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It’s Not About You: People Will Listen When You Provide Real Value

People often tell me that they get tripped up when it comes to content creation and trying to validate their work because they question whether what they have to say is good enough and if it provides real value. I always tell them the same thing, it’s not about you.

When you create content, your orientation should be to create value for others. Sadly, you’re part of a WIIFM world—a time when most people’s orientation is “What’s in it for me?”

“What’s in it for me?”

Before you start defending yourself and declaring you are not a narcissist, that’s not what I mean. Have you ever fallen into the trap of feeling discouraged or not good enough because you didn’t get enough opens on your newsletter, clicks to your blog, or hearts on your last Instagram post?

What about LinkedIn? Have you ever written something and thought it was stellar only to receive 24 views and no comments or interactions?

When you let vanity metrics run the show when it comes to how to validate your work, you’ve fallen into the WIIFM world. Social media drives a WIIFM mentality by showing you those red notifications every time you log in to your account. Who has commented or liked “my stuff.” Who wants to connect with “me?” This is all WIIFM-related.

Provide real value.

What if you turned it around though and realized that while everyone is stuck in a WIIFM state of mind, you can be SWIIFT. You can “See What’s In It For Them.”

I wrote about this in my first book Pilot to Profit before WIIFM was as rampant as it is today. Now more than ever, we need people to see what really is in it for other people.

When you create content, don’t fall into the trap of validating your work through likes, comments, clicks and shares. Don’t create clickbait and try to trick people into falling for your vanity metric addiction, instead, provide real value.

  • Write something that can help one person.
  • Write to one person at a time.
  • Take one thing you know and share it.

Start to plant seeds of value and suddenly you’ll start to see that people are paying attention because instead of focusing on what’s in it for you, you really are focused on what’s in it for them.

How will you be applying the SWIIFT state of mind to your work?


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