Hey! Kyle here. Happy Xmas Eve.
The following has been on repeat in my brain for the last 2 weeks:
“Life doesn’t respond to your need.
You can’t go to the soil and say, “I need a crop.” The soil just smiles at you.
The soil says, “Don’t bring me your need, bring me some seed. Bring me some effort, bring me some discipline, bring me some interest, bring me some service.
Bring me these things, and I’ll return to you multiplied by two times, five times, ten times.”Jim Rohn
So far, the best way I’ve discovered to ‘plant seeds’ is through content.
When content is useful and generous — it cultivates and nurtures relationships.
Each piece is like a handshake and an invitation.
But content isn’t easy. Like anything that benefits from compounding, the magic happens beneath the surface. You can’t see results right away.
(As a result, most people can’t create content consistently, if at all.)
So the question I ask is: How can each piece of content pack maximum impact (for the healthiest harvest)?
Here are 7 content ‘filters’ I’ve collected to ensure max impact:
One of my favourite book titles of all time is Seth Godin’s What Does It Sound Like When You Change Your Mind?
It’s a big-ass book. Here’s a shot of it with Vito’s head for scale:
Every piece of content seeks to make a change in the reader.
And the potential impact is no small potatoes: Nothing can free or imprison you more than a new belief.
For example, I remember the first time I read Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week in 2015. It was the first time I felt I could author my life the way I wanted to.
Here I am 6 years later and I haven’t had a boss or employer in almost 2 years.
But you don’t need to go write a book for that. You can do it brick by brick, seed by seed.
Simple filter: My goal is to take the reader from X to Y.
2. Point Of View
Content must offer a point of view the reader can sink their teeth into.
They can agree or disagree.
This is how conversations are stirred and moved forward.
Simple filter: “Most people think / say / do X. Here’s why I believe that’s flawed / inaccurate / there’s a better way.”
It’s no secret that people are attracted to ‘new.’
New information releases dopamine. It gives an opportunity to share, connect, improve life, and ultimately move the species forward.
Simple filter: What am I saying that hasn’t been said before? Am I creating something new, or regurgitating what’s been well said elsewhere?
4. Lived Experience
Most people don’t realize their experiences are chock-full of lessons and insights.
Or they do, but don’t want to be ‘known’ for what they’ve done in the past.
(This is ego.)
So they go out and find content around stuff they find interesting. But they end up parroting someone else and the content lands flat.
For example, I’ve been resistant to write about bartending.
(Truth be told, if I worked one more shift behind a bar I’d probably have an aneurysm. Even my own bar!)
But it’s an existing body of knowledge that I can add meaningfully to. I’ve put in the time. I’ve mastered the craft.
And if you can add to a body of knowledge, you should do it.
Simple filter: Here’s what I did. This is what I learned.
If you’d like to create content in an area you’re trying to build expertise in, then…
5. Learn Out Loud + Experiment
A fast way to get ‘lived experience’ is to pour yourself into learning something new. Along the way, expound on your ‘aha’ moments. And run experiments.
For example, the first thing I sold online was our bartender training program.
(To be fair, the first purchase was made online, but I ‘drove traffic’ from behind the bar 😆)
To make our training program look like a ‘thing,’ I poured myself into copywriting, offer creation, and landing pages.
I then wrote about the process in detail on the Copywriting Course blog.
And don’t forget to share your resources: podcasts, articles, videos, books, tools, etc.
- Here’s something new I’m learning as I aim to accomplish X.
- Here’s an experiment I ran. My hypothesis was X. Here’s what I learned. (👋🏼 What’s up, high school science?)
6. Can Be Actioned / Used
The internet is valuable because it either provides a) escape, or b) utility.
Netflix = Escape.
Business YouTube channel = Utility.
Unfortunately, the internet is mostly a bloodsucker because it presents a third option, C: Fluff.
Fluffy content leads the reader to not know what they’re getting — ultimately feeling their time has been wasted.
So ask yourself, “How, specifically, can this piece of content be used / shared / actioned?”
For example, this specific newsletter is a series of filters through which any writer I hire can put content through.
It saves time and leads to better results.
Simple device: How will this content provide either escape or utility?
Finally, let’s come full circle to Seth Godin.
He is a master at ‘stacking’ content. He’s written a blog post every day for almost two decades.
Every post is like a brick that he lays — stacking to build not only his body of knowledge, but that of the marketing community’s.
Many of those posts end up in his books, courses, and talks.
To get a sense of this, read his earliest and most recent posts.
See how they’re like building blocks?
Simple filter: What is this building on top of? What can be built on top of it?
I’d love to hear any thoughts you might have on content, in general. Feel free to hit “Reply” and share.
Now go have some fun with your family 🙂
(And if you enjoyed this, please consider sharing with a friend!)
Kyle Guilfoyle 🎅