Why Is Content So Important?

Brand Storytelling Quote

This past October 2017, I had the great honor and privilege of being interviewed by the CEO of NewsmodoRakhal Ebeli for their Brand Storytelling podcast. Throughout the course of our conversation, we spoke about my work in the fields of branding, content development, and education. In addition, we also discussed the importance of bridging the gap between brands, communities, and culture.

I was first introduced to the work of Newsmodo and Rakhal Ebeli after listening to their interview with Julian Mitchell on the topic of, “What Does “Content” Actually Mean?” After listening to this interview, I was inspired to compose a quick write-up on LinkedIn. My written piece was aimed at addressing the importance of building stories around the history of our products and services. As Julian mentioned in his interview with Rakhal, “The best brands in the world aren’t the companies or the products. It’s the spirit that represents the brand! Nike is a great brand that people purchase because it represents the spirit of any athlete that aspires to excellence.”

Here is my exact post:

 

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A few days after posting this article and sharing my thoughts, I connected with Katherine Auchterlonie who is the Digital Marketing Manager at Newsmodo. About one month later, after learning more about one another’s work, I received a message from Katherine asking me if I would be interested in joining Newsmodo as a guest on their Brand Storytelling podcast. Of course I said yes. More importantly, a key thing worth mentioning here goes as follows:

Due to this, I want to stress the importance of staying strong and true to the messages we believe in and subscribe to. For years I have been creating and developing content. Although my content may not get many eyeballs…yet, I take the eyeballs that my work does garner very seriously. The content I do have allows people from all areas of life to identify a touchpoint which they may be able to resonate with. This is why creating content is so important when it comes to building relationships and creating opportunities for ourselves and others. Every time we publish an article, podcast, video, etc…it’s an opportunity to either positively or negatively impact someone else’s life. I personally choose the former. As a result, my content is a reflection of my brand, character, personality, mission, and vision.

There are always experiences and stories we can share and tell. Those who decide to do so are usually those who end up creating an impact on the lives of others. This is my mission. I discuss this mission in further detail with Rakhal throughout the span of our 18 minute conversation. This conversation is being broadcasted from my home in New Brunswick, NJ and his workplace in Australia.

In this interview, I discuss my work with Behind The Hustle, Driven Society, and We LOVE Hub City. I also discuss my admiration for Gary Vaynerchuk and the importance of building brand one interaction at a time. In addition, I share how and when I was first introduced to Fast Company magazine and why I’m inspired by brands such as H&M, Ikea, Warby Parker, and TOMS. Lastly, I share how curating and remixing culture will continue to allow us to form more meaningful and impactful relationships throughout the course of the future.

– Enjoy!!!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking brand strategist, curator, and educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development and social impact. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Behind The Hustle, Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about bridging the gap and building value between brands, communities, and culture. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

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What Is Our Definition of Work?

Earlier this evening, after checking my notifications on Twitter, I decided to check out the profile of someone I recently interacted with after she tweeted a quote by a women named Myleik Teele. The quote that she tweeted courtesy of Myleik stated the following, “You can’t be on year 2 expecting 10 year results.”

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Screenshot via Twitter.

Interestingly enough, I interviewed Myleik for behindthehustle.com back in 2015 for one of our “3 Lessons Learned” articles. In other words, I know her hustle! Speaking of hustle, I also know that when I share a common interest and philosophy with someone else, the least I can do is check out their profile to see what it is they do for work. In this case, I decided to check out the profile of @Reality_Check5. After checking out her profile and seeing that she is the DC Membership Manager for Women of Color in Communications, I decided to check out her company’s Twitter handle, @ColorCommntwk. It was here that I saw the following tweet to an article by Kayla Matthews via Inc. magazine about research saying that “40 hours Is Too Long Of A Work Week.” This really caught my attention and interest.

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Screenshot via Twitter.

As a result of this tweet, I was compelled to reply that our view and perspective of “work” will often determine whether or not we feel as though 40 hours is too long of a work week. I believe that when we do what we love, we’re more committed and devoted toward living and working with a greater sense of purpose. Thus, the energy that we are fueled with through passion and purpose will allow us to put in the adequate amount of hours required to achieve our goals. Most of the time, this will far exceed 40 hours!

