Oddly, I’m one of the first people to look at a quote and find it cheesy. However, there are certain mottos that break that hard outer shell and hit me right where I need it: be it my mind, my heart, or my emotions.
Below is a list of motivational quotes and sayings that I swear by in my daily life. I hope one or more of them can help you achieve your goals as well!
If you’ve never heard of this one before, KISS stands for “Keep It Simple Silly” (or some variation of “silly”). The idea is rooted in not overthinking things.
If you find yourself in a position where your wheels are spinning, ask yourself if you’re doing too much. Sometimes simplifying things or leaving them as-is, may solve your problem.
This links up with other quotes here, but I’ve famously said this one more than once because I see people who attempt to do things they should otherwise leave to someone more experienced at said task.
When I have a problem with my plumbing, for example, I’m just going to call a plumber. I can fix certain things, but my knowledge and experience with plumbing isn’t such that I need to create more issues by being stubborn and doing it myself.
Seek help where you need it: there’s no shame in admitting you cannot do something. This philosophy should also free you up to better concentrate on those things are you good at!
As mentioned above, this quote may seem to contradict what I just said. However, this is more of the KISS method application of worrying about perfection.
You may need to lower your bar as to the standard of what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Perfectionists will never get anything done because they’re always looking for things to fix. Don’t complicate the process: if it’s good, chances are others will believe it’s great… simply because you’ve already set your bar too high!
This quote can be especially challenging when dealing with negative people. Whether that’s a friend or family member telling you why you can’t achieve a goal, a bad review for your service or product, a competitor copying your concepts, or just an internet troll, you have to remember that the only factor which matters in this process is YOU.
That “you” can be yourself, your company, or your inner circle of trust. Whatever it may be, anyone outside of that immediate network should not dictate the pace. If you allow that to happen, you will always be a follower: never a leader.
I’m glad I have a smartphone, because back in the day I had to carry a notepad for when inspiration strikes.
You never know that moment: it could be in your sleep or while showering. Your subconscious is always working for you, so embrace this concept of “always thinking”. Also, be prepared to jot down that idea that pops into your head at that instant… or lose it forever. (And make sure that’s not using a phone or piece of paper while the shower water is running!)
People absolutely hate when I say this, but that’s because some people can’t be honest with themselves. They don’t like to hear the truth. They seek to be in an echo chamber and gain confirmation by being surrounded by “yes people”.
Don’t be that person. Seek the stuff that might hurt you the most.
This is the only way to make sure you’re not living a lie. It will also open communication with your team and further improve the fostering of ideas, even if, initially, it may not be the most popular one.
How does one know if the path they’re on is the right one?
Sometimes, the only way to find out is by getting off of that path and choosing a new direction. The new direction may be the right path; it may be the wrong one.
But the only way you’ll ever know is to try…
Which leads me to “why not?!”. If you’re used to using negative self-talk, such as “I can’t”, you’re already defeating yourself before you get started.
When you ask yourself “why not?!” you’re opening up a world of possibilities and forcing yourself to think outside the box.
That’s right: spaceships only move forward.
If you keep looking back and dwelling on things in the past, you’re never going to proceed. Take the rocket ship concept to heart: don’t look for the rearview mirror and move onward and upward.
One of the toughest juggling acts when content marketing is producing enough content to fill your schedule. It can feel like feast or famine: sometimes you don’t have enough content, but other times you end up with too much!
The latter is a good problem to have, but it can also be a hindrance. You don’t want to overwhelm your intended audience with too much of the same thing. Thus, you must find a balance between meeting your posting obligations and not overdoing it by stretching the same content too thin.
Ever see a leaky faucet? Notice how there’s a drip here, a drip there? Well, that’s what I refer to as a content trickle. Others have used the same term in various marketing aspects, such as email, where they drip content bit by bit.
When you have a large piece of content that you can break up into several pieces, it never hurts to do so. This will give you multiple ways to use your initial piece of information as separate, individual posts: filling out your editorial calendar.
Keep in mind, you might reshare this content later, so you’re already getting some “juice” out it more than once. However, if you go too far and are following my advice on resharing down the road, you may inundate your audience with the same thing, over and over, so much that they stop responding to you.
A good example is breaking a lengthy blog post into 2, 3, or even 4 iterations. A series is never a bad thing, but think if this is something you should logically trickle out or not. Is each part of the series worthwhile on its own merit?
