Interview: The Davids of the Business World Rule the Goliaths

David Siteman Garland is a multimedia maven. He educates and inspires fellow entrepreneurs through RISE, his biweekly, entrepreneur-focused television show. Three times a week, David publishes articles and videos geared at helping you build your business. He hosts regular events and workshops. Most recently, he has published a book called Smarter Faster Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business.

Note that David, who seems to be blessed with insatiable energy, built this all from scratch not too long ago. His new book lives up to its name by indeed being fluff-free and non-boring, not to mention practical. I caught up with the ever-enthusiastic David to talk more about his book, as well as glean some tips on being smart, faster, and cheaper–and just plain better–at marketing.

What are three of the main ways anyone can market smarter, faster and cheaper?

#1: Become a media source: The secret sauce is to promote educational, entertaining and inspiring media that you create as opposed to product pushing. It might be a fascinating blog or unique web show centered around a topic you are passionate about. Because content is what spreads. Product and marketing messages don’t.

#2: Focus on building a community: A mistake folks often make is they get the whole idea of creating content, but then spend all their time creating. The key is what you do after you create the content to build a following. It means getting into the social media trenches, meeting people one-on-one, forming relationships with other content creators in your niche (bloggers, etc.). I use the 20/80 rule. 20% of time allotted to create great content. 80% spent marketing, promoting and relationship building.

#3: Taking it offline. The smarter, faster, cheaper approach is all about becoming a resource on a particular subject. A go-to person. That subject might be dogs, mom’s in Missouri or boxing. Often overlooked is building your brand offline. This might be positioning yourself as a speaker or bringing like-minded people together in the “real world” for dinner or drinks. The best online networking happens offline.

What’s the hardest part about creating a successful (smarter/faster/cheaper) campaign? The easiest part?

The hardest point, somewhat ironically, is patience. Things can definitely be done faster. The ability to create content and publish it to the world is super quick. Word of mouth is at lighting speed. But, it takes time to build a following of people who know, like and trust you. Sort of like a weight loss program, you don’t see results right away. But consistent effort, over time, wins.

The easiest part to deal with is cost. Nothing mentioned in the book costs an arm and a leg or just an arm. The cost is time and effort as opposed to big marketing dollars.

You mention old, stuffy marketing/PR methods as being outdated. What’s one method that still works?

Getting into traditional media sources as a quoted expert is still valuable. However, I think the true value comes from once those blurbs or clips are posted online. If you tell folks, “Tune in to the Sunday morning news. I’ll be on talking about kittens!” many folks will probably miss it. But once that links up online, it lives forever and people can tune in later. Traditional media isn’t bad by any respects and you use those shiny “as seen on” logos on your website.

Last year, you made 10 big marketing predictions for 2010. Did they come true?

Great question. I’d say most are definitely coming true as we speak. I should have maybe titled it “10 Big Marketing Predictions For The Next 10 Years” as things sometimes move a bit slowly. But, I was going through that post the other day and could come up with tons of examples that happened over the past year that fits in with many of them. One key trend we are going to see way into the future is the humanization of business. In little and big ways. The story hasn’t changed: We do business with people we know, like and trust…not faceless logos.

Sounds like you’ve been working on this book for about 3 years. What was the hardest part of writing this book?

It has DEFINITELY been a fun work in progress. Over the past three years I’ve spent my time interviewing over 200 of the world’s most creative entrepreneurs and also building my brand using the principles in the book which has taken my web show RISE from 0 to over 100,000 a month in less than two years. The hardest part of writing the book was selecting among all the great stories over the past few years. I wanted the book to not be filled with any fluffy theory, but instead focus on learning and takeaways from people actually walking the walk.

What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from your book?

The key concept I want people to take away is that now the Davids of the business world (no pun intended) have the advantage over the goliaths. You can become a trusted resource and leader as opposed to a sketchy product pusher. The Internet has caused a massive shift in marketing and promoting. Those that jump on it now are going to be VERY happy in the upcoming years and decades.

Official bio: Entrepreneur, mediapreneur, marketer, speaker and author David Siteman Garland is the Founder of The Rise To The Top, The #1 Non-Boring Resource For Building Your Business Smarter, Faster, Cheaper and author of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business (Wiley Publishing). He writes/hosts RISE, a web show for entrepreneurs, forward-thinkers, business owners and marketers, as well as The Rise To The Top TV show on ABC. In less than two years, David has attracted a loyal community of 100,000+ through the power of relationships and without spending a cent on traditional advertising.

Written by Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.