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David Meerman Scott interview

The New Rules of Marketing and PR

[00:00:02.240] – Charles Musselwhite
Beautiful. All right, well, as you know, this is Linda and Charles Musselwhite of Musselwhite (Marketing) Consulting, and we have the distinct pleasure and opportunity to talk with David Merman Scott, the author of one of my new now favorite new books, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR“.

And just to give you a little background, I try to challenge myself with reading a chapter a day, which translates into roughly 30, 40 books a year. Yeah, and I had this book on the shelf a little while.

[00:00:33.120] – David Merman Scott
It’s pretty thick.

[00:00:34.440] – Charles Musselwhite
Just because of the sheer size. Exactly. Because I kept putting it off, putting it off, and then I finally read it. And man, the only regret that I have is I waited so long to read it. And not that I can show a lot of it, but in there, I mean, you can see the underlines. This is what I consider to be a reference manual. And I have no financial affiliations with Mr Scott. If you own a small business, if you’re a small office, home office, small to mid-sized business. This, in my opinion, is a must read, should be on your bookshelf and referred to as a reference for what’s going on today in the opportunities provided to small businesses, at least online. So with that, I want to introduce David Merman. Scott. David, hello.

[00:01:17.550] – David Merman Scott
Hey, thanks, Charles. Hey, Linda. It’s great to be here. Thanks a lot for that kind introduction to my book. I mean, it’s gotten pretty thick. You’ll see perhaps behind me if I can show them. There are some of the older editions of the book. It originally came out in 2007. And the addition you have is the fourth edition. So I keep revising it and it seems to get a little bit thicker each time because the strategies are always the same.

The strategies are all about reaching buyers at the moment they’re looking for what you have to offer, not pitching, pitching your products and services, but rather focused on solving problems for the people who have problems that you can solve. And that hasn’t changed since I started writing the book in two thousand five. That’s almost 10 years ago. But what has changed is we have new tools at our disposal. The first edition of the book, Twitter, didn’t even exist yet. Facebook was only for students. And imagine all of the things that we have right now. I mean, Google Plus, I added in the third edition of the book, now we’re into the fourth. The fourth edition has a lot of information about marketing with with images, things like Pinterest and Instagram and things like that. So things change. The book gets thicker. And I appreciate you both reading it and also talking it up. And and here we are on this hangout that couldn’t have even existed just a few years ago exactly.

[00:02:55.980] – Linda Musselwhite
Absolutely. One of the things I couldn’t put it down there was so much great information in there. A lot of things that we talk about as well when we give presentations or workshops. But we were able to use a lot of the information to our audience as well to educate them on you and what you’re telling everyone to do in their business.

[00:03:15.840] – Charles Musselwhite
No copyright violations. We didn’t plagiarize (haha). But I will say the essence and the spirit of the message and you’ve already hit on two of them is the strategies have not changed, but the tactics have there’s there’s a new set of tools in the toolbox. And then how do we use them? I think, you know, initially when social media came to be we were all mesmerized and distracted by the new buttons, the new knobs, the new shiny objects. But I do believe a lot of small businesses have figured out that, holy moly, if I’m not doing this correctly, I can end up wasting a whole lot of time. I can feel like I’m really busy, but I’m not productive. And what I walked away with, I guess foundational to the book is that the tools are there to simply continue to help us reach our goals and the goals for me, if I’m using any one of those platforms primarily is to tell my story, to educate my audience and let them decide, you know, lead generation is done through education and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, you know, it’s not necessarily I need to have a Facebook page for the sake of having a Facebook page. Is my audience there? Will it serve them? Can I use it to help them to get what they want? And in my mind, education is the new sales tactic. I don’t need to ram anything down anyone’s throat if I do my job of explaining what value we bring to the table and how we can be a solution, they can decide to go forward. And that, to me, makes the most sense.

