I received a powerful and telling email last week that I think literally thousands of businesses and individuals can relate to. In response to the challenge I laid out to my newsletter subscribers, one person decided to embrace the concept of answering every question in his field to enhance his content marketing efforts. Here’s what he said:
The reason I’ve been hesitant to answer every question is because I feel like the questions have all been answered by others who are smarter and better at writing than me. It’s the ol’ content saturation index issue. So, I’ve been hesitant adding my take because it seems there are so many other great voices already answering the questions. So I ask myself … should I answer the questions myself? Should I just share the answers others have written? Or do a combination adding my own voice and giving credit to my inspirations for my answers?
Good question, isn’t it? Yep, one that I’m sure we’ve all dealt with quite a few times and one I’ve discussed at length before here on The Sales Lion.
That being said, reality is reality, and there has been a huge rush of web-based content produced over these past couple of years, which has naturally lead thousands of marketers and business owners to feel exactly like the gentleman in the above email felt—inadequate, inferior, and extremely frustrated.
Sometimes I hear folks online make a statement like this:
If you have nothing new (or great/epic/awesome/original/etc.) to add to the subject, then don’t talk about it.
In my humble opinion, this maybe be one of the most close-minded and sad statements ever stated on the digital web.
Content Marketing and the Bible
It’s a good thing man hasn’t taken this “It has already been said better” approach since the beginning of time, otherwise we’d be missing over 90% of the great non-fiction works that have ever been produced.
Take the historical writer Luke of the New Testament as an example. Many folks naturally assume the writers of the Gospels in the Bible—Matthew Mark, Luke and John all “knew” Jesus because they wrote so very much about him. But the reality is Luke never personally knew Jesus. In fact, his stuff was written 60-100 years after Jesus’ death.
I don’t mention this in a religious context, but rather to make a critical point:
How would the Book of Luke appear if he refused to write about anything that others had already written about?
What would have happened if he simply said, “That story has already been told, no one wants to hear my thoughts on the matter.”
Better yet, much of the writings in the Book of Luke are VERY similar to the writings and stories found in the other gospels.
Had there been content marketing and social media “experts” during Luke’s time period, I have a feeling the man would have been chastised by many and called a “recycler” of other people’s information.
Pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?
The New Testament itself is an amazing example of powerful content marketing done thousands of years ago. Although it wasn’t meant to grow a “business,” it was meant to grow a movement.
For that to happen, multiple people came together so as to distill Jesus’ teachings, words, and deeds in a way others could not only understand it, but be moved by it as well.
Today, whether you’d consider yourself a Christian or not (again, this isn’t a religious point I’m making with this post), I think we can all agree that each book of the Bible, especially the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are historical literary treasures and the Bible itself would clearly not be the same if any of the works were missing.
The Gospel According to You
When it comes down to it my friends, we all have a unique voice that needs to be heard. Whether it’s about business or life, it’s critical the treasures within each of us are given their chance to come out.
Whether you sell rocket fuel or swimming pools, the world (and certainly your customers) needs to know YOUR thoughts—your doctrine—your beliefs on the matter.
Not only that, but in order for you to reach your greatest communication potential, you must put your thoughts to pen. You must go through the mental exercise of drawing that which is within you and distilling it in words so that the world can see the gifts and treasures you have to share.
This is what I call “The Gospel According to YOU” and it’s easily one of the most important things we can do in this life—teaching the world what it– life– has taught us.
So please, stop worrying about the way others have said it, and start worrying about whether or not you’ve added to the conversation as well. Yes, there will be naysayers and poo-pooers, but when all is said and done, they don’t mean squat to you, so let them go on their merry way.
And be the teacher you were meant to be.