
[00:13:51] Jon Payne: yeah.
[00:13:52] Rin Hamburgh: Then I came back and I was like, I can't say that. Cause I'm gonna sound like an
[00:13:54] Jon Payne: Yeah. You sound like someone who orders a croissant (in exaggerated French accent)
[00:13:56] Rin Hamburgh: yeah. well, it's like, um, there's an episode of. Where Ross learns Ka-rah-teh and like, that is how you say it, but also you sound like a muppet, so let's do that. Um, but yeah, so lived in Kyoto three year, which was great, went to university there.
Um, but then when I came back, cause all my friends had done three year degrees and I was a four year degree. I had a year of going, I am sad. And by myself, what did I do? So I started writing for the university magazine and I think up until then, I'd seen journalism as like, you know, reporters, shoving microphones in people's faces, which is not me at all.
Yeah. But then features writing was, was great. cos it was. It was slower, slower. It was more thoughtful. It was more, yeah. Educational. Um, and, and bear in mind, this was many years ago before really there was an awful lot of internet out there. So then I went and, and did a journalism postgrad and, and kind of went into that, worked in a, in a newspaper five years.
And then I went freelance. And again, I was, I was gonna be a freelance journalist, but increasingly I started then getting, uh, requests from people to do. What I now know to be copy. Yeah. Not copyright. So this is the thing again about copywriting. People think copywriting is one thing. You can be a copywriter who writes tender documents.
You can be a copywriter who writes billboard, advertising copy. You know, there's lots of different things, but in terms of the content side of things, suddenly my skills as a journalist were being demanded more and more by businesses. Um, and website copy. So website copy and blog posts, which are the two things we do.
That's where I cut my teeth as a gen, as a, as a copywriter. So, I mean, I remember doing, there was some app that a company was developing. It was a few years. I can't remember how long ago. It was a long time ago. And because I used to write psychology magazine and this app was all about happiness. It was like, you know, 365 tips on being happiness every day you got another tip. The editor at psychology recommended me. And I ended up doing this job where I wrote 365 pieces of 50 word copy. With tips on how to be happier. Right. It was so much fun. I really, really enjoyed doing it. And to me, I wasn't sitting there going, oh, I'm doing copywriting. I was like, yeah, just writing.
[00:15:56] Jon Payne: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:15:56] Rin Hamburgh: You know, could write one by one thing, write about another and yes, it kind of went from there. And so I just doing more and more and more. And. Yeah.
[00:16:03] Jon Payne: So when you were starting to write those first few websites and those first, all those web pages and those, and then blog posts and all of that kind of stuff, um, if you had, uh, one tip to go back and, or one thing that you could say to young Rin as she was figuring that out, what would you, what would you say to her?
[00:16:19] Rin Hamburgh: Um, Oh, there's so many things. Um, most of them not appropriate to share um, I do you know what? It, it would be really easy to say, you know, do it this way, do it that way, all the rest of it. But actually I'm definitely a person that learns by experience. And I think sometimes the best lessons you learn are the lessons that you learn when you do something wrong.
Mm-hmm . I'm kind of glad for all the mistakes I made, but I guess I would probably tell myself to be more confident because I think it's taken me even until probably the last year or two to really feel like, oh, I'm, I'm maybe doing this. Okay. Maybe, maybe I am running an agency. It's like, I mean, yeah, but it's just that, that I don't like the word imposter syndrome.
I did this banded about too much, but just that fear of am I doing it like everyone else? And I think this whole thing of not coming from either agency or, or, um, client side experience. Yeah. I don't know what it's meant to look like, so I'm sort of making it up, but actually what I've realised is that is a huge benefit because I can just apply logic and go, well, why is everyone doing
like that? That seems really stupid. Let's do it like this.
[00:17:21] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:17:21] Rin Hamburgh: You know, so there's lots of things about the way that in works that are different to other agencies. Yeah. But I think it kind of works well for that reason.
