Three reasons my boss hates sharing content (and how I’m trying to fix it)

Ever have one of those weeks where it starts terribly, but then there is that glimmer of light at the end. Not much, but a slither of hope that everything your doing is slowly starting to get engrained in the people around (but mainly above) you.

So, a bit of background: the small-business content-championing side of me is the side-hustle. It’s not a hobby, because that gives the impression that I’m an amateur. And I’m not. I’m fucking boss at what I do and will continue to be boss at it because I love it.

However, my Clarke Kent/Bruce Wayne/Peter Parker persona sees me create and manage content for someone else’s company at the moment. I’m proud of what I do but I know it’s not my end game. They get 100 percent from me, but it’s just part of the journey.

The benefit of this is also the downside: it sharpens my arguments as to why content is the single most important part of the selling process; because it is often first contact with a client. Yeah, closing is where you make the money, but no one is going to close with someone they don’t know and hasn’t got their attention.

There is still a real feeling among people that content — especially for social media — is a luxury. And that is what I’ve been facing this week.

It has meant I’ve been in defensive mode. At first it annoyed me. It’s something myself (and other content creators I’ve met) have faced forever.

But then I got angry. In fact, I got really fucked off. So I wrote down the reasons I thought people don’t buy into the importance of what I, we, my team do. And I came up with what I believe is their thought process and some ways to fix it.

Step 1: Lack of knowledge

Knowledge is power, and if someone feels they are powerless, they are never going to see your point of view.

I recognise that this is on me. So, the result from this now: I share everything I know. Every time I have a touch point with a superior, someone he works with, someone he’ll talk to, I’ll show them an awesome piece of content and try and slip in why it will benefit that business. I’m actively sharing more on LinkedIn as well as that seems to be where they spend their time browsing when they have a spare moment at work.

I’m taking my points to where the conversation is happening. I’m travelling to the audience.

Step 2: Fear

“What if there’s a storm around what we post?” “What if we post something that’s laughed at?” “What if…”

Yeah, here’s the fear. And with the fear will be the loathing (I’m a big Hunter S. Thomson fan). Now, knowledge should help remedy this, but with every 10 success stories on social and content, there’s one tale of horror. And that’s the one they’ll focus on.

So, the action here is to illustrate that the risk is worth it. Yeah, if we post this daft selfie of the management at an offsite one stuck up old fuckwit might say it’s unprofessional, but you’re breaking down the barrier between your board members and clients and consumers.

If they see the humans behind the brand, they are more likely to do business.

And that leads nicely into…

Step 3: Lack of transparency

Do you know why no one likes FIFA? The corruption and law suits is the biggest argument, but the source of that is lack of transparency. No one knows what goes on inside that big building, not really anyway.

Meanwhile, do you know why Brewdog is so big not only in the craft beer world, but in the food and drinks world? It’s because they are transparent, and that’s through both the good and bad times.

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Have a read of this blog when you get a chance. TL:DR= Brewdog’s lawyers began legal proceedings with a bar that they felt infringed their trademark. However, after properly reviewing the situation (and some pretty harsh press) they backed down. Not only did they back down, they blogged about the whole process and offered the bar the chance to collaborate on a few projects.

Whose brand would you trust more? Brewdog’s story is one that your likely to remember next time you’re looking for a beer and spot one of their beers as well (side note: Elvis Juice is a heavenly brew, you totally need to try it).

Content — and more importantly documenting everything — gives you an opportunity to have clients see your true ethics. Show the good, but also explain times you got it wrong and how you remedied that. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, owning up to them and showing that you as an organisation have learned from them helps.

At the end of the day, it’s all about raising the right brand recognition for your company.

If you don’t have the knowledge of what you can achieve, you’ll fear it. If you fear it, you clam up and become a mystery to stakeholders. If you become a mystery, you lose the chance to tell your story, and you probably won’t like the narration someone else will make for you down the line (and they will make up their own story).

This week eventually gave me the slither of hope I needed, and it came in the form of a blog. My superior finally allowed us to open up about one of the really cool aspects of our company. It was a delicate subject to address, but we openly and widely published what we were doing. This was on Friday, I’ll let you know what happened in a future post

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