Best of 2016: Mint Content year in review + top posts

HAPPY new year from Mint Content

What a year! At Mint Content, we've spent the last 12 months building momentum, growing our team and clients, and figuring out how to serve our customers better than any other Australian content writing agency. 

This year we...

Moved our headquarters from Canberra to Thailand. One of the best decisions we made all year.

Started working with fantastic new clients including ICT Networks, Asura, Virtuelle Group, SignOnSite and MEDeTOURISM.

Co-founded Canberra Business Writers, which is a face-to-face meet-up group for business writers in Canberra.

Hired our first marketing coordinator (welcome Marissa!), dived into Instagram and realised that when it comes to marketing, video is just as important as the written word

Expanded from one lonely, overworked content writer to a team with expertise across bid management, research, journalism, proposal writing and campaign management. Good writers are tough to find, and we're blessed with a small army of them. 

Were featured in national publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Training.com.au

Wrote over half a million words!! 

What our readers loved most  

If there's one thing we learned this year, it's that our readers can't get enough of content about tender response writing, content strategy and resume writing. 

Here are the five most-read posts on Mint Content in 2016:

  1. How to manage a complex tender response without a sales team
  2. Win by losing: How to turn failed business proposals into opportunity
  3. What the longest bridge in Southeast Asia can teach marketers about content strategy
  4. How to write a winning executive summary for a technology proposal
  5. 10 instantly actionable tips for improving your CV or resume

What's next in 2017?

Mint Content is almost 18 months old. We're young, hungry and ready to add value in ways that other content writing agencies can't. 

In 2017, we're eyeing bigger fish. We're offering more intuitive, simplified content development packages. And we're expanding our services to include content strategy development, workshops and online training. 

We're back in the office on Monday 2 January 2017. Thanks for your business and support in 2016, and have a happy New Year! 

See you in 2017,
Amy and the Mint Content team

10 quick thoughts on developing a content mindset

dog has a content mindset

James, our business development lead, is what Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle would call an ideas man. He's a big thinker. And a big reader. If you've connected with James on LinkedIn, you've probably seen several updates about his latest obsessions: content mindset, branding and persuasion. 

We've compiled some of James' best LinkedIn posts relevant to content marketing, and listed them below. Want more regular esoteric content mindset updates? Connect with James on LinkedIn.

Over to James...

You can't call yourself a strategist until you recognise patterns, predict the future and take risks that pay off. Until then, you're a historian.... Which is also fine.

***

Content does two things. 1. It's the body of work that shows the world who you are and what you can do. 2. It's the force multiplier for number one.

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The bad news: no one uses rationality as the lens to view the world or make decisions. The good news: no one uses rationality as the lens to view the world or make decisions. Learn influence skills. Practice public speaking and presentation skills. Learn sales.

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The future is this: people want to know YOU. No more posturing, no more fake-ness. The future belongs to those who are fully three-dimensional online. Authentic. Those who say what they think, are transparent and have conversations that everyone can gain value from.

***

You put the work in 'brick by brick' (creating content, delivering services, working by the hour, etc) to build your brand. But once your brand is built, then the world of scale is now within reach: developing product and the wonderful world of recurring revenue streams.

What is product? Your own intellectual property. Your IP is all your unique insights based on the knowledge and feedback you acquired in the 'brick by brick' stage. How do you build products? Target your IP to the market. Test it. Make sure it fits. Then sell it.

***

In the world of content marketing, momentum and output are 100 times more important than perfection. Especially in the early stages of brand development. Get the ideas out there. Iterate and improve. Few understand this.

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Every piece of content you create builds momentum. It also builds a more complete picture of who you are and what you're about.

***

Why do you want to speak at industry events? Just turn on your webcam and speak directly to the people! No microphone? No viewers or platform yet? Who cares? Gotta start somewhere. Launch crappy and iterate from there. Distribute through social media - LinkedIn, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter. Whatever! Far better approach to start cranking out content than waiting for perfection. Just do it, and course correct along the way.

***

Think of your brand like you think of assets. Just as real as physical assets from which you derive value. Example: your house. Houses protect from stormy weather. Your brand protects your reputation from damage. Your brand is just as real as symbolic assets like the 1's and 0's in a stock portfolio, or the money in your bank account.

