Community Management Sin: Envy
Envy is another insatiable desire, much like greed, lust and pride, characterized by a lack of appreciation for the accolades and success of others. You want what they have, and you don’t care how you get it. In business, something frequently overheard is
“Our competitors are doing THIS, we need to do THIS too,” or
“Our biggest competitor is a market leader, and since they have THAT, we need THAT too.”
There is an important distinction that needs to be made with this kind of reasoning. Many businesses don’t know what they are doing when it comes to marketing. A proper site has a plan, structure, a full thought process applied to every feature in the layout. One of the blessings and curses of WordPress is the fact that anyone can build a website. But just making a pretty looking site isn’t everything. The reason many of these designers chose the layouts they did was arbitrary – that’s just how the base theme was set up – or they just went ahead and copied their own competition. This approach is like getting yourself a blind seeing eye dog. I just don’t see how it could help.
Unless of course the blind seeing eye dog has a seeing eye cat…
but that would just be ridiculous, right?
What works for others may not work for you.
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Don’t focus on the competition, they’ll never give you money.’ -Jeff Bezos” quote=”‘Don’t focus on the competition, they’ll never give you money.’ -Jeff Bezos”]
As you grow your brand online, focus on creating a style that is your own. Let people see the evolution of your thought process, your craft – infuse everything you do with your voice. People want authenticity. They crave it, they can easily recognize it – and when you aren’t authentic – damn sure they will let you know about it. An industry blog should not be a form to fill, with all the same types of posts, similar content, and repeating themes. If you publish online, you need to do something new or improved – not regurgitation.
Sure, creating and promoting your own content is important, but by also bringing attention to other people’s work, you can go even further. By bringing attention to their content, you can build stronger relationships, reinforcing your own role within the greater community as a source of information and balanced opinion.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Put as much effort into sharing other people’s content as you do your own.” quote=”Put as much effort into sharing other people’s content as you do your own.”]
Read it yourself, take some notes, and tell people why it’s relevant – expand on the content, and provide a link to the resource. Be sure you mention the creators by name, that way they know you are directing people to them, and maybe, if you can produce quality content as well – they will do the same for you.