17Jan

The purgatory of being victim to boring

The age is digital. Attention spans are shorter. Life, faster. Our need for entertainment has become more like cravings with little patience for quenching. Choice is greater. And most of all, the barrier to entry is significantly smoother.

With new technology we are able to create, upload, and share in the matter of seconds (or minutes, depending on your content).  Your phone allows you to shoot and edit. Software makes it easy to adapt and manipulate on the move. Music is a free click-and-download away. YouTube is a click of your bookmark. Distribution is free.

This leaves us with a lot of content. More people creating and sharing, the more we get bombarded. To tell you the truth, I believe it is quite positive. More choice, more great talents who did not have opportunities in the old system, and something for every fetish, niche, lifestyle, and curious explorer. Although, it does makes it harder to cut through the clutter (or reach a tipping point).

Moby can be quoted as referring to it as ‘grey matter,’ (taken from the documentary film Press, Pause, Play) in reference to all the material being created and seamlessly distributed. Yet, with all this matter, some how the system is still allowing some to move into consciousness (thus creating a meme) and most left in the clutter. We still have popular music, popular movies, best sellers, and pop culture for that matter, despite there being more to choose from. It just means (as a content creator) you must work harder to get through the clutter. And how do you do that? Don’t be boring.

Seth Godin (one of my favorite minds of marketing) said it best:

“Boring is probably the worst offense. Whether your product is a book, a trading card, a car or even the tag on a bag of tea, boring is the obvious, but wrong, solution.

You’ve worked very hard on the stuff “inside.” You’ve refined, tested, edited and slaved to make sure that the idea is powerful indeed. And then it comes time to make the package—the cover. The prevailing wisdom is to create a cover that’s attractive but not offensive. Something that will attract attention from everyone and offend no one.

This is nonsense, of course. It can’t possibly attract everyone and offend no one. The very best cover images are like a cold glass of water thrown in your face. They break one or more rules of graphic design or industry rules of thumb. They play off existing images but change them in a vital and important way. They’re loud. They attract the eye, but they also hold it. And most of all, they intrigue us enough that we need to understand what’s inside: we set ourselves up to be exposed to the virus.”

-Seth Godin (Unleashing the Ideavirus)

How do you do this? In theory, these six things can help you create the bulk:

1. Build for an audience.

2. Take risks.

3. Be sticky. Give people a smooth way to share.

4. Be unique.

5. Make a damn good product.

6. Make sure your business is solving a need.

A true entrepreneur understands solutions, risk, and value. A great marketer understands art, audience, value, and communication. Don’t bore people, create some value.

-Jenna Hannon

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