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Getting Your Message Out with L&T’s Oliver Cox

March 4, 2020

Committed. Creative. Collaborative.

Oliver Cox is the Business Development Manager of L&T.

L&T is a marketing and digital agency specializing in content creation and digital strategies through data-analytics to deliver growth.

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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.

In with us right now, we've got Oliver Cox, Oliver, you are the digital strategy lead at L and T. an acronym company. Thank you so much for joining us.

Really, really good to be with you. Thanks so much for having me on.

And what does L&T do? I mean, we met at the Inc 5000 conference. And and so obviously you're doing something right and what is that something?

Well, listen, this is a pretty complex question to answer, but I'd say there are really four headings here. We are listeners, we listened very intently to our clients to find out what their message is. We believe that the medium is the message, which is to say that there are very the question of the right medium with which to tell a story is very important one, we are publishers wish to say that we work with our clients to help them get their ideas and vision out on regular basis through writing, design, etc. And we're also in the business of helping our clients to find their audience. So how do we communicate that message? How do we find ways to locate that audience and get that get those ideas out there?

So it sounds very holistic. So if if I were your client, what what's kind of the journey that I go through? First, I hear about l&t I hear you can solve my problems because right now, I don't know that we have great messaging. What do we do?

Really good question. So thank you.

Good. Yes. Yeah. I only asked good questions, Oliver.

Questions 100%. Well,

so, there are a few sort of questions again, that we would ask of you. One would be to say, Who do you want to talk to? Who are the people that matter to you? And then we can make some assumptions. We can learn about those people and figure out what the information, what is the information they need? What do they need to know? What are they looking for? How can you help them by telling you a story? Then, the question is, what is your vision? What are the ideas that you have that nobody else has? And you mentioned the Inc 5000. This is really interesting because all these Inc 5000 companies, they've built really interesting, unique technology supply chain consumer companies, in fields that people really couldn't imagine existing previously, every single year, people are inventing new fields, that outlining visions that nobody thought could exist, right. So we'd l&t would say, you know, you founded this company, you knew something that nobody else knew, understood something that nobody else knew. What is it? How can we pass that down and express it?

Okay, cool. So, um, so let's say that it's me, since I have the genius here who's doing a lot of this work. And so our mission for example, is to me we our belief is that everybody has a message of compassion. impact the world like and so that sounds really vague in general. But how do we actually do that? Well, you know, I believe that, you know, in order for you, I mean, visibility is everything, exposure is everything. And authority is the currency that drives so much commerce today, because consumers have never been more skeptical. So our job is kind of, you know, check all those box, you know, really do some very tactical things for our clients, whether it's media visibility, whether it's, you know, connecting with influencers, or, you know, when that consumers doing their due diligence, you know, they're like, wow, who is this Josh Elledge guy, and so they do a Google search on me, they check me out on social they, you know, look for indicators of authority before they invest any more time with me. I mean, I guess that's kind of the reality. But, so if I were working with lnt, then what would we do with that like, that's our intention. And I guess audience selection, I think if I'm thinking about, you know, your kind of your pillars of work, you know, that's probably where we need to be a little bit more focused. Well, howdy. How do you work out audience selection?

That's a simple, it's very complex, and it's especially complex these days. But all but I'll give you one example. Yeah. So let's say that we are working in technology. And we're talking about hardware. We're talking about a company that builds tech hardware for we don't have to be more specific than that. The question then is, what are the informational needs of the audience that they want to speak to? So let's say that Prime audience is people that want to find vendors to build some form of smart home system. So what are what do engineers that are building smart home systems need to know? What is the information they need to help them do their jobs better every day. In many spaces, this information is scant. It's hard to find. And then we could say, interviewed a client, really understand their expertise of having worked in this space. And then just write about it. Write about all the facts, the data, the trends that they know about. And what you can do there is kind of power up the informational needs that we establish for the audience as we understand them, with the knowledge of the client. Then step two would be what is working on all of the writing and publishing that we've done that we then Hopefully ranks on Google we shared on social media, what works, what actually connects with the audience what actually brings them in? So the audience selection is this sort of organic process, wherein we see about establishing their needs. Meet them as much as we can, by publishing and sharing information on a regular basis.

or do something. I don't know if you can hear that, but somebody fell over and we were just there was a child. Okay, go.

