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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Why Fall In Love With Our Fears?

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Photo via Lewis Howes.

When we listened to the 478th episode of Lewis Howes’ “School of Greatness” podcast earlier this morning with Kyle Cease, we were completely blown away with the amount of valuable insight we gained in just 1 hour and 28 minutes. With a new book slated to release on Tuesday May 2, 2017 entitled, “I Hope I Screw This Up”, Kyle made time to sit down with Lewis and dive deep into the topics of creativity, fear, happiness, and love.

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Photo via Kyle Cease.

Fall In Love With Not Knowing!

Do our goals allow us to attain our happiness or does our happiness allow us to attain our goals? We often live in an illusion that, “When something happens, I’ll be happy” says Kyle. However, when we think like this, what we are actually saying is, “We are in lack without having whatever it is we feel will make us happy.” As a result, we become attached to the people and things we think we want and thus end up losing.

On the contrary, when we love us enough, we will attract all of which we deem to be desirable. When we try less, we allow more. When we’re happy, great things happen. We don’t always have to know how to do something or when to do it. When we fall in love with not knowing, we move freely from our heart and create our own definition of perfection.

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Photo via Lewis Howes.

Fall In Love With Our Fears!

“Our fear isn’t of what it is we are about to do. Our fear is of choosing what it is we are about to do” says Kyle. When we step into an opportunity, our fear goes away. Whenever we’re scared to let go of something, the only reason is because our mind can measure what we will lose yet cannot see what we will gain. The more excited we become, the more we can achieve. “When we’re in a good mood, we can make anything work” says Kyle.

In addition, Kyle also mentions, “Our fear doesn’t bother us, it’s the resistance to our fear that does. Everything that we are scared of losing is going to have to be taken away from us to make room for who we really are. The universe takes from us everything that we are scared we are going to lose to show us that we are enough without it. If we have to justify why we are keeping something, we have to let go of it.”

In addition to the the full interview with Kyle Cease and Lewis Howes above, below are our favorite highlights and takeaways:

  • When we think that when something happens we’ll be happy, we’re actually saying that we are in lack without that thing. (11:44)
  • We can’t see how much money we’re losing by staying in a job we hate. (20:20)
  • Whenever we’re scared to let go of something, the only reason is because our mind can measure what we will lose yet cannot see what we will gain. (22:29)
  • The universe takes from us everything that we are scared we are going to lose to show us that we are enough without it. (30:22)
  • No one has ever broken our heart but they have broken our expectations. By breaking our expectations, they helped us to become closer to our heart. (33:36)
  • Disconnect from the collective consciousness of the victim mentality of the world. (39:08)
  • If we have to justify why we are keeping something, we have to let go of it. (45:47)
  • We pick and choose our signs sometimes to justify why we aren’t leaping. (1:04:59)
  • Being lost makes space for new innovation. (1:09:55)
  • When we’re free, we’ll have clarity. (1:10:26)

Lastly, let’s ask ourselves, “What lessons can we learn from our lows? What’s trying to emerge from what we fear of letting go? Feel free to mention and tag us on social. We would love to hear your answers!

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A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is a brand development agency that specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. With an emphasis on culture and lifestyle, the primary focus of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is to help companies adapt to culture and build value between brands and their consumers centered around love. Our social mission is to leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership. We are driven by AMBITION, fueled by PASSION, inspired by INNOVATION, and suckers for STRATEGY!

The Power of Curated Content (C-Study)

Wendy Clark

Photo Courtesy of Daniel Dorsa.

Earlier yesterday morning, while I was waiting at the L.A. Fitness in South Plainfield, NJ, I decided to optimize my time and catch up on the July/August issue of Fast Company magazine. As I was perusing through the pages, I came across an article on page 16 entitled, “Selling Change.” This article was written by Nikita Richardson and features the CEO of DDB Worldwide North America, Wendy Clark.

For those of you who may not be familiar, Clark happens to be named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People.” When asked the question, “Who would be on her list of most creative people?” she replied, “Students. When you spend time with them, you’re blown away by their creativity. They have such great ideas.” said Clark.

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Photo Courtesy of Adweek.

