A Surprising Antidote to Content Perfectionism

George Kao


Here’s a hard truth about your content, but a truth that can liberate you from perfectionism:

No one is going to remember any of your content… except the few pieces that are exceptional.​

Everyone’s busy and distracted. There’s always another shining piece of content from another creator that will distract your reader right after yours. We don’t think about yours at all, unless it’s awesome, or really offensive (which I trust it won’t be!)

Should you give up if you haven’t created anything viral yet? If that was the prescription, then not a single artist or writer would ever become successful.

You’ll be known for only a few things…

If you look at the journey of successful artists and authors — they just kept creating and publishing until they stumbled upon their hit song or best-selling book.

They weren’t concerned about putting out content that might not be super well-received.

Look at musicians: they are only known for their popular songs. Nobody remembers their mediocre songs.

Same with authors: they’re remembered for their best-selling works, even if they wrote many books.

Sometimes, they’re only remembered for a single quote!

This principle holds true on social media as well. The algorithms of Facebook, Linkedin, and YouTube only show you the popular stuff in the news feed. You rarely see the thousands of other posts every day that get few or no likes.

Search engines are the same way: If people love a webpage, they will link to it and Google will bump it up in the search rankings. If no one is linking to a webpage, it goes into obscurity.

Liberate yourself to create…

The above facts we can lament… or use to our benefit.

Here’s how I choose to interpret it:

We are liberated to create and share as much as we’d like.

We can let go of any fear of making mediocre content.

Since quantity leads to quality, what makes sense is to create more. Keep creating, and I promise you: eventually, some of your stuff will be seen as exceptional. The rest? It merely gave you practice.

Share more of your thoughts. It works your muscles of expression and reveals which of your many ideas happens to also resonate with your audience.

Write more about your framework. Talk about the “aha!” moments in your work with clients. Post occasional invitations to work with your business.

Whatever is good will spread.

Whatever isn’t, will quickly be forgotten.

You don’t get to decide what’s “good”…

Always remember: what is “good” content is not up to you to decide. Your role is to create and share. It’s your audience’s role to decide whether something is worth remembering.

What’s worthwhile will get above-average likes, comments, and shares.

If you don’t see much engagement — (if you get silence) — then it’s your audience’s gentle feedback that they didn’t think much of it… no matter how important it felt to you.

Take a pause, and simply move on to create and share the next thing.

(The other possibility, if you always get silence, is that you haven’t reached the right audience. Try another audience to share your content with!)

I’ve eaten a lot of humble pie…

Having created thousands of pieces of content, there have been many that I felt were really important… but you (my audience) didn’t think so!

So there was silence. I don’t blame anyone. It’s just the illusion that I as a creator experience: because I spent time creating something, it feels important to me.

You’ll experience the same bias: the more effort you spend in recording a video or writing an article, the more important it’ll feel to you.

This is why I teach the 3 stages of content. Spend as little effort as possible in putting out your ideas. If an idea resonates with your audience, then it’s worth additional effort to improve upon it.

Create, then observe…

When a piece of content is finally loved by your audience, the algorithms will generously show it to others who weren’t part of your audience… and then new people will discover you.

Most of the time, however — and this is simply statistics! — your content won’t go viral. It will be seen by only a few of your biggest fans. And that’s ok.

Remember: when you create, you win, no matter what.

Either your audience will love it… or they won’t, and you simply got practice expressing your voice and clarifying your message.

As long as you create from an energetic space (or attitude) of service and expression, then you are growing, no matter what. If you are creating genuinely from your soul’s expression, you are getting practice in expressing your energy signature. And that’s a good thing, no matter the “result”.

To increase your skills, strength of voice, and your professional opportunities, the prescription is simple — just create and share more content.

Consistency before mastery…

A reader wrote to me about their concern:

“But if I just keep publishing mediocre content, I’ll never improve the quality…”

My response:

“Yes, to improve content, we need to take the path of mastery. However, my article here is addressing those who aren’t even on the path… who are caught up in perfectionism, not even consistent with content creation yet. Consistency first, then work on mastery.”

Their response back…

“I feel like this article was written for me. Because I’m the world’s leading perfectionist and procrastinator!”

Without a consistent practice of creating, it’s nearly impossible to have the momentum for the practice of mastery. Without movement, you can’t truly change your direction.

Get going on creating consistently first, with the freedom of knowing that your “mediocre” pieces won’t be remembered at all. The more you create and observe, the more clarity you’ll discover about how to improve!



George Kao

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity" https://www.GeorgeKao.com