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Screenshot via Twitter.

This thought is essentially what led me to the following question, “Are we really working too long…or maybe, are we really working too wrong?”

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Photo via Twitter.

What Is Our Definition of Work?

Are we allowing our “work” to occupy our time or optimize our time? Are we working towards meaning, significance, and purpose or towards making ends meet? Let’s take the money out of the equation and ask ourselves, “Why are we working?” More importantly, why are we working 40 hours? What are we working 40 hours on? Would we be doing what we are doing if we were not paid to do it?

After a while, I believe that there comes a point and time where we must truly assess what we are doing and why. As Michael Jr. Comedy once said, “When we know our why, our what has more impact because we are walking in or towards our purpose.” This is often what differentiates those of us who live life on purpose from those of us who unfortunately fall into the dangerous time warp of society. Let’s ask ourselves, “How might we discover our purpose?” As a result, I’m sure this will eventually help to alleviate the pain of both working extra long and extra wrong.

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

The Story Behind: #WeLOVEHubCity!

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Preface!

On July 19, 2015, I asked myself the following question, “Where can we create a global community for those who express an interest in changing the world?” As big and futuristic of an idea as this may sound, please allow me to express how we can begin to manifest our ideal thoughts into ideal actions. Here are the two magic words, “START LOCAL.”

On Saturday May 28, 2016 at 4:18 am, I recorded a voice memo detailing my ideas and thoughts on the impact and importance of starting local. This came after sending an email over to Anand Patel. Anand happens to be the co-owner of Hidden Grounds Coffee, a local business here in New Brunswick, NJ.

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In October of 2013, I interviewed Anand for behindthehustle.com. We sat down to discuss both the hardships and successes that come with opening up a new business. Since then, I have made an effort to stay informed of what’s going on at Hidden Grounds.

The email that I sent to Anand was in reference to 365 by Whole Foods, “Friends of 365” program. This is an entrepreneurial move aimed to incorporate a sense of localized, independent, and creative entrepreneurial spirit by installing third-party vendors inside of its 365 by Whole Foods stores. A few minutes after I sent this email, I had an instant epiphany…”START LOCAL.”

Why Start Local? Proximity Matters!

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On January 2, 2016, I posted a video of Bryan Stevenson’s 2015 Zeitgeist Minds talk. Here he discussed the importance of being proximate to the problems in our world. “Proximity teaches us things that we cannot learn from a distance” Stevenson says. “When we get proximate to problems, we see things and hear nuances and details that we cannot see from a distance. In order to solve problems and create breakthroughs, we must get very close and inside of the problems that we intend to solve.” Starting local enables us to foster closer and more intimate relationships in the communities which we serve.

I Thought To Myself!

“With so many local businesses, companies, organizations, and schools here in the City of New Brunswick, how can I leverage my talents in an effort to add value to my local community at large?”

Naturally, my first instinct was to go to social media. I went straight to Twitter and Instagram to search for local businesses, companies, and organizations in the New Brunswick area. For some reason, I decided to check out New Brunswick’s Hyatt Hotel on Twitter.

@HyattNewBruns (517 Followers)

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After viewing their profile, I immediately thought to myself, “Why does the Hyatt only have 517 followers?” I was then curious to see how much of a brand presence our city government and school district had on their social media profiles as well.

@CityofNewBruns (4,311 Followers)

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@nbpschools (268 followers)

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Seeing these numbers were highly intriguing! Not only did I begin to see a trend, more importantly, I began to see an opportunity. According to U.S. Census data, the City of New Brunswick’s population is roughly around 57,000 residents. If this is the case, I asked myself the following question: “How might our local businesses, government agencies, and schools do a better job in regards to engaging with our community?”

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Living In The City!

