Marketing Your Passion, after Burnout.

Marketing Your Passion, after Burnout.

Someone asked Neil Gaiman how to write an autobiography. He replied,

"Write down everything that happens in the story, and then in your second draft, make it look like you knew what you were doing all along."

The same is true for marketing.

Think about it. You know the story.

You know the inner workings of your craft, but it doesn't always feel like you know what's going on, especially all along.

Is it wrong to re-write a story to make you look better?

If you're stuck in the past, wondering what you did wrong, it may just be what you need.

Let me act like I've known all along and fill you in. 😎😂

The Creative's Problem

The entrepreneur's journey is difficult.

You wrestle your passion and bring it into a state people will understand and value as much as you do.

That statement shows three problems.

  1. Passion requires refinement.
  2. No one currently understands.
  3. People won't assign the same value.

How you solve these problems depend on your focus.

If you're "thing-focused," this story will resonate.

💡
Hint: People that are thing-focused forget to consider what their audience needs.
I started working in my space and noticed everyone was better than me.
I honed my skills and created content based on my interests.
People didn't respond or seem to care.
My work is now superior, but competitors still enjoy more opportunities.
I imitate my competition and see some success but can't figure out how to sustain it.
Imitation leads to neglecting my interests, creating half-hearted content, and eventually burnout.
I don't feel the passion anymore or even know where I went wrong.

"People-focused" need highly skilled thing-focused people.

💡
Hint: People-focused people tend to allow unskilled people to support them.

The people you work with need to match your skill with people.

If not, you will be constantly frustrated.

I invite you to test me, spend six months with proper support and try to go back.

How far do you think you could go with the right team?


Warning signs

If you're currently feeling symptoms of marketing burnout and aren't sure if you're in trouble yet, ask yourself, "do I agree with these quotes?"

If yes, it's time to act. Save yourself months or years of pain.

I've been bettering my skills and focusing on my interests for so long that I am out of touch with my audience. At the same time, I measure my success through engagement and response.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but nothing is working.
I consider my marketing channels as a diary for what's going on in my business.

The Solution

Refine your topics and niche.

For years I didn't want to be tied to a specific niche, but then I read an article that changed that forever.

Check out this graphic from Ghost: The unexpected (but proven) way to find your niche in the creator economy. This write-up should be required reading for anyone starting a business, and I highly suggest reading it thoroughly.

Overlaps represent meaningful engagements between Skills, Interests, and Your Audience.

The article says, "The overlap is the sweet spot, where your experience, skills, interests, and the customer's needs all meet."

Neglecting one sphere causes the others to make less sense. To you and anyone with whom you want to connect.

Figure out what your audience wants, then give it to them.

It takes a lot of patience and insight to get to this point. Pushing through is so worth it. Here's how I did it.

Poll your audience.

Ask but expect to read between the lines.

People don't know the most profound reason why something resonates with them, so be ready to help them fill in the blanks.

Take notes, but don't convince.

Honest feedback should give you a clear picture of yourself from the outside.

Count yourself lucky if you have a trusted customer you can ask. Better yet, they give helpful feedback.

Help to get help

If you have a problem, chances are your audience has problems.

Solve a problem for them, then ask for feedback.

Timing is everything. If the customer is busy, ask for a review.

Send a review prompt that asks meaningful questions.

Understand what your audience values.

My audience was tired of people telling them how to do business.

Every guru had an idea of what people should be doing in marketing.

Every method is the silver bullet they have to learn, paid ads, LinkedIn outreach, technical SEO, etc.

My audience values someone teaching them how to do business their way.

What format does your audience enjoy?

You don't have to stick to classical ways of doing things.

I enjoy writing, and my mind thinks in words, so I blog and speak.

Jack Butcher from Visualize Value shares quotes in black and white visuals.

Follow the rule of 100

Another thing I got from the article is their callout to this awesome video by Noah Kagan. (He created AppSumo.)

The video advocates creating 100 consecutive pieces of content before evaluating, iterating, or pivoting.

You can use a similar process to reduce your expectations around your creations.

That way, content production is faster than you thought possible, and sticking with the plan is less effort.

Time to re-write the story.

I started working in my space and noticed everyone was better than me.
My beginnings keep me humble.

I honed my skills and created content based on my interests.
I took time to improve my skills and curate my interests.

People didn't respond or seem to care.
I learn from mistakes and don't let them hold me back.

My work is now superior, but competitors still enjoy more opportunities.
It isn't me versus my competition. It's me for my audience.

I imitate my competition and see some success but can't figure out how to sustain it.
I learned from masters of my craft, but my way sustains my passion.

Imitation leads to neglecting my interests, creating half-hearted content, and eventually burnout.
I've learned that staying true to myself means people get the best version of me. That version is valuable, and people are happy to support my work.

I don't feel the passion anymore or even know where I went wrong.
I guard my passion and pay close attention to the people around me.


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Written by Cody Tucker

Eternal optimist, thinking my way through life, sharing confusing and sometimes helpful thoughts. Wanna go deeper? Join the Convo

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