You’re gonna need a bigger boat

February 28, 2022 10:17 pm

As a film buff, I believe there are many valuable life lessons to be learned from the world of cinema. At the risk of biting off more than I can chew, I’d like to share one. It’s a lesson from Steven Spielberg’s 1975 hit, Jaws.

When Sheriff Brody (played by Roy Scheider) gets his first look at the giant shark his team is hunting, he’s shocked. He tells grizzled shark-hunter Quint (Robert Shaw), completely deadpan, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

The lesson? You need the right tools for the job, and in the right quantity.

Here at Collective Content, we often have clients come to us with an end goal in mind. They want a 30-second video, or a two-page info sheet, or a 600-word blog. That’s great. It really does help the discussion if the client has a goal in mind. And, of course, we can deliver any of those things. But sometimes, we’ve got to say it: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

An essential part of our process is reviewing the request, asking questions about how the finished asset is to be used, the tone of voice, what details must be included and so on. It’s during this consultation process that we sometimes find the scale of the work needs to change.

Changing boats

Recently, we were in conversation with a client about writing a blog post for his company. As the basis of that post, he was talking me through a 38-slide presentation on the topic. It was clear he really knew his stuff, and that a 600-word blog post was barely going to scratch the surface of this subject. We suggested to his marketing director that we create an ebook on the subject, and an introductory blog post that could be used on the company site and teased in social media to drive traffic to the ebook. We also proposed a blog focused on a key topic from the presentation to keep up our client’s regular blogging schedule while the ebook was being prepared. They thought it was a great idea.

The benefit here was that they already had a great resource that their subject matter expert had prepared and presented. What we proposed was a way to get more value out of that resource.

“Ah, the classic upsell,” you might be thinking. Fair enough. But we’ll also tell you when you need a smaller boat, if that’s the better choice.

In another case, a client asked for a lengthy ebook, but, after discussion, it became clear they wanted to use the asset at the top of the funnel to generate awareness and start discussions with potential clients. Our suggestion was to start with a shorter asset, focused on key points of their offering as a way to generate leads. Sometimes a smaller boat will get you where you need to go.

A huge advantage of working with Collective Content is that we can help you assess if what you’re asking for is really what you need. We’re great at taking direction, but you’ll also get expert advice that can help you make better decisions and get more value from the resources you invest.

So, before you weigh anchor, make sure you’re in the right boat. We’ll be happy to discuss that with you.

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