“A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;”- Ecclesiastes
It’s no secret that if you want to be successful in business, you need to be creating content. Content for your website, content for your products and services, content for social media, and maybe even some content for your content. Some brands and individuals are doing a better job of this than others.
Which brings me to my idea of an example of someone who is doing it very, very wrong. Gary Vaynerchuk, a serial entrepreneur, recently told Forbes that he is hiring someone full-time to “shadow his life” and record his every remark in order to create a bottomless well of content for his various social media accounts.
Vaynerchuk’s overall concept is that in order to make an impact, he must create as much as he can with the hope that something will eventually stick. While Vaynerchuk is trying to establish himself as a social icon––reaching new audiences by producing a flood of noise––I’m of the belief his approach will ultimately backfire by annoying anyone foolish enough to pay attention to him in the first place.
Just as my colleague Kit pointed out for us, I’m all for making an impact. I think that utilizing social media is a great way to expose your ideas, standpoints, businesses, and products. But is more content really the answer to getting noticed? I would argue that it isn’t. I believe time is better spent creating content that serves a purpose and reaches an intended audience rather than existing just to hit a quota for the week.
Furthermore, I would doubt that if you are putting out all you can, as much as you can, all of the time, you are portraying yourself or your brand in the best light. Less is often more. And better is, well, better.
I can’t tell you how many times I have unfollowed someone on social media for the simple reason that they were clogging up my newsfeed with re-purposed, uninventive, redundant, self-absorbed and otherwise dog crap content all day and all night. Nobody wants that from a friend, and they certainly don’t want it from a brand. It gets old. Give me a chance to miss you, and I will be much more likely to read your post.
To be honest, I’m troubled by the the idea that many others will follow in Vaynerchuk’s footsteps; in fact, Vaynerchuk himself states that he believes there will be 500 to 5,000 people this time next year that will employ a full-time content person. What levels of vanity must one succumb to to believe your entire existence is worthy of documenting? This sounds terrifying.
Our problem today is not that we don’t have enough content. There is so much information online that we often get overwhelmed by it all and don’t know where to focus our attention. It’s time we focused more on what we are saying instead of how many times we say it. In the end, it makes it very hard to find the information you are looking for from the people who do know what they are talking about. This dilutes the in-depth and well thought-out material that should be getting our attention in the first place.
There is more to being a leader in the field than being the loudest person in the room. We all have things to say, lots of things to say, but that doesn’t mean we should always be talking. If you want to get someone to listen to you, bring something compelling to the table. No one wants to be the person in the room that everyone stops listening to because they keep raising their hand to validate that their voice still works. The same should apply to the web. Raise your voice when it’s going to add something to the conversation. When it won’t, learn how to take a back seat to those doing their part to bring value above the noise.