Six figure launches that don't come with seven figure price tags.
Businesses that run exclusively on rainbows, unicorns, and motherfucking hustle.
Content that actually performs as an asset for your business.
One of these things is not like the other.
Unlike the many business myths out there, content that does more than make your mom proud is actually real — though it seems like a myth to a lot of people. Maybe you’re one of them. You started blogging or doing a podcast or whatever it is you’re doing because somebody else told you that Content is King.
To which I say, “Well … kind of.”
Content can be incredibly valuable. It can build your brand, it can get your target market to sort themselves into segments that you can then market to in an above-average useful way, and it actually can bring new business in the door. But for most people, it doesn’t happen this way.
Instead of a money spinner, your content becomes a money suck.
Not to mention a waste of time. After all, what’s the point of spending the time and money to come up with, create, and promote your content if all it does is … well, pretty much nothing. Just like anything else in your business, your content should be performing as an asset. If you can’t figure out a way to make it into an asset, then it shouldn’t be a part of your business.
Now you might be thinking, “It’s not me, it’s you.”
As in, it’s a tough racket, the market is saturated, people have the attention spans of drunk toddlers. But in this case, if your content isn’t performing, there’s a decent chance that it is you.
If you’ve been at this for a while and you’re regularly getting crickets in response to your content, you probably are actually fucking it up.
And even more problematically, you’re almost certainly wrong about the way you think you’re fucking it up.
Here’s the thing: people tend to fall into two categories when it comes to content, and each type almost always thinks they’re the other type. I call them Whisperers and Shouters.
Whisperers are the people who create content, and then don’t really do anything to promote it. They don’t want to be like those obnoxious assholes who plaster themselves all over the Internet, so they write, but then get really quiet -- they play their content down. Or they deliberately put out fluff pieces that don’t really say much of anything. Or they don’t create a content strategy. The underlying issue here?
Whisperers are so afraid of being loud that they end up putting themselves on mute
Shouters have the opposite perspective — they’re so damn afraid of not being heard that they blast themselves over every channel they can think of as often as possible. They may write increasingly outré posts to try to shock people into reading, or schedule a post to go out every single day. They’re usually all over social media, always with some branded tip or faux candid “confession” about their business. Everything is up for grabs to be branded by them, from the way they Instagram their morning workout (brand logo accidentally-on-purpose displayed in the background) to the never ending stream of blog posts they put out.
If you’re a Whisperer, you think you’re being louder than you are. If you’re a Shouter, you think that your volume is “normal” in Internet-land, but either way, too loud or too soft, you’re going to get lost in the shuffle.
As I will say over and over again as long as I'm on the Internet, content is about a relationship, and you can’t build one of those if you’re talking so quietly that people can’t hear you, and you can’t sustain one if you’re constantly talking at people instead of with them. Just as in real life, building relationships with people takes time. It takes attention. It takes recognizing what a ridiculous privilege it is to have access to another person’s brainspace. And it takes a fundamental respect for the other person’s humanity.
But as the philosophers say, that foundation of respect is necessary but not sufficient.
This is the part that might feel a little sandpaper-on-your-soul-esque. Because the truth is that as much as you absolutely adore your people, as much as you want to help them, as great as your ideas are, it’s impossible for them to spread without support.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear.
I know this isn’t in line with the Inspirational Internet, it’s not “Hey, if you really really really care, then other people will too!”, and it’s not “Blessed are the hustlers, for theirs is the kingdom of mad cash, yo.”
As I like to tell my clients, you have to use the tools — though not the tactics — of the people running the system if you want to make even the tiniest dent in this public conversation that is the online smallbiz world.
And how do you do that?
It's not rocket science. Make your writing compelling. Make sure your ideas are fully developed before you actually put them out there. Don't dick around with your delivery. Get the auxiliaries (design, budget, platform, etc.) in place. And stick the hell at it, because as more and more people in the smallbiz space go up in flames, to the tune of 80% within the first 18 months of business. Staying power in itself is an asset.
It's time to start talking. Not whispering. Not shouting. But having that amazing moment of connection in which two humans share brainspace, if only for a moment.
And that? That's going to take a change in the conversation.
Let's take this back to your place.
If you're ready to stop whispering or you’re voice is getting hoarse from shouting, and you’re ready to create content that actually builds a relationship with your people in a way that supports the both of you, join me for a masterclass!
This is not an extended sales pitch -- it’s a chance to go deeper into this topic, get templates, guides, and a look at my very own content strategy, from the comfort of your inbox.
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