Authenticity in your outreach

Authenticity in your outreach

I think we all too often fall into a trap as the size of our audience and the impact of our outreach grows. 

We forget that we are writing directly to an individual. Not a community, not a gr
oup, but a person, just like you or me. Maybe a million unique individuals, but each one is an individual reader with a unique interpretation of our message. We allow numbers to twist our perception to think, "200,140 Facebook accounts saw it, that is my "audience." And that clouds your ability to effectively communicate with the individual because we focus on the number, not the individual. 

You lose the authenticity of your voice (the very thing that attracted your initial audience) by trying to water down your message to appeal to everyone in your potential community. And the larger it gets, the less authentic you become. 

Having chiefed for one of the oldest and most successful magazines in Florida for over a decade I can't count the times over the years that I lost talent to this dangerous writer's trap.

We should always make an effort to write like we are talking to our best friend, our wife or someone we are completely comfortable with. And then we will find ourselves creating meaningful content that impacts our audience.

I always warn my new writers, don't change your voice to appeal to a larger audience, be authentically you and allow your message to impact your readers one at a time as individuals. When the individual is your focus instead of the audience, the needle of your internal compass will always point true north.

TL/DR: Write from the heart, person to person, and let the punctuation (for better or worse) fall where it may. Iterate inspiration as it flows, because you can neither control nor direct lightning when it strikes. Published beats perfect every single time.