Your key to creativity: Documenting and vulnerability

Your key to creativity: Documenting and vulnerability





Your key to creativity: Documenting and vulnerability


Tony Hallett
Managing director

Tony set up Collective Content in 2011 so brands can more easily become publishers and tell stories. This built on 15 years in media, from reporter to publishing director at Silicon Media Group, CNET Networks and CBS Interactive.

Have you heard about authenticity in your content? It’s been a big theme for a while. But recently at an event I heard Alex Jones from Fjord Trends (part of Accenture these days) talk about vulnerability.

The idea is that those organisations that are open about their problems are more likely to resonate with others and come across as trustworthy.
I get that. And it sits neatly next to another big trend in blogging.

Prominent figures such as Gary Vaynerchuk are among those who have talked about documenting rather than being creative every time you generate content. This is also great advice.

What does that mean? More often than not, just giving an insight into your world is engaging for those you’re talking to. And let’s face it, saying something profound every time you create something isn’t easy.
But what do these two things have in common?

I think there’s a big link between documenting what you do and vulnerability.

We assume, as professionals in any area, that we are experts. As such, our documenting will show that expertise.

As a content agency, for example, we’re inclined to write about things about which we’re sure and sound assured. Isn’t that what clients want to hear?

But in lots of areas – not least content – a number of things are up for debate. Some areas (social media, for example) are fast-moving. You don’t find many books or seminars on the latest trends because they’re evolving so fast.

So often our documenting won’t be bulletproof. It won’t say: ‘Do this. This is the only way.’ Even if we’re not exactly feeling our way with something, we are honest enough to say there’s more than one way to skin a rabbit.
So, documenting, meet vulnerability.

Not all clients and prospects want to hear that you don’t know everything. Possibly the question we hear more than any other is, “Have you done this before?” The implication is also “And was it successful for someone else like us?”

So look for us to talk in coming months about how our experiments with documenting go. After that, we’ll decide if we want to recommend it.

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