[00:17:30] Jon Payne: And that thing about, um, being confident when you're doing that stuff is particularly for people who are listening to this or watching this and they're in house.
as a, as a, as someone who, who has in the past, gone to an in-house person, right? These, this is what I need. Um, I know it would be much quicker if they just went right. I don't care how bad this is gonna be. I'm just gonna do it. Yeah. And submit a first draft. Yeah. Because you just get you going. Yeah. And suddenly, as you say, you've learned loads and they'll, they'll be full of mistakes.
Mm-hmm um, and if you're new to an agency, you're gonna write stuff in the wrong tone of voice for different people. But at least you'll learn really quick by just getting in there.
[00:18:10] Rin Hamburgh: Exactly.
[00:18:11] Jon Payne: And embracing failure. Yeah. Which is something I have to do an awful lot.
[00:18:14] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah me too, I think I'd also say that like everyone's making it up.
[00:18:18] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:18:18] Rin Hamburgh: Like there's so many. People who've learnt to talk the talk and no, don't get me wrong. Also walk the wall that, you know, they are doing good work. Yeah. I'm not saying that everyone's a complete Muppet, but at the same time, most people have that same degree of, you know, so it's the comparing somebody's outside to your inside.
Yeah. You know, everyone on the outside seems really shiny and polished and like they know what they're talking about. And inside I'm sitting there going, I mean, I'm, I'm pretty sure I can do the job, but I, I'm not really sure. And it's the same thing. They're probably sitting there having a very similar feeling.
Yeah. To be fair. If they're not. They might be missing something. So
[00:18:50] Jon Payne: definitely something wrong. yeah. It's yeah, definitely don't believe everything that people tell you on Instagram and Twitter. Those that, those they're just, I mean, I enjoy Twitter quite a lot, but, but I've been doing this rages. We make okay.
Money and I've got really happy life. Yeah. And I still look at people on Twitter and go. Oh, my business, hasn't grown by 5000% in the last two months. Yeah. Why, what am I doing wrong? Yeah, that's that little voice that it wrote. So we all get it. Don't we, we,
[00:19:15] Rin Hamburgh: we, um, we entered an, a award recently. Um, and I was looking at the, kind of the entry that we wrote and it was talking about business growth.
And so, you know, we put all the evidence of business growth, but I also wrote in there, but we're not really just going for growth for the sake of it. Yeah. You know, I possibly could dial it up, but I don't necessarily want to.
[00:19:33] Jon Payne: Yeah,
[00:19:34] Rin Hamburgh: yeah,
[00:19:34] Jon Payne: yeah.
[00:19:35] Rin Hamburgh: I wanna do good work..
[00:19:36] Jon Payne: Yeah, of course. Yeah. I say of course, so few people do actually love to do good work. Um, so what do people misunderstand about thought leadership in particular? How could we do that better?
[00:19:49] Rin Hamburgh: Mm, well, I think it sort of goes back to what I was saying about thinking and writing.
[00:19:54] Jon Payne: Mm-hmm
[00:19:56] Rin Hamburgh: you can't hire a copywriter and expect them to create miracles. That's not possible.
if you just, you know, if we're writing SEO copy and it's just a case of hitting the keywords, getting better than what's out there, you know, having it being articulate and helpful, the rest of it. Great. We can go and see what's already out there. Couple together, the best bits. Make it better. Good. That's good.
I. If it's got to be thought leadership, it's got to be, I said unique. I don't think it has to be unique, but you have to at least put your spin on something
[00:20:26] Jon Payne: mm-hmm .
[00:20:27] Rin Hamburgh: So there has to be a degree of why are you writing about this? What's your take, what's your voice? What's your experience that you can bring to the table?
And, you know, sometimes people will say, well, you know, we, we are in, you know, we're in crypto. Have you written about crypto? I'm like, it doesn't really matter because if I've written about crypto before all you're getting is okay. Yes. I'm, I'm gonna understand what you're talking about more quickly. So there's, you know, but actually, if you are intelligent enough, you can pick up on any subject.
Well enough, but, but if I've written lots about crypto before, then all that means is I'm going to turn the same stuff as I've been writing for all the other people that I've been writing for. Right. To make your copy different. I need to get what's in your brain. That's the whole point about thought leadership, right?
