immediately after getting an idea for a content project, many writers become preoccupied with the existing competition:
“it will be extremely difficult to stand out.”
if that sounds familiar, i’m hoping you’ll change your mind by the time you finish reading this post.
to start, think of the last time you heard a song you loved, but you didn’t know the name of the singer or band who performed it. you then ask this question …
who is this?
it could be music that plays during a television show or the closing credits of a movie.
it could make your ears perk up when you’re switching radio stations in your car.
the joy you get from listening becomes a mission:
find out who performs this song.
and once you find out, you might also research:
- which album the song is on
- where the singer/band is from
- how many other albums they have
this could lead to:
- listening to more songs by the artist
- buying merchandise
- looking up their next virtual concert or in-person tour dates
the same idea can be applied to your content, and you’ll also see this element of curiosity in the best taglines.
the first time someone reads your writing, they should feel curious about you.
they should ask …
who created this?
essentially, you want to make someone curious about:
generic content doesn’t stimulate curiosity.
but before you can uncover and harness the qualities that make you special, you have to start with something.
in the music example above, the artist had already produced other work for you to explore. they were putting in the time, experimenting, failing, and trying again … long before you had ever heard of them.
they were building their body of work so that they had more to offer you once you did finally discover them.
build your body of work
the work you do when no one is watching is never a waste.
even though you’ll probably be more reserved about what you reveal when you first start out, that early writing is still an important part of your evolution.
once you get comfortable publishing, you’ll learn to add the remarkable details that form connections with your audience members.
rethink competition by stimulating curiosity
“if every comedian in the world quits tomorrow, i’m not any funnier.”
– jerry seinfeld
similarly, if every other writer in your niche quits tomorrow, you’re not automatically going to win more clients and customers.
if you don’t present the right kind of value to the people you want to attract, that scenario doesn’t give you any advantage.
keep that in mind to:
- overcome your hesitation to start
- commit to your content project
- produce a body of work that continually makes people curious about you
you have limitless ways to do that — there’s a new opportunity every time you publish.
your most recent piece of content should be your only competition.