Since my path has taken me from journalism to law to blogging to event production to marketing, it took me a good while before I settled into the fact that I am a Content Marketer. Granted, the ‘title’ didn’t necessarily exist before now, but now that it’s here, I’ve made friends with it.
Some days I’m jealous of business owners I know who sell pies or jewelry or stationery – they have something concrete that they make with their hands, that; (1) people understand and (2) has a set unit value that they can quantify, which allows for a whole slew of other benefits (and I’m sure they’d say, stressors). I often think, “what I wouldn’t give for inventory!” I’d buy my pie ingredients, bake them, sell them. Rinse and repeat. No generating a new pie recipe every single day (unless I wanted to), which would not only be exhausting but would be an insurmountable mission. My entire focus would be to perfect my pie.
But this content marketing thing is a constant hustle.
Each day you’ve got to create new content that’s interesting or entertaining and that is ‘shareable’ and now is not limited to words but extends to images and video. The creatives are the ones that win at this game because they (we?) never run out of inspiration or perspective. Still, we can run into roadblocks, especially when you throw in a dose of perfectionism. Ahem. Guilty.
Fortunately (for you), I’ve got several personal examples of this (unfortunate for me):
The Elephant In My Blog Room is….video.
Now I adore video. I majored in Television Production in college and felt the most alive in the studio. Put me in front of a professional camera and I’m a star. Once, while shooting a commercial for a brand, a producer called me: “One-Take Stacey” because I feel so comfortable and rarely need to do a second take. That’s easy peasy for me…as long as someone ELSE is doing the shooting and editing! When it comes to shooting my own video, at home, and then EDIT IT is terrifying for me and also paralyzing. So I avoid it. And it’s a shame. Two Christmases ago I shot my first haul video and was so stressed out that it looked amateurish that I deleted it. On several occasions, sweet and talented friends have ‘shown’ me how they do it, but I cannot get the hang of it. I’ve attended several workshops and I get all the fundamentals, but at the end of the day, I want it to look awesome. And so I continue to avoid it and make excuses about why I don’t vlog.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at a summit as part of a campaign I’m working on with The Century Council and there was a workshop on video presented by professional videographers. A large part of their talk was dedicated to showing us the various kinds of equipment we could use to instantly improve the quality of our ‘homemade’ vids. I was intrigued and obsessing over the details. I decided I wanted the Mac Daddy microphone but was discouraged by the price tag. And Emily, the videographer said to me: “You know, you really don’t need all of this. Especially this mega mic. It’s totally fine to start small and work your way up. The goal is for you to do whatever you need to do to get your content online.”
That has stuck with me ever since that day. After all, I’m a content marketer! That’s what I do. I need to be pushing out content left and right to keep my momentum going, my brand credible and the opportunities coming. My fear of imperfection with video (and email newsletter programs and e-course platforms…) has prevented me from sharing my content with the world. How very lame. Content is my inventory and I do have an unlimited supply; but it’s useless if I don’t get it out.