A few days ago, I got into a conversation with one of my co-workers when they encouraged me to get our company, Thrive HDS, out there by posting articles and links on LinkedIn. The discussion prompted me to consider whether I should focus on simply follow the pack and puke up all interesting stuff I read in a day to all my friends and business colleagues, or should I try to offer original content and commentary?
Three years ago, I made the decision to go the original content route. I made the decision that I am going to be my own brand. In addition to being my virtual therapist, I have used this blog to further clarify who I am professionally with a smattering of personal views as well. As some of you know, it has been an interesting journey.
There are a number of reasons why a lot of people avoid the original content route. Most of the reasons have to do with our insecurity letting the world have a glimpse into your ideas, your beliefs, and your abilities.
- Those ideas and beliefs may alienate friends and loved ones. You may be confirming what your critics have suspected. One could argue that your family and your “real” friends already know you.
- You may eliminate yourself from being promoted or influence your bid for that new job you believe you really want. Do you really want to take a position that is not a good fit? We have all taken jobs with that great company, only to find out later we didn’t really fit in.
- It is hard to consistently produce original content. Sometimes, the ideas and words don’t just come. I currently have about 25 draft blog posts. Most of them are cases where I had an idea that I couldn’t turn into words. In addition, we all get distracted with our professional and work lives.
- You might confirm to the world that you don’t have original ideas. Our insecurity gets the best of some of us.
The benefits of providing original content can be great. You might be found by employers and individuals who have similar interests.
- You have an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge (or lack of) expertise in a particular area. You don’t do that by simply regurgitating someone else’s article. You do that by offering commentary on articles and sharing original content. Hiring managers are always looking to find somebody with this skill or that skill. How do you demonstrate you are a subject matter expert in a way that differentiates you from the hundreds that are applying for an opportunity?
- When I interview for a job, I always suggest that the hiring manager take a look at this site. I want them to know what they are getting. I am an Agile/Scrum bigot. I am not a good fit in a company with a rigid project-by-PMBOK company. Saint Tina says I don’t have a filter, so if you are looking for a “Yes” man who is going to blend into the background, I am not your guy.
- You are contributing your ideas and thoughts to the world. My ideas and opinions are based on my experiences and the thousands of books and articles that I have read throughout my life. Those of you who love to re-tweet and share, feel free to share my posts with anybody and everybody on your friends list.
- Writing can be therapeutic. As I work through the challenges in my life, I have found that putting my thoughts down on virtual paper helps me to review what I am doing right, and what I am doing wrong.
The best thing to do is to just start. Start in a small way. There are a number of free blog sites out there. Sign up and start writing. You don’t have to tell anybody, and you don’t have to put your name on it. Be original and just start.
Thanks for coming today.