[00:04:44.340] – David Merman Scott
I think that’s right. I think that’s right. I mean, what I’ve noticed is that a lot of people now understand that these social networks are out there and most people, if they’re not already using them, think I probably should use them. But most people begin using them in the wrong way because what they do is they acquire their old kind of marketing and sales strategies to the new tools.

So, in other words, people, business people, entrepreneurs, small business owners have always sort of talked about their products and services. That’s sort of what we did before the Web. And that doesn’t work so well in social networks. You know, people don’t want to hear about what you do when you get on when they get on Twitter. They don’t want to hear about your new product when they get onto Facebook, but they are open to having someone educate them. They are open to having somebody help them solve a problem. And that’s a bit of a leap. It’s almost like they’re turning from a seller of a product or service into a media company, a small, granted small media company. And that’s how I think of it, is you think don’t think of yourself as a promoter of a product or service.

Think of yourself rather as someone who runs a small media company, and your job is to create the sort of content that people will be interested in.

[00:06:10.650] – Linda Musselwhite
That’s a great point. Absolutely.

[00:06:13.560] – Charles Musselwhite
You know, when you talk about the small media company, I often in our workshops now, it seems to be no matter what the the topic is, I keep coming back to video and the fact we’re all walking around with portable television studios in our pockets anymore. And the power of this device is absolutely amazing because I just think about my own behaviors and habits, which may not be what everyone does. But if you give me a long copy website, at best, I’ll read the first paragraph, maybe the first into the next paragraph, and then I scan and then I bounce out. I go somewhere else.

However, more times than not, even if the video is bad, as long as I can hear and understand what’s coming through, I’m bound to click it and at least listen to it. If not, listen and watch it. So, you know, I think that this tool that we’re all walking around with, which absolutely still amazes me when I think about what we can do with it and the power that it has to tell the story and to educate the the potential consumer, just not a businesses using it right now. To me, I think that’s one of the biggest opportunities of out there.

But what is your thought about that?

What is, in your opinion, the biggest opportunity afforded to small office, home office and small to midsize businesses today?

[00:07:26.370] – David Merman Scott
Well, I think you’ve hit on a really important one, because as you as you very eloquently put it, we all have a portable television studio sitting in our pocket. And what I think I think what the reason that people don’t use it so much is because video seems intimidating. You know, anyone who’s ever done video in their company in past years, it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars. You would have had to have bring in multiple cameras and light and makeup and get a studio and all this stuff. And you don’t need the experts to do the editing. And it’s just it was a big, big deal to create video. And now with this little device, we all have the capability of doing it. And and people are very tolerant of video that isn’t perfect quality. I mean, Google Hangouts are great. They’re not perfect quality, though. What we’re creating right now, the three of us has value, but it’s not something that you would broadcast on on on CBS News. But at the same time, it’s still incredibly valuable. So I think people have to sort of get over the fact that it’s not going to be perfect. But if it’s still valuable, then it has a potential to greatly increase your business. I always suggest to people a great way to get started with video is to just do interviews, interview your existing customers and interview potential customers and interview other people in your marketplace. If you go to a trade show, interview people that you run across in the trade show and just take a minute, just grab the video and hold it up, I use my iPhone, just hold it up and do a quick video and maybe edit it a little bit and then stick it on YouTube. I mean, start to finish half an hour or less.

[00:09:29.440] – Charles Musselwhite
Yeah, you know, we’ve we’ve done all of those product reviews, service reviews, centers of influence interviews, I mean, on and on and on one that just jumps out at me. I’ll save the names to protect the innocent. But oh, and another thing I go to, there’s this misnomer that my video has to be viral for it to matter. And that feeds right into the point. We were at a at a conference. We interviewed a person who is a well known individual in this particular platform. I just really threw up a video because I didn’t do a blog post that week and thought this would be a good alternative for it. You know, it filled it filled the need for for what I was trying to accomplish I didn’t think much of it optimized a little bit, put it up and let it run.

