Content marketing, even with a strategy and a plan, has a lot of decision points along the way. It’s easier with a map and a system, but there’s still a million choices that need to be made.
How do you decide what to write about? You’re a busy professional, you have a lot to say, you read a lot, you think a lot. You probably work with a lot of clients and they have problems that you try to help them solve. All that is good stuff to write about and publish on the Web so you’ll get found, get known, get clients.
Wait a minute, let me be clear about what I’m really asking you. The question is how do you decide, how do you make a decision? Do you experience options in your mind, preview consequences, and decide?
Do you observe your mental processes as they unfold? Some people do, and others don’t, they just operate impulsively and intuitively.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. But I think the ability to stand back and watch your mental processes unfold is interesting and informative.
For one thing, if you know a few things about how you make a decision, you can also imagine what goes on in the minds of some of your clients and readers. Not everybody’s exactly like you, but some of them are. This gives you insight into possibilities.
This is important when you’re writing on the Web, when your composing blog posts. And you already know how important it is to get in the shoes of readers when you’re composing a sales or landing page.
I read this post over at Seth’s Blog, and want to share it with you, it made me think about this. As a psychologist, the ability to observe yourself thinking and feeling is key to understanding others.
It’s not neuroscience. Anybody can do this. All you need to do is slow down and “observe” yourself thinking. Some people are better at it just naturally, but anyone can learn to do it. Go try it and have fun. What did you learn? Do you think this is important to do if you’re creating content that leads people to make decisions?
Of course, the truly nuanced subtlety is when you not only observe yourself thinking, but you feel yourself feeling! That’s where most of us make decisions anyway, but it is mostly subconscious and out of our awareness. You can get better at improving your mental observation skills, just by practicing.
And so the smart marketer throws away bias and stops cheering for one outcome over another and instead quietly takes notes on herself. Notes start shallow, but if you push, you can get deeper, stripping away layers of previously unexamined instinct. You can test those notes, see if they occur in other people when you vary the inputs. And it’s this series of notes and tests that give you insight on how to share your next idea. ~ Seth Godin