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Do You Want to Be Loud, or Do You Want to Be Heard?

Let me set the scene. You’re at a crowded party, having a good time, when all of the sudden a guy walks in. You can’t not see him — he’s dressed in bright clothes, has a painfully trendy haircut, and you’re pretty sure you can even spot some guyliner.

And just in case he wasn’t noticeable enough, he starts talking really loudly and he just.won’t.shut.up. “I did this, I’ve got that, I know this” on and on and on.

What’s your reaction?

“Oh God oh God please don’t come over here and start talking at me,” right? 

Or maybe you turn to your friend on the couch with an awkward shrug because this guy clearly doesn’t understand how annoying he’s being. Either way, your reaction is shut down, tune out.

But what if we change it up a little? What if you’re at the same party and you see another guy come in. Dressed nicely, but not so you’d notice him right away. Kind of scopes out the room before he starts talking to people. 

And when he does come over and join a conversation, he’s actually kind of quiet. But when he talks, you feel like he’s completely focused on you, actually cares about what you think, and he says really interesting things.

A totally different reaction, right? With the second guy, you want to listen to him — so much so that you’ll even physically lean in to hear him.

That’s the difference between being loud and being heard — and it applies 100% to your copywriting, content marketing, and social media too.

People put soooooooooo much focus on things like clicks, views, linkbait, SEO, trending, figuring out that perfect combination of words that will reach out and smack people in the face, making them pay attention for just a second.

But all that’s about being loud. 

Anyone with a decent budget and some digital smarts can be loud. 

Being heard is much harder.

Being heard means that people really want to connect with you — they look forward to hearing from you, and they’ll seek you out even if you're not right up in their face all the time. To be heard, you have to use your words to seduce, to entice, to fascinate. 

You have to have the confidence not to pimp yourself out every two seconds on Twitter, to realize that when you don’t have something really great to say, you’re better off being silent, even if it’s just for a little bit. You have to make every single thing you share genuinely valuable.

“If there’s something that’s not adding value, it has to come off the table, because if you're not adding value then you’re taking up space” - Sally Hogshead

Doing this probably won’t get you a zillion Twitter followers overnight. It’s not the fastest way to get 500 likes. But it is the way to grow a loyal, engaged following of people that actually really want to hear what you have to say and who trust you enough to listen when you tell them about how you can help them.

So let me ask you: do you want to be loud? Or do you want to be heard?

Is your content an asset for your business or a drain on your time?

So you've followed the advice of the so-called marketing gurus.

Created and crumpled a dozen "client avatars".

Blogged 'til you're blue in the face.

And you're still not seeing a ROI on your content.

Let's fix that.

Actionable tips, effective strategies, and absolutely irreverent advice for getting your words to actually work for your business, right here.

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