How My Last Post Received 900 Shares

Nov 25, 2014

Article ImageThis online content thing is not as hard as everyone thinks. Don't get me can, at times, be tough. Tough to get traffic. But I recently learned a universal law from my last post: the more you give, the more you get.

In that last column, "8 Things I Learned from Analyzing My Tweets", I learned this incredibly valuable lesson. By simply relaying to the audience what I learned from a basic Twitter analysis (which provided tactical value and actionable content), I was rewarded with over 900 shares.

More plainly put, I took the modest information from my head and shared it with an audience hungry for tips and tricks.

I gave, therefore I got.

Because of that post, I will be speaking at SXSW next year. Just kidding.

But the lesson learned through that post should teach the loyal readers out there that it's time for your own personal brain dump. You are an expert at something. No really, you are, whether you believe it or not.

What do you do every day? Ok, now within that, what's your specialty? Super. Now, take that knowledge in your head and write down five lessons from this week that a 24 year old could benefit from.

I call this the "talking to my 22 year old self." I literally visualize myself at 22 and try to teach that young, dumb (but ruggedly handsome) neophyte a thing or two about marketing, social media, and writing. It's amazing. Taking the position of writing or targeting a single avatar can change the way you create content overnight.

Maybe it's not your former self. Maybe you want to target a fan or a certain loud/negative customer. Whoever the target is, focus on explaining things to him or her better and in clearer, simpler language. Make no mistake though, the more you focus on providing value to a single individual, the better (and more effective) your content becomes. My last post was written focusing on my wife. A small marketing agency owner, she always tells me to teach her something I know about social media.

Honestly, I resisted this whole idea for a while as I was trying to write like "everyone else." Not a good tactic.

My last post targeted her. One person. I wanted to teach her my top 8 tips for getting traction on Twitter which I had learned through analysis. Over 900 shares later, it was a winning formula.

So, if I can speak to my 22-year-old self for a minute, I would say:

  • Get out of your own way
  • Write to add value to your audience
  • Stop writing for everyone, write for one person
  • Share your expertise (what you can talk about in your sleep or can't shut up about at parties)
  • Kiss your kids and wife and tell them that you love them every chance you get
  • Sleep less (in College)
  • Read more
  • Listen to music every chance you get
  • Laugh everyday

Sorry, those last couple didn't really apply but I thought he needed to know them.

Sharing your expertise with the world (or your avatar) is the natural order of things. Humans are meant to pass along our knowledge so younger generations can learn from both our mistakes and our successes. A current example of someone doing this well comes from Gary Vaynerchuk.

If you haven't seen it, or listened to it, Gary has recently reemerged in the video blogging space with the brilliant #AskGaryVee Show. The show is simulcast into a podcast and answers 3-5 questions from his "fans" each week.

Now, Gary admits that these are the jabs as he sets up for his next right hook (see his bestselling book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook Here) but his mission is value. Giving to the base of admirers who have given him his Z level fame (as he calls it) and his A level fortune.

He gives, gives, and gives even more. He understands keeping his fame and fortune depends on him giving the knowledge in his head to his audience. Tim Ferriss and Jason Fried call this "thinking like a chef."  A chef's main purpose is to learn from someone else and then pass along that teaching to create a kitchen full of culinary artists.

Think like a chef. Give away your secrets.

As the great Andy Stanley says, "The value of a life is measured in terms of how much of it is given away."

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