You Don’t Look Smarter By Making Other People Feel Stupid

by Mack Collier

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One of the things I love about Marcus Sheridan is that he’s always sensitive to the point of view of someone that’s new to whatever topic he’s discussing, whether it’s social media, content marketing, etc.  I loved this post of his, especially this part:

So let’s be willing to embrace imperfection, shall we? Let’s allow the artist to learn as he or she goes. Let’s applaud what appears to be “mediocrity” when in reality the piece of art that was created may just have been the start of something very, very special for the creator.

This also dovetails with something Kathy Sierra talked to me about when I was writing Think Like a Rock Star, (paraphrasing) “A lot of the things that the writer adds to make themselves look like an expert, actually makes the reader feel dumb”.

We all start at zero.  The majority of people that are today considered ‘thought leaders’ when it comes to social media weren’t even using these tools 6-7 years ago.  The ‘A-List’ was completely different in 2005 when I started blogging than it is today.

Yet the best of these teachers are the ones that gained knowledge and expertise, without losing the ability to share those ideas in terms that could be easily understood.  If you are writing for others and using social media as a channel to build thought leadership you have to remember where your audience is along their path to understanding.  You cannot talk over them, you have to lead them at a pace that is comfortable to them.

Make your ideas more accessible and empower your audience to learn at a pace that’s comfortable to them.  Remember that if your words make the reader feel dumb then the reader might decide that you’re not an ‘expert’ after all.

Pic via Flickr

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam S December 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

So true!

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Mack Collier December 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Thanks Pam, hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

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