road less traveledHey, Content Strategist! Ready to make some magic by walking the content road less traveled?

Yes, you. I’m talking to you.

What if, instead of doing what every single content marketing guru told you to do (“Do more!” “Be everywhere!” “Jump on the bandwagon!”), you bucked the trend?

What if, instead of being on the most appealing platform du jour (podcasts, anyone? Also, WHY?), you instead focused on a platform that let you express yourself the best way you knew how?

Even if you hadn’t been super-active on it to date (or EVER) … and didn’t have the massive network you have elsewhere… and were pretty sure your initial posts might not engender a groundswell of reaction?

But – and this is important – it gave you your voice in a way none of the other platforms did… and helped you show just a little bit more of yourself to the world than you ordinarily would… what then? Would you go for it?

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

When it comes to content generation and marketing – which is such a huge part of Social PR – there are already a lot of best practices laid down. Because, after all, we’ve been doing this for a while now.

So we’ve figured out decent workflows, integrations, and we can sync X to Y, and Y to Z, and we may even have learned how to automate most of it so that it’s taking place while we sleep (or while someone’s sleeping).

But it isn’t FUN any more.

Now, granted, not all we do as part of “work” is fun – that’s impossible.

But if you and I are lucky enough to pursue the practice, or teaching, of Social PR as our primary means of earning a living, most of it sure beats flipping burgers at MacDonald’s. Right?

So if we are this incredibly lucky to make money doing something we actually enjoy… doesn’t it stand to reason we need to keep finding ways to keep enjoying it?

Why, then, do we get stuck in content ruts? And I’m calling out “content” because it is such a big part of what Social PR pros do.

“Is everyone good at social media?”

That’s what one of my Social PR Virtuosos asked just the other day, when we had a (relatively impromptu) meet-up.

It was almost as if she’d gotten everyone to line up at the psychiatrist’s couch. Because we talked about time, and creativity blocks, and private v. public personas… all the things that continue to plague Social PR pros even though “social” has really become a way of life.

The thing is, this is going to happen. The honeymoon phase of any industry, any platform, inevitably passes, and then it starts becoming WORK.

And we equate “work” with “drudgery.” We just do, it’s human nature.

And that, I think, is the point at which we need to stop, collaborate and listen 😎 … to our instincts.

If we are still doing what we started out doing, 5, 10 years ago (or more), there’s something about it that keeps us there.

And if we’re staying put, it’s on us to find the magic again.

What’s the point of complaining about how crowded the marketplace has become, or how the community feeling of yesteryear has dissipated?

It has, and it has. That’s just the way life goes. Things change, people move on.

But it’s still possible to find wonder in what we do… and if not wonder, per se, at least the fulfillment that we’re doing our bit to make the world a better place, by helping people connect at the right times, and for the right reasons.

So, I ask you again, Content Strategist: what can YOU do today to stop making your work feel like a basketful of tired laundry? How can YOU change your approach to content to start seeing, and feeling, its magic again?

What are YOU doing today to change the world?

Image: George Hiles via Unsplash, CC Zero

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR VirtuosoÂź online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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