From the client side, you've got to have that commitment to hearting copywriter doesn't mean I don't have to do anything you do. You have to think and you have to bring your thoughts now, the copywriter's job or in our cases, the account manager's job is actually is to pull those thoughts out. So I don't expect for our clients to show up and go, ah, I have a fully formed like, uh, structure for this broad post cos that's our job.
Right. But they have to have gone. Okay. I've thought about this particular subject. and I have a couple of things I'd like to say. Um, and then if I'm asked a question and I dunno the answer, I can ponder it and I can, you know, I, I came up with an analogy, uh, the other day about knittings. It's not very cool but it's okay.
if you look at a jumper
[00:21:51] Jon Payne: yeah.
[00:21:52] Rin Hamburgh: And you look at a pile of yarn.
[00:21:53] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:21:54] Rin Hamburgh: They are fundamentally the same thing.
[00:21:56] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:21:56] Rin Hamburgh: Only one is useful and one isn't. Right. So what we do is we kind of take the yarn from our client's head and then we knit it.
[00:22:03] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:22:03] Rin Hamburgh: We, we put order into it. We make it into something useful. And the problem is, is that sometimes the client will arrive and go knit me a jumper.
And you're like, cool. Where's the yarn? They're like,
[00:22:12] Jon Payne: yeah.
[00:22:13] Rin Hamburgh: Uh, will this do, and they give you a bit of string and you're like, I can't, I can't do anything with that.
[00:22:18] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:22:18] Rin Hamburgh: So I think not what it's that. Sure. Exactly. Or it's just really crap or, you know, you're giving me really poor quality yarn, and then you're expecting me to knit like a cashmere jumper.
[00:22:26] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:22:26] Rin Hamburgh: That can't happen. Like I said, it depends on the type of coffee, but coffee, coffee is good too. The type of copy, but, but thought leadership, particularly that one where you are really trying to establish your expertise, establish your authority, get that credibility. That has to come from your subject matter experts.
And if they're not willing to put the input in, then you can't blame your copywriter for
good things. Not coming out. Yeah. Is there a, so I feel like I've got that off my chest now.
[00:22:52] Jon Payne: That's that's really good.
[00:22:52] Rin Hamburgh: Sorry. I bashed the microphone.
[00:22:54] Jon Payne: We can take it out. And the edit I'll ask the producer to do it. Um, um, man that made me sound like a wanker. Yeah, I'm the producer. Um, I'm the editor too.
I really want you to say I'm batman
[00:23:08] Rin Hamburgh: I'm not, oh, no, we're going off track.
[00:23:09] Jon Payne: Yeah, we, which we've been doing quite a lot, but it's okay. Because I keep looking at my watch on the surreptitious and we're in, well, my heart rate high, but the time is fine. um, my heart, rate's always high.
Look at the side, look at the color of my head. um, so, okay. So have you, is what's a good way to like, encourage that thought, like, because most people who are gonna be watching this, typically from what I remember are gonna be in house and copywriting, isn't gonna be their full job, but it's gonna be some of it.
And I know damn well that their boss keeps saying to them. Yeah. I wanna be a thought leader on LinkedIn.
[00:23:44] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:23:45] Jon Payne: How do I. From, um, boss saying, I wanna be a thought leader on LinkedIn.
[00:23:51] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:23:51] Jon Payne: To getting that person to give me some yam.
[00:23:54] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:23:54] Jon Payne: And an idea of the sort of jumper they'd like.
[00:23:57] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:23:58] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:23:59] Rin Hamburgh: So I would say you, you, you definitely need to start off.
Yeah. Sounds really basic with, with some strategy. It's not like I wanna be a thought leader. Okay. What does that mean? What results are you trying to get? Cause thought leadership is very much around, you know, brand awareness and kind of raising, raising the game reput. It's very much harder to measure then, because it's not like converting leads, like, you know, it it's much more difficult.
