I’ve been excited to post this for 43 days.
Yes, exactly 43 days.
That’s how long it’s been since I watched series 2, episode 1 of BBC’s Sherlock and discovered we both have something pretty neat in common with the infamous John Watson in that adaptation.
John Watson is a content marketer.
And I don’t mean this in the way that I’ve said Cher is a content marketer or Cardi B is a content marketer or Lil Nas X is a content marketer.
John Watson LITERALLY uses content to market and get customers for a business.
Successfully, at that!
So today we’re going to break that down a little bit.
(And not just because in addition to it being 45 days since I started series 2 of the show, it’s been 38 since I’ve finished all the episodes, and am reaching points of withdrawal. 🙃)
How Sherlock finds cases (customers)
Before we dive into this, I have to admit I’m not familiar with most Sherlock Holmes media (yet! excited to enjoy them all now).
I think I’ve seen the RDJ movie, maybe 2 episodes of the Lucy Liu show, I watched Enola Holmes when it came out, and now this.
So I have to admit that I have no idea which parts of this are similar or different to other Sherlock adaptations.
But in this version, when Sherlock and Watson first meet, Watson’s recently come back from war and his therapist suggests writing through his trauma.
And because it’s 2010, that means a blog. 😝
Over time, as Watson begins working with Sherlock on cases, the blog about his life pivots to a blog about his work (hey, that sounds familiar 😉).
It’s shown or briefly mentioned here and there in series 1, but never in depth.
But then in series 2, episode 1, the blog finally comes up in conversation:
(Here’s my original Twitter thread about this)
Sherlock, the lovable condescending snob that he is, snarkily asks if anyone actually reads Watson’s blog.
He’s annoyed that Watson’s working on the blog “instead of” their work together at the moment (that misconception of his could absolutely be a whole separate discussion for another day lol).
And Detective Lestrade chimes in with a “gotcha” moment, saying, “where do you think your clients come from?”
WHOOP, THERE IT IS.
Not only was Watson creating content around Sherlock’s detective consultancy, it was successfully generating customers for them.
Tbh that’s more than a lot of content marketers can say!
The Lesson John Watson’s Blogging
Now, I would have told you about this even if there was no concrete marketing lesson in it all.
It’s funny and nerdy and related to content marketing, and that’s is the Brittany Berger brand. 💁🏻♀️
But there IS a concrete lesson for you later in that scene.
(Seriously, if you haven’t watched this show yet, it’s on Netflix and sosososososo good.)
Once Sherlock has realized that Watson talks about him and his work on the blog, he checks it out. The ego on that one. 🤣
And when he does, he’s unimpressed.
In his opinion, the content doesn’t talk about his “best” work or the “best” cases he’s solved.
It even talks about cases that weren’t solved!
How would that help get customers?! 🤔
Because, Watson explains, he’s telling interesting stories.
He focuses on blogging about the cases with the most interesting circumstances around them. With interesting discoveries, twists, and turns along the way.
Telling potential clients those stories ends up showing them Sherlock’s investigative process.
It’s behind-the-scenes content taking them through the journey of working with Sherlock on a case.
That’s the content that’s getting them clients, even if the journey’s destination isn’t always successfully solving the case.
As Nora Ephron said, “everything is copy.”
These days, everything is content.
Anything is a potential story you can tell in your marketing.
But the most effective stories, the most impactful stories, aren’t always the ones you think.
For example, most customer interviews and stories businesses tell are “success stories.” That’s the kind Sherlock wanted Watson to tell.
But those aren’t the ONLY kind, and sometimes aren’t even the best kind.
Stories like the ones Watson focused on, those with unique twists, turns, and discoveries along the way, might be the unexpected kind your prospect needs to see.
So go off, live your life, bingewatch Sherlock, and come back to your audience and customers with new stories to tell. ✌️