Idiosyncrasy, platform, and engagement

Here’s three steps to making content that resonates with you and your audience.

Oh, and happy Sunday.

Step Zero: Niche down

There’s a gazillion articles and books on this. So, let me Google it for you.

Once you’ve niched down, it’s time to consider your idiosyncrasies.

Step One: Idiosyncrasies

The definition of an idiosyncrasy: Your modes of behavior unique to you.

Your idiosyncrasies are your perspectives on the subjects you want to create around.

If you don’t know what your idiosyncrasies are, ask yourself…

What are you about?

What stories are you going to tell us?

What journey are you going to take us on?

What’s strange about you?

What could you talk about for 20 hours straight?

This isn’t about niching down. You’ve already niched down. Let’s say that you want to write about productivity. Great. Huge topic. You’ve hit the brick wall of sameness. And that’s not your fault. It’s just what happens when you niche down.

The only way around this brick wall is to use your idiosyncrasies – your perspective on the niche.

The least productive thing is to write about a subject that bores you. The most productive thing is to produce a mediocre 500 word article about a subject that excites you. If you didn’t bore yourself writing it, then it was time well spent.

The subject you create around is going to fill your mind like water in a cup. Take as long as you need to pick a subject that feels right for you.

Case Study: John Daub

John Daub is my favorite content creator of all time. He’s utterly himself in his work. Take note.

John Daub is so himself in his work that I get emotional thinking about it. Whenever I think of “finding your passion,” I think of him. He’s not posturing. He’s not pontificating. He’s being John Daub.

Are you creating content that makes you smile the way John Daub smiles about Japan?

Are you presenting yourself in your work, or are you posturing as someone else?

Step Two: Platform

Which platform are you going to use to express your idiosyncrasies? Twitter? LinkedIn? MySpace? Seth Godin points out that we should ask ourselves who we’re seeking to serve. Where’s your audience hiding? Where do they hang out?

And sometimes, you find your audience in the strangest places. I’ve grown most of my podcast’s audience through Twitter. And I’ve grown most of my blog’s audience by sharing my posts on Instagram.

When you find unique ways to promote your work, you can bend the rules of the platform. Instagram is for posting pretty pictures. Yet I’ve been posting “pictures” full of text. Somehow, it’s worked.

Don’t feel pressured to use any one platform. And don’t fall into the trap of believing that this platform should be used only in this way.

Find a platform, bend the rules.

Step Three: Engagement

This is how you speak to your audience. You have a choice: You could talk to your audience as if they’re robots, or you could talk to them as if they’re humans.

If someone engages with your work, talk to them.

And when you get big, don’t feel guilty for not talking to everyone. If your audience has followed you for a long time, then they know that you’re busy making good content.

How you talk to your audience also depends on your idiosyncrasies. It’s easier to talk to your audience when you’re more authentic with your messages and stories. And it’s more fun to talk about the things you’re interested in than it is to talk about things that bore you.

That’s all.

Create, play, and have fun with it.

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