“It is good to vary in order that you may frustrate the curious, especially those who envy you.” – Baltasar Gracian, Born Jan. 8, 1601
As Harvey Danger once put it, “if you're bored, then you're boring.”
And you DO want to frustrate the plans of people who stumble across you, so they stop what they were doing and read you instead.
And you DO want to complicate (in a good way) the plans of the people who have followed you forever by giving them new and interesting ideas that will alter and augment the plans they already made.
And everyone who follows you should be envious of you in some way. They want your success, or your lifestyle, or your talent, or your skill, or your knowledge, etc.
Give them what you can. But not everything. Not all at once. Because Gracian also said this:
“Don't show off every day, or you'll stop surprising people. There must always be some novelty left over. The person who displays a little more of it each day keeps up expectations, and no one ever discovers the limits of his talent.”
And I think that is supremely valuable advice. You don't have to blow people away with genius. Mainly because even if you ARE a genius, it's not sustainable to perform at that level in perpetuity.
Don't stress. Just be good – do good. And then occasionally push it a little farther than what is required.
Just give them at least a chuckle or a grin or an eureka or even just a nod of acknowledgment or commiseration. Use all of those.
So no one ever knows when it's safe to stop paying attention, out of fear of what cool thing they might miss when they look away.
Does that seem too hard? It isn't. Look around. Hardly anyone else is even trying.
For the stumped reader, here is a clutch of suggestions on how to give away value and variety, while still reserving the best stuff that you can sell…
1. Start with a product you sell – if it’s an info product, even better. Consider it as a solution to a set of problems. List out all those problems in detail. Teach about them one at a time. When your prospect is ready to buy, your product checks every box.
2. Do a written or video brain dump on a niche-specific topic. Just say everything you can on the subject from end to end, macro to micro. This can be content by itself, but even better, break it up into individual pieces, small enough to be single serve, but big enough to be self-contained. Deliver it as a multi-part series.
3. When you create long, juicy content, try to design an opening piece at the beginning that asks a question and answers it, but then dives into the detail after. When done, trim that beginning question/answer part and distribute it for free as a teaser for the deeper dive, which you deliver only to subscribers.
4. Give yourself a daily content limitation. 1000 words. 10 minutes. If you have more than that to say, stick a pin in it. To be continued. Post what you got and leave everyone hanging for the next installment. Repeat until you finish what you first wanted to say. Answer audience questions as content along the way.
Does that help? If so, tell me. Compliment me. Berate me. Your choice. Thanks for reading!