The future looks bleak.
Now that we’ve all become online gurus, relentless marketers and (over)-promoters, there’s little room left to actually make anything worth telling others about. With an economy that has taken a turn towards a steep downhill (whilst wearing rollerblades), we’ve turned our attention to promoting ourselves by creating content (content being writing, videos, images, courses, etc). And what are we creating? Content for how to promote ourselves better. Using 6 steps you’ve probably never thought of. Sign up for the newsletter to read it now.
The plethora of how-to’s for entrepreneurs, guides to content marketing and life coaches that help life coaches be better life coaches is a recursive loop that must look pretty hilarious from the outside (I say outside, since I’m obviously stuck in this loop too as a digital content creator). Everyone is an expert in some non-physical, (semi-)knowledge-based skill-set acquired on the hard streets of life that will rock you world if you just get the digital book, e-course or signup for the webinar. Better yet, become an affiliate so you too can make money off what everyone is already affiliate-marketing as well.
Want to know why no one bought your digital product/service? It’s not because your site needs a redesign, or you need better content or you need more followers on social media. It’s possibly because we’re all a little drained from buying digital products/services. After a while, they all seem the same and use the same language. The good ones are impossible to pick out from the not-so-good ones, since they blend together with identical content marketing strategies and tactics that guarantee sales.
Sometimes I can look at a website, see a service for sale and I’m not be able to discern what that specific service is or who it’s for or what it’d do for me because the language is so flowered with vague descriptions.
Stop adjectiving and start nouning. Stop getting too creative with what you do and how you describe it and just tell everyone what you actually do. Example—I’m not a digital storyteller, I’m a fucking web designer and writer (in a previous iteration of this website, I used ‘digital storyteller’ to describe myself).
Where are the new ideas? Where are the folks actually making things we can use? Where are the people killing it without even knowing what words like viral, content marketing or tribes even mean.
More and more I gravitate towards these sorts of companies and people. The custom woodworking shop in Portland that makes iPhone cases out of recycling skateboard decks or seamstress who doesn’t use email but can actually fix my ripped pair jeans or the tattoo artist booked 6 months in advance with a one page website of tattoo photos and a phone number. They utterly thrive without putting much stock in social media or marketing or conversions. They are focused entirely on their craft and the obvious value they provide to their audience.
Marketing, promotion, and connecting what you sell to your potential audience is important. But what if we collectively took a step back to see if what we’re producing is useful? Or spent more time building, making, creating? I’m not saying everything digital is an ephemeral waste of time, I’m just saying there’s currently too much of it. And moreover, there’s too much talking about it.
So go and make something useful. Make something unique. Make something that you can describe with plain language that still sells like crazy because it’s what people actually want without the use of tactics or proven strategies.
And now watch as I hastily and hypocritically go promote this article on my newsletter and twitter feed…