The pressure is real. To keep pace with the person next door. To follow the latest marketing trend. To use the best tools out there if we want to stay relevant. The old adage of ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ is more real today than ever before!
I’ve fallen to this sin more than once. In fact, when I was just starting out, I was a mass exponent of such nonsense.
You know what I mean because you see them every day…creating, sharing or screenshotting a pithy motivational quote on Insta or Facebook to share with your audience simply to elicit likes and create a little buzz around your brand.
I worked this way for a long time, but recently I’ve backed off a little.
Why? It just seems inauthentic.
Not to mention, it’s hardly even work! I mean, anyone can open up Canva, choose a sexy template, google ‘motivational quotes’ and then create away. In less than 5 minutes you’re on the wide path to guaranteed likes and clicks.
BTW, if you don’t have 5 minutes to spare to do this, follow the right pages on Facebook or Insta and simply share someone else’s wise edict that has their own clever background attached. Voila!
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For me, it really comes down to image. Do I want to be known as the ‘share around pithy quotes to build my business type of guy’ or create actual content that helps people become better people over the long haul, even if it gets zero likes or little attention?
I’m choosing the later.
I really enjoyed this weekly newsletter from Paul Jarvis when he said:
I also think these quotes have the opposite effect the person posting them is after. That’s because they make us feel good and make us feel like we can accomplish something… but without actually accomplishing anything. Who reads a quote, throws down their phone and spends 2 months building an amazing software application or writing a book?
This is sooooo true! Lots of motivational quotes often leave us feeling worse off than in the beginning. We get the short-term feeling of achievement but over the long haul we’re left wanting. Paul¹ goes on to say:
Scientific research has shown that motivational quotes make us feel the same as actually accomplishing something. If that is correct, then that’s a very, very, very bad thing. It reduces our capacity and willingness to then take real action because we already feel good about ourselves and fulfilled (and creativity doesn’t typically happen when we feel those things).
Now, if this is true (and the science is ‘right’) then it stands to reason, that to get anything of value done, we’d best leave the motivational quotes and quick need for attention and shares at the door. Instead, we should get to work actually doing something meaningful and contributing to something (anything) in a way that makes us proud and moves society forward.
For me, the whole game of little quotes and sharing other people’s quotes to build a business seems kinda fake. Unless of course, you’re a photographer or an actual smart person that posts quotes about things they themselves have said! I’d rather be known for creating real content that helps people and propels them forward, not as a way to illicit likes and shares, but as a method of pushing the human species to greater heights of achievement and depths of awareness.
And let’s be frank, no amount of sexy Insta quote will do either of those things.
And I’d rather grow my business (and brand) based on real engagement, actual fruit and clear outcomes, not simply the ones that are more liked.
1 You can hear his weekly newsletter here via iTunes.