Do you find yourself liking your own content? Does your content speak to you so much, you’re tempted to just become a lead? Do you create content based on your own opinions or views? Do you approve your organization’s content based on whether or not it’s something that appeals to you?
Then you might just be a marketing narcissist. Side effects include sabotaging your marketing, corrupting your personas and throwing away potential leads.
It’s the age-old trap for marketers and content producers—the tendency to create content that THEY relate to, rather than what their audience will relate to. But know matter who you are and how many traits you share with one of your personas, you are not your target audience. You’re too close to the product. You can never be an objective observer. Never.
So when you sit down at your keyboard, flex your fingers and get ready to produce your next lead-generating masterpiece, remember this liiiittttllleee piece of advice:
IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell at you. Can we still be friends? I won’t use all-caps again, I promise.
Anyways, customers can often tell when content is smug and self-promoting rather than valuable and useful, so don’t think you’re fooling anyone. You want to write about your own thoughts and opinions, talk about things that matter most to you, and otherwise hold up a mirror that reflects everything back to yourself, start a blog or a YouTube channel or something that’s completely your own. Just keep it out of the company stuff.
Here’s some other things you can do to stop being a marketing narcissist and start being a productive and responsible content producer once again (you can do it, I know you can!).
Revisit your personas. Look at your personas, and read their profiles like it’s the very first time. Get old school and make some notes about the themes that leap out at you. Hang these up somewhere visible in your workstation so they’re always top-of-mind.
See what your customers are saying. Look at the comments on blog posts, Facebook posts and social media discussions to see what people in your network are talking about. What topics appeal to them? What are they asking about? What are they seeing from their perspective on a topic?
Ask your customers. Jump into those discussions and—I know, revolutionary concept—actually ask people what they think of your content, or what they would like to see more of from your company.
Be honest with yourself. When you finish a piece of content, try to view it in completion with fresh eyes. If you identify too much with it, you may be letting narcissism creep back in. Ask someone else to read it and throw in some of their differing opinions.
Relevance is the big thing in content marketing, right? Just remember that relevance applies to your audience and not you, and you should be just fine.
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.