If not, you may have broken it into too many pieces. Your followers may find no value in continuing to read the series, leaving your best parts and conclusion with less response than your initial post.
Another example, and sometimes the easiest to get carried away with, is event photos. Sharing a photo here or there to promote, or later brag about a successful event, is fine. It’s when you start to individually post those photos outside of an album or gallery where you must heed caution.
Posting ten photos individually isn’t as good as posting all ten at once, or five-and-five in two individual posts. There are exceptions to the rule, but generally, you may not want one specific series to dominate all of your website or social media posts. To the unknowing, they may see these photos, in the individual spammy way, and believe this is all you do.
I always go back to the geniuses who ran circus tents in a bygone era. They knew that people may come to see elephants, clowns, or trapeze artists, but they may not buy a ticket to see them all.
You must appeal to a broad audience by casting your net far and wide. This is why a small trickle of breaking down your content to generate a few extra posts isn’t a bad idea. But like the circus, you don’t want to only showcase the clowns!
Spread the love and mix in some other posts if you do plan to be a bit more spammy with a specific topic than usual. My rule of thumb is to have a least two other pieces of content to put in rotation with the main point you’re trying to drive home. Doing so will mix up your posting schedule and may help bring others to your “Big Top” rather than only shouting into a megaphone (i.e. spamming content) that you have the “World’s Tallest Man”.
This may seem like a very innocent question in the world of content marketing, but it’s a noteworthy one. Every blog you write, every post you make on social media, every word you speak on a podcast or publish in an email or eBook is significant.
For example, if you mention a third-party product (i.e. not your own) in a campaign, you may be seen as endorsing it. Worse, you could be giving away free advertising.
The first thing to understand is that anything you say or do with you audience carries weight. A simple thank you or mentioning a mutually beneficial partner is an act of good will: randomly mentioning something else may have a negative impact, which a brand spinning its wheels to gain traction cannot afford to do.
Therefore, always ask yourself: “What does this do for you?”
That’s not a selfish stance, but something that must be thought out when focusing on your content marketing strategy. Your primary focus should be sales or new business. In order to attract those customers or clients, your efforts should spotlight your brand or company.
Generally speaking, you want to bring your audience to you. You do that by sharing information on social media, however, it’s not always that simple. There’s no harm in sharing posts from someone else or publishing photos on your social media networks, but there’s little “juice” to be gained to get those potential buyers to take the next step. A breadcrumb trail leading back to your website (where your sales pitch is, hopefully, well defined) should be your primary goal.
Sharing the local weather report, that someone can get anywhere else (such as the source) probably won’t help your return on your investment of time and money. That’s an issue I see with many potential new and even existing clients. They share/post a lot on social media, but it doesn’t generate any conversation and certainly if it’s not leading back to their website with a link or call to action, it disappears into the oblivion with no interaction.
“Sharing is Caring” but you have to be careful to not overshadow your own efforts. Think of it this way – you wouldn’t buy a billboard or radio spot for someone else, so we need to ask ourselves why we’re freely promoting something, if, “it does nothing for you.”
Again, that may come off as self-serving, but that’s the entire purpose of marketing. Far too often I see people with great drive expend their energy on things that aren’t directly helping their bottom line. Don’t be that person. Get down to basics and ask yourself the question above. You may find that this concept helps streamline your overall efforts and makes them more efficient and effective!
I believe that one of my biggest obstacles, even including what I publish on this website or via the DisContent podcast, is overthinking things. Far too often we can outsmart ourselves; that’s never for the better.
There was a time where I thought “Who would read that?” or “Who would listen to this?” Those types of thoughts are self-defeating. You don’t even attempt to run in the race, so to speak, because you don’t even line up at the start.
Somehow, I got over that hurdle. It may have been a nudge or a small push by a friend or a family member, or just having something get under my skin enough to say “alright, I’ll try this.” Once I made that leap and consistently made an effort to write blog posts or record podcasts, I realized that if you have something worth saying, then yes, people will read or listen.
Furthermore, that audience is more than I ever could’ve imagined. When I look back on my hesitation, I often wonder what may have happened if I had jumped at the opportunity presented to me sooner.
