Although I am, at heart, a ‘content’ guy (I mean, I write a daily blog for heavens to Betsy), I’m really liking less and less — okay, fine, I CAN’T STAND— content that’s too polished.
I used to, in a way, look up to these extremely polished, airbrushed, edited websites, videos, and big personal/professional brands. But it made me feel like there was no way I’d be able to establish myself or build an audience online.
No disrespect. Not blaming them. It was all me. But as impressive as it was, it was also frustrating and discouraging.
So, in my frustration — having nothing to lose — I threw my cynicism to the wind and just started creating the best I knew how. That’s what I’ve been doing since that day. Doing it daily, has made my process unapologetically unpolished.
These daily blog posts only take me about 25 minutes to write. I do a quick once-over for editing (yes, I’m leaving in my ‘heavens to Betsy’ remark above). And I publish them.
Same thing in my weekly videos. I have no fancy, musical, flashy intro section or ‘branding’. My ‘branding’ is my awkward self in front of a camera stuttering through an unprepared answer to a question from a reader. These take me about 10 minutes to shoot and another 25 or so to upload, lightly trim, and publish.
And lately, I’m really enjoying Instagram Stories and Snapchat(follow me on Instagram here). I love that they’re on-the-fly and you can’t really make them too fancy. I’m starting to see the humanity in these big personal brands I’ve been following for years. I see the boogers in their noses, hear their heavy breathing, and feel their nervousness.
Here’s the deal… I’m no good! Really. (At least I don’t think so.) I’m driven by passion for my message and don’t really care about how they ‘look’.
Although I have no mega-brand, I’ve built a substantial audience of dedicated, engaged humans doing what I LOVE to do… Building people up through simple, raw messaging. And in looking around at those I look up to, I’m LOVING the fact that they’re totally winning doing the same thing — unpolished (or minimally polished) content.
I call it ‘pocket content’. You know… Stuff you can make on your phone while you’re parked waiting for your Sonic burger to be skated out to you.
Your personal brand is you — not your makeup.
Yes, as usual, there’s an internal message here (you knew it was coming).
Create from the heart and the hip. Not the ego.
Misuse and overuse of thinking is the devil when it comes to creativity.
Spending all your time on HOW YOU LOOK only makes this thought-abuse worse. You focus entirely on your image as opposed to getting your sh*t out there.
Don’t worry about the way it looks. Focus on where in you it’s coming from.
I don’t give a sh*t if my video is a little blurry (maybe because of that grease from the Sonic burger that I got on the lens) or if I misspell a cuple werds (ok, but not too much — this can destroy your credibility, there is a line).
Creating from thought in the moment is the key to content that connects.
Too much thinking (editing, polishing, etc.) on my end might connect with your head, but not your heart. I want in your heart.
Sure,make stuff that looks good. But if all you have is a good-looking piece of content, it’s going to fall flat.
Heart first. Polish second (and don’t obsess over this).
Give it to me from the hip. Show me your flaws while you show me your magic. The real ones, not the ones you edit in ❤️