Treat every piece of content—every tweet, every Facebook post, every CTA, every press outreach email—with the utmost care. There needs to be a bit of an internal struggle when we hit send or publish, if we don’t feel it, I don’t think it’ll be good enough.
This shouldn’t be confused with perfectionism, we want to push things out with consistency and without lingering.
This is about self-discipline to go through that struggle—even if it’s felt ever so slightly—every single time.
We don’t want to become churners – that churn out posts, or tweets, or what have you.
Every single piece of content is the only one that matters.
We give it all of our attention. We want to make it excellent, and we have a slight feeling of vulnerability and discomfort when we get it out because we think it might be too edgy or that it might fail. That is, however, what also creates the volatility of the piece, the opportunity for it to rise above everything else we’ve written so far and stand out and attract everyone’s attention.
Sometimes we think that just putting out a consistent number of things will just create some outliers that’ll help us win. Heck, I even believed this for a long time and advised people to just focus on quantity. I don’t think that’s true anymore. Yes, we need to output things at high quantity, but we need to treat every single piece of output as the one that’ll be a breakout hit.
Every single piece, we have to feel like “this is going to be the one.” Not all in the same way, but all in their own unique way of redefining excellence for their own area. And then, only some of them will be the true breakout hits and most of them won’t. But that’ll be the only way for us to truly create a space of excellence.
I think this is the approach we want to take and possibly we’ve fallen off it slightly reading some comments of how people feel about what we produce. It will require a lot of inward reflection and learning, and it won’t always feel great as we go through that struggle. I do think it’ll help us create something we’re truly proud of, where we can say: “Yes, writing this wasn’t easy, and I doubted myself a few times along the way. I then published it with slight discomfort, but I felt it was the right thing to do. Now seeing the results makes me happy.” Or maybe it’ll be a disappointment, but the self-discipline for being uncomfortable has to be there.
(This was originally shared as an Evernote note to the Buffer marketing team following the great discussion in a recent post on the blog.)