Mm it's also a long game. Um, so from the research I've done, most people say between nine and 18 months, um, For, for getting the results.
[00:24:33] Jon Payne: Yep.
[00:24:34] Rin Hamburgh: And it does give you results, but it's, it's also not results you can necessarily point to in a chart. No, it's much more like you show up in a networking event and like everybody knows you that it's more that sort of vibe.
So I think there's gotta be a strategy. You've gotta set expectations with that boss and kind of go, okay, well, you know, this is what we are looking to, do. We need to commit it to this exactly what I was saying before about you need to bring your thoughts. And I, and I'm genuinely not just saying this, because I think that people should hire copywriting agencies, but honestly, getting an outsider in is really, really helpful.
You know how kids don't listen to parents.
[00:25:09] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:25:09] Rin Hamburgh: But they listen to like, I know aunties or your best mate or whatever.
[00:25:12] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:25:12] Rin Hamburgh: It's exactly the same. And I have had, I can't even count the number of conversations I've had with marketers, like heads of marketing, marketing managers, and they. We can't get the subject matter experts to talk to us.
They just don't wanna talk or they don't know how to, you know, especially if they're, I dunno, developers, people that are like, you know, the disc profile, they're high C they're blues. They, they don't like talking to people. Um, with those people, we always give them a pre-brief right. And then they know what they talk about.
So they come prepared because they've had chance to, to do it.
[00:25:37] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:25:37] Rin Hamburgh: Cause there's some people that just don't like, you know, Answer a question and they're like, oh
no, I don't want to.
[00:25:43] Jon Payne: Yeah. I need to think about all of the different implications on these answers.
[00:25:45] Rin Hamburgh: Exactly, exactly.
[00:25:46] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:25:46] Rin Hamburgh: So, yeah, so again, you know, understanding the people you're gonna be talking to knowing how to get the best from them.
And the thing is, again, that's a, that's a hard thing to do. You know, we, in every briefing we have, we always have like an account manager and a writer. So, you know, editor. so we've got the kind of two skills coming together. cos there are two very different skills, you know, I, I had to do both as a journalists, so, so that's a, you know, a particular, uh, kind of combination of skills, but yeah, it's in terms of, if you have to do it in house and you can't get any support with it, I would say just make a start, like try and show, especially if there are.
if your boss is like, I wanna be a thought leader and you're like, I dunno that you've got the thoughts, then just try one thing.
[00:26:31] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:26:31] Rin Hamburgh: Ask all the questions. Be really prepared with the questions. This is another thing I think is really important. The more specific questions, like really, really tight, like a combination of, of open and closed questions.
[00:26:40] Jon Payne: Okay.
[00:26:40] Rin Hamburgh: Closed questions are great. People think close questions are bad, but they're not.
[00:26:44] Jon Payne: Yeah. I thought they were evil.
[00:26:45] Rin Hamburgh: No, no, no.
Sometimes you want people to talk. Some people you really want to stop them talking cos they Ram. So that that's the tricky one as well, but closed questions can help you, um, to clarify a factual point.
[00:26:57] Jon Payne: Right. Of course.
[00:26:59] Rin Hamburgh: And kind of go, so do you mean this or so how many, whatever, you know. Yeah. Um, or what specific things should people be doing at that point and kind of get like really hone in, cos I think this is the other thing is that people often feel like, oh, we need to talk very broadly, but actually with blogging, I think really with thought leadership, whether you're doing it in this context or.
You, you need to get really specific. There's so much fluff out there. There's so much content. This is the problem.
[00:27:24] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:27:24] Rin Hamburgh: And to get heard and to get, you know, to stand out above the crowd, you really need to say something.
[00:27:29] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:27:29] Rin Hamburgh: You need to have something to say. And if you've only got a small thing to say, that's fine, make it into a LinkedIn post, but don't write whole thousand word blog post about it.
[00:27:35] Jon Payne: Right.
[00:27:36] Rin Hamburgh: So. Well,
[00:27:37] Jon Payne: Oooh - that's quite good.