Now, about four months later and maybe less than 30 views. So, again, not a very well performing video, but somebody and this will lead to another point. Somebody searched it, found it, watched it and called us because of that video. The conversation thirty days later turned into they hired us to do some work for them. Blew me away. That with thirty views, not viral. It wasn’t this big, over-the-top production thing, but it was exactly what they were looking for. And it focused on what, you know, from HubShout, um HubSpot is the the opportunity for inbound marketing. So someone was searching at that moment and what we put together fulfilled their the requirement, the search and generated a phone call and we became partners.

[00:11:06.880] – David Merman Scott
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I actually use video is a very important part of my own personal marketing because I have three areas where I generate revenue. One, I’m not a consultant, so I don’t do consulting, but I sell books. I mean, I sell my books directly, but I get royalties from the sales of my books. Oh like another Musselwhite. I know making money from royalties. Right. So as you would know from growing up with Charlie, I mean, it’s about royalties. Right? So I make money from royalties. I can’t really do a whole lot to to swing the needle and the number of sales of books. I mean, sure, I can blog, I could do things and sell a few more books. Sure. But it doesn’t bring in a huge amount of money on the margin. But what really does is my speaking gigs and I speak about thirty or forty times around the world, all different places in the world. I’ve spoken in 40 different countries. And my speaking gigs are very lucrative for me. And so one speaking gig is very valuable for me. And I have videos of probably 15 or 20 different speeches that I’ve I’ve delivered. Some are on YouTube, somewhere on Vimeo. And it’s the entire speech. And a lot of people will say, oh, you shouldn’t put your content for free like that. And I say, well, why not? Sure I should, because in my opinion, nobody is going to not hire me to speak because they’re able to see my content for free on the Web. I mean, that doesn’t make any sense to me. And I very, very frequently will get someone to contact me and say, hey, I want you to speak at my conference.

Somebody yesterday reached out and said they want me to speak at their conference in Australia in July. And I’m like yeah cool, let’s make it happen. I don’t know whether we whether we’ll come to an agreement, but these these are people who actually watch the video.

Now, my business is different than other people’s businesses. I know that. But there’s room for video in all businesses, I think there’s room for video. There’s room for text based content. I’m also a fan of delivering text based content. I do Twitter, which is short form text content, and then I also blog, which is longer form text content.And I’m a fan of I’m a fan of images now and then I’ll put out sort of an infographics style image. I don’t do that. I’m not a designer, so I don’t do them myself. So I don’t do that, do them that often because it requires having somebody design it for me.

But I’m a huge fan of photographs, Instagram in particular, I’m a fan of. And that’s you know it’s a great way to share content. Just shoot a photo shoot, send it out and you never know what’s going to happen.

My my best performing photo is one I shot when I sent out in December. I had a chance to go to Antarctica. My wife and I went to Antarctica. I went on an expedition and actually had a speaking gig on the ship. So that was the seventh continent that I’ve spoken on. And and I did a polar plunge. You know, I jumped into the Antarctic waters behind me where icebergs and they captured the image at that precise moment is a fantastic photo of me jumping into the water. And I posted on Facebook a posted on Twitter and some other people then retweeted and reposted and whatnot. It got thousands and thousands of views. And is it going to sell a speaking gig? I don’t know, but it’s an image it got a lot of people to see it, people who know me, some people who don’t know me, and and so those are the three main sorts of content that I think about video images and text based content. There’s other people who do audio that I’m not a big fan of of my I don’t have my own audio podcast. I don’t have my own radio show, although I do frequently participate in other people’s shows.

[00:14:55.320] – Charles Musselwhite
Sure. Yeah. Yeah. You know, to that point, I like what you said about the the sharing of the image. So talking to the other famous Musselwhite, Charlie Musselwhite,

[00:15:04.200] – David Merman Scott
The other famous one

[00:15:07.350] – Charles Musselwhite
Having won his Grammy this year. Yeah. Conversation about that. And it led us down this road where he doesn’t write songs with the expectation that, hey, this one might be the one to win the Grammy, the songs that he feels are from his heart, that are genuine, that reflect who he is. And it seems to resonate with a specific audience.

