Many a day, that phrase, as in…
I’m sorry, but you must be mistaking me for someone who cares.
…is my dominant reaction to content I read in blogs and social media.
I imagine I’m not alone here. I’ll bet many of you know, probably followed at one time, that guy — the guy who tweets 48 times a day and appears never to have had an unexpressed thought. The guy who makes you think, “I’m sorry, but you must be mistaking me for someone who cares.”
If you ask me, not wanting to be that guy is a pretty commendable goal when it comes to publishing your content.
But don’t let it paralyze you.
Not being That Guy
One of my clients who is on the verge of blogging and social networking is commendably committed to not becoming that guy. Between you and me, though, I think he may be letting his fear of inviting the I’m Sorry, But You Must Be Mistaking Me For Someone Who Cares reaction discourage his efforts.
It’s not uncommon.
The funny thing about this fellow is that he’s quite brilliant and extremely thoughtful (in both senses) and interesting. In the many years I’ve worked with him, every link he ever emailed me — every online article and YouTube video and TED talk he’s ever recommended I check out — was well worth the check-out. Some were even a bit life-altering.
Did all of these recommendations pertain to his primary field of endeavor? No. (But you know what they say about “all work and no play”.)
So to this fellow — and anyone else who may be reluctant to blog or tweet or post about some kernel of inspiration for fear of being that guy, I have this advice:
- You’re not that guy. (At least not yet.)
- So go for it.
- The people who really care about you will let you know if and when you start becoming that guy. (Sign me up; I’ll be glad to oblige.)
- Don’t visualize everyman or everywoman when you put pen to paper. Visualize someone in your tribe who you think might be interested in what you have to say. Chances are, more than a few will be.
- Every blog post needn’t be a epistle. Every bit of the content you publish need not be directly related to your business.
- You don’t have to hit a home run every at-bat. But getting called out on strikes is the worst way to go down.
Jay Maurice says
Great advice. The first step is sometimes the hardest. You’d also probably give the advice to take baby steps, so take them, a step is a step.
Jeff Cohan says
Sure. Or to continue with the baseball metaphor, just try to get on base.
And every once in a while, after taking a few baby steps, swing for the fences. The worst thing that can happen is you’ll strike out. (Or, I suppose, hit into a triple play.)