[00:27:38] Rin Hamburgh: Mm
[00:27:38] Jon Payne: that's. So, um, we are going, and we are thinking about the questions we're gonna ask, maybe sending them a pre-brief if they're, um, super scientific engineering type people, um, uh,
[00:27:51] Rin Hamburgh: or if you think they're gonna ramble,
[00:27:52] Jon Payne: or if you think they're gonna ramble. Yeah. And having, having a, a selection of CLO open and closed questions.
Yeah. And I guess, yeah, I, I mean, I'd be tempt, like if it was me and I was in house, I'd be tempted to practice asking the questions with that subject matter expert, cos they typically. I either super busy or don't wanna be a part of it. Yeah. So I'd be tempted to rehearse that with a, with a significant other.
[00:28:16] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:28:16] Jon Payne: Um, just so that the questions feel like they're gonna easily come out.
[00:28:19] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah. That makes sense.
[00:28:20] Jon Payne: Says bloke who set this up in 10 minutes and then we, then we giggled from,
[00:28:23] Rin Hamburgh: I think you and i, we did my God. That was so much fun. Um, I think you and I are very, we're very peopley extrovert.
[00:28:31] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:28:31] Rin Hamburgh: We. Uh, actually I'm better off if I don't prepare too much.
[00:28:35] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:28:35] Rin Hamburgh: I need to have thought a little bit.
[00:28:37] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:28:37] Rin Hamburgh: So I'm not just kind of going, um, um, um, and trying to reach for like an example. cos if I, again, the specifics, if I need a specific example, I probably need to have thought about that beforehand.
[00:28:46] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:28:46] Rin Hamburgh: But if I were to write notes, I'd end up reading it. So actually I have to be more spontaneous.
[00:28:50] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:28:51] Rin Hamburgh: Um, but yeah, some people aren't like that and they need to think.
[00:28:54] Jon Payne: No. Cool. Um, uh, so. Could you share with us oooh closed question? Look at that. I was asking only open until he said I was allowed to close. Yes, you were. Um, uh, which doesn't mean you can answer it with a no. Could you share with us, like, is there a process that you guys go through when you are sort of talking to a new client and for the first time, not necessarily on boarding process, but like, how would you go about starting up one of those?
Let's say an SEO blog.
[00:29:22] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:29:22] Jon Payne: Like what would you do to, to, to make that happen? So
[00:29:25] Rin Hamburgh: SEO, blogging. is slightly different. So I'll talk to you generally about the general kind of blogging approach that we have. So we we've created a kind of framework that we use internally. Um, we actually did publish a blog post about, so it's kind of out there
[00:29:38] Jon Payne: fancy, uh, and yeah, make sure we put a link framework.
[00:29:42] Rin Hamburgh: I love it. Um, Uh, and, and it's still developing. I am at, I say I'm writing a book. I sort of started writing a book and I need to get back to writing the book. But anyway,
[00:29:50] Jon Payne: yeah, you've been writing a book for as long as I've known you.
[00:29:52] Rin Hamburgh: It's just, it's it's there, there are, you know, there's a, there's a, there's a framework anyway.
there's a shut up. There's a framework. Um, and it's, it's basically, so, you know, the kind of the, you know, the buyer journey and the problem aware solution away, all the rest of it. I kind of, I, I always struggled with it. I was like that it felt a. It reductive. It was a bit, I don't get this and I don't see how I'm gonna apply it to, to writing blog posts.
So we sort of slightly adapted it and we were looking at how people are feeling, but essentially the search intent, what, what is it that they want? What are they looking for at each moment? And how can we create content that solves their need?
[00:30:26] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:30:27] Rin Hamburgh: Um, so if somebody is, as we call it stage one in the dark, they literally don't know they have a problem.
Um, So then a not looking for anything. So you've gotta be much more clever about how you attract their interest.
[00:30:39] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:30:40] Rin Hamburgh: And you've got. Whether it's gently or violently explained to them that they have a problem, they are heading for some issue, you know, so say, say, somebody's, uh, I dunno, they're about to start a new website, uh, process, and they haven't realised that, you know, you can't just call a copywriter, oh, this is another pet peeve.