So I bring that forward to even though I might not be an artist in the sense of that type of music or genre, I still am and see myself as an artist in our business. Yes, we bring a certain set of techniques and strategies and values to business owners who are busy running their business and don’t have time, interest or the the expertise to run the marketing side of things. So but I’ve never sat down and said, you know what, I’m going to we’re going to do this with the intent of winning some award or whatever. Like your picture. Your picture wasn’t meant to drive this book sales, but it gives your audience an insight into you differently. It shares your story in a visual way that they’re never going to get in writing. And it’s just one of those things where it connects to see another dimension in who you are.

[00:16:25.740] – David Merman Scott
Yeah, yeah. I absolutely agree with that. There’s there’s no question about that. And I always look at creation of content exactly the way that Charlie does and the way that a movie producer does or the way that a venture capitalist does. You know, if a venture capitalist wants to have a company go public on the stock market, they have to invest in 30 or 40 companies. They don’t know which one of the ones that they’re going to invest in is the one that’s going to go public. And and it’s the same way with creating content that, like in your case, drives somebody who’s going to become one of your consulting clients, in my case, drives somebody who’s going to invite me to speak at a conference or in the case of any product or service is the is the sort of content that will drive somebody to want to make a purchase down the road. And you don’t know which content that’s going to be. So it’s a matter of creating stuff every single day. And that’s that’s how I do it. You know, I don’t know how many tweets I’ve done ten thousand or whatever number is since I started on Twitter. I know I’ve done one thousand in approximately 50 blog posts since I started blogging in 2004. I probably done maybe two hundred videos. I’m just guessing I probably released on Instagram and Twitter, maybe five hundred photos. I’m just guessing. And all of those pieces of content put together drives a good business for me and drives probably a good business for you in the same way. And and that’s true of anybody.

Today I blogged about a lawyer. His name is Mitch Jackson. He’s located also in California. And Mitch has been blogging and tweeting now for a number of years. And his strategy is he looks at what’s going on in the news and then he writes blog posts to talk about the legal aspects of that thing that’s happening in the news.

And today, for example, he started to write he’s been writing about the Oscar Pistorius case, a legal case which is going on in South Africa. He’s accused of murdering his is either girlfriend or wife. And that’s the sort of story that he’ll comment on. And that drives people into his blog. It drives people into his Twitter. And he’s a lawyer with eighteen thousand Twitter followers. Go figure. Right.

And and so I think that is emblematic of this idea that anybody can do this, because I have a lot of push back from people who say, well, I’m just a, then you can fill in the blank, right? I’m just a lawyer or an insurance agent. I run a restaurant. I have a snowplow business. I I’m a landscaper. I’m a house painter. Whatever the business is, I don’t think I can do this. And I will look at the lawyer. You know, he’s a he’s a lawyer and. And, you know, if anyone should be worried about the legal ramifications of posting blogs, that should be him and he’s off there killing it with his blog and with his tweets driving tons of business, he says he gets now more business and he can handle as a result of doing this, but he does it because it gets him more notoriety and that’s important for his business.

[00:19:47.360] – Charles Musselwhite
Nice. One of our mentors shared with us a while back that success leaves clues. And for those of us listening to this today, clearly that’s another one of those stories where success leaves clues and look at how you can implement that into your own strategy, which I believe is coined as newsjacking, is that right?

[00:20:05.200] – David Merman Scott
I call it newsjacking Exactly. Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your take and your ideas into a breaking news story. [

00:20:14.920] – Charles Musselwhite
And I love that before before I heard it from you. I think there had been some talk about it. Some people call it curating. Some people call it another thing. But when I read it in the way that you explained it, the lights went on for me. And it’s now something that we’ve actually been sharing with other folks about. Yeah. If you if you’re stuck with what to write about, what to talk about find something relevant and current in the news and how you can put your spin on it to make it yours and help your efforts.

