Are you bothering people with your content?

Do you ever feel like you’re bothering people, when you create/share content?

A participant in one of my workshops wrote:

​“Consistency of communication is my goal. To hold myself more accountable to this and get over the problem I have with feeling that I am bothering people by sending them content via email or other means, even if they have signed up for my list!!"
You have an audience because they want to hear from you:
  • Your Facebook friends are interested in your opinions (believe it or not!)
  • Your followers on social media want to hear about your business.
  • Your newsletter subscribers look forward to your newest content!

You are not bothering people when you send content that they expect from you, at a frequency they expect.

If you haven’t been sharing content, then do your best to start being consistent at a sustainable rhythm for you, and your audience will become accustomed to that rhythm.

They appreciate your content when you share with a positive intention:
  • a spirit of helpfulness
  • a desire to connect
  • an intention to delight them

Why aren’t you bothering your audience? Because they want content that’s relevant to them — that’s why they’re following you!

It helps to remember that:

1. People are bored… even if they’re busy. At various times of day (and night), they are looking for something that might pick up their spirits, educate them, or entertain them… something that makes them feel, or makes them think.

2. People are hurting… and looking for a solution from someone like you. If they are following your content, it means they are actively trying to heal a current pain (which you can help them with) or are at least interested in learning from you.

3. People appreciate you… they seek your perspective and they like your presence. Otherwise, they wouldn’t still be following you!

Before you create, first bring to your mind and heart someone specific from your ideal audience… one of your favorite clients, or a frequent commenter on your posts.
  • Can you see that person in your mind’s eye? What would they love to know about your area of expertise?
  • On that topic, can you guess what they might be feeling? (Are they scared, overwhelmed, excited, eager, etc?)
  • What could you say that would be helpful to them?

By creating content with your ideal audience in your mind and heart, and what you know about their situation, you are being of service.

You genuinely wish to help them, connect with them, or delight them.

When you’re of service, you’re a blessing, not a bother.

It’s also good to be aware of some basic etiquette around sharing content…

How often is too often?

  • Email Newsletters — unless they requested a weekly email, I wouldn’t recommend more than 2x a month. In my email newsletter signup I ask subscribers to choose monthly or weekly, so that I align expectations.

  • Social Media — are you posting more often than most people? Generally, once a day on any platform is acceptable. Once a week is fine but harder to stay top of mind. The latest advice: posting too often on social media?

  • Private Messaging — this could be FB Messenger, text/SMS, individual email, Linkedin private message, etc. Are you sending content privately to people who didn’t ask for it? Definitely don’t do it if they don’t already know you. However, if it’s friends, colleagues, or classmates, it’s fine to privately send content that you know would be relevant to them, once every few months, but include a thoughtful note about why they specifically might enjoy that piece of content.

  • Posting about your business — you can definitely post about your products occasionally, perhaps every 1 out of 10 posts. You could increase that to 1 out of 3–5 posts on your FB Business Page and anywhere else that clients and prospective clients eagerly follow your business.

Here is evidence that you are NOT bothering your audience:

  • Email Newsletter — each time you send one, you get fewer than 1% of the recipients unsubscribing. If you get more than 1% unsubscribe, then either you aren’t emailing them often enough (quarterly is too rare) or you’re emailing them too often (not more than once every 2 weeks unless they signed up for a higher frequency.) Also, if you notice that your Open Rate is consistently decreasing over time, it means you need to improve your content. You’re not bothering them, but you may be boring them.

  • Social Media — if your follower count rises organically (without buying followers) then you’re doing fine. However, if your content engagement isn’t rising, then again, the problem is that you need to improve your content.
In summary, create content with your ideal audience in mind and heart, and share it with them at an expected frequency, and your content will be seen as a blessing!