Do you ever wonder if anyone is actually really and truly reading, listening or watching your content?
Today, all our content can be tracked by metrics; number of likes, comments, click-throughs and shares.
But do they tell the whole story?
I was out last night with a group of wonderful women who I’ve got to know quite deeply over the last couple of years. I’ve shared wine with them, lots of laughter and, at times, tears.
We got talking about my new book due out this September and I realised how many of them not only subscribed to my email updates but also read every email.
Now I do look at my email marketing metrics.
I can see that my average open rate right now is at 38.5%, which I know is high for my industry.
But I also know that open rates don’t tell me who actually reads my emails.
It’s one thing having a cookie sent back from their email server to mine that the email has been opened, but it’s another to know that the human being who signed up for my emails has actually read it. That would be a little bit creepy, yes? Having access to your camera on your phone to see if your eyes scan through the copy … too much ‘big brother’, thank you very much.
So to hear from several of the ladies last night that they read EVERY SINGLE email from me woke me up.
It gave me a much-needed reboot and reminder that the impact that we can make from the content we create cannot be measured by metrics alone.
It’s the same with our like counts on our social media accounts.
It’s easy to believe that a post with just one or two likes hasn’t done anything; it’s just slipped through the newsfeed and allowed the algorithm to swallow it up.
But this is simply not the case.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of the ‘right’ people who will feel inspired by your content without reacting to it. They watch, listen and read without leaving any trace, such as a click or a tracking cookie (because more people are switching these off than ever before).
What does this mean to you and me?
Firstly, it is important to recognise that you are here to run a commercial business. If you produce content for entertainment value only or just create content for the sake of creating content (think robotic, automated sharing systems that do nothing but create white noise), you end up with an expensive hobby, rather than a purposeful, profitable business.
But the feedback that I had last night from my buddies, inspired me to see that the content we create can have a greater impact than our metrics tell us.
Whether I get an email from you or not (although a reply to one of my emails boosts me no end – seriously – that quick moment of recognition makes a real difference to me), I am reminded that not everyone has time nor knows what to say to show me that they’ve read, watched or heard my content.
It’s the same for you, too.
If you ever find yourself wondering if anyone is actually really and truly listening to you, take a moment. Have the faith to stick to your plan and the impact that you are here to make. You don’t need hundreds of likes and click-throughs to tell you whether you are a success or not.
And it’s a reminder me, too, to take the time to comment or reply to the content that inspires me. A simple ‘thank you’ may be all that it takes – it doesn’t need an ‘intelligent’ or a mini-blog response that may take a half hour out of my day – but that response is my payment in kind for the content that inspires me and helps me reflect, grow or take action.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.