Don't let your brand wither on the branch. Don't let it become a dilapidated house. Invest! Like any asset, if you invest properly, your brand becomes collateral for bigger investments. More growth. Higher returns.

***

Control the narrative about yourself or your company and you'll impose your will on reality. "But how do I control the narrative?" You create your brand. "But how do I create my brand?" You create excellent content. Then you keep creating it.

***

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Mint Content summer reading list 2017

pineapples float in swimming pool

We don’t know about you, but for us, the summer holidays can’t come soon enough! We are eagerly awaiting the carb fest that is Christmas, followed by the slow ho-hum of holiday life.

Being the dedicated, passionate workers that we are (modest too!), though, we will be using this time to brush up on our stellar marketing and content writing skills.

In the event that you’d like to do the same, we’ve compiled the ultimate summer reading list just for YOU.

Marketing managers, copywriters, creatives and small business take note: these books will help you supercharge your marketing efforts in 2017.

*Caution: read with a notebook handy. These babies will have you strategising like a boss.   

1. 22 Immutable Laws of Branding - Al Reis

Hands down, one of the best branding books we’ve read of late. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding is the definitive text on branding, pairing anecdotes about some of the best brands in the world, like Rolex, Volvo, and Heineken. This book proclaims that the only way to stand out in today's marketplace is to build your product or service into a brand and we couldn’t agree more.

When to read it: Before the onslaught of Christmas shopping. You’ll view your favourite brands in a whole new light!

2. 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing - Al Reis

This juggernaut of a book does for marketing what it’s predecessor did for branding. Insightful and full of relevant concepts, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing will have you questioning your current efforts and applying new theories at an alarming rate.  

When to read it: AFTER you’ve read 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. By the end of these two, you will be a marketing and branding ninja, ready to smash your 2017 marketing goals!

3. The Art of the Deal - Donald Trump

Ok, ok don’t hate us. We’re not rednecks. However, the man knows a thing or two about business and he actually DOES have [*gulp*] very interesting insights worth reading.

Learn how the almighty Trump runs his organisation and how he runs his life—as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and challenges conventional thinking.

When to read it: When you’re feeling badass.

4. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott

"A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." -- Los Angeles Times

This is an excellent book for anyone, but particularly enjoyable for the aspiring writer. Philosophical and insightful, we vote it a must read!

When to read it: When you are pondering the meaning of life

5. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Robert Cialdini

Turn those ‘no’s’ into ‘yes’s’ and school yourself in the art of influence. You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them.

A game changer for anyone and everyone.

When to read it: When family and in-laws start driving you insane!

6. Launch - Jeff Walker

Launch will build your business---fast. Whether you’ve already got a business or you’re itching to start one, this is a recipe for getting more traction.

As much as we’d like to believe household names such as Apple were overnight success stories, the truth is, they aren’t. Learn how to propel your product and get ahead of your competition.

When to read it: Before you execute your plan to take over the world! Perhaps with a cocktail in hand?

7. Ogilvy on Advertising - David Ogilvy

We’re going to give it to you straight, if you have anything to do with advertising, YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK. Originally published in 1985, Ogilvy’s insights into the world of advertising are still current and often, genius.

When to read it: Before you ask the big cheese to increase your advertising budget for 2017!

8. Scientific Advertising - Claude Hopkins

Looking for the best way to market your product? Start with this stellar book. Hopkins cleverly breaks down the process to get (and measure!) results from your advertising. He shows how to write copy, provides methods for testing it and shows how evidence based advertising gets results.

When to read it: When your brain is functioning at full capacity, perhaps not New Year's Day!

9. Show your Work: 10 Ways to Share your Creativity and Get Discovered - Austin Kleon

Show Your Work! is about letting others into your creative processes, and letting them steal from you. Why? As author Austin Kleon explains, getting your brand or work known takes more than just networking. Becoming findable matters too. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories and examples, Show Your Work! Offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave and productive.

When to read it: By the pool on Boxing Day.

10. The One Sentence Persuasion Course - Blair Warrens

This wise book will teach you how to make an impact, influence and persuade those around you using just one sentence. It sounds like fluff but we assure you it isn’t. We’re all for working smarter not harder.

When to read it: Ahead of an important meeting.

And on that note, we wish you a productive, educational Christmas & New Years.

We will be closed from 22nd December to 2nd January. For January bookings, please email hello@mintcontent.com.au