Nothing breaks my heart more, than to hear someone doubt themselves.
Let’s back up a bit to 2007, when I created my first blog. My dear reader, my first blog attempts were terrible. The posts went from “how to be at great meeting planning” to “how to be more productive at work” to “how to pack the perfect school lunch.” For the record, I haven’t packed a perfect school lunch since that post.
As I posted more content, my themes and content pillars started to evolve. I got more crystal clear on my audience and my goals, but it wasn’t without continual trial and error. To this day, I’m still testing content theories to see if my stuff is truly helping someone in my community.
If I had given up after the lukewarm reception to my “packed lunches” post, I would never have learned how to do it better. I would never have found myself here in this column.
Back to today, what I’m seeing breaks my heart. I see so many smart, capable, experienced people deciding not to create content for one reason or another. I’m hearing things like…
“I don’t have enough time to create content.”
“I don’t know what to post.”
“I don’t know how to post.”
“No one will care about what I have to say.”
I get it, we all have limited hours in our week, but that last comment really punches me in the gut. It’s that imposter syndrome gremlin robbing our voices of sharing our messages, and convincing us that no one will care about what we have to say.
And it’s absolutely false.
Friends, let me tell you one thing I’ve learned about creating content. People care! People DEEPLY care about what you have to say. They may not be telling you (because that means putting themselves out there too, it’s a vicious cycle).
If you’re humming and hawing about your content my friend, I’m not afraid to tell you the hard truths.
- Don’t post for “likes.” Most LinkedIn gawkers rarely give anyone a “like” or “share,” but they’re reading your content. Just because you don’t get likes, it doesn’t mean people aren’t listening
- Your content will never be perfect, but it can get better if you practice. The only way to practice is to create and post.
- Content is a long-game – stick with it, try new formats, explore different openings and closings – you’ll find your rhythm, but only with practice
And no matter your content, no matter the format, no matter the perfectly curated selfie and carousel, it’s your willingness to show up that will be counted.
Only 4 per cent of LinkedIn’s vast network are content creators. This means your content WILL be seen in the home feed of your network. You have the ability to impact and influence, and encourage your community members. They may not see you today, but you’ll be hard to ignore if you keep showing up to serve your community.
Anyone who dares to criticize your content, they’re not content creators. As Teddy Roosevelt shared way back when in 1910:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Let me be clear, when you are content creator, you my friend are the man in the arena, the one striving valiantly, the one daring greatly and doing the deeds and spending yourself in a worthy cause. You may fail, but the bigger failure is to never try, like the critic.
Friends, content is hard, I get it, but the rewards (especially on LinkedIn) are there for you to take!
Consider creating a short piece of content this week, and put the wheels in motion for your own impact and influence.
Are you ready to create some content this season?
Wishing you content success,
Leanne Calderwood, CMP, is a branding and LinkedIn trainer for the meetings, events, and hospitality industry. She believes our industry is built on experiences, and that experience should start with our professionals.
She serves hospitality professionals and teams through her online courses and consulting services to help guide #eventprofs out of the shadows and into the spotlight using their branding strengths and stories.
When she’s not talking shop, you can find Leanne drinking tea, making jam, and gardening at her home in Kelowna, B.C. with her husband, two teenage sons, and her dog, Farls Barkley.
You can learn more about Leanne over on her blog at www.leannecalderwood.com.