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Content Marketing Lessons from Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney – no matter whether you loved him or hated him – you knew who he was. His wry, witty television essays on almost anything and everything graced the airwaves for three decades. He produced 1,097 in all – a truly amazing feat for anyone. In addition to that, he wrote nu

Following the death of the legendary commentator, his daughter, Emily Rooney, put out some some highlights of her interviews with her father over the years. These interviews and Rooney’s final television essay got me thinking about what an inspiration he is for business owners and content marketing. There are many lessons that business owners can learn from Andy Rooney in terms of their own content marketing efforts.

Here are just a few of the nuggets that have inspired me.

Never Stop Working

Andy Rooney on retirement: “The suggestion is that there’s only a limited amount of work to do in the world. My God, there is endless amount of work to be done in the world and we should all be trying to do it.”

I often hear from people who I talk to about content marketing say, “my business isn’t really all that exciting. I don’t have anything to say.” Maybe not to become as famous as Andy Rooney, but what you do and your business is of interest to someone out there, or else you wouldn’t be in business. As a business owner, you work hard to know your customers, business, products and services, and industry. You probably interact with thousands of people in a given year – people who are in your industry and potentially interested in what you may have to offer. There are probably millions, in fact endless amounts of blog posts and newsletters just waiting to be tapped.

In his final television essay on 60 Minutes, Rooney said: “I’m not retiring. Writers don’t retire and I’ll always be a writer.” Being a business owner is like being a writer, it’s something that never really leaves you, whether you retire or not.

Ideas Are Everywhere

“People ask, ‘where do you get your ideas?’ There is nothing but ideas around me. I see a thousand things around me in this studio I could write a column about. Glasses – there are a million things you can say about the glasses people wear – anything. It’s fun to be able to do that to turn your mind to something and come up with a piece that affects someone.”

As a business owner this should be your aim. Be the Andy Rooney of your industry. Look all around you, at every aspect of your business – tap what you know. You can take a stand or just provide illumination about some new facet of your market or business. You need to be thinking what are my customers looking for, what do they need, and how do I fill that need?

You Can Always Add Something to the Conversation

“People have often told me I said the things they are thinking themselves. I probably haven’t said anything here that you didn’t already know or have already thought. That’s what a writer does. There aren’t too many original thoughts in the world.”

Again, this speaks to the statement: “I don’t have anything original to say,” which we hear frequently. You can always say something that adds to the conversations that are going on around you in your business dealings and your industry. There is always news happening. Comment on it. Let your take on the subject be heard. And, reuse, revisit, and repurpose. Look at something in a different way than someone else has. Use other articles, blog posts, etc. be your springboard to get talking. You probably have a million topics right at your fingertips.


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