I have a confession. I’m guilty of one of the biggest crimes a modern communications professional can make; I’ve stopped communicating!
Okay, anyone who knows me knows that’s not really true. I communicate plenty in my ongoing interactions with family, friends and the students I teach from across the planet. I’m also constantly communicating with, for and on behalf of clients. In fact, I produce seemingly endless amounts of content for those clients and their target markets. I’m constantly developing a broad range of marketing strategies for them and guiding the development of all forms of professional communications through all channels. Nearly my entire job involves helping clients convey what they hope others will find value in hearing, seeing or reading. What I haven’t been doing however, as is evident in my blog activity in recent years, is communicating on my own behalf, and on behalf of my boutique agency, that which I hope others will find value in hearing, seeing or reading.
Over recent years, I’ve made plenty of excuses to temporarily satisfy my own sense of guilt about this. I’ve told myself that, due to my workload, I’ll just have to get to my blogging and social media communication after dealing with this client priority or that one. I’ve told myself it didn’t really matter because my clients likely weren’t following my writing anyway, particularly because we’re communicating very regularly already. I’ve been convinced at times that writing about my own personal reflections on business and life was only serving my own ego and offering little value to others. And in the midst of the present social media landscape where everyone with an opinion seems to presume their opinion is worth sharing, I didn’t really want to be “that guy”. While these claims may all have some validity for me personally, the outcome has still been the same; I’ve remained virtually silent in some of the most critical professional communication arenas.
Well, even if no one is listening now, even if it doesn’t really matter, even if I personally use (or don’t use) social media differently than I do for clients, it’s time to stop that habit of not communicating. Somehow, I’d lost sight of a basic truth that I believe applies here. You can’t generate a response, a reaction, without first taking some kind of action. Inaction, or the failure to engage at all, leads to nothing at best and poor positioning at worst. And effective communication requires at least being part of the dialogue.
So, it’s time to get back to work and to practicing what I preach. For starters, I’m back to posting in this blog. I may not always know whether my audiences will get the value I hope they’ll get from my words, but I’ll at least be engaging in the dialogue and inviting others to join in that dialogue. I’ll be just doing something, writing something, anything, and taking some kind of action to contribute where I can. Not acting results in nothing. If you’re reading this, then you’ve already made it worth my writing it. And for that I say, “Thanks!”