Nobody Knows or Cares What You’re Doing
Not too long ago I was at the tail end of one of my latest articles on LinkedIn which dealt Netflix and Amazon and how Netflix can take a page out of Amazon’s playbook. This was one of my most extensively thought out and researched article since my other article which dealt with who’ll replace Amazon in the future and hence I was determined to make it as visible as visible. So I pushed, and I pushed hard.
After a week of nearly daily marketing on various social media outlets, talking to various people about the article and talking to every professor I still had contact with, I finally slowed down.
It was around this time that I casually mentioned in one of my Facebook groups a comment that one of my professors had left me personally.
Immediately, someone replied, “You have a new article out? Congrats!”
It took every fibre in my body to not respond sarcastically. Surely, this person was being tongue-in-cheek. Surely, they couldn’t have missed the 837 messages in the previous week and a half declaring that I did indeed have a new article out.
But I gave them the benefit of the doubt and asked, “Are you serious?”
To which they replied, “Yeah, I didn’t know. That’s great. Good work.”
And suddenly, I realized something.
Nobody knows or cares what you’re doing.
People aren’t watching your every move. Even now, in the age of digital voyeurism, where we’re broadcasting everything we do from what we ate to the latest trade secrets, we’re still far more concerned with ourselves than with the lives of others.
Even when we go on social media sites to stalk our friends and measure our lives against theirs, we’re still just thinking about ourselves.
At our core, we’re quite selfish creatures.
But there is also something liberating in this, isn’t there? Every failure we fear and every anxiety we have ends up being not quite so significant. Not if this idea — that nobody knows what you’re doing — is really true.
On the other hand, this also requires us to get a lot more serious about marketing. If we have creative work to share with the world, and many of us do, then marketing is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity.
Of course, we all want to make work that speaks for itself, but as Austin Kleon says, talking about the work is the work. Promotion is part and parcel of the job of being an artist. You have to be willing to share your work in places that people will find it.
Yes, you must create great things that move people and spark conversations. But you must also talk about those things. A lot. Maybe to the point that you’re sick of talking about your work and feel like you’re annoying people.
It’s at that point that someone will finally know what you’re doing. It sounds absurd, but I promise you. This is how it works. You don’t have to be annoying. But you do have to persist.
Because everything in the world is conspiring against you.
All of it.
Creation is a fight. And as soon as you stop pushing, you lose.
In the end, it’s not really magic robots doing the work. It’s you. Good luck.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.