[00:20:40.660] – David Merman Scott
And you know that that particular word, newsjacking is a really good example of what we’re talking about. The first time I use the word newsjacking, there were about a hundred Google references to it. And they were there were no important Google references. In other words, somebody might have made a spelling mistake more or somebody might have said the word newsjacking in the context of a of an article that appeared. But they weren’t trying to define it. They weren’t trying to talk about it. In a sense. I’m not I’m not claiming I invented the word because it did exist before I started to use it. But there is virtually no one had ever heard of the word before. And I decided to name a book, Newsjacking. I decided to name a technique newsjacking that the technique of finding out what’s going on in the news and then writing about it in such a way to showcase your expertise, that then gets you more attention. And now there’s thousands and thousands and thousands of people who are talking about it. I don’t know how many how many Google hits there are now, but I checked a couple of weeks ago and there was like almost one hundred thousand hits on Google. And so imagine that you can invent. I mean, again, I didn’t coin a phrase, but imagine you can popularize a phrase that no one had ever heard of before. And all of a sudden thousands of people are talking about it. You’ve got a hundred thousand people, one hundred thousand hits on Google. And then if somebody does Google that phrase now, I think the last time I checked a couple of weeks ago, the first three hits point to me that one is pointing to my my blog. One is pointing to my website. One is pointing to my book. And I think another one might be pointing to my book on Amazon. And so and that has nothing to do with the fact that I that I write about social media. It’s it’s true of anybody. You could have done it. Anybody can do it. You can create something on the Web that becomes so powerful that you get known for it and it drives people into your ecosystem and then you get business as a result.

[00:23:00.330] – Charles Musselwhite
I’m being mindful of the time I could. And as everyone knows, I can talk shop for hours and hours. I just I find the psychology and the mechanics of marketing just extremely interesting. I wish I would have gotten into it so much earlier. Yeah. And I love helping folks to to to to do two things. Number one is get rid of all the minutia and the noise because there’s so much hype and big hair, rockstar garbage, it’s out there. The only reason I share this is because we went down that path to only to to get on the wagon and be recovering from that. And then the other thing is that there seems there.

[00:23:36.710] – David Merman Scott
So you’re a recovering rock star, in other words.

[00:23:39.400] – Linda Musselwhite
Yeah, he had really big hair.

[00:23:42.130] – Charles Musselwhite
Now we’re down to this. Recovering marketing hype person. But the other thing I see is this, is that when we’re giving our workshops, I see I see these small business owners just eat it up because they know they’ve got to do something. And where do they start? And one of the biggest things that we share constantly is we want to move from overwhelm to actionable, because I can give you all the things to go do. But if there’s still a hundred things and you don’t know where to get started or how to get started, we haven’t made any progress. So we focus on what’s the most, best, lowest hanging fruit that you can implement right now today. Take action on and see some results.

And again, folks, I’m telling you that if you don’t have this book, you need to go out and get it. Just read a chapter a day is something as simple as I did before, you know it, I’m telling you, you’ll have dog eared the dog eared the pages and underlined and underlined. And there’s this great stuff in here that should be used as a reference.

[00:24:43.030] – Linda Musselwhite
So I know, like Charles said, we can keep talking, but we know you have some up and coming things and we’d love to hear about it and have you share with everyone.

