How to Be Necessary (Or How To Rise Above The Noise)
By John Bonini
In case you haven't logged into any of your social networks today, LinkedIn announced that it will be providing all users the ability to publish content to their profiles, a privilege previously only given to a select group the network referred to as LinkedIn Influencers.
Great news for marketers, sure. It provides yet another vehicle for content distribution, adding to an already crowded space of platforms allowing them to do so.
But what about readers and consumers?
There's no doubting that LinkedIn provides a venerable platform for marketers to share and distribute content. However, it's also further enabling content creators to continue along "filling buckets" – a term CMI's Joe Pulizzi uses to describe marketer's who simply do because they can – without much in the way of substance and resource.
Here in 2014, starting a blog is the 1990's equivalent of using email. Everyone has joined in. Whether it be your own domain or a self-publishing site like Medium or Tumblr, everyone has a voice. When that happens, things tend to get a little noisy.
And then what? You yell louder? Yell more often? Do you stop yelling and talking altogether, throw your hands up and say, "it's just too damn loud in here"?
Of course not. But what if you found a small group within this insanely crowded room and got together in your own corner? Now you have a chance of being audible.
So how do you do it?
Do You Have Something to Say?
Sure, this sounds insanely obvious. However, most bloggers view content creation more as a task to be managed rather than a service to the audience.
And who could blame them? Most of the narrative you read in regards to blogging harps on consistency. Blog more than you are right now.
Wrong. Blog better than you are right now. When you have something worth saying, meaning something that brings value to your subset of the audience, it's your responsibility to communicate it with them. By no means am I denouncing consistency as a driver of blogging success. What I'm saying is that purpose is a prerequisite that's often sacrificed simply to "fill buckets."
Blog when you have something to add. If it's every single day, great. If it's less frequent, then trust that what you may lack in volume will be made up with purpose and resourcefulness.
Is Your Voice Necessary?
LinkedIn is simply one more platform for spreading your message. Does this mean you need to be utilizing it as part of your content strategy?
Again, don't focus on filling buckets. Focus on being necessary.
As a content creator in a time where news feeds often resemble your spam inbox, being necessary is perhaps your greatest endorsement. After all, there's no shortage of content to be found. It's not about doing it, it's about resonating with the audience.
In the heyday of print, could you imagine Sports Illustrated without Rick Reilly? Could you imagine Medium without Gary Vaynerchuk's brief and candid insight? How about HubSpot without the trademark snark of writers like Corey Eridon and Pamela Vaughan?
You couldn't. They became necessary to the platforms themselves because of the insight and voice they brought to the table.
So instead of rushing to each new platform or tool as it becomes available, identify how you'll make your voice necessary.
That's what great content creators do. No yelling required.
Wondering where to begin?