A question looms on every writer just before they are ready to type the first letter. “What I am about to publish on the internet has been said over and over again. Why should I contribute? What I am saying is barely original? Will this even make a difference? Why is my perspective even important?”
I experience this daily. These questions, together create what I refer to as – “my writer’s block”.
“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”Andre Gide *
And it is for this reason there are 900+ biographies for Winston Churchill. Just on Amazon alone**. 1 Man. 900 biographies. Let that sink.\
One of the most important lessons learned in the last 5 years of iZooto is the importance of repetition. For all practical purposes, the #1 responsibility of us as founders is to repeat. Repeat and repeat. Repeat in different styles. Get others to repeat. Get friends to repeat. Get celebrities to repeat. Get as many people as possible to repeat. Because only then the message starts getting through people. Repeat in writing. Repeat in speech. Repeat in presentations. Repeat on the walls. Repeat you shall. And here’s why –
We overestimate what we can retain and we gross underestimate what we can write. And because very few take notes and even fewer go back and visit those notes, repetition of stories, repetition of facts becomes a key part of the job. We have a terrible attention span, which is why repeating key messages is an absolute must. Your message is competing for attention and action with Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Reddit, Whatsapp Messages from friends, family groups, and 100 other notifications on the phone. If someone fails to recall what you said, it often means nothing. It just means – you need to be at it.
Over time repetition registers recall but not enough action.
At this point, repetition of your message will have decreasing penetration. Sooner than later, it will start bouncing back. While this is frustrating, it has little to do with you or the message. Identifying yourself as a broken record is a typical stage in your journey towards becoming a better communicator.
New Messenger. Same Message. Different Style.
What’s being said is definitely important but it is the person delivering the message that carries the weight of the delivery. The problem of “the broken record” is best solved when the message is delivered by a different messenger. Twitter is a live case study for this. The same message delivered by Elon Musk moves millions vs the same message said your colleague doesn’t move the needle. And not just influencers like Elon.
This is precisely why the messenger is more important than the message itself.
I am a founder of iZooto, a leading audience marketing platform, where I manage all things Marketing. I enjoy cycling and reading. I love conversations about building new products, software and mobile.