You can't just call a copywriter going, we're doing a website and we've got all the development stuff done and the pages are ready and the di designs and the wire frames and everything. And so the developer wants to copy in the next two weeks and. Dude. No, don't do that. So if somebody is unaware that they have a problem, I either heading for, I can't get my copy in time.
[00:31:15] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:31:16] Rin Hamburgh: You can start to, you can write an article around, you know, five things to think about before you start a website project. I mean, that's a terrible example, but it's like,
[00:31:23] Jon Payne: you know, but it works because it's not them going. Oh, my copy's late. Yeah. It catches them earlier in the process so that they, we can turn the light on a little bit for a bit..
[00:31:31] Rin Hamburgh: And then you go through to, to stuck. So people have a problem and they, they they've got a problem and they don't really know what to do. So you are helping to introduce the idea of solutions, then they're searching. So they're like, okay, I've got a bit of an idea of solutions. Now I need to, you know, maybe get refine that a little bit more through to the next one, which is around, um, almost ready.
So when people are almost ready, they've, they've, they've pretty much decided, right? Um, you. I wanna do content marketing. Cool. I've decided that actually blogging is what I really want to do. Great. Um, I've decided actually I'd like to outsource, so now I'm almost ready. I'm just kind of deciding, you know, do we use Rin Hamburgh and Co or somebody else?
And so that's where you have much more sales, heavy copy. That's when you can start doing lead generation, cos I think there's this weird thing of like is blogging lead generation or not, is it brand awareness? I think it can be both.
[00:32:15] Jon Payne: Mm-hmm
[00:32:15] Rin Hamburgh: so at that stage you can be like, you. we, when we used to do a level up your business blog course, that we ran, ran some training around it.
And you know, we, we wrote a blog, post, everything you need to know about the level up your business blog course. Now people are not necessarily going to be Googling and, you know, finding this, it's gonna be read by a smaller amount of people, but also it can be used by the sales team to actively proactively send out, you know, you see somebody at a networking event you're chatting to them.
Oh, I'd love to do some blogging training. Oh yeah. I'll send you, you know, and then you've got something to send. So it almost becomes a version of a brochure. Um, and it, and it's there. And then there's all the stuff that you can do for your clients already. How to prepare for a briefing with your copywriter.
Now, obviously other people can read that.
[00:32:55] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:32:55] Rin Hamburgh: That's useful for your clients. They're like, oh, I'm still getting value. And then there's the more general one. So thought leadership. Goes into the more general it can, it can appeal to people at any stage of their journey and potentially more importantly, it can, it can appeal to referral partners.
Um, and that is really, really helpful. Like for us, we get a lot of business from other agencies, other marketers, people up and down the food chain from us. So, you know, web designers who are going flip an heck, they won't give me the copy. They said that they, you know, they said that they were give me a month ago.
[00:33:22] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:33:23] Rin Hamburgh: They'll refer us designers again. They're doing branding. They need brand voice. And those people are the ones who are reading this marketing thought leadership.
[00:33:31] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:33:32] Rin Hamburgh: Our clients might not be that interested, but it doesn't matter because the people who are gonna be bringing the business to us, they're reading that.
So it's just, that's you know, the very first question you asked me about what do people kind of misunderstand about content? It's this it's the detail. It's just how much there is to know about it.
[00:33:48] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:33:48] Rin Hamburgh: It's, I'm such a geek about it. I love it. I, I absolutely love. That when you start to look at it, you just see more and more and more patterns.
[00:33:55] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:33:56] Rin Hamburgh: Ooh. It's like the matrix I just see the whole world in like letters and numbers
[00:34:03] Jon Payne: and different uses of, of, of content. Yeah. Um, that's really cool. Yeah. I think, man, I so agree. We actually two things. One on your pet peeve. We had a client, I won't name them. Cause we have signed an incredibly tight NDA with them.
