7Minute Interview with Sparring Mind’s Gregory Ciotti

7Minute Interview with Sparring Mind’s Gregory Ciotti

Gregory Ciotti

Gregory Ciotti

Greg is one of those bloggers you will find all over the web dropping psychology marketing on avid readers.

Besides his site, Sparring Mind, he’s written for SEOMOZ, Social Media Examiner, Help Scout, and a bunch others.

I actually used one of his Killer Posts against him to get this quick interview with him. Bwhahaha! It’s about Cold-emailing.

So let’s get right into Greg’s head:

Interview with Gregory Ciotti

1) You are a Marketing guru for blogs/websites. Can anyone benefit from having a blog whether you are a student, job-seeker, a businessmen etc., or is it only most useful for building a business from it?

Specifically, I head up content strategy at Help Scout ,with is a B2B software startup, which is an area where content is sort of a “no brainer” to implement.

As for most others, I would answer with a resounding *Yes*, as building a personal brand has been so important for me and many others.

In fact, I’ve never applied for a job as a “content guy”, those jobs found me through the personal brand I had built with my website.

I’ve seen many aspiring filmmakers, musicians, writers and other aspiring talented folk get noticed and “picked up” through their presence online, so yes, showcasing your knowledge and improvement in your industry is so critical for many people, yet few utilize the web to this potential.

2) We love talking about Personal Brand here, so glad you brought that up. Going with that, you talk about the importance of social proof for your blog, do you think it’s important to build social proof with your own personal brand? If yes, why is that important?

I would say social proof is one of the MOST important things, and I’ll still one of my favorite lines as emphasize it (from Game of Thrones): “Power resides where men think it resides.”

That’s not to say that you should be a phony, but it speaks to the importance of other people believing that you are capable of doing what you KNOW you are capable of doing, and social proof gives you that benefit of the doubt.

In a marketing sense, I always tell bloggers to hide subscriber numbers and share counts until they get established: people don’t want to be apart of a ghost town, even if it’s filled with great content! (Stupid I know, but that’s how our brains work).

3) Nice quoting “Game of Thrones!” Can you do that on Command? That’s badass. Anyway, in a short time, you built up your rep around the Internet. You got posts on tons of sites as I mentioned above. What’s your secret? How’d you break-out there so fast?

The “secret” is to just do things that get results: guest blogging isn’t even the most optimal strategy, but I knew it was working so I kept at it.

Later on I would see the power in getting more natural features (like my syndicated content on Lifehacker), but in the beginning, the most important thing is breaking through that slow start that every site goes through, and that’s more about work ethic than anything else.

It’s also important to NOT always listen to advice, but to reverse-engineer what successful people are doing; that is, you should do as they *do*, and not as they say.

4) Instead of wanting to be known as just the standard “Mr. Marketing,” you want to be seen as the expert in the “Psychology of Marketing”. Why do you focus on the psychology of it?

I only focus on psychology because I love it! 🙂

In fact, Sparring Mind may see a shift more towards being about psychology + influence rather than focusing on blogging, because although I love blogging, I like doing it more than I like talking about it.

The important thing to keep in mind is that all sites need a “twist”, picking a popular topic is actually a GOOD thing rather than a bad thing (you don’t want to be alone out there), but your site needs to stand out with some sort of cool element that most others sites do not implement.

5) Very nice. It’s about finding that Unique Selling Proposition. Great! We’ll be tackling some of that in the 1st Podcast Episode. Now, a networking question. How important has cold-emailing busy, influential people been to your success? Should we regularly reach out to influential people to build a relationship and learn?

I’ve been emailing busy people for most of my time online, and this goes back to that thing I mentioned above:

I noticed that all of the “big guys” in many industries are always well connected, few people get well known by going it alone.

Connections are probably one of the most important things to achieving success in all aspects of life, so I just try to reach out to one new person every other day without anything in mind, just to get to know a little more about them.

I encourage everyone to do the same! 🙂

*Bonus question: You know I have to squeeze in another question. I could go on all day, but Bonus: What’s your future plans for your site and business? Write a book? Teach? TV Show?

Writing a book (an actual, physical book) is always something that I’ve wanted to do, but hey, you’ve got to have a little mystery in every business, so I can’t say much more than that. 😉

I will say that you’ll be seeing more of me on my personal site, which I plan to start writing for at the end of this year.

Thanks a bunch for dropping your knowledge on us, I will definitely be looking out for that book and definitely continue checking on the Sparring Mind. If you get a TV show, make sure it’s before 7pm, because that’s when we watch “Big Bang Theory” in our house. Agreed? Great!

Be sure to Drop a Line to Gregory in the Comments, or go to his website or Twitter to visit his pages of knowledge.

Subscribe below for even more Great Content and exciting stuff to come from the 7Minute Entrepreneur. The first podcast has been recorded and will be sent out soon JUST to Subscribers, so get up on that!

About the Interviewee: Hi, I’m Greg! I’m a content strategist that loves working with startups. My passion is combining psychological research + content marketing, and forcing them to play nice together. Download my free e-book on ‘Conversion Psychology’ for 10 more great studies.

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