One of the things I always get nervous about when writing a big-time blog post (like one where I am going to talk about hard things and things where people might disagree) is that I am very aware a blog post is never the entirety of all my thoughts and opinions on the matter. It's a focused thought encapsulated in a few hundred words. Like anything, if you were to just look at that or even just like at certain points within it, you could easily miss the big picture.
That's why I asked Elizabeth Fein of Iterate Social to share a little "behind the blog post." She reminds us that soaking up knowledge and tips is great, but there's a lot of "doing the work" and "making it work for me" that can't always be contained in a blog post that's meant to get to the point. Thanks for sharing with us Elizabeth!
We all love a good blog post full of bullet-pointed tips to help us grow our businesses. AKA a listicle. We fill our Pinterest boards with them and you can find some version of a listicle on most blogs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing or consuming content in this way. It’s relatively easy to produce and quick to consume. I have learned a lot of tips from business owners by reading listicles and I am sure you have to.
The danger arises when we start believe a particular story when we read listicles. That story is ease. We are attracted to this sort of content because we want to believe the story that there are only 10 things; we can read in 1 minute, which will help us gain 1,000 followers in two weeks. The truth is I want to believe this story too. If I believe it and it works, my job becomes a lot easier. Yours does too right?
I wrote a blog post about doubling my email subscribers in two weeks. The things I wrote about DID work for me, and I hope that they will work for you, but I left out a ton of information. I didn’t talk about my phone call with a colleague where we spent an hour coming up with an email marketing strategy. I didn’t talk about the months of iterating, not having things work, and only getting a trickle of subscribers. I didn’t talk about the shame of being a marketer with low numbers, and the hours I spent on Pinterest trying to find an article that would help me fix it. I didn’t tell you about hiring someone to help me with branding and building my website, so that when people came to my site they would stick around long enough to sign up for my newsletter.
In short, I didn’t tell you anything about the behind the scenes and the pieces that came together to make doubling my email subscribers possible. I simply handed you the tips and said, “Have a nice day.” Unfortunately the process of behind the scenes is too long and messy to put in a listicle. I can’t write that blog post in an hour and bang out a catchy blog graphic to be repinned 500 times on Pinterest. That’s not realistic and that’s okay.
But as a marketer who coaches small business owners on how to market their businesses on social media I think these back-stories are really important to keep in mind when we consume content. Don’t believe the story of ease, because for most of us marketing, running a business, and rocking it on social media is a ton of work and it can’t be boiled down to “10 things.” NOTHING in business and marketing is one size fits all. So always remember that what works for one person may not work for you. Be ready to put in the work, tailor a marketing strategy to fit your goals, and your business and sanity will thank you.
I am a confession junkie, so if you have a confession behind a blog post I would love to hear it. Tweet at me or come find me on Instagram.
Elizabeth Fein is the Queen Bee at Iterate Social. She is a social media manager and digital marketing coach. Registration for her online course Quietly Unstoppable: Digital Marketing for Introverts opens in September and you can get on the early registration list here: http://www.iteratesocial.com/quietlyunstoppable/