It's falling over, man, it happens.

And then I'll leave a space if you want to do it. No,

no, we go, it's okay. Kids over it's a part of life. Okay. So it was all over as I understand it, then. So you do a lot of research, identify the audience identify the problem, and then from a content marketing stamp or a content strategy standpoint. You then want to produce content that is going to pull in that ideal audience. Is that right? And so that's what lnt is it that's in terms of like the services rendered?

Was? Yes, absolutely. That's one of the things that we do 100%.

So that so that sounds like Why? Why content? Why does that do a better job than just more and more ads?

So you put it very well, when you when you explained it from your perspective. So who is Josh? Well, an ad can say, maybe one thing, then you can talk to an audience of your adventury get some ideas out that but what if I really, really want to dig deep into your vision Josh, as a person? What if I want to find out more about the way you think? What if I want to test out in detail, the the sort of underlying understanding that you have of your space and the market that you work in. And so if you really want to do that, the fundamental currency here is the written word. Because that's really how you can express these things in detail at a high level and with sufficient granularity in terms of specifying the details, and this too, we can then move into things like longer form materials, white papers, ebooks, yeah, long form digital stories,

is is this for L&T is this this is all written Is that right?

We it

somewhat. So, you've got the main element of this, which is brand publishing, so it's regular publishing. And the sort of fundamental of part of that is the written word. We Can we then build experiences around this? Yeah. So for example, as part of a lot of brand publishing strategies that we do, we insert graphics, graphs, perfect illustrations. Then on on the converse, we refer example work with a lot of companies on branding. So a lot of companies come to us, they've been very successful, but they feel like they need or they could present themselves online and generally, in a way that fits better with what they have to offer and their vision. So we can do all of the graphic design work, the thinking the work with messaging, to create a new brand and build it, design sites, build sites, test them, everything of that nature.

Most most of people coming in coming In through your front door, on the, I guess on the matrix of they need more quantity versus they need more quality in terms of their content, are you would you say that most people are kind of missing the quality side of that and they're just pumping out stuff that's really not doing much for them.

This is a really interesting one. And there there are, I would say a few scenarios that happen here. A very common scenario is that leadership in a company decides that they want to do publishing or they want to do content. And they do it. They write, takes the much, much, much too much time and they give up. And so for them, the problem is not quality, its scale. Sometimes the people that we work with have worked with freelancers Who they probably didn't give enough time attention to, they may be scaled it up, but never quite got the quality never quite got the listening factor. You know, freelance writer can get the content out there. But it's a challenge to really listen and spend enough time with the subject matter experts to create stuff that's really really valuable and kind of rings true as visionary, visionary content. So that's one thing, you know, they've they've, they've, they've they've published, they've got the scale, but it doesn't quite make it. Then the third sort of scenario is people who have experimented with this kind of thing. Maybe they don't have a strategy, maybe they do have a strategy. But what they need is very careful thinking and strategic thinking. Thinking in the way that I described earlier where I talked about thinking about the audience of finding the audience, establishing that audiences informational needs, and then matching that up with, with publishing. Some people just publish because they know that they need to, that might work. But it will work 10 times faster if it's strategic, if that makes sense.

How important is repurposing or you know, if you did this philosophy, where you create one piece of pillar content, and then you look at you like, Guys, come on, this is like, you know, 20 this is like 20 social media pieces, you could create audio around this great video around this, like, this is great original content. You know, based on this one article, I mean, we got enough material here to keep several divisions of your company busy for the next week is is that the kind of thing you recommend?


And what I would say is it The the value add or the value multiplier here is not necessarily efficiency. What I wouldn't say this the repurposing as a source is a source of efficiency here. I wouldn't think of it that way. I think of repurposing as being a source of fine finding additional ways to help people connect with those ideas. Because people are completely overwhelmed by all of the information that is coming towards them online every day. If you say something valuable, it makes no sense just to have that exist in one format. For example, if you write just like you said, an excellent blog post, why should that just be a blog post and not several social media posts? Well, that's probably a very good idea to do. Because people use the internet in different ways people seek information on Different ways. And you may have written that article for the person that is seeking it and searching for it. Conversely, there may be somebody on LinkedIn, for example, that doesn't know that that's what you get. So if you change if you take that article and make it for the basis of a slideshow video, or social graphic, and you've you've had the chance to, to to, to help it help that person find it.

