In this 2nd installment of our “Celebrating Craftsmanship” series, we sat down with Chef Vincent Nattress of the Orchard Kitchen to chat about the connection between craftsmanship and cooking.
Here are lessons we learned from Vincent about craftsmanship and cooking that we can apply to content marketing:
Craftsmanship Isn’t Discussed Enough
In Vincent’s experience with cooking, he thinks that craftsmanship isn’t discussed enough. We have always believed that the same thought applies to content marketing, content creation and web site development.
A phenomenon of the digital marketing age is the overnight minting of experts (yes, gurus) on the basis of a few good blog posts.
However, true craftsmanship implies years of experience during which craftsmanship is honed through a pursuit of knowledge and through perfection in technique.
We approach content marketing as an art and a craft, and here’s some additional thoughts we have about that!
Craftsmanship Requires a Deep Understanding of the Ingredients
What we love about Vincent’s discussion of his cooking craft is his focus on the need for a deep understanding of the ingredients, the component parts.
In our interview with Vincent he equates the deep understanding of the ingredients in cooking to learning the fundamentals of a language in order to speak it, to write it.
Again, it’s easy to draw an analogy to content marketing.
Producing “true” content marketing requires an in depth knowledge of a full range of ingredients that fall under the broader headings of Content Strategy, Content Creation and Marketing Technology.
And like ingredients in cooking can lead to many different dishes, the ingredients of content marketing can be assembled into an endless variety of solutions and approaches.
“‘Voila!’ I’ve Created Something, Just Doesn’t Happen'”
Vincent’s true nature as an artistic craftsman is revealed when he describes that making a new dish that is a thing of beauty “just doesn’t happen.” It’s a process of adding to, and taking away, until it’s just right.
In content marketing, the same is true, as studies and experience have shown that the best content in content marketing happens over time, iteratively, until you get it “just right.”
There’s A Right Time to Pick That Carrot
Vincent talks about having the sensitivity, after years of experience with the ingredients, to know the right time to go “pick that carrot.”
His point is that only through experience do you have the best ability to know when to use the right ingredient, at the right time, to get the most out of that ingredient.
We see this come up over, and over and over again in content marketing when people ask “should we blog,” “should we do a newsletter,” “do we need an infographic,” and so on.
Only through experience with many content “ingredients” combined with strategic planning can the answers to these content marketing questions be found.