Long-Term Success Requires More Than The Quick Wins
Looking beyond the immediate gains and focusing on the bigger picture, you stay true to yourself and resist the pressures from all around.
It can be hypnotising when you see the results from a platform that wants to keep you buckled in. It can also be distracting.
If your audience just sees short-form content, you have less room to manoeuvre, as that’s all you do. It’s the platform that starts to own you.
If what you create is worth reading or being involved with, your in-depth work has meaning.
It depends on what you want.
Short run = attention
Long run = loyalty
When you chase more people to like your work, size becomes your benchmark. The posting matters more than the impact that you can make (subscribers and growth with your audience). The adulation becomes hypnotic, but for the most part, it’s in a space owned by someone else.
When you take a longer view and create your own space, where you can address people, this is where you have more room to play and win. This could be coming to a place where you’d like your audience to commit or being flexible the longer you keep playing and introduce new initiatives.
Where I Am Comfortable
I have always favoured producing deeper thinking, and longer content. This is how I have grown YATM with the weekly writing, newsletter and the effort it takes to bring people together. I don’t think I could have done this if everything was centred around short posts on LinkedIn.
However, it is the short-form content that becomes the bridge to the longer work. It’s my way to grab the attention of someone else, that becomes the commitment to subscribe that hopefully builds trust so they stay with YATM.
The in-depth work, allows me to think aloud and start to build more substantial projects, such as YATM Creator Day. This wouldn’t have been achieved if all I did was produce short content.
My Biggest Distraction From 2022
Something crept in during 2022 that didn’t help me. In fact, towards the end of last year, I was becoming quite low on morale.
I started looking over my shoulder a lot more. That can be damaging to your work and confidence.
You start to match yourself with others.
There was the magnet that was pulling me in to produce short form posts, on LinkedIn, because others were doing it. We can all feel the weight when we see others doing well. It’s quick, it’s impactful and if others are shouting about the success they are having, why aren’t we?
It’s the short-term feeling of immense reward that makes us feel better about what we say and do. It feels good when you have a flurry of acceptance.
At the start of this year, I realise that you are not the sum of the positive feedback you receive, you are the result of what happens from the attention gained from people who matter.
The Hynpotic Hits Or Something More Substantial?
You can give in and keep the attention within the platform, or you can try to use the platform to your advantage and find ways to bring people to you.
Continually publishing is easy when you have a phone and a platform where you can rent scale.
LinkedIn, Insta and everyone else want to keep you in their space. If you create work that the algorithm recognises is worth people’s attention and stopping them in their tracks, it’s going to make sure you are seen.
You repeat, you come back, the numbers and the platform keep you incentivised. It becomes captivating. You want more.
Is There An Answer?
The short-term work supports my longer-form content. The answer is in finding stability with your efforts.
I enjoy the long-form work, it keeps me motivated and encourages my thinking. My goal is that You Are The Media has a place and can continue, even when I am not here anymore.
The long-term approach is to look at the work you create as a continual deposit to earn trust and commitment. This can’t happen when you make short posts on a platform as the goal is inevitably scale, rather than encouraging people to step up and stand with you.
The return for your efforts is that you can stand away from the place where everyone else is fighting for attention, but it is ok to dip your feet in their, it’s your place to tell people you’re in the room.
It’s good to have control, but useful to recognise the difference between what you want from the short-term wins and the longer-term goals.
Short run = ephemeral / Long run = loyalty wins
Short run = the world as connections / Long run = the people we choose to be with
Short run = attention / Long run = trust
Short run = it’s quick / Long run = you think
Short run = obsess / Long run = plan
Short run = adulation from strangers / Long run = time with the people you love
Short run = rent scale / Long run = own the platform
It’s the short runs that build up over time to make the long run effective. The short-term thinking and spaces are there to encourage us to be creative and keep going, not to be dependent on the hand that continually feeds you.
Some Places For Long Term Measurement (To Think About)
Here are long-term metrics that matter to me where the short form leads to longer measurement.
Audience growth (email subscribers). It doesn’t have to be huge spikes in numbers but are you converting people who want more from you? Is your audience the right people and not everyone? Is your audience interested in what you say and do? Does your audience know they receive something from you that they can’t get elsewhere?
Conversion. There has to be a commercial aspect to your work. How is your audience turning to sales? Are they receiving enough value that at some point they want to commit? For You Are The Media, conversion is measured from people who subscribe to those who want to dedicate more time through paid events and learning.
Audience engagement. For my consultancy side (We Are The Media) the sales cycle can be long. For instance, someone subscribes and feels a part of the YATM community and then when the time is right to approach to work with me (coaching, consulting, speaking) this can take years. However, it’s the constant presence and being a part of their week that helps.
Staying and being involved. If people feel a part of what you share, they will stay and business can follow. For instance, this could be people who come to your site and then regularly come back. It’s the trust built through your content that encourages involvement. For me, it feels good to see people come to their first YATM live event and then come back again. What can you do to get people to come to you and then feel comfortable staying?
If all your efforts you put into short form start to stall, namely your work isn’t seen by as many people as you were used to, it can get tricky.
When you put in the work, trust wins in the long run. You start to see the results for yourself. The dopamine hits from the scale achieved is replaced by the reward of spending the most time with the people who joined you at a starting point and the relationship grows.
Over time you swap producing for the algorithm, but for the people you want to be with. When you look at the long run, you have ownership of your work, what you create and the growth you can maintain. That is an encouraging place to be.
With this sense of ownership and control, you are on the path to success. Don’t give up, stay committed and enjoy the journey. You are well on your way to reaching your goals.