Recently I found myself listening to public radio’s Ira Glass as a guest on Alec Baldwin’s podcast, Here’s The Thing. It’s worth noting that in addition to being a great actor and unique celebrity personality, Mr. Baldwin is also an exceptional podcast host and interviewer. However, I want to focus on something Glass said during the show that is applicable to your content marketing.
Toward the end of the show Baldwin asked Glass what he saw himself doing next – when This American Life and his other ventures eventually come to an end. His answer? “I don’t know… I really like making stuff.” He then stated that he intended to create, produce, and edit audio for as long as he possibly could. Why? Because he genuinely likes doing it.
As so many of us look at producing more content than we’ve ever produced before, it’s easy to over-analyze this task. It’s easy to over-plan in an attempt to construct this perfectly crafted masterpiece that fits your audience like a glove. While your community’s needs are indeed paramount, sometimes in planning for them we fail to account for another key constituency.
You will be the one living with this content. You will be the one responsible for every aspect of its creation, production, and promotion. You will know every piece of it inside and out. And yet we often fail to account for our personal strengths and weaknesses when mapping out our content strategies.
When leading one of our Content Marketing Boot Camps, I close with a similar theme. You don’t half to like the content creation process — but it sure helps. What do I mean? I mean that if it’s between writing blog posts and creating a video series, you should start with the form that you are most passionate about. If writing comes easier for you and you are horrified at the idea of creating and editing video, start with what you like. Think of it as crawling to walk.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try creating anything outside of your comfort zone. But the core of your content marketing engine should be a task that you like. In addition to helping with your sanity, this bit of advice is also strategic as it helps to ensure that your content marketing is sustainable. When you like creating your content, you’ll create more of it and it will be harder for you to fall off of the wagon.
This approach also guarantees the presence of another key ingredient to good content that can be elusive – heart. When you like what you do, that extra bit of care will already be baked in. Go listen to Ira Glass’ work and you can tell he cares about what he does and enjoys doing it. The same is true of good content from a marketer who cares.
Do you like your content? You probably should.