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As a graduate of Rutgers University, a resident in the City of New Brunswick, and a substitute teacher throughout New Brunswick Public Schools, I feel as though I am extremely proximate to the diverse culture and lifestyle New Brunswick has to offer. However, along with the great potential of our city will come challenges. One immediate challenge that I have observed over the years, is a lack of awareness when it comes to business, community, education, and government initiatives. In a city with roughly around 57,000 residents, how might we do a better job in regards to reaching and engaging with our community?

The Power of Social Media!

In an age where both digital and social media presence move the world, I believe that our online platforms are the single most important places for businesses, communities, schools, and government agencies to connect and meet at scale. This leads me to my BIG ESSENTIAL question:

How might we leverage digital and social media platforms to bridge the gap between business, community culture, education, and government?

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Introducing: The #WeLOVEHubCity Initiative! 

The #WeLOVEHubCity initiative is a solution to our problem. This initiative is essentially the culmination of the last 5 years of my life. Since graduating from Rutgers University in May of 2011, I have worked on numerous community service initiatives as a City Year Corps member while living in Miami, FL. While in Miami, I also spent my “free” time working as a field marketing rep for Cornerstone Agency. I owe it to Cornerstone for introducing me to the world of branding, entertainment marketing, and promotion. When I returned back to New Jersey in late 2012, I began to work for New Brunswick Public Schools as a Substitute Teacher.

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The combination of all of these unique experiences is ultimately what I feel enabled me to develop the #WeLOVEHubCity initiative. My love for culture, community, education, entertainment, and leadership are just a few things that I feel fuel me with the passion to pursue an initiative of this capacity. Through digital and social media curation, our mission is to bridge the gap between business, community culture, education, and government in the City of New Brunswick, NJ.

Where Might We Begin?

Through promoting the usage of the #WeLOVEHubCity hashtag to our businesses, community organizations, government agencies, and schools throughout the city, we are proactively encouraging digital conversation and dialogue on all social media platforms. In turn, this will help to endorse healthy engagement, the exchange of ideas, and the increase in brand awareness for the entire City of New Brunswick. When we curate content generated through the usage of the #WeLOVEHubCity hashtag, we will then share it across all of our @WeLOVEHubCity social media accounts.

Where Might This Lead Us?

Our @WeLOVEHubCity social media accounts will serve as “digital hubs” for the intersection between business, community culture, education, and government initiatives throughout the City of New Brunswick. Imagine a digital community center that serves as the hub of Hub City. Imagine a place where we are proud to share the accomplishments, best practices, and talents in business, community culture, education, and government. It’s a huge win for everyone involved. When we are able to pull together as a collective for the City of New Brunswick, we will also begin to economically thrive across all sectors. This will serve as an inspiration for other cities throughout the State of New Jersey and across the nation!

Collaboration + Partnership!

If you love what you hear, we would love for you to hop on board in some capacity. We understand that collaboration and partnership is essential to the healthy development and execution of ideas. We also know that we have a long way to go and thus will need the full support of the New Brunswick community at large. We would love to begin talks to discuss partnering with the following community leaders:

  • New Brunswick Public Schools
  • The City of New Brunswick
  • Rutgers University
  • Community organizations
  • Local businesses

Interested in saying hello? Shoot us a note at hi@welovehubcity.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Oh…we almost forgot. Please, spread the word and follow us on social:

Website: welovehubcity.com
Facebook: @welovehubcity
Instagram: @welovehubcity
Twitter: @welovehubcity

Cheers!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

7 Days of Wisdom (Episode 25)

7 Days of Wisdom is an original weekly video series presented by A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group and hosted by Aquaus Kelley. Our mission is to foster growth and create a community of success and significance. Through sharing meaningful advice, knowledge, and insight gathered throughout our daily experiences, we aim to empower, encourage, and inspire our community to achieve their most passionate aspirations.

