When it comes to your content, here is a harsh truth which at the same time, is strangely calming:
No one is going to remember any of your content, except the few pieces that are exceptional.
Honestly, we're all too busy. There's always another shining piece of content that will distract us right after seeing yours. We don't think about yours at all, unless it's awesome, or greatly offensive (which you won't be!)
Does this mean you should give up, if you haven’t created anything viral yet?
If that’s the prescription, then not a single artist or writer would ever become successful.
Instead, reflect on and emulate the biography of successful artists and authors -- they just kept creating and publishing until they stumbled upon their hit song or best-selling book. And, they aren't concerned about making content that isn’t good!
Look at musicians: they are only known for their popular songs. Nobody remembers their "bad" songs.
Same with authors: they’re remembered for their best-selling novels, even if they wrote many books. Sometimes, they’re only remembered for a single quote!
This principle also holds true on social media. The algorithms of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram, only show you the popular stuff in the news feed. They rarely display the thousands of other posts that got few likes.
True also with search engines: If people love a webpage, they will link to it, and Google will bump it up in the search rankings. If no one is linking to a webpage, it goes into obscurity...
We can complain about these facts, or we can use it to our benefit.
Here’s how I choose to interpret it:
We are liberated to create and share as much as we’d like.
We can let go of any fear of making mediocre content.
Since quantity leads to quality, what makes sense is to create more. Keep creating, and I promise some of your stuff will be exceptional. The rest? It merely gave you practice.
Share more of your thoughts. It works your muscles of expression, and reveals which of ideas happen to also resonate with your audience.
Write more about your framework. Talk about the “aha!” moments in your work with clients. Post occasional invitations to work with your business.
Whatever is good will spread. Whatever isn’t, will be quickly forgotten.
Always remember: what is “good” content is not up to you to decide. Your role is to create and share. It's your audience's role to decide whether something is worth remembering.
What's worthwhile will get above-average likes, comments, and shares.
If you don't see much engagement -- (if you get crickets!) -- then it's your audience's gentle feedback that they didn't think much of it... no matter how important it felt to you.
Take a pause, and simply move on to create and share the next thing.
(The other possibility, if you always get silence, is that you haven't reached the right audience. Try another audience to share your content with.)
Having created thousands of pieces of content, there have been many that I felt were really important... but you (my audience) didn't think so!
So there was silence. I don't blame anyone. It's just the illusion that I as a creator experience: because I spent time creating something, it feels important to me.
You’ll experience the same bias: the more effort you spend in recording a video or writing an article, the more important it’ll feel to you.
This is why I teach the 3 stages of content. Spend as little effort as possible in putting out your ideas. If an idea then resonates with your audience, then it's worth additional effort to improve upon it.
When a piece of content is finally loved by your audience, the algorithms will generously show it to others who weren't part of your audience... and then new people will discover you.
Most of the time, however -- and this is simply statistics! -- your content won't go viral. It will be seen by only a few of your biggest fans. And that’s ok.
Remember: when you create, you win, no matter what.
Either your audience will love it... or they won’t, and you simply got practice expressing your voice and clarifying your message.
As long as you create from an energetic space (or attitude) of service and expression, then you are growing, no matter what.
If you want to increase your luck and skills, simply create and share more content!
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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