Edible Monstrosity Part III: Where the Pudding Meets the Malformed Cake

This is the third and final installment of Edible Monstrosity. If you haven’t read Part I or Part II yet, check them out first.

When last we saw The Indoctrinatrix, she had two nearly exploded cakes on her hands and a batch of “frosting” made from pudding in the fridge…

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So, I decide to go ahead and assemble the cakes because, even though they weren’t pretty, they were still edible.

At this point, I realized that I don’t own a cake platter. The only thing I can find to put the cake on is an old bar tray with deep, two-inch sides. When I put the first cake on the tray, the sides came right up to the large overhanging muffin top of the cake.

I got out my frosting…

Which I see hasn’t set up at all and is really just chocolate pudding.

I start smearing pudding all over this huge, rounded cake…

But because it’s so thin, I can’t get it to pile up enough to have that really nice layer of frosting in between…

No matter how much pudding I pile on.

After I frost the bottom layer, I placed the top layer on and started frosting that.

But it keeps sliding around on the pudding layer. I can’t get it to hold still, so I search around the kitchen and find some cocktail umbrellas left over from a previous party. I pull the paper off and use the sticks as long toothpicks to hold the top layer to the bottom.

I start frosting the top layer, but by now pudding is just dripping off the sides of cakes that are being held together with deconstructed cocktail umbrellas.

It looks horrible, yet still manages to taste decent. 

I wrap the entire monstrosity in foil and head out the party, where, once we cut into it, discovered that it was super dense, like pound cake but heavier. A 5-pound cake.

Despite the bumps along the way, my first made-from-scratch cake was a success!

So, that’s the story of the edible monstrosity.

What lessons can we take away from this tale?

  • Never give up! Had I kicked in the project at the first sign of trouble (the exploded cakes in the oven), there would have been no end product. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but it served its purpose and made for a great story.
  • When you’re just starting out, and are building experience, be open to creative solutions. I didn’t have a cake platter, so I used a bar tray. My frosting was too thin, so I stripped cocktail umbrellas and made long toothpicks to hold it in place. Again, it wasn’t perfect but it worked.
  • Be open to feedback. I had told this story a dozen times, but it wasn’t until six months later that someone gave me some useful feedback that I incorporate to this day (to cut the tops of the cake off to make a smooth surface. Doing this had never occurred to me before that moment).
  • Even the stealthiest ninja, the best baker, the highest-converting marketer, starts as a novice. Don’t let early frustrations or disappointments stop you. Practice long enough and you will get better.

I kept practicing and eventually created a Bûche de Noël, a traditional French yule log cake that I made from scratch.

Where you start is not always where you’ll end, if you keep practicing.

 

Discover the 5 C’s of Indoctrination and start converting your curious prospects today!

Secret Squirrel, The Quark and the Cornerstone of Your Indoctrination Strategy

Secret Squirrel was a crime fighter

Hanna Barbara created the crime fighter Secret Squirrel in 1965.

Have you ever seen that episode of the Hanna Barbara cartoon Secret Squirrel, where he takes down the Quark? The Quark was a villain who removed the bottom atom of the cornerstones of buildings, causing them to come crashing down.

Chances are good you haven’t seen it, unless you used to watch a lot of Cartoon Network…

But anyway, I was thinking of that episode the other day, and about cornerstones.

Aside from the bottom corner brick of a building…

A cornerstone is an immaterial, essential element upon which something greater is built. A necessary part of the foundation of a thing.

For example:

  • The teachings of Jesus Christ are the cornerstone of the Catholic church…
  • Protecting human rights is the cornerstone of Amnesty International…
  • Providing healthy and natural food products at an affordable price is the cornerstone of Thrive Market.

What’s the Cornerstone of Your Indoctrination Strategy?

In broad terms, it’s your content marketing.

Brian Clark’s site, Copyblogger, defines content marketing as…

“The process of creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell. In other words, you educate people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.” (Bold formatting is mine)

This last part is what we’re concerned with here at Converting the Curious. By educating cold prospects, you indoctrinate them so they know, like and trust you enough to do business with you.

How Do You Educate Cold Prospects?

You indoctrinate cold prospects with website content that answers questions, solves problems and entertains. Let’s take a look at content marketing in the context of the 5 C’s of Indoctrination:

  1. Control the Narrative

Using keywords in your content that answers your prospects’ questions will help you rank higher in organic search, which helps you control the narrative around the kinds of products and services you deal in. It puts you on your prospects’ radar. Many companies don’t do this, so by honing this part of your indoctrination strategy you’re already ahead of the competition.

  1. Confirm Your Claims

Once your prospect is drawn into your website by your first-page search ranking, well-written and researched content that not only lets them get to know you, but that backs up your authority, will quickly move them through the “know, like” part of the process.

  1. Clean Design, Clear Copy

When it’s easy to read and navigate your clearly written and entertaining content, prospects are inclined to stay in your world longer. The longer they hang out, the faster they can know, like and trust you.

  1. Come Out And Say “Hi!”

Give yourself a little leeway to come out and mingle on your site. Write a few posts that talk about your personal experiences that led you to start your business, your opinions on current industry trends, new products you’re coming out with and why… Don’t hold yourself captive on the About page. Come out and mingle!

  1. Capture Contact Information and Continue the Conversation

Extend your personality and soul of your business into your lead magnet and email marketing. Make offers and use language that reflects who you are and what you stand for. Create your own tribe of weirdos or professional or whoever like-minded people you want to do business with.

Creating a cornerstone out of all 5 of these things might be a little much. Consider picking one or two to focus on and sharpen at one time.

Bottom line?

With a content-based indoctrination strategy you can sell to your prospects after you’ve developed a relationship with them, not before. And that’s how you draw people in and create a tribe of raving fans.

 

To get your own FREE 5 C’s of Indoctrination Checklist, go here.