Social media is littered with mimicry. Everyone has a top 10 tips to gain more Instagram followers, 5 reasons why you should start a blog, 12 reasons why customers are not buying from you.
Do any of these sound familiar? I bet they do. They are typical of the type of content we see online and in the blogosphere. What I have found however, is that many of these are not unique or original. Just a lot of recycled, re-spun content. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. And, just so you know, I will admit that I have done this in the past, many times. I think part of the reason why a lot of us do this and have done it is simply because we were taught to take advantage of hot, trending topics as it is a killer way to gain quick traffic, as everyone is always looking for tips and advice. Plus, it’s good to capitalize on what’s buzz worthy.
The downside of this, is that it just adds to the noise. And I try to convey this to the women I work with, women just starting out in business, gingerly dipping their toes into the waters of entrepreneurship. Ever tried doing a search and all the results on each site look kind of the same? That’s because what is presented is not fresh, revolutionary or ground breaking. And there is no need for it with all the topics and areas that are worth sharing, but more so, all the heartfelt and original content that can be created by creating for your audience and not for a search engine.
Look at your business, target audience, your community and its needs, its concerns and challenges. How can you make a contribution by sharing something that is fresh and thought-provoking? If you want to take inspiration, maybe the best place to start is looking at how other successful professionals, bloggers and social media users are sharing and engaging. Many of them are bringing something fresh and original. They don’t add to the noise.
What’s your fresh and original?
Blogging, social media and online communities are great. One can learn so much just through involvement in communities. However, true engagement and building a solid community can only come about when you put your original voice out there. It’s what people will be drawn to. Give the originality thing a go. I mean, you’re cool and different and have a wealth of knowledge and experience. How can you bring that to your audience in a way that builds a community and creates a conversation? Please don’t get me wrong. Tips and lists are great. I don’t plan to give those up at all, but I want to add my uniqueness to the conversation. I’m not keen on adding to the noise. Forgot that post by your favorite blogger or Instagram hotshot that has hundreds of retweets and likes. You don’t need to mimic because each of us bring something original to the table. Look at your arsenal of knowledge, skills and experience and see what you can share that brings something different. Explore the needs of those you want to serve and come up with something they can find meaning and value in.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.