[00:24:52.540] – David Merman Scott
Yes. So I have a book, actually a new book coming out this week. It’s called Marketing the Moon. I call it the greatest marketing and public relations case study in human history. It explores the idea of how NASA working with the contractors, were able to convince the American public and the American Congress to fund the Apollo moon program. And we interviewed with a coauthor named Richard Jurek. We interviewed more than half of the guys who walked on the surface of the moon for the book. We interviewed public relations people from NASA from the time we interviewed journalists from magazines, newspapers, radio, television, who were active at the time covering the Apollo program. Gene Cernan, who’s the last man to have walked on the surface of the moon, wrote the foreword to the book. And it’s a really interesting throwback. You know, we just we’ve been talking for the last half an hour about modern marketing techniques, using Twitter and an iPhone to shoot video and all these things that literally didn’t exist even just a few years ago. And my latest, and I’m known for this, I’m known as the new rules of marketing PR, the guy who talks about this modern stuff. So for this most recent book, I threw it back. And it’s it’s it’s from from the past. What can we learn from the past that we can apply forward? And in fact, NASA did a lot of content marketing offline, of course, but a lot of content marketing to drive the Apollo program. And then this this idea is resonating with a lot of people. We’ve sold the movie rights to Robert Stone. He’s an Academy Award nominated film filmmaker. He’s had four of his films get premiered at Sundance, and he’s now in the process of working on a film version of the book that will come out several years from now. But it’s it’s pretty exciting to have something that’s completely different. This book is full color, large format, coffee table style, beautiful production. And that’s that’s exciting for me to have. Always exciting to have a new book come out.

[00:27:14.660] – Charles Musselwhite
Absolutely. Very cool. And he comes out today.

[00:27:17.380] – David Merman Scott
This week. It starts shipping from Amazon on Monday.

[00:27:20.770] – Charles Musselwhite
So we’ll have to go back and order our copy in and we do a review on it. It sounds please. It’s a really different book. It’s a real departure. But for marketing and PR geeks, it’s it’s really cool stuff in there.

[00:27:36.610] – Linda Musselwhite
Very nice. Well, we really appreciate your time. We thank you for sharing with us.

[00:27:40.180] – David Merman Scott
My pleasure

[00:27:41.710] – Linda Musselwhite
And we look forward to hearing more about the book, seeing your post in your blog post and on following you, baby, are you going to be doing a guest cameo in the movie?

[00:27:51.580] – David Merman Scott

You know what? It’s well, it’s a nonfiction movie. It’s a documentary. But at the same time, you know, I’d love to I’d love to get my mug in there somehow. And if not, I’m helping the producer out a lot. So I’ll get my name on it somewhere.

[00:28:06.580] – Charles Musselwhite
Very cool. We’ll wish you good luck with that as well.

[00:28:09.970] – David Merman Scott
Well, I was really it was good to speak with you, Linda and Charles, and I really enjoyed it. If you speak with Charlie, please give him my best. We shared the stage in Boston at HubSpot inbound twenty twelve. And there was it was it was fantastic to have he was playing with Cyndi Lauper at the time to have he and Cyndi in there and the band play behind me on the same stage at the same time was something that I’ll always remember. And he was very, very kind to me and shared some thoughts and we chatted for quite a while. So I really appreciate that. So if you see him, please give him my best regards.

[00:28:45.400] – Charles Musselwhite
I’ll pass it along to him. He’s one of those guys where even though he’s my dad in the business that he’s in, it seemed to not go to his head is very approachable he sticks around and talks to everybody. And just the the trifecta at the at the Grammy’s was was of great interest to me because not only was he playing with Ben (Harper), but he had in the doing the introduction. Yeah, it’s just electric. So I talked to him right afterwards and he said he was “way beyond cloud nine“. I can only imagine because we were sitting here watching on TV, we were on cloud nine. Just because he won, it was awesome.

[00:29:17.710] – David Merman Scott
Sure. That’s fantastic.

[00:29:20.020] – Linda Musselwhite
We’ll pass it along for sure.

[00:29:21.370] – Charles Musselwhite

[00:29:21.940] – David Merman Scott
OK, great. Thanks. Take care, guys,

[00:29:24.340] – Charles Musselwhite
And a take care.

[00:29:25.810] – David Merman Scott
OK, thanks.

[00:29:26.910] – Linda Musselwhite
Bye bye.

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