Why a Hot Seat Is Shockingly Good for Business

How a professional group helps grow your business

Back in 2004, the heat was on for me and my little marketing and design studio.

In those days, I was a single mom with a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old, and I desperately needed my business to produce.

And by that, I mean produce profit. I needed money, honey — to support my family, run my household, and build my business.

I knew it was time to ramp up my efforts. My business was successful, but it was time to take it to another level.

Around that time, I started hearing about mastermind groups.

And now, when I look back, I recognize that joining a mastermind group profoundly changed my business for the better, especially because of one specific exercise these groups do.

That’s what I’m going to share today. Because earlier this month, we began doing something similar inside one of our communities at Rainmaker Digital.

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Finding the Balance Between Pragmatism and Your Ideals


If you feel like you need to choose between idealism and getting your bills paid, look again.

If you’re getting along financially but compromising your own beliefs, you’re going to make yourself sick and miserable. But if you’re leading some kind of “pure” life but suffering a lot of financial stress, that’s not the key to a great life either.

Somewhere, there’s going to be a path that brings those two together, and that will get you where you want to go.

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How Not to Be a Sleaze (or a Martyr) in Your Business

Don't take shortcuts; they take too long.

Don’t take shortcuts; they take too long.

I first wrote that advice in a post about site quality as an SEO strategy for content marketers.

It sprang back to mind when we lost the incomparable Yogi Berra last week. Don’t worry, I’m not going to do Yet Another Blog Post with Yogi Quotes (this is a good collection, if you’re looking for one).

But there’s something about that “so wrong, it’s right” Yogi logic that seems to be a constant in business and in life, and I thought I’d write about it.

So what does that initial advice mean, anyway?

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3 Resources to Help You Become a Professional Content Marketer

Copyblogger Collection - How to go pro with content marketing

Professional content marketers think like students.

They study all of the content they consume with a critical eye, looking for ways to learn from smart techniques that others use.

But how do you know what works right now in content marketing and what doesn’t?

This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:

  • How to become a well-paid writer
  • How to form a professional support network
  • How to craft cutting-edge content ideas that grow your business

As you work your way through the material below, use each lesson as an opportunity to refine the way you approach content marketing.

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Authority: Our Community of Professional Content Marketers

Get Inside Authority - Doors close to new members in 1 week

If you’ve found this page, you probably have some questions about Authority — our private community of content marketers.

We bring new members into the community during focused enrollment periods, so that the Authority team and I can put all of our focus on giving our community members the best experience we can.

But before we talk about the details of that — let me connect the dots if you don’t happen to quite know what Authority is.

So what is Authority, anyway?

Authority is a community of content marketers that promotes and celebrates excellence.

Who are these content marketers? Well, lots of them are business owners who have taken the reins for their own marketing — even if they outsource some or all of the actual writing and content creation. They know they need an in-depth understanding of the strategies that work for real-world businesses with real bills to pay.

We also have many, many freelance writers in our community. They use Authority to stay on top of the skills that in-demand writers need to position themselves at the top of the heap.

And we have plenty of serious bloggers and podcasters, who are taking the next steps and turning their interesting content into sustainable (and enjoyable) businesses.

Finally, we have a solid group of savvy professional content creators who work in organizations (also known as “day jobs”), who know they need to stay sharp to keep advancing in their field.

It’s a large and diverse group — but what they have in common is a commitment to learning and growing, and constantly getting better at what they do.

When the “same old” ideas aren’t cutting it any more

You probably already read quite a few marketing blogs, or maybe you listen to marketing podcasts. I do, too.

Free sites are a wonderful resource. They can absolutely give you a solid foundation in the fundamentals.

But at a certain point, you need material that’s a little more focused and a little more advanced.

You have questions like:

  • Email, blogs, podcasts, white papers, social, SEO — how do the pieces fit together? (Join Pamela Wilson and I for our Authority session on “connecting the dots” for your content strategy)
  • How can I market myself when I’m so busy doing the work I get paid for? (Certified Content Marketer Megan Williams shared a rock-solid action plan in a recent session)
  • How do I get started with metrics? And what do I do once I get the ball running? (Jessica Frick and Copyblogger partner Tony Clark have you covered)
  • What’s going on with SEO? What’s different today, and how should I prepare for the future? (Brian Clark tackled this head-on with me in an extended Authority master class)
  • I feel like my wheels are spinning — how can I figure out what to work on next? (You can go through Pamela Wilson’s process on How to Be Your Own Business Consultant, or sit down with us for a deep-dive “hot seat”-style consultation)

These are a tiny handful of the sessions covered in more than 230 hours of marketing education and advice — with more added nearly every week of the year.

You need high-quality education if you’re serious about developing your skills as a content marketer. But there’s another piece of the puzzle.

Face it: Normal people don’t get you

Creative folks aren’t always understood by all of those … normal people out there. (Some of whom you may be related to.)

And creative entrepreneurs and businesspeople? We’re even weirder.

Authority is a community of people who understand exactly why you’re so excited about that killer guest post you just placed, or the conversion rate on your latest white paper, or an uptick in your email opt-ins.

They understand the ups and the downs, because they’ve been there, too.

In late 2015, we’ve been focusing on boosting the community elements of Authority, creating more content that’s focused on the real-world successes and challenges of our members. We’re sharing what works, and what doesn’t, in today’s environment.

That means educational content that’s more meaningful and applicable to the situations you face every day. All wrapped in a supportive community that will lend an ear on those tough days we all face from time to time.

What’s the next step?

If you want to join our private community of content marketers, you’ll want to get onto the wait list, so you’re notified about the next enrollment session.

If you want to get smarter, more strategic, and more effective as a content marketer, we’d absolutely love to have you with us.

Join us for:

  • Master classes on key elements of content marketing
  • Q&A “mini consultation” sessions to answer virtually any business question you may have
  • In-depth and ultra-supportive “hot seat”-style Authority Business Coaching calls, where we look at what’s working, and what needs improvement in one member’s business
  • “Behind the Scenes” sessions from community members who have solved the problems you face

And, of course, instant access to our archive of more than 230 hours of marketing advice and strategy.

Click here to learn more and to get connected with Authority.

Test Drive Rainmaker Platform to Get Free Access to More than 230 Hours of Included Training

why a rainmaker could use authority

It’s been almost a year since we launched the Rainmaker Platform, which provides a complete managed website solution for content marketers and digital entrepreneurs. And as is customary for us, we’ve given our absolute best deal to the thousands who have joined us so far.

One of the truly generous aspects of the current offer is including our Authority training community free of charge — a $399 annual cost otherwise. Membership in Authority delivers an astounding amount of value:

  • More than 230 hours of on-demand content marketing education
  • Weekly events like webinars and Q&As hosted by our team of experts
  • An interactive forum for networking and asking questions specific to your work
  • Exclusive discounts on essential tools and live events
  • Discounted access to the Copyblogger Content Marketing Certification Program

So it would be crazy to just give Authority memberships away for free … right? Well, that’s what we’ve been doing for Rainmaker Platform customers.

You might have already guessed that’s not going to be the case any longer. So, if you’ve been considering Rainmaker, you’ll want to give serious consideration to getting started in the next week.

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