As someone who lives in Los Angeles, you learn to ignore the word “Brilliant.” It’s an overused word that I think just boils down to sheer creative laziness. It’s become a comfort word for many people. They saw a movie that struck them in some profound way, and instead of saying, “That darn movie just struck me in some profound way,” they simply say “It was Brilliant.”
I’m about to refer to some brilliant ideas that were given to me. You may not think they are brilliant, but they had an effect on me.
Brilliant Idea # 1: This one is from the very brilliant CY, who suggested I create a character sketch of the person writing the Facebook pages I manage for clients. “Think of who this person is, who is it that is reaching out to the audience?” She wasn’t suggesting I not be myself; just that I just channel my voice into one the audience could relate to. Brilliant. It’s the same idea that I would employ when I sit down to write a novel or script, so why not do it with a fan page? It helps you fine-tune your voice.
Brilliant Idea #2. A fairly brilliant college professor once said to me, “Sooner or later you have to stop reading. Shut the book and start writing.” He was referring to the fact that as writers, we read for inspiration, but sooner or later, we have to take the plunge and put the words to paper. This ties rather close to the Brilliant Idea #1 above about finding your voice and putting it on paper. Even in social media, we read what the competitors are writing in their social network, or we read outside our field for inspiration. We have to navigate from that web page and just find our own voice, look for our own inner brilliance (play on words, yes, yes) that leads the reader to our page and makes them want to stay.
Brilliant Idea #3. President Clinton did not come up with the term, “If you want to run with the big dogs, then get off the porch,” but he was the first one I heard say it, and it stuck with me. A mentor later described the same basic sentiment with another term, Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goals. While this is also not original, it is, well, you know: brilliant. I’m serious: I am so sick of safe. Bruce Springsteen has a line from the truly Brilliant song, “Badlands,” (and I will personally fight anyone who says that song is not brilliant): “I don’t give a damn for just the in-betweens.”
A long time ago, a manager told me, “I know our processes are a bit of date, but we just don’t want to rock the boat.” She’s still in that same job, and I left shortly after, finding a better job where they did rock the boat and made a lot more money doing it. Actually, one of the top execs ended up in jail, but that is another story.
In social media especially, the same-old, same-old only works for about a week. Look at the updates you write. Is it the same writing pattern time after time? Yes, you want to have a consistent voice, but is the voice stale? Does it need a margarita, maybe? Liven it up, change it up, talk about a topic you’ve never discussed before.
You don’t need to be brilliant, but it does help to have a voice thats brilliance shines through.
What is some brilliant advice you’ve been given that you can apply to social media and marketing practices?