I have a propensity to talk too much in certain situations. Lost connections to lost business—both could be results of my ultra-chattiness. If lucky, long, meaningful conversations with people arise. These typically happen with those who are around for the long haul.
It’s funny how that works.
However, I’m learning carefully that the long-windedness isn’t so fun when presenting a final piece of work to a client. It’s often best to just wrap it up and ship it out. It’s not that there’s anything to hide. It’s more like knowing when to let the project go into the wild and do what it’s supposed to do.
Don’t show your work.
Many of us have been taught since school to show work in order to demonstrate how we find the answers to problems. This is most apparent in math and science-type classes where the journey to the answer is where most of the truth of the matter seems to appear.
In my adulthood, I find that businesses tend to pay for answers and not so much for talking about the seed of a notion of an idea of the answer (well, I guess in some rare cases you can get paid for that).
I recently completed a web content project and had to fight off the urge to “show all of my work.” I blame the excitement of completion. It could also be a bit of a testament to how long and arduous the path of maturing into a competent content strategist and consultant can be—I’ve definitely got a ways to go.
Luckily, I kept my mouth shut and just presented what needed to be shown. Shipped, delivered, paid.
The content is useful—you become useful too.
That’s what I told myself.
I spent so much time creating a usable piece of web content for my client. Ironically, I almost showed it to them in the most useless way possible. If I did not apply a filter between my brain and my mouth, I would have talked about that content into the ground.
That’s probably the last thing anyone wants to do to a client– paralysis by analysis.
Luckily, I shut off the ADHD idea part of my brain and simply sat down with two month’s-worth of work in front of me. Taking what was useful and simple to understand, I created a user’s manual for the web content.
This guide covered: 1. How to use the content and serve your user. 2. How to take care of it. 3. Ideas for future extensions of the content.
Inspired by all of the 100-mph thoughts, notes, and conclusions that came from the process of work, I gave them a nice denouement to the piece, rather than boring, confusing, or frustrating them to the point of questioning the work. It satisfied my craving to rave about the product and instead found a means to ramping up the client to put the content to good use.
Now the content is live and free to do what it needs to and I have a happy client on my roster.
Go on work. Do your thing.