'The 5am Club': Best content strategy ever, or utter rubbish?

Another five minutes is allowed, surely?  (image by Lina Kivaka)

Another five minutes is allowed, surely? (image by Lina Kivaka)

Best-selling author Robin Sharma, of The 5am Club fame, has built what would appear at first glance, to be a robust digital content strategy around his popular personal development book. Readers are constantly signposted to Sharma’s e- resources throughout The 5am Club, encouraged to join his online communities, download resources and incorporate visits to his website into their daily routines.    

The issue with Sharma’s content is not a lack of volume or the absence of an integrated digital strategy that includes a range of original social media posts, podcast appearances and partnerships that help him stay front-of-mind, for very specific example. The issue, in my opinion, is the lack of depth within the core product, The 5am Club book itself, that renders the aforementioned spin-offs largely useless among most resourceful adults, to be perfectly blunt.    

Most working on the ‘frontline’ of finance (not a real frontline with guns, more of a ‘first world’ one dotted with Pret bags and too many computer monitors in some cases) already possess the traits of high achievers! They wake-up about 5am already, well before the markets open, so does it really matter what time they fit all of their personal development activities in, amongst a heavy workload? If your name is Robin Sharma, who advocates getting up at this hour as the most superior route to success in all areas of life, your answer may well be ‘yes’,      

For those who aren’t familiar with The 5am Club, the book centres around a concept he developed “over twenty years ago, based on a revolutionary morning routine”. His ‘revolutionary routine’ consists of simply getting-up just before 5am so you have more time to get stuff done. Oh, and you should probably meditate and exercise first-thing too.  

Paulo Coelho this ain’t, folks! Sharma’s attempt to fill over 300 pages with a sufficiently-complex secret formula to satiate the curiosity of the poor, unsuspecting book-buying public (myself included), will no doubt fall flat for most - unless you’re about eight years old. Reading through the patronising, cliche-ridden fairy tale with increasing speed, it seems like Sharma wanted to recreate the paired-down, effortless impact of The Alchemist but didn’t include enough substance this time around.

Whether you’re a Sharma fan or not, the importance of taking the time to develop quality content that will provide the necessary cut-through can never be overlooked, even in the face of a large marketing budget and PR that sells you millions. Do it right the first time and hopefully your tribe will keep coming back for more, as opposed to wondering why on Earth they bothered then writing a ranty blog about their disappointment (for very specific example)!