Here in the rural South, churches like to feature some pithy and usually witty message on their roll-out signs by the road. One I saw recently was worth memorizing:
Wisdom has two parts. 1) Having a lot to say. And 2) Not saying it.
Mulling that one over, awe unfolds. Because think about how often we clamor to be heard, to show our superiority and be recognized. Content marketing, for instance, is showing what you know.
In business, politics, religion, education, and even family life, what you have to say is at the heart of your brand.
My business motto is, “Speak Your Mind and Write It, Too” – so self-expression is definitely something I encourage.
But it must be admitted that the people we adore the most are the ones who don’t say everything. The ones who say the right things, the helpful things, but not everything. We always have a sense that there is much more we can learn from that person. There’s much more fun and loving to be had with them, whether we’re talking about your spouse or the fiction writer you just discovered. People who have the wisdom “not to say it” are enlightened souls.
How could this concept apply to your business practices? In your content marketing, how can you both put your knowledge on display and also give the impression that you have infinitely more to share? I believe responding to this question is a fine art, but here are a few top-of-mind possibilities.
The most obvious is to use the old CTA or call to action. Your landing page or blog post is written as an appetizer, an invitation to something far more rewarding if the reader will just fill in the form and click Submit.
Be generous with sharing your plans for the future. Let your tribe know the company’s goals for this year, or your personal commitment to mountain climbing, or what you anticipate for the next six months in your industry or in your world.
Don’t confine yourself to the technicalities. Yes, you want to provide the basics, but always have an eye to the big issues: why you are doing what you’re doing, what’s going on in the larger framework of your industry, what are the trends, what are the aspirations.
Concern yourself mostly with answering questions from your market or wider community. Concern yourself with being responsive to other people’s needs and you will appear to possess deep wisdom. Why? You have a lot to say, but you give it as help to others rather than as advertising or chest-beating.
At all times, including solitary hours as well as when you’re on the job, emphasize and encourage your curiosity and wonder. This practice alone will impart an aura of the infinite in all your interactions.
Wisdom is having a lot to say yet knowing that what you know is still an infinitesimally small fraction of what there is to know.
Definitely share what you know. But never do so without a deep bow all that you don’t know.