2/18/2016: Experiences

Today I was moderating an online workshop @jasondoesstuff was co-hosting and someone in the chat posed this question: how do you keep coming up with new, valuable content to share in order to build your audience? This attendee clearly knows, as I know, that the key to building an audience or a following for your business is to attract a group of engaged people by delivering value to them on a consistent basis. But so much of the advice I see around this topic of producing content/audience building is that this value needs to come from a place of expertise. That the value comes from the knowledge or “proven methods” that you’re able to dispense, which no doubt can be daunting (as this workshop attendee’s question suggests.)

Positioning yourself as an expert or positioning the value you provide around your know-how can be great and it certainly works; it’s just not how I ever knew I would run my business. I’m a jack of all trades through and through. A perpetual novice always learning new things. I knew that building an expertise in one subject area would not only be a long-shot for me, the notion of it bored me to death.

So instead I decided to work with my strengths. I love sharing my experiences, it’s something that comes naturally to me. From the beginning of my business, all I’ve done is continued to teach myself new things and write about them to my audience. What I’ve learned in the process is this: our experiences are valuable. In some cases I would argue experience is even MORE valuable than knowledge because it’s real and tangible and not theoretical as some “strategies” can be.

I just hit send on a 3,300 word email about how I discovered a printing partner for the #MVartshop. The whole process of selling art as prints is something that there’s a surprisingly little amount about online, so I decided to walk people through the process as I learn about it. And I know there is PLENTY more where that content came from. How do I come up with new ideas? I live. I learn. I experience. And then I report back. Don’t forget there is immense value in your experiences.