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Declan Dunn
Entrepreneur, online educator, and gonzo community developer
Entrepreneur, online educator, and gonzo community developer

Declan's posts

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The content battle for attention, and trust; without attention, no one knows you. Without trust, no one returns.

The Culture Sculpture podcast "origin story", building organic community through content and trust.

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As the nutty aroma of my first cappucino enveloped my senses, I walked into Florence, Italy for the first time - eyes wide open, shaking from the coffee and witnessing the wild breeze.

Remember the first time you visited a place where every sight, sound, and action seemed so special?

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As usual, it begins with the headline, not the usual headline.

If content marketing is all about the headline, then why are so many using marketing speak or boring headlines?

Because for many years, we've been taught to create content to show ads around. So you either write content, or you write an ad, there's no middle ground.

 The term "Attention Conversion" came to me 5 years ago, when I was studying how Moms on social media interact. The first point of conversion wasn't a sale, it was simply getting, and retaining, their attention.

But there is a "middle" way today, it's the headline, the main reason anyone takes action, or reads what you are sharing.

 On social media, the only relationship in the beginning is your headline and their super fast, 9 seconds or less attention span.

 To stop that flow, you've got to arouse curiosity and invite the reader into the narrative, the who.

Here's a few example from the leaders, with a few lessons I've learned along the way.

Forget "You", use "I".

While there are a few exceptions, the use of the first person is where you can state an opinion, and introduce yourself to the reader.

Tell a story, it's the narrative the brings attention. Save "you" for your web site and conversions later on, when they know you. This one's from Buzzfeed:

I’m An Adjunct Who Also Works In A Grocery Store

I can’t make a living as an adjunct professor, so I got a job at a grocery store in my town. A tale of trying to be middle class in today’s America.

Imagine a combination of Outbrain’s syndicated content, native advertising landing pages that adhere to rules, and affiliates who manage this multi-step process. This often includes opt in emails, search positioning, media buying, and content development on behalf of affiliates.

It’s already being done in the Native Advertising market, and while some affiliates do this, the whole mode will develop another level of creative, with multiple levels (and these are the rare kinds of affiliates you won’t punish with attribution, because this affiliate marketing, content model is based on repeat visits, not one time visits.

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Getting Primal With Your Tribe:

Start with the End in Mind

You are providing a solution to their problem; that is why you need to fully understand the results they are looking for in the beginning.

You can do so many things today to research the problem; look at competitor’s sites (and if you say you have no competition, stop lying to yourself…if there’s no competition, there’s no market!) and read the glowing reviews people say about their products.

Read the words they use, the triggers that show the problem being solved. Go to and research books related to your market, to the problem you are solving.

Read the 4 star reviews sharing what people love, and also read the 1 star reviews, showing what the author missed. These negative reviews show you much more about the primal nature of the problem according to your customer, and are usually simple.

Integrate all this knowledge into your product/service BEFORE you develop it, and you’ll be able to unleash the primal force of your market, your tribe.

What questions do you have about the primal forces of your business, and of yourself as an entrepreneur?

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10 minutes till Hangout - Getting Started, you can watch it here on YouTube
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