You must teach your readers.
I know this is what all the content marketing books and blogs are saying now.
Although this comes from a good place, and I get it, what we have now is a metric shit ton of “How-To” posts flooding our inboxes.
For Chrissakes, makes me wonder if they think I’m capable of doing ANYTHING on my own.
What? Me, insecure? No…
You know who my least favorite people in high school were?
You know who my favorite people in high school were?
My peers, usually in the grades above me, who did cool shit, and who were nice to me.
Who were just… interesting. I gravitated towards these people and wanted to hang out with them and do the stuff they did.
Luckily, growing up with a family half-full of junkies and addicts, I learned to stay away from those types. So what did I do? Went the polar opposite.
I gravitated towards the golf team. Not football. Or baseball. Golf. Before it was cool (pre-Tiger Woods).
I loved golf. I just didn’t think other people my age did. And I was stoked to find a group of peers who did.
Screw the teachers.
So, what does this mean to you and your content?
Try the Seinfeld Approach
Switching gears a bit (I’m having flashbacks to high school – not cool), Seinfeld was a show about… Nothing.
But it was, and still is, one of the most loved TV shows in all of TV-dom.
Jerry didn’t try to “teach” us anything. Neither did Kramer. Or George. Or anyone else on the show for that matter.
They were just quirky, idiosyncratic characters who made us laugh by doing stuff we all do, but no one cares to admit or talk much about.
We can relate to them and could see ourselves hanging out with them.
Let’s face it. Most of our lives is boring (or is that just mine) These people make our boring lives kinda interesting and funny.
This is what your readers yearn for.
Everyone is so damn polished online. Like the buttoned-up teacher in front of the class with “important” things to say. We only see the perfection in people, the rest is edited out.
Don’t worry about teaching so much. If you happen to teach, great. Seinfeld teaches us how to appreciate and observe the so-called mundane things in life in a way that made them fun to talk about.
Try being more like Seinfeld. About nothing in general. But irreverently and unabashedly you. Then, teach through what you do. Show us, don’t tell us. Be light about it. Live with us, don’t talk at us (my friend, copywriter extraordinaire Laura Belgray is one of the best at this).
And don’t try too hard. We want to see the brushstrokes and imperfections (more on this next time).
Thanks to Flapa for the image!