So, Oliver, I'm on your website, and the website is LandT.Co. And so I'm looking at the logos of clients that you work with and I'm seeing logos for the United Nations, Lenovo, Baxter, USC, Columbia University, Deloitte, I mean, these are some pieces of big companies. How do you get how do you land clients like that? What's your secret?

Um, I would say there are there are a few elements here. One is what you do, you're in the process of building a strategy. And, you know, I, this is my title and strategy person, I'm a strategy leader. There are thousands of companies that do writing, or maybe hundreds, but probably thousands, many, many that do ads, many, many that do both of these things, many, many design companies, and a business like organization like a United Nations or like some blue chip technology company, they have the pick of all of these businesses to work with. So my recommendation would be you have to Really, really wisdom a an organization. That is, let's say, you bring it back to being 5000. And then 5000 company, that growing fast, they have a novel approach or novel technology. You have to listen. You have to really, really listen to them when they explain what makes that business work, when they explain how they talk about that business, how they express that vision to the people that matter. And you have to really work to build a marketing approach that is completely unique to their needs. And you have to build something that they know that they could not find elsewhere. And so, but in this company where we're not, you know, publicists, we're not a huge Jeff, where we're fairly new, but what I would say, allows us to do really good work with some of the names that you mentioned. Is that listening factor, really taking a step back, allowing ourselves the time giving them the time to full understanding that you just can't access? You know, no, no one size fits all, no out of the box solutions. You really have to give yourself the time. Stop talking for a moment and listen,

you know, I'm fascinated and I wonder who does a lot of your sales outreach, you know, and what that conversation is, is it? Hey, Deloitte, we'd like to come in and listen to you for a bit. Obviously, you've got you know, you're probably going in and and in trying to get them to identify their problem and that is that their content is is not Bringing them value that got that asked, that has to be a really common problem. I've heard that a lie. We're spending all this money into content. I don't even know if it's really making us money. I would imagine that's probably you, you probably can help them figure that out really quick and and then maybe help turn that around and say, let's solve this. Let's because, you know, right now, you're just dumping all this money into this. It's not doing any good. Let's Let's be a little bit more strategic about it sounds like that might be your, your USP.

It's it's one of them. It's one of them. And the content side of this is such a challenge because I don't know, maybe four or five years ago, the content is king mean, came out. And I think a lot of people sort of got on that bandwagon, and the Because, you know, kind of wrong, true and make sense to them without really having a very good strategy behind it both to orient how they publish, but also to measure the effectiveness of the strategy. So now, there are a few companies out here that are running strategies like this, but have no way to benchmark them and figure out what's effective and why. And absolutely, that's something that we can do. We can come in and say, what's working up? Is this generating new leads? Is this moving your sales conversations forward? If not, why not? If so, what about the stories that you're telling works? And how can we replicate it and scale it and do it in different areas? Now?

So I would imagine it looks like you work primarily with enterprise level clients. And so

what I would say Just to be clear, yeah. We we love to work with enterprise level clients. We work with a lot of medium businesses, a lot of those in 5000 style privately held businesses. We work with startup companies, for very fast growing companies, especially tech companies, artificial intelligence companies. Yeah. Sorry, I cut you off there, but I don't know. That's great. Make sure we're on the same page.

Yeah, for sure. And what I mean, what does engagement look like? Like how does that just trying to figure out, you know, again, lnt is going through a lot of growth, obviously themselves. So I you know, you're doing great. Obviously, you're doing some things, right.

Yeah, so an engagement with us. Like, as I mentioned before, on some level, everything has to be custom. The way we engage on some level is custom for every client. But the the fundamentals of a relationship with us are one We want to form a long term partnership to we want to take as much of the work that you are currently doing in terms of marketing writing off your plate, and do as much of that busy work as we can. And we want to liaise with you as frequently unknown, as high level as possible to get your ideas to get your vision, get a feeling. And then what that means is that essentially, we work with our clients we commit to delivering for them publishing cadence, a cadence of writing ongoing ad campaigns, or maybe we're committing to on a monthly basis and

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