June 2, 2010

WWIF#17: Delivering Fare for Fans Versus Seeking Fanfare

What is it that we're living for
Applause, applause
Nothing I know brings on the glow
Like sweet applause

from Applause, lyrics by Lee Adams
We all have ego needs, but my Midwestern sensibilities are always a bit surprised when they encounter individuals or organizations that proclaim themselves to be the top dog, leading this or that, or #1 in their own profession or industry.

I may be a bit naive here, but I've always believed that if you do excellent work, others will take notice.  Sure, we all have to engage in a bit of self-promotion, but isn't the best word of mouth spontaneous rather than manufactured, manipulated, self-scripted, or solicited … particularly in an age when authenticity is prized?

What if instead of seeking fanfare we simply deliver better fare for our fans?  What if instead of trying to be the "indispensable __________ in our market" we create the value that others find indispensable and invaluable to their success?  What if we concentrate less on selling ourselves and more on sharing our insights and ideas?

Instead of saying "look at me, I'm great" I believe it is more rewarding to do great things worthy of others taking a look.  Instead of looking for ways to generate buzz, let's do more buzzworthy things.  Instead of being so concerned with our reputation in the moment, we should do momentous things that build a lifelong reputation.

This won't get you the most Twitter followers.
This won't get the greatest number of Diggs or Likes.

But do those really matter?

Your work truly can speak for itself, if what you are producing has something of value to say.  Otherwise, it's all just hype and noise that is here today and gone tomorrow.

Substance is more sustainable than sizzle.

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