That’s where one of my go-to sayings originated. Working within groups or teams in a leadership capacity, I was often pitched ideas. I didn’t want to shut down any ideas right away, no matter how bad it may have appeared on the onset. Doing so will shut down the group and risk never getting any new ideas.
Somewhere out of those brainstorming sessions, a motto was born out of necessity: “Why not?” We would receive a proposal and approach it in a new way. This is opposed to when I found myself shutting down ideas before giving them any real thought.
“That won’t work.”
That’s how I used to think. When those words came out of my mouth they did so for no good reason. Replacing them with “Why not?” forced me to find reasons to not do something. This is all within good reason, of course. Expensive ideas when working within the confines of a budget may never work. However, when the only expense is your time or energy, it becomes harder to come up with excuses.
In fact, excuses expose themselves as excuses.
With no excuses in the way, “why not” has led me to do things I never imagined possible. I’ve met extraordinary people and have made business deals which otherwise would’ve never materialized. If I wouldn’t have had that mentality, I would have immediately slam shut a door in which an opportunity may have opened.
That’s how the “why not” principle has been applied to my content marketing strategy. If you’re thinking a blog, podcast, or social media campaign won’t pay dividends, I beg you to ask yourself the same question:
If you can’t come up with good reasons then it’s time to take the dive. (And by good reasons, I don’t mean not having the technology or the know-how: those things are readily available and sometimes at no cost by marketing consultants such as myself.)
Sometimes I come off sounding like a cheerleader when it comes to encouraging people to get into content marketing: I promise you, you’ll feel more like your own cheerleader when your efforts pay off.
I know I sure do.
Nowadays when I’m approached with an idea I find myself asking the same question. I have to force myself to come up with a compelling reason as to “Why not?” before closing those doors of potential opportunity.
However, keep in mind that asking this simple two-word question doesn’t mean you say “yes” to every proposal which comes your way either. While it’s difficult to say no in some situations, especially if you’re starting out, the two-letter word “N-O” must also be a part of your vocabulary. Otherwise, you find yourself with no filter and in the center of a bunch of potentially poor business decisions.
Simply put, “why not” is a way to add a filter before automatically entering the rejection phase. Making it a motto forces you to think things over and proceed with caution. Once you have a knack for what works and what doesn’t, the “Why not?” mentality will become easier to implement.
And when it does, you will reap the rewards of breaking barriers by not setting artificial limits on your marketing efforts.
One mantra you may hear me repeat a lot through my written and audio formats I produce content on is “be good, not great”.
I’d like to better explain the philosophy behind that statement. I want everyone to be great, but in most cases, content marketing and platform building are secondary to your main business. If you make pizzas or build cabinets for a living, be great at doing those.
Be good at doing this.
It’s lowering the bar, but with good reason. As you write a blog, record a podcast, or post to social media, you don’t want added stress. I know all too well what it’s like to be a perfectionist and stressing over every little detail in this overwhelming publishing world that is content marketing could become cumbersome.
Now, being “good” doesn’t give you a pass to put out lousy information or blatantly skip over proofreading your material either! By all means, take some shortcuts to not only save yourself time but relieve yourself of any added pressure these additional marketing tasks may bring along with them.
Spellcheck is your friend, but we can all miss a word here or there, but unless you’re an author, readers will understand you’re an expert in your field, not at being a wordsmith.
If you record a podcast, an errant sound at times (like air conditioning kicking on or a pet making racket) may seem like the end of the world: but it’s not. Your audience may notice but will quickly forget.
However, don’t make a habit out of having bad habits. You don’t want to be poor, you want to be at least good. If you can achieve greatness, that’s even better. In the end, the goal isn’t to be a perfectionist at writing or recording: it’s to further spread the word about your brand.
Small mistakes won’t derail your efforts but constant errors or a deluge of poor content can turn off even the most avid of your advocates.
So, focus on being good. Use a word processing program to type up your blog or social media posts and re-read them at least once to hone in on any potential errors before letting them into the wild.
If you’re recording audio or video, don’t sweat small details, but make a concerted effort to remove certain unnecessary words or long pauses from those recordings, or if possible, edit them out. (Editing takes more time, obviously, so try to make a habit of not doing that to save you some precious moments!)
And last but not least, you will learn by making mistakes. That’s the main reason you shouldn’t obsess over them. As you continue to consistently publish new content you will refine your process and eventually become a pro.
