Why Create Content
When I talk to entrepreneurs and business leaders about content marketing, there’s one concern I hear over and over: “Why should I create content? No one cares what I have to say.”
And the thing is, that’s sort of right. Not that nobody cares, but very few people do. But that’s not unusual, it’s not unique to you, and it’s no reason not to get your message out.
Have you ever found yourself talking to a group of people and noticed some people aren’t really tuned in? It’s not just you. In fact, any time anyone addresses a group of people, there’s going to be a range of interest among the audience members. I’d estimate (thanks to Vilfredo Pareto) that out of every five people, probably only one is extremely interested, three are sort-of interested, and one could care less. That’s the 80/20 rule.
We see it in public speaking, we see it in blog posts, and we see it in podcasts. Yes, we talk about podcasts a lot here. They’re great practice for communication, great leverage for chatting with people you want to speak with, and a way to create new streams of revenue. Podcasting is a way to come up with new ideas and a way to create other forms of content. But there’s a problem—of the people who hear or hear about your podcast—that not many of them really care. The 80/20 rule applies here, too.
Here’s the thing, not many people care what you have to say. Good thing there’s a lot of people.
Hear me out.
Create Content That Connects with Your Audience
First of all, can you think of any business that doesn’t have their haters? Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Google, they all do pretty well despite having their detractors.
Can you think of a movie that some people don’t like? Forrest Gump, Shrek, Rocky, The Avengers, they all were big hits even if there were people that wouldn’t watch it if you paid them.
The thing to remember is that even if only a small amount of people who like shoes loves Nike, that’s still a lot of people. So even if most people who are exposed to your content think it’s kind of weak, if you keep putting it out there, while striving to improve along the way, the minority who really like it could add up to the right number of fans for you and your business (more on this below).
Now taking this and applying it to other professions:
If you sell real estate, does every person that buys or sells a house use you?
If you sell insurance, does everyone that buys insurance use you?
If you own a restaurant or own a SaaS product or own a pet sitting service, does everyone use your business?
Does that mean if someone doesn’t use you that your business is bad?
So why then is it bad if not many people listen to what you have to say? Or not like what you have to say?
So that’s the first principle; don’t worry that you’re only connecting with a small portion of your audience—a small portion of a larger audience has the potential to be a good amount of people.
How Many People
Second, think about how many people you actually need to reach? Sure, if your business plan involves getting paid two-tenths of a cent every time somebody clicks on an ad, you’re going to need a huge audience—you’re going to need a lot of clicks. But that’s not really what genuine content marketing is about. Content marketing is about building relationships through media. And relationships are cumulative and unpredictable.
Say you have ten listeners for your first podcast. Now, since you know there are podcasts with 100,000 listeners, if you have only ten you might feel like you’re talking to yourself, especially if you know two of those ten could care less about what you’re saying and six more might think you’re just okay but only until something more interesting comes along. That’s when you might want to tell me “I tried a podcast, but nobody cared!”
But if you keep putting those podcasts out there (or any content for that matter), some of those six who were lukewarm at first may come around. Your audience will grow, too (maybe). And of those two people who thought that the first podcast of yours was awesome? Maybe one of them is your next business partner? Or your newest client? Or your biggest fan? Or, who knows? You can’t predict where the connections you make with your content will lead.
So, yes, you’re right; nobody cares about your content—except for the people who do care, and they’re the ones you need.
Here’s a story from the Entrepreneur Perspectives podcast featuring Frank Van Buren, a Former US Army Black Hawk Pilot talking about how the content he created was so important for his mother.
Our podcast: Entrepreneur Perspectives