I was a working co-founder/CEO. Each day I came into the office, had operational and marketing stand-ups, and dealt with the day-to-day of managing a growing tech company. I loved that reality, but it resulted in some social marketing inconsistencies that I didn’t love.
All you have to do is look at my history in Twitter or LinkedIn to see my inconsistent participation in those platforms. Look into my ioninteractive.com blog history and you can see my inconsistent creation of original content as well. The lack of social promotion was just a symptom of the lack of content creation.
Can Discipline be Inconsistent?
Plenty of people in my position have the discipline to regularly produce content. I could be one of those people for certain periods of time, but not consistently over months and years. I saw a couple of reasons for that.
First, my day-to-day was often under some sort of non-disclosure (our customers were pretty particular that way). That meant my most inspiring stories and experiences couldn’t be shared. That was a challenge as the data behind our results was what people REALLY wanted to soak up.
Second, I just didn’t love the self-promotional feeling I got from social. It somehow felt gratuitous, even when I was sharing other people’s content. For me, I have to love something in order to make it habit.
Both of those are lame excuses. I could have worked smarter to abstract around NDAs without sounding cagey. And I could have learned to have a voice that I was 100% comfortable with.
The irony is that one of the things I love to do most is to create original content. It makes me feel useful. It’s also incredibly valuable to the brand I represent. The foundation of modern marketing is useful content.
When I was running ion interactive, I excused my personal inconsistent content production by maintaining that it was less important that managing the company. Perhaps that was true. But, perhaps it wasn’t.
In hindsight, I think more consistent, high-level content may have stimulated more impassioned advocates and driven even faster growth. Quality content was voraciously consumed by our universe and often cited as the impetus behind an inbound. We were navigating in a nascent market where ideas and results were the educational currency that drove adoption. Lower-level content was nice, but it didn’t convince enterprise CEOs and CMOs to prioritize something new, innovative and potentially risky.
In retrospect, I believe my priorities were misguided. I had a core responsibility to continually create content that I treated as an optional part of my role. I won’t make that mistake again. There’s a reason that founders are founders. The original thoughts and ideas that drive the formation of companies and the inventions of solutions are the very foundation of the most valuable content. What could be more important that the consistent sharing of those perspectives?