After reading this article, I was immediately intrigued by Clarks statement regarding the creativity of students. Being that I have worked with students in schools in both Miami, FL and New Brunswick, NJ for 5 years now, I know exactly what she means. We can learn so much from observing and engaging with our students in our school systems throughout the country and globally. As I’m in the process of building my tribe and establishing “A Lovers Ambition” as a movement, my background in education plays an instrumental role in regards to everything that I do day in and day out.

Whenever I identify with a piece of content that speaks to me (article, video, podcast, etc), I immediately think of the best way to share it with my audience. Recently, a strategy which I find to be quite valuable happens to be that of curation.

W h y  C u r a t i o n ?

Back in May of 2016, we ran an experimental campaign for a few content pieces we curated pertaining to Blavity’s #EmpowerHER 2016 conference in NYC. Our top tweet for the month of May just happened to be the tweet shown below.

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Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 1.07.31 PMWhy was this our top tweet? We crafted this particular tweet based on an article that we read on blavity.com. This article featured Feminista Jones, one of the speakers at the conference. After a good read and some quick research, we were able to create and develop a nice piece of copy (“aka” a tweet) which incorporated the following key elements:

  1. An intriguing “lead” question.
  2. The name of the source in which the article originated from: @Blavity.
  3. The name of the interviewee who was featured: @FeministaJones.
  4. The hashtag which was relevant to their upcoming event: #EmpowerHer.
  5. The bit.ly link to their article.

The combination of all of these elements is what led us to receive 9 profile clicks, 10 retweets, 18 likes, and 128 link clicks. In regards to our results, we would say that we were pretty successful. Although our numbers are fairly small, our experiment did allow us to build some brand awareness for A Lovers Ambition. In fact, we did fairly well considering that we had a lot less than 100 followers at the time.

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When we are able to effectively curate content that we both identify and resonate with, we are able to gain ground in multiple ways. In our opinion, one of the best ways to curate content is to curate content that is shareable. What we mean by this is to include everyone who is involved in the original creation of the piece of content which is being curated (original source, interviewee, writer, photographer, etc).

Here is an example of how we utilized twitter as a social media platform to create a social storyline for Wendy Clark’s article in Fast Company magazine:

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Each person involved in the original piece of content serves as a touch point for potential engagement and interaction (likes, replies, retweets, shares, etc). When we are able to engage and interact with others via common interests, we are then able to build relationships, create opportunities, and exchange value. Essentially, it’s a win win for everyone involved. We believe this to be the essence of effectively utilizing social media in an effort to engage and interact with others. This ladies and gentlemen, is what we LOVE the most about being social!

If you’re interested in hearing more, here’s a recorded audio version of “The Power of Curated Content.”

 

– Enjoy!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Social Storyteller. 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 Leadership Principles: Michael Hyatt

This morning I was listening to the latest episode of Michael Hyatt and Michele Cushatt’s, “This Is Your Life” podcast. As I was listening, they drilled down on a handful of leadership principles and theories that I began to fall highly in favor of. Here are a few points worth highlighting:

1. Seek Significance:

If we have a dream that is significant, it takes a team. If our dream doesn’t require a team, then we’re not thinking or dreaming big enough.

2. Trade Safety For Extraordinary: 

Playing it safe never translates to extraordinary leadership. Risk on the other hand gives us great opportunity for extraordinary leadership if we know how to make the most of our opportunities.

3. Be Whole Apart From Our Role:

Our position is a role, not an identity. When we look for a position to complete us or to give us an identity or significance, we are already setting ourselves up to be unsatisfied. It’s important for us to know that we are whole apart from our “role.” 

4. Practice Self-Leadership:

Self-leadership precedes team leadership. We don’t have the right or the ability to lead others until we can lead ourselves. 

5. Create Happiness:

Happy employees make for happy customers. Happy customers make for happy investors. Happy investors make for happy CEO’s.

6. Sharpen Our Saw:

We have to take care of ourselves by making our emotional, spiritual, and physical health a priority. We must sharpen our saw and develop the skills that we need prior to fulfilling our dream position. The world is in need of better leaders who are purposed to be one.

Be sure to check out Michael’s newest book, “Living Forward” to begin living a life of passion, purpose, and intention!

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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.