…but maybe it wears the most comfortable hoodie that you own?
I spent months writing punchy copy that didn’t fit the bill for any ad employers in my area. That really sucked.
To spend my unemployed time wisely, I started blogging, refining my voice through a journalistic-style of writing with a subjective purpose.
That led to freelancing, which led to more work, which led to a pretty comfy combination of gigs that foster my talents and hobbies all into a pretty solid 40-hour+ week.
I’m no uber copywriter or internet marketing guru, but I can tell you with a straight face that I love what I do lately.
The work sometimes goes unnoticed and frustrates me most of the time, but to quote a former instructor of mine, “you have to do things in life in a way that allows you to have a great story to tell.”
That story might not pay the bills very well, but it’s a very fulfilling one to tell anyone who is willing to listen.
The best part? I’ve crafted the tale in a way that won’t end until I die. That’s going to be a lot of chapters, my friends.
The mastermind behind the plot isn’t me. It’s my obsession with genuine communications.
I’m hoping this obsession will lead me to some form of awesomeness that I cannot even fathom today.
Tribes and Parties
To further study content and continue my quest toward hardcore genuineness, I’ve spent a lot of my time digging around internet marketing strategies and come across all of these tribes, parties, and hats.
Seth Godin always talks about tribes. I dig it. Who can you confide in to accomplish something critical? It’s the group that supports you thoroughly because they believe in what you can bring to the table: your tribe.
Build your tribe’s depth, rather than its roster, and you might end up with Kevin Kelly’s “true fans.” The true fans stand behind you to the death, even willing to give you what you need to make something happen.
All of this, of course, is backed by a genuine service, product, or idea that serves and satisfies your tribe and true fans. Continuous maintenance of genuine communications is necessary to keep the favor and power of that kind of following.
Imagine these tribes and fans going to these crazy parties.
We all know parties are a blast. We also know that it’s often that guests might pretend to be something that they are not in order to entertain, sacrificing a bit of that original genuineness.
One party consists of search engine optimizers and marketers who only want to make it to the top of any given list. These people craft content like a Vita-Mix blender—extracting every ounce of SEO juice possible from any given form of web communications.
Whether or not the juice tastes good isn’t the problem. It just has to be optimized for results.
The other party just wants to talk—to engage. They talk about interesting things. They tell of postulations and anecdotes that make listeners want to act and react to the markets. The sale and optimization will come eventually, but the key is to engage.
You Can’t Party without a Hat… Or Can You?
Imagine one of these parties, or both of these parties in two different rooms (like that one Office holiday episode). Now imagine everyone wearing a goddamn hat.
The White Hats drink and chat it up about internet marketing practices that form-fit to Google rules. They also toss around a few testimonials about it here and there.
Black Hatters booze gracefully, skirting around their tactics of fooling the search engines into popularity.
The Grey Hats tell you that they’re only going to have one or two, then divulge their marketing tactics derived from finding beneficial footholds between the black and white practices.
(If I’m blowing your mind here, check out John Andrew’s definitions of White, Black, and Grey Hat SEO here).
If I could attend a party, it’s going to be the latter—the one where we’re engaging people before trying to sell them something. I won’t be wearing a hat, however.
In my opinion, being genuine is bringing comfort and trust to the consumer via the written word. Think of the comfort that your favorite hoodie can give you. Put the hood on. Ah… achievement unlocked: comfort.
I’ll be the one talking to everyone in a pink Uniqlo hoodie, making everyone wish they could take their hats off and wear their favorite hoodies with me.
The mood is set. Everyone is calm, comfortable, engaged, and interested. They’ll want to buy something from me.
I love that kind of content. I come across it in very random places. Sometimes it’s one of Brian Clark’s posts on Copyblogger, where he genuinely wants you to not act like a fool on the internet. Sometimes it’s from a dosage of Cute Overload.
As a practitioner of genuine communications, I encourage you to revel in it when you see it, consume it, digest it, crap it out, then create your own beauties.
What’s your take? Which party do you go to? What do you wear on your head? Where do you go to get your dose of genuine?