Overdeliver In A Content Marketing Agency

Overpromise and Overdeliver

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For the last 10+ years, my background is in project management. As PM’s our trained mantra has been: underpromise, overdeliver. This phrase is thrown around all over the place by all kinds of people, but to me, that is the word of the PM gods. For a content marketing agency not to overdeliver, would be sacrilege.

The folks who we’ve been lucky enough to employ here at NCM are incredibly hardworking and don’t shy from hard work, long hours, and tough situations. So when I say ‘guys, we need to do the right thing and do this for our client’ nobody bats an eye. Rather, they jump in, delegate and disperse responsibilities, follow up, and get it done… All while being the coolest, most down to earth and fun group of folks a CEO can ask for…

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Sounds easier said than done right? It absolutely 100% fucking is.

The amount of work it takes to get a seemingly simple lead magnet together is as such:

How to Put Together an Effective Lead Magnet

Certainly not a shitty lead magnet either…this has to provide value to strangers who don’t give a shit about you. It must WOW, it must DAZZLE, it must be BETTER than all the other crappy shit out there.

  1. Research, Research, Research. Our minimum source count for a 10-page lead magnet is 10. If you can’t find 10 sources to back up every claim, it’s not proven. Go back to the drawing table.
    • Estimated Time To Complete: 2~4 hours depending on the complexity of the subject.
  2. Write the damn thing. But you can’t just start from page one, you have to:
    • Outline the topics
    • Write the body
    • Write the intro and conclusion (we always write these last)
    • Link everything
    • Estimated Time to complete: 1~2 days depending on the complexity and length of the project
      Done! Awesome, what’s next:
    • Edit.
    • Ensure language is written at the 8th-grade level
    • Ensure keywords and topics are being addressed
    • Ensure grammar is perfect
    • Ensure information is accurate and complete
  3. Design something that you’d actually want to read. Definitely not some POS hard-to-read amateur-hour looking pdf. This takes a couple tries.
    • Estimated time to Complete: 1~2 Days easy.
    • You’ve got to design and add supporting graphs and charts
    • You’ve got to add photos and visuals to keep reader interest high
    • You’ve got to make everything look good
    • You’ve got to WOW me, b/c I’m a picky ass MF.
    • Estimated Time To Complete: At least 2 days after you count my revision requests
  4. Create collateral. You want this fucking thing seen, so ads need to be created in various sizes for various means of distribution.
    • Write ad copy…and it better have lots of copywriting tactics included!
    • Design the ad and various orientations and sizes
    • Create ad trackers and performance pixels
    • Pop the ads into place and watch metrics
    • Estimated Time to Complete: 1 hour (give or take)
  5. I should be done right? Nope. Now that it’s live, it’s got to have some campaigns designed for both paid and organic means, so add another 5~7 steps.

You get the point– Creating this one thing to our client sites will take roughly a week. My team jumps right in to make it happen.

Do we owe this to our clients as part of our deliverables?


Do we do it anyway?



Because it’s the right thing to do esp. If you have clients with limited resources.

Times this effort across generating lead magnets, to custom social assets for every single post on every single platform, to creating additional slideshow videos and bonus infographics… all across 30 clients.

Not cheap, but again, it’s what’s going to help our clients give the most value to their readers and their potential customers.

SO THIS IS OUR LIFE: Overdeliver Always

We’ve been doing this. We’ll continue to do this.

I just came back from the amazing Genius Network mastermind hosted by Joe Polish. I had no idea the great Tony Robbins was going to be there.

The Tony Robbins session started off with the typical request about the advice on life and business. What would move the needle, and what would push you to succeed more than competitors.

What Tony said was surprising, to say the least.

The best content marketing agency in the world overdeliver always

His whole theme is that you have to be a giver, not a taker in order to gain the edge. Don’t be obsessed with taking more money, taking in more sales, taking taking taking. This extends to the personal side of life (but who cares about that).

He talked about one of his realtor clients who was just starting out, wide-eyed and bushy tailed. He sought Tony for advice during a time when there was a strike in the waste department of his neighborhood. He advised the young realtor to remove the trash from his district.

The Pro Bono Garbage Man That Could

The guy did it. He just went around removing trash.

And when you take someone’s trash amidst a trash strike, people start to antsy. People found out he was doing it and offered to pay him for his service.

When he consulted Tony about the opportunity to take in some cash, he advised against it. He said: “Trust me, just make it about the gesture. Tell them you’re a realtor, this is your district, you care about the way it looks, and it’s the right thing to do.”

This was his life, removing trash from people’s sidewalks for no charge for weeks… He simply did the neighborhood a service.

People remembered this. When the time came to buy/sell real estate, guess who they called?

Tony went on to explain that he is now a multimillionaire, and of course one of the top realtors in the area.

The Moral of the Story

Be obsessed with the delivery. Overdeliver. Do twice the work that your competitors would do.

This was amazing validation to hear. We’re doing something right. We’re spearheading the ‘content marketing as a service’ space. Nobody can do what we do b/c what we do is a shit ton of high-quality work, constant communication and feedback, and lots of quality checks.

I’ve got a new mantra now that I think about it… Instead of “underpromise, overdeliver” our new mantra is to “promise realistic outcomes, and overdeliver like a pro-bono garbageman.”

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