They wanted, they were insisted that they needed to launch on a Monday. And we had had a three month process up to that Monday during which Tash, our creative director had asked them every week, since we started, you need to where's the copy. cos we can start putting this in for you as we build. If we've built the website, is you putting the copy in and we'll train you on how to do it, but.
I need to see that copy. I need to see that copy. They kept pushing it back the Friday before the Monday, they said, can we have a quote for you to write the copy?
[00:34:45] Rin Hamburgh: Oh my God.
[00:34:46] Jon Payne: we just pulled a crazy number out there. Like yeah, if we're gonna work all weekend, we'll do it drunk and we'll do it 50 grand.
[00:34:52] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:34:53] Jon Payne: And of course they said, no.
[00:34:54] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:34:54] Jon Payne: It was like, well, we're gonna ruin everybody's weekend.
[00:34:57] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:34:57] Jon Payne: And we're gonna probably have to call you.
[00:34:58] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:34:59] Jon Payne: And say, look, there's loads of booze in.
[00:35:00] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah.
[00:35:01] Jon Payne: We're writing about stuff. We don't really understand.
[00:35:03] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah. Amazing. Oh my God. I would love that. Ooh. Now I feel like there's some kind of like.
Endurance copywriting challenge where we can try and like, like sponsor, it could be a charity thing. Like, can we write copy for like 24 hours straight whilst drinking kind of combination energy drinks and like booze, and then just see what happened.
[00:35:22] Jon Payne: Tequila and red bull sorted TEQUILA
[00:35:24] Rin Hamburgh: I can't drink tequila. I will throw.
[00:35:25] Jon Payne: All right. Tequilla and vodka then.
[00:35:27] Rin Hamburgh: No,
[00:35:27] Jon Payne: I' just mix those two all day. You've got energy. And creativity cos you know how creative people are on vodka. Yeah, exactly. I think that would probably be a terrible idea as well. Although the younger me would've gone for that in a heartbeat.
[00:35:40] Rin Hamburgh: Yeah, for sure. I'm still really tempted.
[00:35:42] Jon Payne: We could, but we could, yeah, we could do that for like we could go, can we develop, can we develop a brand, the website, the copy and the social media stuff?
[00:35:52] Rin Hamburgh: How, how quickly can we do it? Interestingly
[00:35:53] Jon Payne: I did in 24 hours,
[00:35:54] Rin Hamburgh: we, we worked with an agency in London. On again, a very tight turnaround and it, and we managed to write, and it was a micro site.
So it didn't have loads of pages for pot noodle.
[00:36:05] Jon Payne: Right.
[00:36:06] Rin Hamburgh: And we managed to do that in 24 hours. It was me and a writer. We did that in 24 hours.
[00:36:11] Jon Payne: That's not far out given that it takes three minutes to make a pot noodle, I suppose. Yes. It's apt that you could smash it out. Yeah. Did you? Yeah, feels like you just got the structure in and then I did a little flavor at the end and then gave it a mix.
Um, uh, lovely. I, I, so before we go, um, uh, what's, what's the, the one thing that you would. Like to leave a little gang of marketers and sales people who watch this with
[00:36:40] Rin Hamburgh: that's the one thing I couldn't think of an answer for, but I have thought of an answer for it now.
[00:36:44] Jon Payne: God, thank God. Otherwise, this would've been a wasted time.
[00:36:46] Rin Hamburgh: I know
[00:36:47] Jon Payne: the whole thing would've been completely useless.
[00:36:48] Rin Hamburgh: No, I just, I sort of just wanna say that marketers are amazing and there's a lot of pressure on marketers and a lot of like disregard. I think people kind of go, ah, market. It's the fluffy stuff. It's the easy stuff and it's bloody difficult and it is changing every five minutes.
Even if you are just, oh, I'm just working with TikTok, that's it. I'm just doing that. It changes every day.
[00:37:11] Jon Payne: Yeah, exactly.
[00:37:12] Rin Hamburgh: Can I imagine you're doing social media now? You've got all the platforms and they're all changing every day.
[00:37:15] Jon Payne: Yeah.
