Are you bothering people with your content?

  • Your newsletter subscribers want your newest content
  • Your Facebook friends are interested in your opinions
  • Your business followers on social media want to hear about your business

You are not bothering people when you send content that they expect from you, at a frequency they expect.

Especially when you create and share content in these ways:

  • from a spirit of helpfulness
  • or a desire to connect
  • or an intention to delight them
  • Can you see that person in your mind’s eye? What do they already know about your area of expertise, and what don’t they know, but would love to?
  • Can you feel in your heart what they might be feeling, when it comes to your area of expertise? (Are they scared, overwhelmed, excited, eager, passionate, etc?)
  • What’s going on in their life/work/relationships/health right now, that is relevant to the kinds of things you talk about?
  • Is there a major current event in the news right now that they would care about, that is somewhat related to your area of expertise?

When you’re of service, you’re a blessing, not a bother.

How often is too often to share content?

  • Email Newsletters — are you sending it more than 2x per month? (One every other week?) Unless they requested a weekly email, I wouldn’t recommend more than 2x a month. In my email newsletter signup I ask subscribers to choose monthly or weekly, so that I align expectations.
  • Social Media — are you posting more often than most people? Posting more than 2x on Facebook in any given day is increasingly a faux pas, and so is posting more than 3x on Instagram, more than 1x on Linkedin. See the latest advice: posting too often on social media?
  • Private Messaging — this could be FB Messenger, text/SMS, individual email, Linkedin private message, etc. Are you sending content privately to people who didn’t ask for it? If they don’t already know you, then it’s bordering on spam, unless you’re sending a thoughtful, customized outreach about a possible collaboration. If they do know you (friends, colleagues, classmates) it’s fine to privately send content you think would be relevant to them, maybe once every few months. If they’re subscribed to your email newsletter then of course follow the frequency etiquette there.
  • Posting about your business — Don’t post about your business on your personal social media (e.g. Facebook personal timeline) more than occasionally, not more than 5–10% of your posts… unless you are setting the privacy of those posts specifically to the FB friends who want to hear about your business. To learn how to do that, watch my Social Media Caring video. (On the other hand, it *is* acceptable for you to post often about your business on your FB Business Page, of course.)

Evidence that you are *not* bothering your audience:

  • Email Newsletter — each time you send one, you get fewer than 1% of the recipients unsubscribing. That is normal. However, if you notice that your Open Rate is going down and down over time, that just means you need to care more in your content. You’re not bothering them, you’re just boring them.
  • Social Media — if your follower count continues to organically rise (without buying ads specifically to increase follower count) then you’re doing fine. However, if the proportion of engagement in your content doesn’t rise with your total audience, then again, the problem is that you need to care more in your content.

 by the author.



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George Kao

George Kao


Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"