You’ll be great, not good. But to coin a baseball reference, don’t swing for the fences first. You have to settle for some base hits before you can go all the way to Homeplate!
If you’ve listened to the last few episodes of the DisContent Podcast, you may have heard me use the phrase “you only have to be good, not great”.
That statement doesn’t refer to your actual expertise, rather, is a statement I make to help downplay the stress which can occur from overwhelming yourself with the pressures of content marketing.
Some of those pressures can include being a perfectionist. While having proper grammar in a blog post or making sure a dog isn’t barking in the background while recording a podcast can take you from looking like an amateur to a professional, those steps are far more important than concerning yourself with speaking for exactly twenty minutes or imposing a 1,000-word quota for your articles.
Be “good” and the “great” will come. Focus on those things you are best at and let the content come naturally. Adding negative influencers, such as stressing over strict deadlines and content guidelines will only hinder your best efforts.
It can also make even the most persistent people quite overnight.
That’s why you can make your own rules. The only one I feel people should implement 100% of the way when undertaking a new blog, podcast, or social media campaign, is to stay consistent. You make the schedule, but at the same time, stick to it.
Another big part of consistency is practicing what you preach. Obviously, if you’re not a writer or editor (like myself) you can get away with a spelling error here or there. Stick to what can be forgiven.
However, if you provide a service and post a photo on Instagram that goes against your best practices, you’re only doing yourself a disservice.
Therefore, when you begin (or continue) with your content marketing efforts, make sure you stay firm to appear professional, but don’t sweat the small details. No one needs to spend hours on a script to read during a podcast. If a blog entry is only 400 words, don’t force more just for the sake of stuffing words into it.
Sometimes the simple path is the best one. In this case, don’t overextend yourself by raising expectations. In due time you will create an audience who will encourage and help you achieve greatness.
And all it took to get there was doing good stuff!
Far too often I speak with people who are too concerned with finding that “missing piece of the puzzle” when it comes to content marketing. Everyone is trying to sell them the latest widget that will make them the best and stand out more than the competitor. They also promise shortcuts which makes things easier.
The truth to the matter is, there are no secrets to doing this line of work. In fact, content marketing is what you make of it.
That is, the time and effort involved to stand out. Now, that doesn’t mean there are more efficient or easier ways to do what you’re already doing. (Or get you to do it more efficiently or easier, if you’re not doing anything right now!)
But first things first: like anything else you may be involved in, you’re only going to receive what you put in. “Sweat equity” is a tried and true component of content marketing. How often you post to your Facebook page or reply to tweets will dictate engagement, and amplification, more than anything else you can do.
If someone sends you a message: respond.
If someone comments, click that like/favorite button or if you feel compelled, reply!
It’s easy and only takes a few moments of your time each day. Maybe even every other day, depending on what field you’re working in. That may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Another thing you don’t have to be is a slave to content.
I see far too many eyes glaze over at the thought of becoming a part-time publishing house in addition to their existing duties within their job description. They overthink, are then overwhelmed and end up quitting before they ever begin.
That’s why I mean it when I say: content marketing doesn’t have to be a scary word.
This is your blog. Your podcast. Your social media page.
Yes, I’m operating an entire platform that tells you how to do this stuff, but you still play by your rules. While it’s still important to make a schedule and adhere to it, you are the one who decides when you do that work.
So, the only “secret” that may not be public knowledge when it comes to social media, blogs, or podcasts is “consistency”. The only way to gain the loyalty of your followers is to be consistent. Don’t insult their loyalty by
Those loyal followers you gain trust consistency. And that’s really the only “secret” to content marketing: be consistent. If you do updates weekly, do them weekly. If it’s every Monday, do that. Regardless, do what works for you, in this moment and on your terms.
And if you happen to have a lapse, where for some reason you can’t make that blog post or publish a Facebook update, don’t sweat it. We all get caught up. Your followers are following, but they too have a schedule to stick to. One miss here or there isn’t the end of the world and would likely be missed on holidays were a flood of happenings are stealing your audience’s attention.
In other words, they might miss your latest and greatest article or episode. But they’ll be back… as long as you aren’t inconsistent and can’t be followed. So, don’t miss too much and don’t abandon your blog or your Pinterest page. There’s nothing worse than someone wondering if you’re still in existence because your last post was November 2016.
Worse yet, how can you ask for followers when you’re too hard to follow?