[00:37:15] Rin Hamburgh: And you have to be a copywriter and a designer and a videographer and a it's like.
And then you've gotta do the analytics. You've gotta be a numbers person. So hang on, you've gotta be a creative person and now you've gotta be a numbers person. Yeah. That doesn't make sense. You've gotta be strategic and you've got to do the doing now. You've got to manage all your suppliers as well and a budget.
I just there's so much going on. And I think marketers can be hard on themselves because the creative marketers feel bad cos they don't understand the analytics and the more,
[00:37:40] Jon Payne: and they're not getting a chance to be creative enough.
[00:37:42] Rin Hamburgh: Yes. And the performance marketers are like, oh, but I dunno if I can do the creative and, and, and everyone's.
Looking around thinking everybody else is doing a better job than them, but actually I don't think it's, it's the, like the generalist specialist thing. Yeah. You know, you just gotta accept where you are, decide what you love in, in marketing and do that and just kind of tell everyone else to air off. I didn't swear.
[00:38:02] Jon Payne: I think though, it's a. it's a, uh, it's a recruits market at the moment jobwise. So if you do tell people to F off, yes, there's plenty of people who are gonna snap you up to do the specialist thing you really want to do. It's very true. Really cool. Love it. I love that. We ended telling, getting people to tell their bosses to fuck off.
[00:38:18] Rin Hamburgh: Um, you did it. I didn't do it
[00:38:20] Jon Payne: well, just swearing. I know. Yeah. Well, it's my reputation. Isn't it. I've got, I've got to that to uphold Rin. Thank you so much for joining.
[00:38:27] Rin Hamburgh: Absolutely brilliant.
[00:38:28] Jon Payne: I'll put some links for, for the, in the show notes. I think I'm gonna call them
[00:38:32] Rin Hamburgh: nice.
[00:38:32] Jon Payne: I mean, makes me sound like a tosser, doesn't it,
[00:38:34] Rin Hamburgh: but I really want you to get a clapperboard.
[00:38:36] Jon Payne: Okay.
[00:38:37] Rin Hamburgh: I think that would be cool.
[00:38:38] Jon Payne: All right. I'll get a, you know what, I think I can probably get a cheap one on Amazon.
[00:38:42] Rin Hamburgh: I think we should.
[00:38:42] Jon Payne: Um, I'll do that for next time. Um, thank you so much. And bye everybody.
[00:38:49] Jon Payne: Business As Unusual. Um, we're recording it now because man, I find you a lot. And your incessant questions on the live version. Quite difficult to deal with. No, that's not right. um, The person who's joining me for this, um, grand experiment is Rin Banba RI Rin Banbergs. Wow. Okay. it's good though.
[00:39:12] Rin Hamburgh: Should I face that as well? Then? You won't be like, then you won't have me staring
[00:39:15] Jon Payne: it's it's whatever you like. Right. It's whatever you like
is, um, Rin Handbag and RIN HANDBAG??
[00:39:23] Rin Hamburgh: Please. Can we leave that one in, please? Please can I be Rin handbag,
[00:39:26] Jon Payne: RIN HANDBAG.
[00:39:29] Rin Hamburgh: Oh, that's favorite thing ever. Oh my gosh. Now I'm definitely overheated.
[00:39:36] Jon Payne: I'm sweating like an absolute dog.
[00:39:39] Rin Hamburgh: Hi. If I do take my jump off, will I look naked?
(inaudible) I'm not okay. No, this is okay.
[00:39:48] Jon Payne: Welcome to business as unusual gonna do it now again, because you were laughing.
[00:39:52] Rin Hamburgh: okay.
[00:39:53] Jon Payne: Um, we've gotta stop laughing and sweating.
[00:39:58] Rin Hamburgh: I know , you're gonna be introducing it. I'm gonna be wetting myself here. People be watching, going (inaudible)
[00:40:03] Jon Payne: everything's gonna run out of batteries and we're gonna be chatting in the dark. Okay. okay.
Founder and Technical Director of Noisy Little Monkey, Jon blogs about SEO and digital marketing strategy.
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