If you’re a bit like me then you probably have a lot of imposter syndrome, comparison issues, and low self esteem. No – just me? I doubt it. When it comes to content marketing, especially where you run a small business where you could say the personal brand is more important than the company brand, people second guess themselves a lot. This second guessing often leads to content marketing being completely abandoned.
For a long time, I’d react jealously to what, from my perspective, was mediocre content being put out by others. I think this is a common experience. What was interesting was that what I viewed as mediocre content was clearly working for the people putting it out.
Not everybody is like this but a lot of people are. It’s funny, almost a paradox, that we see poor content going out and working, but when we create potentially better content suddenly it’s not good enough. It makes no sense – but it’s a real experience.
- Does any of this sound familiar?
- “Everything I have to say has been said before.”
- “My life, work, experience, environment, personality isn’t as interesting as other peoples”
- “Who would be interested in what I know”
This is all compounded when we look at platforms like video or podcasting where we’re actually at risk of being judged on our appearance or how we sound. It can all be pretty overwhelming.
I had a client a while ago in the IT space. In our first meeting, he told me about a competitor and showed me his Linkedin video’s, podcast and effectively gave me a tour of a pretty well put together content driven personal brand. “I want you to help me do that” he told me.
The competitor wasn’t really talking about anything amazing and a lot of the time it wasn’t even business related. He just expressed himself online. He made videos frequently and was more focused on showing up than showing off. His business was booming.
My client point blank refused to produce any content. He hyper-focused on the detail of everything and put out absolutely nothing. He had more experience, a bigger team, better resources but would second guessed everything.
Now – this isn’t just about my clients. It’s also been a big point of resistance for me over the years. I think this is probably one of the single biggest things which has held me and my business back. It might be doing the same for you.
I recently interviewed Jeff Goins on my podcast. Jeff is awesome and inspires me in so many ways but he dropped a David Sivers quote which I’ve reflected on a lot over the last couple of weeks.
“What’s obvious to you is amazing to others”. 👈Let that sink in.
When I started working with groups of small businesses, more as a coach than as a consultant I started to realise that this was true – in more ways than you would expect.
It’s almost a cliche to say that we often worry too much about what other people think of us. But in marketing, a lot of business owners worry about the wrong things. They worry about what people, who are not even the target audience will think. Competitors and peers for example.
Who is your content marketing actually for. It’s for the people who need YOU. So why are YOU holding back?
You are amazing for the person who needs the value you offer. Not for the person on the left or the right of that person. Stop second guessing everything.
I’ve been observing this a lot since I first became aware of it. There is so much that in others we find amazing but we fail to apply the same measures to ourselves. We see as amazing things like knowledge, experience, location, curiosity expressed and humor when others express it. We need to have a little confidence that when we express ourselves those same rules will apply to us.
If you don’t show up online then one thing is for certain. You will not win online. If you do show up online and give yourself permission to be amazing for someone – then you will start the journey which can quickly lead to the kind of wins which can transform your business like my IT clients competitor, and for that matter – my own.