In the early days of content marketing, everything was about being “useful.”
Creating useful content. Being informative. Becoming the go-to resource.
But today, we’re up to our ears in usefulness. A quick Google search can turn up answers to any problem we can imagine. We don’t actually need more information.
Instead, we crave originality.
So while some carefully-crafted informative articles can help you bring in more traffic and show your expertise, what’ll keep readers coming back is ignoring convention and doubling down on your own unique points of view. Standing for something you believe in—or against something worth fighting.
The problem is, of course, that few of us know what we actually believe.
And fewer of us have the confidence to say it outright.
What do you believe, kid?
It’s time to take a stand for something. Just about anything. Start small if you have to, but make sure it’s true to you.
What do you think about your industry? About people as a whole? What do we do that’s wrong, and what do we do that’s fantastically right?
The thing is, I think you have some very strong opinions under there. But if you’re at all a people pleaser (hello, hi, you’re not alone), it’s very possible you’ve let them fall into the dark cracks. Or you’ve felt it wasn’t your place to speak out.
But hell yeah it’s your place.
Taking a stand will turn some people off—of course. But that doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong.
In fact, saying what everyone else is saying when you don’t actually believe it yourself is like nodding along with someone who’s spewing gossip you’re not on board with. Nods don’t create real friendships. It’s better to be up front about where you’re coming from. And if a contrary opinion causes you guys to drift apart? It wasn’t a real connection, and life goes on.
The same goes for your business. The same goes for everything.
After all, what’s the worst that can happen? If you put yourself out there and someone presents a worthy counter-argument, then you can gracefully agree, admit your mistake, and move on.
But here’s the truth: If you’re not being at least a little controversial, you don’t have a message.
The guy on the corner shouting “I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD BREATHE” will only get odd looks. That’s not a message. It’s a fact.
So, what’s your war cry going to be?
Where are you going to put your stake in the ground and say, “This is what I stand for?”
What are the beliefs and values that guide your business?
A company that finds product-market fit makes money, for a time. But the company that finds values-market fit builds a lasting fanbase.
(It’s also a hell of a motivator to do the work every day.)