In This Weeks Episode We Discuss:

  1. Systems (3:15)
  2. Paying Attention (7:45)
  3. Follow The Leader (13:00)
  4. Indifference (16:27)
  5. Quotes of The Week (25:28)

This Weeks Resources Include:

  1. Embracing Our Strengths: Marie Forleo

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

Entrepreneurship + Innovation: Troy Carter

We originally came across the amazing work of Chris Denson and his podcast, “Innovation Crush” through our work with Behind The Hustle. Chris has interviewed the creator of Behind The Hustle, Kenny Mac on his Tastemakers and Influence episode as well as our guy Anthony Demby of HumbleRIOT on his Consciousness of Cool episode. This time around, Chris makes time to sit down with one of our favorite movers and shakers in the entertainment and technology space. He happens to go by the name of Troy Carter.

As the founder of Atom Factory, Troy has an A-1 resume. Not only was he responsible for managing Lady Gaga throughout the height of her career. He is also an investor in superstar companies such as Spotify, Warby Parker, and Uber just to name a few. In this episode of Innovation Crush, Chris chats with Troy about the importance of using our common sense, being tough, opening doors, and caring about the consumer.

Here are 5 tips we learned from Troy Carter on entrepreneurship and innovation:

1. Use Common Sense: 

When Troy was asked what he looks for in regards to potential business opportunities, he mentions, “First and foremost, I’m a consumer. I ask myself, would I listen to this? Would I understand why people would want to listen to this? Would I buy this? Would I understand why people would want to buy this? I didn’t go to business school or anything like that. My analytics is just through common sense. I can listen to an idea and break it down to it’s simplest form. From there, it’s just a matter of whether or not I would write a check.”

2. Be Tough 

“You have to be a tough founder in order to challenge and compete with incumbents” says Troy. “We look for leaders with tenacity, wherewithal, and strong teams. No one is born an entrepreneur. It’s something that we develop over a period of time. Our grit is a result of the difficult experiences we deal with in our daily lives. This toughens up our muscles in both our stomach and spirit to help us get through the tough times.”

3. Open Doors

Troy mentions, “It’s important for me to create a pathway toward success for kids who come from where I come from. It was people like Russell Simmons, Reginald Lewis, and Puff who I modeled myself after. I looked at them and told myself that if they can do it, I can do it. They all helped to pave the way for me. In return, I’m just looking to blast open the door for 100’s of thousands of kids.”

“I was recently told that some investors didn’t invest in our fund because they thought that we were only going to focus on minority founders” says Troy. “This blew my mind and caused me to ask myself, who said a black guy can’t build a billion-dollar company? Based off of this conversation solely, now I feel obligated to open up doors and give minority entrepreneurs a chance. There are multi-billion dollar opportunities out there. Lets find them and lets get it!”

4. Care About The Consumer

“If you’re still building your business around carbonated beverages, you are in trouble” says Troy. “It’s no coincidence that the soda category started to erode when the information age hit. When people can read and see a direct correlation between health issues and ingredients, they are going to make smarter decisions. As a result, they will eventually gravitate toward the products and services that are in their best interest.”

5. Judge People By Their Intent

When Troy asked the CEO of Sony Music, Doug Morris how he handles executive talent, Doug told Troy, “Judge people by their intent. When people make a mistake, look at their intent in that decision. If it was intended to be beneficial to the company, let them make that mistake and learn from that mistake as long as it wasn’t malicious.”

What does innovation mean to Troy Carter?

“It means living around the corner. Be there before everyone else gets there. See what happens before everyone else sees it.” – Troy Carter

Thanks to Chris Denson, this article also appears as a guest post in Inc.com as the “5 Uncommon Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs to Win Big.”

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

How To Build Meaningful Relationships (Via Behind The Hustle)

It’s no secret that networking plays a very essential role when working to advance in the career of your choice. No matter the field you pursue, most likely you will have to master the art of interacting. Here, we offer … Continue reading

What is Behind The Hustle?

To answer this question, “Behind The Hustle” is an awesome initiative that I am super happy to have come across earlier today. It is a project designed by Creative Contraband and I actually came across it thanks to the likes of another creatively driven and forward thinking movement, Broccoli City.

All of these companies represent the culture and lifestyle that I am so proud to be apart of when it comes to art, education, entertainment, fashion, health, music, social issues, and empowering the youth.

If you’re like me, you will definitely appreciate this video!!!

– Aquaus Kelley